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I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately asking if it’s possible to do a vegan keto diet as an athlete and how to adapt your diet accordingly for the increased exercise. So, I thought I’d share how I eat on days when I’m extra active. It definitely varies a bit from normal days, and I get a lot of questions about it via email/DM, so it seemed to be worth a post. Keep in mind, I’m not a professional athlete, and that my body is different from yours, so your mileage may vary here.
I will often talk about “increasing carb intake” during more intense activity days, but I realized I rarely actually quantify that. Further, carbs can take so many different forms that it seemed worth it to explain just what I mean when I talk about eating more carb-rich foods. So, here we go. This is what I eat as a vegan on a keto diet for a carb re-feed.
Usually, my carb re-feed days happen to be those where I’m extra active. So, I tend to prioritize protein intake as well as carbohydrates. I also keep eating fat though. I know a lot of people try to reduce fat as much as possible, but this doesn’t really work for me so much. I tend to feel really awful, nauseated, and tired if I eat carbs by themselves, so I just don’t do that. However, cutting down on fat dramatically on these days seems to work for a lot of people. So, you do you.
You’ll notice the inclusion of protein powder in some of these recipes. I received samples of Manitoba Harvest’s new Hemp Yeah! hemp-based protein powder and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to try it out. I’m always up for trying a new protein powder, especially one made with hemp. I’ve been buying Manitoba Harvest hemp protein for over a decade (!!) and was excited to see they’ve come out with a new one. The chocolate and vanilla flavors are sweetened with coconut sugar (sad face), but the unsweetened version packs 20g of protein (and some omega-3) into a surprisingly tasty protein powder with 0g of net carbs. I can dig it.
I’ve been trying to vary protein powder usage lately, and not rely solely on the same old brands, so it was nice to try something new. I’m a little bummed that only the unsweetened version is low-carb, but you can’t win ’em all.
What I Eat in a Day: Vegan Keto Carb Refeed
Normally I skip breakfast entirely, but I wanted to have some nutrition in me as well as some fun adaptogens, so instead of a normal coffee, I made myself a fun adaptogenic mocha. On non-carb-refeed days, I would add in some full-fat coconut milk to make this more keto-friendly, but today it’s all about protein and carbs, so I stuck with just the pea milk. I also used a little protein powder in this.
Breakfast Adaptogen Mocha
- 1 cup strongly brewed coffee
- 1/2 cup Ripple pea milk (you could use another nondairy milk, though)
- 2 tbsp HempYeah! Unsweetened protein powder
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 1 tsp maca powder
- 1 tsp Chaga Elixir*
- A little bit of cinnamon
- Liquid stevia, to taste
I tossed everything in the blender and whizzed it together until combined.
- Calories: 128
- Fat: 5g
- Net Carbs: 5g
- Protein: 16g
* I have been feeling a little under-the-weather (maybe it’s pollen? who knows), but whenever I feel like I might be getting sick, I add a little chaga to my coffee or smoothie.
On this particular day, I went on a hike with my sister-in-law and a friend, so my “lunch” was just a bunch of snacks that I had packed for myself. Included were carrots, roasted edamame, sacha inchi seeds and trail mix (pepitas, sunflower seeds, dried coconut, cinnamon and some dried blueberries for a fun treat).
I didn’t end up eating all of the trail mix – there was a LOT of it.
- Calories: 1181
- Fat: 73g
- Net Carbs: 50g
- Protein: 55g
Post-hike, we decided to grab salads. I grabbed the actual only vegan thing on the menu, which was a salad with arugula, walnuts and grapes (there were literally 5 grapes, cut in half…alas). I also got a side of grilled asparagus. There really wasn’t a lot to this meal and I was super hungry after, so I ate some more edamame in the car on the way back.
- Calories: 420
- Fat: 27g
- Net Carbs: 15g
- Protein: 21g
I was still really hungry when I got home, so I made one of my favorite desserts/treats ever: frozen berries and protein powder. No, really. I actually prefer this to ice cream (keto or otherwise) and make it for myself pretty frequently. On low carb and keto days when I’m trying to minimize sugar and carb intake, I use about half the berries I’m putting in now. But, since this was basically a freebie day, I went with a full cup of raspberries.
- 2/3 cup (100g) frozen raspberries
- 1 serving (28g) Hemp Yeah! unsweetened protein powder
- liquid stevia to taste
- water to mix
- (optiona) vanilla extract for flavor
It may not look like much, but this is one of my favorite post-workout snacks. It’s seriously just frozen raspberries mashed with protein powder, water and a little stevia. @manitobaharvest just came out with a new protein powder called HempYeah! that is hemp-based, and the unsweetened version packs 20g of plant-based protein into each serving with 0g of net carbs, which is a total win in my book. This snack is a little higher in carbs, but I really enjoy it as a carb re-feed after a more exercise-heavy day. Recipe below!! •• •• ••• Mash together the following… • 100g frozen raspberries • 1 serving (28g) HempYeah! Unflavored protein • water to mix (~3tbsp) • stevia to taste • sprinkle with hemp seeds and raspberries . . This whole thing is only 6.3g of net carbs for 21.2g of protein. Not too shabby! . . . . . . . #veganketo #ketogenic #lchf #keto #veganfoodshare #glutenfreevegan #lowcarb #ketorecipes #veganblogger #ketoblogger #bostonblogger #dairyfree #dairyfreeketo #ketorecipes #carbrefuel #mhhempambassador
- Calories: 204
- Fat: 5g
- Net Carbs: 6g
- Protein: 21g
While this was a pretty protein- and carb-heavy day, I ended up eating around the same amount of calories that I always do. I really had planned on eating more, but was too tired to make anything else by the time I got home. So, here we are:
- Calories: 1933
- Fat: 110g
- Net Carbs: 76g
- Protein: 113g
I’m curious to see how you guys eat on higher carb days or higher intensity days. Do you cut back on fat? How many carbs do you usually eat? Let me know it in the comments!