Even for the most sceptical of carnivores...
Disclaimer: I love food. From the age of 14, I have chosen to celebrate my birthday in a different restaurant ever year, ranging from local curry houses to haute cuisine: the only proviso is everyone eats. A lot. On top of this, in my family, food is associated with memories: when you’re tired or sad, French toast is the only cure, and even a hint of sun means various meats charcoaled to perfection on the BBQ.
As you might imagine, very few of my comfort foods are vegan. So when I decided to try the new vegan keto diet, my friends, family, and colleagues responded with disbelief (full disclosure: some just laughed).
I went for NOSH Detox , created and founded by professional nutritionist and holistic health specialist, Geeta Sidhu-Robb.
Its aim? Making a vegan keto lifestyle as easy as possible - and they weren't wrong. Twice a week, batches of three fresh meals and two snacks made from seasonal ingredients are delivered to your home or work. That means no stressing about an ingredients list, fridge space or clean tupperware.
After seven days, the results were pretty incredible. Here's what I learned from my week on a vegan keto diet.
What is a vegan diet?
Let’s go back to basics: according to the Vegan Society, being vegan ‘is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.’ So with regards to diet, that means no meat, no poultry, no seafood, no dairy, no eggs and no honey/bee products.
What is a keto diet?
A keto (ketogenic) diet is a way of eating that aims to induce ketosis in the body.
What is ketosis?
Get ready for some science. According to WebMD, ketosis is a normal metabolic process, something your body does to keep working. When it doesn't have enough carbohydrates from food for your cells to burn for energy, it burns fat instead. As part of this process, it makes ketones. These are a type of acid, which your liver sends into your bloodstream. Your muscles and other tissues can then use them for fuel.
Can vegans eat junk food?
Of course, just because something doesn’t contain any animal products doesn’t necessarily mean that it is good for you. Oreos, Skittles and tonnes of crisps are great for a vegan treat, but vegans need to make sure their diets are balanced, and that kind of food will not fly on a vegan keto diet.
How much does it cost?
Prices differ depending on where you go, but the 7-day plan I went for on the NOSH Detox vegan keto diet was £444.44 - not cheap, but if you bear in mind that you get all your meals and snacks delivered to your door for a week, the food is freshly prepared and seasonal AND is good for both your body and the environment, it's not a bad deal.
Can I drink alcohol on the vegan keto diet?
NOSH Detox of course recommends that you don’t drink during the vegan ketosis diet. But, in case you do decide to rebel and have a drink during the plan, NOSH have got all the information you need.
What is the food like on the NOSH detox vegan-keto diet?
In a word, it’s great, The only slight reservation is that some of the dishes could benefit from a little more seasoning – having said that, I am a Tabasco obsessive, so my opinion might not be shared by everyone.
Menu highlights include unbelievable ‘kabobs’ for dinner on Day 6, chia seed pudding with clementine for breakfast and, the surprise hit, a walnut, beetroot, mint and clementine salad as one of my lunches. That combination sounds like it shouldn’t work, but I stand corrected.
How did I feel after seven days?
Genuinely? Brilliant. Despite an unusually busy week (and, frankly, not enough sleep), I was full of energy and raring to go. The first day of the diet took some getting used to, due to my previous scepticism towards including any more than five portions of fruit and veg per day, but after 24 hours, I was looking forward to every single snack and meal. On top of the mental changes, the physical effects are clear too: my skin is exceptionally clear and my hair is the healthiest it’s been in months. Oh, I also lost 6lbs. I might not always be strictly vegan keto, but even after a week, I'm feeling more mindful about what I'm putting into my body, and that can only be a good thing.
Will it last? We'll see.
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