"...but what will you eat?"
My dream is to live in a world where I can walk into any restaurant and find a plethora of vegan options, but sadly we are not there just yet. On the bright side, many restaurants are making strides towards healthier options and are becoming more vegan/vegetarian friendly.
Many people are curious about what I eat on a daily basis, and rather than feeling like a weirdo on display, I take the various questions as a compliment to my lifestyle. Lots of people genuinely are curious about what vegans eat just because they have been programmed to believe that milk is good for you and meat is the only source of protein out there. I love discussing my everyday diet with people because they can finally see that it really isn't that hard.
"But what about cheese?" Believe it or not, the world moves on when you stop eating cheese. Your bowels will also thank you. I'm getting a little off topic - I digress.
Most restaurants have one of the most versitile food items out there- potatoes.
French, baked, mashed, roasted, au gratin, boiled, etc.; there are so many ways to enjoy these gifts from the heavens. Many potato options are vegan by themselves, but you might have to forgo the cheese, butter, or bacon (bacon won't seem so appetizing once you watch this). Buffalo Wild Wings (for some godforsaken reason) uses beef tallow instead of regular frying oil to cook their fries, so beware of that. Texas Roadhouse bakes their baked potatoes in bacon grease (and apparently it cannot be prepared in another way?) so also keep that in mind.
Other than that, potatoes should be a solid choice for you.
Moving on to the (sometimes) least exciting option you will find - SALAD! Most restaurants offer some sort of salad. If you're at McDonald's, it is probably just a sad little bowl of sorrow, but if you go somewhere like Panera, they tend to spice them up a bit. If you find a restaurant that really loves you, it will offer toppings such as chickpeas, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives, hummus, bell peppers, and seeds. In my experience, some of the best salads come from: Panera, Larosa's and Olive Garden (no cheese, y'all!).
Ahh, the seasonal fruit cup. Sometimes so full of color and flavor, other times it makes gardeners around the world shed a single tear. You must tread lightly with the seasonal fruit cup. Certain restaurants such as Chick Fil-A have lovely fruit cups that seem to be juicy and sweet no matter what time of year. Other restaurants like IHOP offer sad pieces of melon and an astounding amount of grapes. If you are unsure about ordering some fruit, do a quick Google search and see what others say about that restaurant's fruit.
That is my most helpful tip for dining out on a plant-based diet: GOOGLE! Doing a quick Internet search on the restaurant, its menu, and its ingredients is the best way to ensure you are eating as cruelty-free as possibly. I always type in, "vegan options at _______" first to see what pops up. Sometimes I have to dig a little deeper, so then I will find the most promising dish on the menu and search for the ingredients. Sometimes you might have to make modifications, (no cheese/ no dressing/ no butter, etc.) but you can create a vegan dish almost anywhere with a little creativity.
Most restaurants offer pickles, tomatoes, onions, and lettuce for burger and sandwiches, and sometimes even cucumber, avocado, and/or peppers. With that being said, you can always make a veggie sandwich (just check the bread ingredients for no milk/ egg/ whey/ egg whites). It is becoming more common for restaurants to offer a veggie pattie or black bean burger too (some of them have egg or milk, so be vigilant). Other places offer veggie trays with hummus or maybe even tofu appetizers! Keep an eye out for vegan options because some of the options might surpise you!
Ps. don't be embarrassed if you have to eat at home beforehand OR (my personal favorite) pack your own lunchbox of food - this usually gives people a good laugh, but also gets them on the topic of cruelty-free eating! :)
If you ever have a question about what to eat when you dine out, please do not hesitate to email me, message me through my contact tab, or message me on social media. I am always here to help! :)
Be Kind to Every Kind!