Did you know that eating a highly alkaline diet and cutting out most acidic foods might help inflammation in the body? Our founder, Joshua Scott Onysko, healed over 15 years of chronic knee pain by carefully following a Vegan-Keto diet.
You’re probably already familiar with a vegan diet, which excludes animal products and focuses on plant-based foods. You may have also heard of the recent buzz around the Ketogenic diet, which is a high-fat, low carb, and moderate protein diet. What happens when you combine these two diets? Say hello to the Vegan-Ketogenic (Vegan-Keto) diet, a mostly alkaline, anti-inflammatory, and ethical diet that focuses on healthy fats, nuts, seeds, and other mostly alkaline foods.
Let’s cover the important question: is a Vegan-Keto diet good for your skin? Absolutely! The majority of the foods in Vegan-Keto diet are also recommended for skin health. The vitamins and nutrients that your skin needs—such as antioxidants, Omega-3 fatty acids, collagen, Vitamin K, and Vitamin C—are found in the same foods on which the Vegan-Keto diet depends.
Joshua Scott Onysko on His Experience with Vegan-Keto
We asked our founder, Joshua, who has been eating a plant-based diet for 23 years, about his personal experience with the Vegan-Keto diet.
“From the beginning, as Ketosis (a natural bodily process that occurs when your body begins to burn fat instead of carbs for energy) was becoming more and more popular in media, I looked into it. It was interesting to me because when you look at the normal Ketosis diet, there are just—to me, as someone who is deeply into nutrition—way too many acidic foods. People that are in Ketosis are generally consuming 4-5 times more acidic foods than you should be for a healthy pH balance in your body.
“With Vegan-Ketosis, you’re replacing meats and cheeses. Most people actually don’t know that animal products are acidic. The only animal product that’s not acidic or alkaline—it’s actually neutral—is an egg. Everything else that comes from animals that we consume is actually very acidic. Many problems in the human body can come from inflammation. Inflammation is caused by a lot of things, but primarily, it can be caused and exacerbated by a highly acid diet. Acidity can help cause inflammation, and an alkaline diet can help reduce inflammation.”
In his late teens to early twenties, Onysko was living in Jackson Hole and doing a lot of backcountry snowboarding and skiing, which led to multiple, repetitive knee injuries. By the time he was 29, he had 3 knee surgeries. In recent years, he worked out 4-5 times a week and practiced yoga. “But I was still having a little tiny bit of knee pain,” Onysko said, “especially around the summertime when I was doing a lot of hiking or in the wintertime when I started getting back into skiing again. And in my mind, I just said, Well, I’ve done everything you can do. I guess this slight knee pain is just part of my body for the rest of my life. Not debilitating, but enough to be aggravating.”
“About 2 1/2 years ago, I decided to try Vegan-Ketosis. Your diet with vegan-ketosis is pretty limited. At the end of the day, you’re pretty much eating a Vegan-Keto shake in the morning that you load up with a lot of pretty yummy things like raw cacao and stuff like that, but for the most part, you eat giant salads every day.” Joshua loads up his salads with several delicious and nutritious ingredients, such as avocados, seeds, lemon, and falafel, to mix it up and enjoy different flavors!
Onysko’s Personal Results with Vegan-Keto
“In the first 3 weeks, I lost 16 pounds, which I kinda thought was crazy, because I didn’t think that I had 16 pounds to lose. I didn’t feel specifically thinner, I just felt lighter. I don’t know how to explain it, but it’s just a lighter state of being.
“The end of week three, I was hiking and I was like, Oh, that’s interesting, I don’t feel any pain in my knee at all. I was like, Yeah, but I have these days every once in a while. I kinda just brushed it off. After the third week, I still had not had any knee pain in my entire knee anywhere ever doing anything, and I was still powerlifting, hiking, and skiing. Week 4, no knee pain. I did Vegan-Ketosis for 6 weeks, and I ended up losing 23 pounds, which was nuts.”
“I didn’t have knee pain for another 8 months after that. Like, nothing. Not even the slightest little tinge. It was fascinating that by alkalizing my body, my body actually healed something that was a 15-year-old injury. All my body needed was the opportunity to heal itself. After 8 months, I started getting knee pain a little bit. I just did the Ketosis diet again and it went away for another 7 months. Now, I do the Ketosis diet for 6 weeks every six months.”
How to Implement a Vegan-Keto Diet in Your Life
While combining these two diets might seem complicated, it’s most definitely not impossible. With some planning and careful thought, you can adopt this diet into your life and enjoy the possible health benefits. Here’s the rundown of foods that you should incorporate and avoid when following a Vegan-Keto diet.
What Foods Should You Eat on a Vegan-Keto Diet? Instead of Should You, let’s just use What Foods to Eat...
- - Leafy greens - spinach and kale
- - Berries - blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries
- - Avocados
- - Nuts and seeds - particularly almonds and chestnuts
- - Non-starchy, above ground vegetables - asparagus, lettuce, green beans, broccoli, cucumber, cabbage, mushrooms, and more
- - High-fat vegan dairy substitutes - unsweetened coconut yogurt, coconut cream, vegan butter, cashew cheese, and vegan cheese
- - Oils - coconut oil, olive oil, nut oil, avocado oil, and MCT (medium-chain triglycerides) oil
- - Fermented foods - sauerkraut and kim chi
- - Sea vegetables
What Foods Should You Avoid on a Vegan-Keto Diet? (same subhead comment as above)
- - Meats and animal products - dairy, eggs, and seafood
- - Sugar - alternative sweeteners such as maple syrup, agave, and honey
- - Grains and starches
- - Legumes - kidney beans, black beans, peas, chickpeas, and lentils
- - Fruits - with the exception of some berries
- - Below-ground, high carb vegetables - potatoes, yams, carrots, beets, and onions
Vitamins and Supplements to Consider While on a Vegan-Keto Diet
Taking vitamins and supplements to give your body a boost in any areas that it might be lacking is always a good idea. Depending on your diet and your body, you might want to consider taking Vitamin B12, Vitamin D, Vitamin K2, zinc, Omega-3 fats, Iron, and Calcium, which can be lacking in vegan diets. Joshua has followed a Vegan-Keto diet for years and makes sure that his body is well-supplied with any additional nutrients every day. “I have been taking a tablespoon of Udo’s Oil 3-6-9 Omega Blend every day for 15 years,” he says.
How Long Should You Eat Vegan-Keto?
“There’s no way I’d ever do Vegan-Keto as an everyday diet. It’s way too boring and completely anti-social. Especially as someone who travels a lot for work, it just doesn’t make any sense for me. I pick and choose the times I do it where I’m home and not traveling a lot. The more you keep doing it, the more creative you can get and the more things you learn. Vegan-Ketosis keeps evolving. There are now Vegan-Ketosis foods and Vegan-Ketosis fat bombs—a lot of the stuff I was making on my own.”
While eating a Vegan-Keto diet does require some additional planning, the benefits can possibly be life-changing. I encourage you to research more about the Vegan-Keto diet before taking the leap. If you currently have or had health complications, or you’re nervous about making these changes to your diet, consulting a health professional is always a good option.
At the End of the Day
“At the end of the day,” Onysko concluded, “I have my knee! I come from a family with chronic pain, and I don’t have any. I attribute it to my plant-based diet and healthy lifestyle, but also to 2x a year Vegan-Ketosis for 6 weeks.”
Whatever choices you feel are best for your diet, we hope they perfectly compliment your lifestyle, beliefs, and glowing skin!