Eating out as a Vegan!

12:41 AM

Lately I have realised that going out to eat on a plant based/vegan diet does have its challenges. I have realised this a lot in the last month as I have had quite a few outings with friends where I have struggled to find items on menus for myself. 

I am generally quite lucky during my normal day to day activities because as most of you know I have a  massive love of cooking and meal prepping so as far as my breakfasts and work lunches go I am usually pretty covered. However it is when I go out for a coffee date or out for dinner with friends that I come across some issues. 

I imagine there are a lot of people trying to go vegan or plant based who would come across the same problems soo today I thought that I would give you a few tips I have learned in the last 6 months. 

Researching restaurants/cafes

If you have time it is always a good idea to call ahead and find out if a place you are going has vegan options. This is the most basic easiest step to avoid any disappointments. There are a quite a few vegan restaurants and cafes popping up at the moment but my biggest struggle is that most of these places are in the city which isn't very local to me. So I always call ahead to find out. If I am going to the city for a catch up I always choose a place that has both options. 

Non Dairy Milks

Another easy choice to make when ordering coffee or hot drinks is to simply swap your milk products to non dairy options. Most cafes have a soy milk option but more and more I am seeing cafes that offer Almond Milk, Coconut Milk and very very recently some are offering the new Macadamia Milk. 

Vegetarian options

Have you just got to a restaurant that has no vegan options??? Check out the vegetarian dishes. Most of these options can easily be changed to vegan by simply removing some cheese or some egg. I actually used this method at a cafe where I went for breakfast and they had an item on the menu called a Vego Brekky. I ordered this option and removed the egg, no butter on my toast and I added a hash brown to fill it up a bit. It was delicious and even though the cafe's menu technically didn't have vegan options it was super easy to just adjust the menu item. It also helps when you are super friendly staff like the lovely ladies at Palace Espresso Bar (Reynella, SA) 

Pack a lunch or picnic 

Are you going out to a special event like a festival?? Sometimes there will be one or two food stalls with vegan options but if you are worried it is super simple to pack a few sandwiches or a big salad. Grab some fruit or pack a smoothie. I do this all the time, especially on long car rides where sometimes my only option is service station foods. 

Friends want to meet up for lunch at it is a beautiful day outside?? Pack a picnic. You can show off your yummy vegan foods and show your friends just how good and fresh vegan eating is. 

Don't be afraid to speak up to friends

I used to always think that I was letting my friends down if I complained about going to a venue that didn't have vegan options or asking if we could go to a vegan restaurant this week. 

Please don't ever be afraid to let your friends know how you feel. Share the love around! It's not hard. Your true friends will be happy to help or try something new for you. 

Download apps
There are a few apps around to help find local restaurants. I use the 'HappyCow' app sometimes to help locate vegan or vegetarian restaurants in my local area. It also finds restaurants that have just a few vegan items on the menu. 

If you have heard of any other cool vegan apps let me know :P

Use the Sides Menu 

Sometimes I find it a little bit easier to choose options from the sides menu. I am lucky in that I don't really eat a whole heap anyway because I'm tiny so sometimes just ordering a couple of yummy side dishes of veggies, a salad or just chips helps a lot and as an extra benefit it is usually cheaper on the wallet and still as yummy as a full meal. 

 I hope that helps you a little bit with some ideas on how to eat out. It still can be tricky sometimes but just try your best and don't beat yourself up if you can't find any options. Just have fun.

Ohhhhh on another note there was a little thing I wanted to share with you all today. I have become a little too addicted to these awesomely yummy cold pressed juices and smoothies that I recently found in Coles. I am not kidding, I buy about 5 a week and LOVE LOVE LOVE them. They have such a wide variety of flavours which is super cool. These four are my favourites so far. I still have quite a few more to try out.

So yeah if you haven't already I highly recommend giving them a go. I pretty much always have one in my handbag.

Stay Happy and Healthy
Liane Xx

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