The Keto-Raw-Food-Vegan Diet

This diet has not been challenging enough, so Nora’s now going raw food vegan too.

Happy April Fools Day!

I did find a fabulous hummus-substitute for Nora on the raw food vegan website of some of our favorite musicians, Jónsi of Sigur Rós and his partner Alex. Together they make music and art in Reykjavík, Iceland, and shared some of their raw food vegan recipes on their website. Click on the cool hand-drawn cookbook on the right to “flip” through the recipes. They’ve also made videos to demonstrate their “cooking” techniques (remember–this is raw food). I find it touchingly earnest and adorable somehow.

Macadamia nuts are often used in the ketogenic diet because they have a tremendous amount of “good” vegetable fats and low carbs. And they are totally delicious and cost their weight in gold (almost). I keep them in the fridge to be sure to keep them fresh. Nora has not been a huge fan of eating the nuts themselves, but I’ve tried to get them into her diet in other creative ways, like this.

I like the idea of putting Macadamia Monster Mash in half of a small pepper and broiling some cheese over the top (damn, I forgot about that vegan thing. And that raw food thing). But because Nora is only 3, she still isn’t a big fan of mixing her foods. One day she will appreciate a more complex presentation.

Here’s the recipe (I amended it a bit for Nora’s taste) and video for Macadamia Monster Mash:

Macadamia Monster Mash

Nutrition Information for Macadamia Monster Mash. From

200 g macadamia nuts (about 1 cup, but for the diet I weigh it for precision)
1 tsp dried parsley
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1/3 c water

Mix in food processor or blender until creamy.

0.5 g net carbs
0.7 g fiber
0.7 g protein
6.3 g fat

The original recipe adds a clove of garlic and salt, which will slightly alter the nutritional information.

Nutritional information is based on a 12 g serving, about 1 tablespoon, but I weigh it on the scale instead of measuring it with a tablespoon.

Served on a flacker or low-carb tortilla, roll a little ball of Madacamia Monster Mash in some shredded cheddar cheese, spread on a slice of turkey and roll it up, or just eat it with a spoon. I’ve also mixed her coconut oil into it for easy serving.

One little sidelight: when I was making the recipe the first time, I realized that although water does not add any macro-nutrients, I need to specify the amount of water that I use in the recipe to get the correct nutritional information per serving. Why? Because the water adds weight/mass to the serving, in a sense “diluting” the other ingredients. A 12 g serving with water has different values than a 12 g serving without water. Details, details.

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About Christy Anderson Brekken

In no particular order... Instructor and Researcher, Department of Applied Economics, Oregon State University. Educational background: University of MN Law School, 2005. MS in Ag and Resource Economics, Oregon State University, 2011. Teaches: Agricultural Law, Environmental Law. Mother: brilliant 9 year old boy; brilliant 6 year old girl with benign myoclonic epilepsy on a modified ketogenic diet therapy. Married to: Ted Brekken, OSU Department of Electrical Engineering. Ride: Xtra-cycle Edgerunner with kid seat; 400-pound cargo capacity. Grew up: Devils Lake, ND. Lived in: Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN, Pohang, South Korea, Trondheim, Norway, Corvallis, OR. Interests: Cooking, knitting, eating, yoga, laughing, hiking, traveling, staying sane.

9 thoughts on “The Keto-Raw-Food-Vegan Diet

  1. Hi Christy, I am from the TC area as well and have temporal lobe epilepsy and my epileptologist just recommended I go on a ketogenic diet as well. Also, vegan and raw foodist! This is going to be near impossible 🙂 best of luck to you! I would gladly welcome any advice you have!

    • Good luck Meg. I think it would be much harder as an adult, but it sounds like you have experience with food discipline. Sometimes I make a dish for Nora and realize that it’s vegan, and/or raw, but I think it would be very hard to feed her without cream or butter.

      I would suggest that you ask about MCT (medium chain triglyceride) oil (coconut oil has some MCT, but not exclusively). If you look at the Charlie Foundation website and/or on Facebook, I think they recently had something about an MCT oil available in the US. They use it extensively in Britain (where it is covered by their national health insurance). MCT oil is much easier for the body to convert to ketones, so I think you can get by on a much lower ratio using a lot of it in your diet. I don’t have much experience with it, but remember the discussions at the Charlie Foundation symposium. It might make it easier to stay raw food vegan and do the diet. I don’t know how they make it, so you might want to look into that too.

      Macadamia nuts and avocados are also the perfect keto foods, so buy macadamia nuts in bulk at a co-op–we get them in 5-lb bags and get a case discount!

      Best of luck!

    • It’s o.5 net carbs for a serving not for the whole recipe. One serving here is only 12 grams of the total recipe.

      Remember that you subtract the fiber from total carbs because fiber does not contribute to blood sugar rise. We count net carbs for the limit, not total carbs.

  2. Hi my son has cp from his birth he is 14 he was on the formula keto diet with gtube from 1 to 6 and had no seizures immediately after getting on but it stunted his growth..he is now 14 and they are talking vns which I dont care for but I wanted to try a real diet because the milk is not good..but he needs to you have any suggestions for gaining or is it a absolutely no for this diet..I am vegan I eat raw the back n forth so I kniw the benefits of nut milk and green smoothies I have given him some he seems so much more alert. Easy bathroom, smiling more..any info please let me know thanks and prayers to your family also

    • Nora has grown completely normally on the diet, but I don’t have any additional information about why some kids grow and some kids don’t. We don’t use the keto formula at all, just whole unprocessed foods. She can have dairy and doesn’t have any other food sensitivities, but I know it is difficult for kids who have other food issues too. I suggest asking at the Charlie Foundation. They have a new website with a new Q&A chat section with dietitians and families that have been in your shoes. Best of luck.

  3. Hi and thank you so much for this information. I am trying to learn more about a ketogenic diet suitable for vegans. My focus is on starving out a glioma (stage 2 Oligodendroglioma) of my left frontal brain lobe. Could you offer some sample vegan ideas for meals? Most of what I have found is not vegan or seems to exceed the ~80% fat, ~15% protein, ~5% carbohydrate load I am understanding I need to seek out for this mission. I have been vegan for 18 years, but this adds a whole new aspect that is much trickier so far. I’ve seen some people put this diet in the same category as Atkins and I can see that to an extent. Is it the same? I’ve always been against Atkins style diets but I understand the importance of keto now. Any help or insight you can provide is more than welcomed.


    Angelo, Portland, OR

    • Hi Angelo,

      I’m so sorry to hear about your glioma, and I know that there is great research and hope for using it to treat brain tumors. We just had another family post about starting a support group for using keto for their child’s brain tumors also. (See comments in the Almond Florentine recipe).

      I’m just a mom using the keto diet for my daughter’s epilepsy, so I’m not really in the business of making up sample meals for different food restrictions. I would suggest going to a dietician for help with that. I think it’s possible, and because as an adult you will have a higher number of carbs you can probably incorporate foods that are tough to get into a small child’s carb restrictions, like beans.

      Some of the best plant-based foods that we use regularly are avocado, macadamia nuts (and nuts of all kinds), coconut oil and other coconut products. If you look at some of the recipes on our blog, you can often swap out butter or cream for coconut oil. I’m not sure how you would handle the eggs. I know that soaked ground flax can be used as an egg substitute in some recipes, but many of our recipes already have flax in them so you might have to experiment with other vegan egg substitutes and check the carb content.

      Best of luck. I wonder if there are resources at OHSU for you, maybe make sure that your doctors know about the ketogenic diet programs for childhood epilepsy at Doernbecher (Emmanuel has one too). Maybe they can recruit help from the trained dietitians there.


  4. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I’ve been vegan for a long time and went vegan keto about a year ago for medical reasons plus weight loss. It can be difficult to find good recipes that fit my restrictive diet. I appreciate any recipes I can get. 🙂

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