So, what is Ketotarian?
Combining the best of keto and vegetarian lifestyles, the idea is to go mostly plant-based to boost energy, burn fat and calm inflammation. "It's not another diet. It's not something for you to do to add to your pile of diets that you've tried," said Dr. Will Cole, functional medicine practitioner and author of Ketotarian.
"Really, Ketotarian was born out of my own journey," said Dr. Cole, who was vegan for 10 years until he realized that lifestyle wasn't quite cutting it for his body. He started making changes to his personal eating habits which led to his book, offering a clean way of going keto.
"Without falling prey to eating lots of cheese and dairy and vats of bacon which, if you look at social media, that's what people look at as keto," Cole said.
Half of his book is research, science, tips and tricks -- while the second half includes recipes and meal plans.
Some of his favorites? "I like the pesto zoodle bowl. That one's all plant based," he said. (BTW Zoodle= zucchini noodles)
"For dinner, I like [the] albacore tuna salad. It's simple. It's easy for me to prepare," Cole said.
What's so special about these foods anyway? First, you need to understand ketosis. "[There are] two forms of fuel for our body. There's burning sugar for fuel or burning fat for fuel," explained Cole, adding that the more you eat and burn healthy fats, the more your body will respond.
"It'll start producing ketones," Cole said. "It'll break down the fats that you're eating into ketones, and it'll naturally start burning ketones itself."
Examples of recommended healthy fats: avocado, olive oil, nuts, seeds, organic eggs, grass fed ghee (clarified butter). The body's main ketone is called beta hydroxybutyrate. It's the most efficient energy molecule your body can use, and it can drive big changes.
"It drives inflammation levels down," Cole said. "It passes through the blood-brain barrier, so it's great for people with brain inflammation, anxiety, depression, brain fog."
While inflammation is part of our immune system and fights viruses and bacteria, excess inflammation can lead to autoimmune problems, aches and pains, and digestive distress. "One of the best ways to modulate and balance inflammation levels is through the foods that we eat," Cole encouraged.
His book also includes pescatarian keto recipes with wild caught fish and shellfish.
Talk to your doctor before switching dietary habits.