The problem with being vegetarian is that your diet becomes very high in carbs. It’s all about the pasta, the rice, the bread, and the beans etc.
It’s hard to be a low carb veggie but its not impossible. I’ve been scouring the interwebs looking for a variety of things to eat to make sure my diet doesn’t become too monotonous.
One thing I have learnt throughout my weight loss journey is that planning is key. I need to have a fully stocked Kitchen. I need to plan my meals in advance and have them cooked. Whenever I don’t have anything prepared, the first thing I reach out for is always carbs.
So step number one is to stock your kitchen.
Here is a list of what I think makes a great low carb kitchen.
High protein “meats” such as Tofu and Seitan also textured vegetable protein (TVP) can be used to make patties, chilli and soups as a replacement for minced meats.
Cauliflower will be your replacement for rice and potatoes
Soy, soy, soy,- nothing is better for a low carb vegetarian than soy in all its forms. It is high in protein and low in carbs.
The Bean question: Lots of vegetarians know that their major source of protein is beans. This is true but the problem is that most beans are really high in carbs. So if you are on a weight loss journey, I think it is better to stay away from the beans until you get to your goal. If you cannot completely eradicate the beans from your diet, ½ a cup should be your daily limit. ½ cup of kidney beans is about 20g of carbs. If you can fit this in your diet, go for it. As you progress along your journey, start slowly incorporating legumes back into your diet.
For me, I plan on having lentils and chickpeas in my diet. I make lots of lentil soup and chickpea/swishchard soup that is very high in fiber and therefore the netcarb is really low.
-Low on glycemic index- (do not spike up sugar levels and production of insulin. Insulin turns all teh sugar in your blood stream into fat and stores this. we want to avoid this as much as possible) spinach, zucchini,Green beans, mushrooms, broccoli, romaine lettuce, cucumber, chard, kale and any green leafy vegetables you can find.
These veggies are out carrots, beets, potatoes.
The fiber question: the great thing about fiber is that it doesn’t count in your carb total. So if you can get food high in fiber, you can get away with eating the carbs.
Most fruits have lots of carbs because of the high sugar content. The rule of thumb I follow is to stay away from tropical fruits. These include bananas, papaya and pineapples . these are good to go
– Berries( blue/ black/ straw, rasp, cran)
– And peaches
Nuts and seeds
– Sesame seeds
– Pumpkin seeds
– Sunflower seeds
– pine nuts
– Pecans etc.
– Black eye Peas
– Kidney beans
(Limit these for a lower carb diet)
– Low carb yoghurt
– Olive oil
– Coconut Oil
The list is not exhaustive and there many other low carb vegetables out there.
Next, i’ll try put together a list of what i will be cooking and share some recipes.