Fittest Loser: Low-carb diet is a challenge for this vegetarian

 
By Kat Polomsky
kpolomsky@dailyherald.com
Posted4/14/2019 7:00 AM
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  • I am making a colorful stir-fry to be paired with kung pao "chicken." I find it's much easier to control what you eat when you prepare it yourself.

    I am making a colorful stir-fry to be paired with kung pao "chicken." I find it's much easier to control what you eat when you prepare it yourself. Courtesy of Kat Polomsky

If you have been following my journey through the Fittest Loser Challenge then you already know about my food addiction.

Diet is so very important, for it fuels the body and the phrase "you are what you eat" couldn't be more true.

I've been eating a vegetarian diet for over a year now with a goal to ultimately have a vegan diet. I have several reasons for this diet, but the main emphasis is to help sustain the earth, reduce animal suffering, and for personal health.

My trainer, Josh, recommends eating a lower carb diet, but I have found difficulties finding low-carb protein options.

The reason for eating a low-carb diet is so my body will initiate fat burning. If the carb count is too high, then the wrong signals are being given.

For most of the challenge I've depended on tofu, nuts, seeds, protein powders, dairy-free yogurts, and cheese as my protein source, but some of those options have a lot of saturated fat which I'd like to avoid.

I have made my own snackables, countless stir-fried vegetables, smoothies (which are now fruitless), and often filled in the gaps with eating out.

Eating out is the biggest challenge, since a lot of restaurants over-serve, have high carb and even more sodium content.

I have a couple of go-to places that work for me when I'm in a pinch, but I feel the most refreshed when I prepare my own meals.

If you're a "foodie," then you know how boring eating the same thing can be.

I've grown tired of tofu and protein powder, and after a recent dental visit, I'm concerned with eating hard nuts all the time.

Recently, I've searched my local healthy food grocer with hopes of finding suitable meatless protein options.

I've found some success, but the items I've found still contain a mild amount of carbs, so I'm currently trying to find a balance between those options and creating plant-based meals with decent plant protein.

Some common meals have been garlicky zoodles with meatless apple sage sausage, a meatless burger patty with cheddar and a side salad, and I've brought new life to my stir-fries with the addition of riced cauliflower.

I plan on experimenting with low-carb sushi using the riced cauliflower -- oh, how I miss sushi.

The past week, I've been focusing on plant-based proteins and find myself at the grocer two to three times a week to replenish my produce inventory.

Despite the difficulties of adapting to a more plant-based diet, I find inspiration and motivation from vegan body builders that I follow on Instagram.

This challenge has been a continuous learning process, but with each mistake comes a lesson learned, and I plan to continue forward in the right direction!

• Kat Polomsky is a Daily Herald events specialist and also helps manage the Fittest Loser At Work Challenge.

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