To begin a small aside which approaches speculation. Just a moment ago I watched an interview with Dr. Rüdiger Dahlke, whose approach is explained in the book “Peace Food”. Even the most optimal means of feeding (feeding cows with grass) does not change the fact that animals which are used for consumption ultimately end up in the slaughter house. Even the small percentage of animals which are slaughtered in the most humane way possible go through extreme stress and fear. These fear and stress hormones are not simply diffused; instead, they are consumed by humans when they eat meat. This makes people prick up their ears. Is there a link between high meat consumption and, for example, aggression, fear or even mental illnesses which, according to statistics, have been on the rise? 

When I began to change to a low-carb diet I planned to take one “day of indulgence” per week. I deliberately did not call this day a cheat day as I did not want to lie to myself. The purpose of such a “day of indulgence” is to prevent myself from falling back into past eating habits. The excited anticipation in knowing that Saturday was coming allowed me to not give in to many temptations. I was satisfied when I managed to eat 80 percent low-carb in a week and on my “day of indulgence” therefore afforded myself some soft drinks, pizza, and quite simply, everything which the heart desires.

This “day of indulgence” was like a release. After I stopped taking these “days of indulgence” due to not having lost enough weight, I began to drink alcohol-free beer from time to time, which later became a habit. In order to replace this habit with the previous sense of excited anticipation I decided to once again introduce a “day of indulgence” every one or two weeks on which I plan to have some beer with vegan pizza or a burger from Beyond Meat.

Alongside these “days of indulgence” I became very good at prepping my meals. Two years ago I would always keep it simple when prepping meals. I would buy chicken, lamb, beef, fish, vegetables and lentils. I would always prepare my meals two weeks in advance. As far as possible I forewent pork (this is not a problem when one keeps in mind the conditions under which the animals are often kept and the ways in which they are fed). My meals consisted of one quarter meat, one quarter lentils and two quarters vegetables. These meals were accompanied by pesto sauces, herb butter, mayonnaise and different kinds of cheese (which were used to gratiné vegetables). I used parmesan to refine my lentil risotto. The philosophy adhered to was simple: as long as the quantity of sugar consumed remained low, fats could be consumed. Nevertheless, deep-fried or marinated foods such as fries, fish fingers, and Wienerschnitzel were not included. Such meals could only possibly be included on a “day of indulgence”.

My “day of indulgence” aside, if I had exclusively stuck to my meal plans I would not have had enough variety. Therefore, I also made salads as an accompaniment, which were garnished with nuts, kernels, eggs and bacon. Cheese, as well as sometimes some salami or bratwurst also had a place in my fridge back then. I considered a fried egg with cheese, bacon and herbs to be good fuel for my strength training due to the high quantity of protein contained in this meal. 

Fried eggs, cheese and even bacon no longer have a place in my diet. Although I used to love these food stuffs, I am now able to easily go without them. More than anything it is about your attitude. We need to change the way that we think. For example, when you desire carbohydrates you should attempt to look at the issue in terms of high-carb rules. High-carb is not a problem as long as fats are used sparingly. Thus, it is better to add just a drop of olive oil to your salads or pastas instead of adding quantities which could fill a spoon. Even sauces containing coconut milk are not exactly low in fat and in my case this explained why I was only losing weight at a slow pace, despite eating vegan. Therefore, if you really wish to have a diet which is “vegan-high-carb” it is advisable to choose sauces which are low in fat. Even with my preferred diet which consists of “vegan-slow-carb” elements (such as pulses) and mediterranean elements (such as nuts, kernels, olive oil, and a little wine) it is important to reduce one's fat and oil intake in order to move closer to one's goals.

Our brain consists of sixty percent fat. That is why it is important to look out for so-called “good fats”. For example, nuts and oily fish contain particularly large quantities of omega 3 fatty acids.

The important question is how much fat should be consumed? Which kinds of fats and food stuffs should be consumed, and in which quantities to achieve optimal cognitive function? These are questions which will be explored in “Nutritional advice, part 3”.

High-carb = rich in carbohydrates

With help from a short list taken from the book “Ernährungskompass” (“The Nutritional Compass”) (which can be found in this blog under the section entitled “books”) I will refer to what are known as recommendable and less recommendable carbohydrates. The quality of the carbohydrates is crucial. Carbohydrates should contain as many nutrients as possible.

It is important to again note that it is possible to combine a low-carb diet with a vegan one. Those who have a high level of insulin resistance – whereby the body does not respond to a low-fat diet (which is rich in carbohydrates) – most likely benefit most from a low-carb diet. It is also possible to improve one's level of insulin resistance with healthy carbohydrates and a nutritious, vegan diet. Personally, I was able to lose weight, and most likely also minimize my level of insulin resistance, with both types of diet.

Valuable sources of carbohydrates (listed in order of quality)

Protective sources of carbohydrates:

Pulses – people who have the longest life expectancy, such as Adventists, people from Okinawa and some Mediterranean regions, eat significant quantities of pulses (including beans, lentils and/or peas)

Quinoa – as with lentils, the amino acid profile of quinoa is worth noting



Groats, millet gruels

Oats, millet seeds

Whole-grain bread, bulgar wheat

Sourdough bread

Brown rice, wild rice

White noodles are acceptable in small quantities

Harmful (listed on a scale between acceptable in small quantities and explicitly harmful)

Potatoes (acceptable in small quantities)

Fruit juice (acceptable in very small quanities due to the nutritious ingredients contained in it)

Rice (Jasmine rice in particular contains a lot of sugar)

White bread (contains almost no nutrients, just sugar)

Fries (trans fats)

Baked goods



Soft drinks

I was able to completely forgo protein in the form of shakes as I am gradually building muscle mass and have pulses as part of my diet. However, protein shakes are enjoyable. Experts recommend one gram of protein daily per kilogram of body weight. Anyone who exercises for over two and a half hours per day could potentially even consume two grams of protein per kilogram. At my weight of over 80kg this would mean a daily consumption of over 80 grams of protein. This sounds easier to achieve than it actually is. 

Most people do not require two protein shakes per day. However, for those people who struggle to put on weight two to three protein shakes per day could be a great help. It can be a burden to constantly have to eat a lot in order to maintain one's weight. This is barely imaginable for those people who are attempting to lose weight.