I’ve been following a vegetarian LCHF [low-carb high-fat] regime for over nine months now. Not only I have achieved excellent results with it, but I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed my food as much as I do now. I love this lifestyle. What do I eat?
Organic free-range eggs, full-fat cheese, full-fat yoghurt (in moderation), tofu, tempeh, lots of different types of nuts and seeds (in moderation), almond milk, and soy milk/yoghurt.
Grass-fed butter or ghee, and a vast assortment of oils, such as coconut, avocado, olive, macadamia, almond, flax, and walnut. All extra virgin and, if at all possible, cold-pressed.
All the vegetables I can put my mittens on, except starchy ones. No potatoes, carrots, peas, corn, beets, etc. I try to consume as many colors as possible, simply because I like rainbow salads. I’m an avid consumer of leafy greens too: arugula, watercress, spinach, endives, radicchio, etc. I eat lots of avocados, a good way to make any salad a bit decadent. I always feel I’ve had a treat after eating avocado.
I’ve recently discovered something new. As I used to be a high-carb vegetarian, I was left with industrial quantities of whole grains and pulses. I didn’t particularly want to throw them away, but I didn’t have any takers. So, I’ve started sprouting them. I let them grow much longer than usual, cut all the tall greenery and throw away the actual kernels, where all the starch is. Now I have incredibly fresh and crunchy leafy sprouts in most of my salads, and they aren’t impacting my BS [blood sugar] levels at all. Success!
Lastly, I have a ridiculously vast collection of spices, herbs, and seasonings, and I use them liberally. I could cook the same egg for two weeks and never make it taste the same.
I make great use of fresh flavor powerhouses such as red onions, garlic, ginger, chilies, and lemongrass. I’m not such a great cook, but my LCHF food is never boring or bland.
I also love to cook with different kinds of tea, either by using the brewed liquid, or by grounding loose leaves and adding them to food. I like their flavors and it’s a nice way to get extra polyphenols with a negligible carb load.
As an un-medicated vegetarian with diabetes, I feel I’m doing fine. My A1C is 4.8, my FBS [fasting blood sugars] are in the 4.2~4.8 (75~86) range, and I very rarely stray above 5.5 (99) with my peaks. A few days ago I had my 6-month review with the NHS [National Health Service] diabetes dietician and she was astounded by the way I’m managing my illness.
She had access to my complete medical file, and from my blood test results, she didn’t spot any nutritional-related issue. Liver, kidneys, red blood cells, all excellent. She also complimented me on my “perfect” potassium level. She said she wished I was eating a tiny bit of grains and pulses (she’s a pro-carber), but she didn’t feel she should push it, as I was doing so much better than her wildest expectations.
In a nutshell, a vegetarian LCHF is not only possible, but enjoyable, easy to follow, and highly effective in managing diabetes. In fact, sometimes I have to remind myself I’m diabetic because I feel so good and my BS [blood sugar] is so normal that it’s easy to forget I have a chronic illness.