I tried a Vegan Keto diet, and this is what happened to my PCOS symptoms.
WHAT IS THE KETOGENIC DIET?
The Ketogenic or Keto Diet is a high fat, low carb way of eating. Yep, I said HIGH FAT.
This diet kind of goes against everything I was ever taught, so it took me a while to get my head around it in the beginning.
In Australia, we were brought up with ‘The healthy Eating Food Pyramid’ (the one below was the one that I remember growing up!) ….As you can see, it was not only very carb-heavy, but fat was also heavily discouraged. very cautious of fats.
SO WHY ON EARTH WOULD ANYONE DO THIS?!?!?!
Well to put it bluntly, instead of the body using carbs as its main energy source, the goal is to get the body into a state of ketosis (which the body normally temporarily experiences most mornings when you have been ‘fasting’ at night) so that the body will use FAT for energy instead!
Now me being a nutrition nerd I wasn’t going to jump into this without knowing EVERYTHING I could about the science behind the ketogenic diet and I have to say that I was very impressed, it seems to have been highly researched and all evidence suggests that eliminating or significantly lowering the number of carbs consumed to roughly 20-50 grams daily (I found it hard to do anything less than 40 grams) is a highly efficient, safe and healthy way to treat or aid in:
Optimising overall health
SO WHY HAVE WE NOT ALL BEEN DOING THIS SOONER!?!?
Well, I am going to be brutally honest, it’s really f#@king hard to stick to a keto diet!
BUT, the proof was in the research, and the research proved that a Keto diet is shown to have very positive effects on women with PCOS…. so allow me to be your very own guinea pig. #YOLO
And I even went one step further and tried a VEGAN KETO diet…….. and oh my gosh it HARD.
So how does a Vegan Keto diet help with PCOS?
I am sure a lot of you already know the many benefits of a vegan diet. A vegan diet has no meat or animal products and therefore, inadvertently contains a lot less ‘bad’ saturated fats, which is related to increased cholesterol levels and increased risk of heart disease. We also know that animal products contain many properties that can actively cause inflammation which is something we should all be avoiding, particularly as a woman with PCOS.
How does a Keto diet help with PCOS?
I am going to keep this super simple. As we know, PCOS symptoms are strongly linked to insulin resistance. When the body utilises fat for energy, blood sugar levels and insulin resistance are significantly lowered. This is because there is little to no sugar which needs to be converted to glycogen. This also means insulin doesn’t have to work as hard and hence insulin sensitivity is greatly improved.
SSOOOOOO what changes did I find after trying a Vegan Keto diet for three weeks?I noticed my skin rapidly cleared up! YUSSSSS!! I had a breakout on my forehead, around my chin and on my back the week before and I just couldn’t seem to clear it up. Within about two days, I noticed zero new pimples forming, and the old ones were healing themselves nicely. Over the next couple of weeks, my skin continued to get clearer and clearer, and people even started commenting on how good my skin was looking! I had that ‘keto glow!’ (I totally made that up, but I am almost 100% sure its a thing haha)My irritability and anxiety levels decreased. Things that would usually stress me out just didn’t seem to bother me as much. I had been struggling a bit with having a very short fuse (my poor hubby), and it was nice not to feel like small little things would cause me to flip out!I GOT A PERIOD!!!… After having a couple of regular periods (after nearly a year of no periods) I stopped getting them again, and I was starting to stress out (which clearly was not going to help anything!!) and within four days of eating a Keto diet, I got a period!!! Pretty crazy right!?! I know this might be TMI, but it was a really nice and pain-free period that went for five days, and I only had a couple of tiny little cramps the day before!! #PERFECTPERIODI lost weight, (something I actually wasn’t trying to do!) but I noticed it came straight off my belly (that annoying pooch area!) so I wasn’t complaining!! …..From the research I have done weight loss is VERY common, and one of the many reasons a lot of people will try a Keto diet. I also never really felt hungry EXCEPT for in the mornings. I was super hungry in the mornings!! And I always seemed to feel like I had plenty of energy except for the first few days where I felt quite tired and light-headed (which I would assume was from having a drop in my sugar levels)What did I eat??Well, let me tell you it was certainly no easy feat to come up with yummy Vegan Keto recipes. #sendhelp BUT I managed to do it!
I decided before I started my Vegan Keto diet that I would create a five-day meal plan so that I didn’t become unmotivated or stuck for ideas.
So hopefully, if any of you are interested in trying a Vegan Keto diet, this will be a good starting point!!
Breakfast: Homemade Vegan Keto granola (made from nuts, coconut, seeds and cacao nibs) with coconut yoghurt
Two slices of my homemade veggie bread (Vegan and Keto-friendly) with avocado and tomato
Creamy coconut and broccoli soup with toasted coconut croutons
Breakfast: 2 slices of my homemade veggie bread (Vegan and Keto-friendly) with almond butter
Leftover creamy broccoli soup
Green curry with tofu and cauliflower rice
Green smoothie with avocado, spinach, celery and almond milk.
Two slices of my homemade veggie bread (Vegan and Keto-friendly) with cashew cream and spinach
2 slices of my homemade veggie bread (Vegan and Keto-friendly) with avocado and tomato
Dukka crusted cauliflower with fermented red cabbage, greens, Hummus and tahini dressing
Scrambled tofu with 1 slice of my veggie keto bread and sautéed spinach
Kale and carrot salad with fried tempeh and avocado
Mushroom and nut ‘bolognese’ sauce with zucchini noodles
Cacao and coconut chai pudding with hemp seeds and cacao nibs
Left over tofu scramble and veggies with vegan cauliflower ‘fried rice’
Vegan low carb veggie burgers with lettuce wraps, tomato, onion and guacamole.
My homemade raw super maca chocolate block
Vegan keto fat bombs
Celery with peanut butter
Nuts and seeds
Seed crackers with avocado/ tahini dip
Kombucha (low sugar)
Coconut yoghurt and vegan keto granola
Chai tea/turmeric latte with almond milk
This was my first week, and the further I got into the week, the more I enjoyed it!! Since then, I have come up with even more recipes which I plan to slowly put up on the blog, so stay tuned!!
For those of you wanting to come up with your own ideas, this article is a fantastic guide!! (this was my starting point, and I think it was super helpful, check it out!) https://herbivorepost.com/vegan-keto-shopping-list/
THE VERDICT: After sticking to my Vegan Keto diet and seeing the results, I can honestly say I am really really impressed. I don’t think I will stay strictly on the Keto diet, but I will definitely stick to a low carb/high-fat vegan diet as much as I can because I really do feel good and my body is clearly enjoying my new eating habits!!
I will keep you posted as I continue you my journey, and I will start to put up some recipes soon!!
Lots of love! xx Brig