E A T I N G O U T
I am not one to eat out very often. I don’t like the idea of not knowing what is going into my food, where the food is from, how and where it was prepared, etc. There are many restaurants out there that you need to be cautious of. When it comes to food safety, cleanliness, service, etc., it is hard to find restaurants that excel in every region. If I am out at a restaurant that I am unfamiliar with, I always look up reviews before getting there, ask the waiting staff plenty of questions, and sometimes I’ll even call into restaurants to ask about the quality of the food and preparation (Tj knows about this one, lol). Call me crazy, but it eases my nerves!
When eating out, you are also much, much more likely to consume heavier amounts of cholesterol, sodium, and calories. MANY restaurants offer dishes that are well over some people’s daily caloric intake. With a vegan diet, you will not consume any cholesterol. Cholesterol is only found in foods that have or come from something with a liver. However, it may be different for everyone else! You are more likely to over indulge and over eat in a restaurant environment. Not only that, but cooking at home can save you tons of money AND calories!! It's also a lot of fun.
For these reasons, I really try to limit the amount that I eat out. I enjoy experimenting with new recipes and knowing that the food I put in my body will produce benefits. However, I do like the atmosphere of restaurants, so I definitely wouldn’t say that I never go out to eat. I am just very cautious when I do.
Noodle’s & Company
Any sushi restaurant
Cheesecake Factory has great alternatives!
ANY farm to table place
The Land of Kush
J&Y Sushi (I recommend the sunrise roll)
One Dish Cuisine
French Twist Cafe
Local hole in the walls that I know are well-trusted
Drink a glass of water before diggin' in
Get the salad and eat it before anything else. Skip the croutons, cheese, fatty dressings, fried meat, and opt for every possible veggie or fruit available, a light dressing (balsamic or different vinaigrettes), and if you're converting to veganism, try some grilled salmon or chicken on your salad instead of ordering a large portion of meat.
Unless it’s a SUPER special occassion, just don’t do the fried option of anything. You’ll feel a lot less bloated and have more energy after your meal. I’ll admit…I have a really hard time skipping the sweet potato fries.
Some places offer soymilk or soy ice cream (avoid eating soy in excess, it’s not that great for you) and you can get a dairy free milkshake for dessert! – these should also be saved for special occasions, hah.
My favorite dishes to get while I’m eating out are: any salad with veggies, veggie burgers with gluten free bread, gluten free pasta (rice noodles) with veggies, steamed veggies, vegetable soups made in vegetable broth (careful with the sodium content), veggie wraps, vegan stir-fries, SUUUSHIIIII-yum, and more!
ps. I am notttt a fan of tofu or soy products. Not because they don't taste great, but because they are not beneficial in excess and can actually cause harm