Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Are You a Low Carb Vegan or Vegetarian?

"Pasta" by onio-n

Last December, I bookmarked this online article entitled, "Terri's Low Carb Vegan Diet," as a favorite.

In the late 1990s, I was an Atkins diet adherent who ate lots of meat. Literally, an insane amount.

For a while, the Atkins diet worked for me. I was nearly 30 pounds overweight at the time, and I was able to quickly (within 2 months) drop all those excess pounds. My problem with the diet, though, was that ultimately I found the food choices to be too restricting. For example, I missed eating pasta. But, if I had a bowl of pasta on a rare occasion, I found myself dragging and lacking in energy the next day.

Eventually, I concluded that there had to be something wrong with a diet that allowed me to eat so much meat, including red meat, at the virtual exclusion of all else, including fruits and vegetables.

I abandoned the Atkins diet in 2002, and, instead, focused on monitoring general caloric intake and portion control. For the most part, I have been able to maintain my lower weight. When I became a vegetarian in late 2007, I resumed monitoring my carb intake to some extent. I noticed that if I consumed too many carbs, I gained weight more quickly than in the past. I also had more difficulty losing any excess weight. These effects became more pronounced when I reached my late 30's. Now that I've turned 40, I suppose I will have to be a bit more vigilant about monitoring my carb intake.

Hence, I tend to eat eggs for breakfast and rotate between vegetable salads and vegan wraps for lunch during the weekdays and weekends. (I do eat 2 pieces of fruit and a protein bar in the afternoon.) I try to avoid heavy carb-based meals for lunch, such pizzas or pastas. This allows me flexibility in terms of what I can eat for dinner. As evidenced in prior posts on this blog, I eat all kinds of pasta. I love pasta, and I will almost always have two plates of pasta for dinner, without shame. So far, this way of eating has worked for me for purposes of maintaining my current weight.

Do any of you who are vegans or vegetarians watch your carbs? If so, how do you monitor your carb intake?

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