There are many reasons people go plant-based. Whether you are doing it for health reasons, to better the environment, or both, not eating any type of animal products or limiting them is a huge lifestyle change. While there are many questions that arise: “Will I be able to go out to eat?” “What will my friends and family think?”; “What will I eat?” will be the most important one you need to answer and one that will determine just how beneficial this diet will be for your health.
As a functional medicine practitioner, I see many people become a vegan, vegetarian, or just more plant-centric as a way to be healthier and manage chronic health problems. However, after many years of clinical and personal experience, I have seen where conventional vegan diets go right and where they go wrong. After 10 years of being a staunch conventional higher-carb, lower-fat vegan, yet still battling ongoing health problems, I knew something had to change.
My diet consisted more or less of what I often see many vegans eating—sprouted grains, legumes, and other forms of carbs. I was overloading on foods that raised my blood sugar, perpetuated inflammation, and contributed to my digestive distress.
It was out of this that my book Ketotarian was born. By focusing on the ketogenic principle of a high-fat, moderate-protein, and low-carb ratio of nutrients, but through plant-based sources, you can transition your body from a sugar burner to a fat burner while avoiding the often-inflammatory effects of dairy and conventionally processed meats. I also shifted what plant-based foods I was eating to consist of healthy plant-based fats such as avocados and coconuts, protein from nuts and seeds, and plenty of nutrient-rich vegetables.