Today you are in for a special treat, my first ever guest post from another blogger! Taji is the founder of We’re Talking About Food, and she is a local friend of mine, who has recently gone vegan.
Not too long ago, Taji and I were discussing how difficult it is to eat out sometimes, and how it can be seemingly impossible to stick to dietary restrictions when out and about. So, she wrote 5 of her personal tips for eating vegan on-the-go, here they are:
Vegan in a Flash: 5 Tips for Following a Vegan Diet On-the-Go
Let’s get one thing straight. To be honest, it’s not that hard to eat vegan. There are plenty of random foods like Teddy Grahams, certain cereals, and Oreos (yes, Oreos are technically vegan) that can keep you afloat without touching a single animal product. But to be a healthy vegan is a different story and can actually be quite difficult if you live a hectic lifestyle. Meeting your nutritional requirements is an important part of any diet, but especially a vegan diet that cuts out so many foods and food groups. Next time a last minute business trip, group project, or simply a crazy day strikes, try these five tips. They’re great for when you’re running from meeting to meeting or if you’re trying to plan meals ahead of time for the coming days or weeks.
1. Fruit and Nuts are Your Best Friends
One of the great things about going vegan is how easy it is to keep non-perishable food around. Instead of being one of those annoying people that practically carries a cooler for all their food, you can elegantly stash an apple in your bag with a small portion of raw, unsalted nuts. This is a perfect balance of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fat to satiate your hunger so you can get back to whatever you’re doing. ALWAYS keep a pack of nuts in your car in case of emergencies. Fruits like apples, pear, bananas, and oranges are your best choices when eating on the go.
2. Make Use of Your Freezer
A well-stocked freezer is important for any healthy eater, but it can take your vegan diet to a whole new level. Say you make a giant batch of vegan chili on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Spoon leftovers into single serving portions that you can take out of your freezer, defrost, and enjoy after a long day at work. You can even take these portions to work for lunch—because vegan dishes don’t have any seafood, poultry, or meat they’re thaw much faster than other entrees. Remember that you don’t need to make just chili for your freezer. Other soups, stews, curries, even certain pancake and waffle recipes all handle the freezer quite well.
3. Learn How to Make a Good Spread or Two
Conventional mayonnaise is a no-no on a vegan diet, and you wouldn’t want to eat other condiments that are loaded with artificial ingredients and preservatives. Instead, learn a couple of different recipes that you can dip veggies in and use with veggies sandwiches/wraps. Learning a roasted red pepper hummus recipe, a kale pesto recipe, or finding suitable minimally processed spreads and dips is a great way to keep your taste buds engaged even if you eat the same kinds of veggies over and over again. You’d be AMAZED how versatile your meals could be!
4. Don’t Be Afraid of Ethnic Cuisine
If you’ve heard of Kimberly Snyder and The Beauty Detox Solution (The Beauty Detox Solution), then you’ll see how much Snyder loves indulging in ethnic foods. Why? Because so many of these dishes are naturally vegetarian or vegan and require minimal substitutions. When you’re in a hurry and forced to eat out, don’t be afraid of trying an Asian eatery or an Ethiopian restaurant. You’ll probably come across some really cool and yummy dishes that definitely beat an iceberg lettuce salad with oil and vinegar at other less vegan-friendly restaurants.
5. Embrace Being a ‘Cheagan’ From Time to Time
I saw a video the other day about being a ‘Cheagan’ and I literally died:
Maybe I’m not a fan of Jared Leto’s current granola-boy hairstyle, but I definitely think when you’re out living your life, sometimes a non-vegan moment is going to happen. Sometimes you’ll accidentally consume some dairy in a little salad dressing or might have no choice but to eat something with trace amounts of animal products. Remember that a vegan diet is not a sprint, but a marathon! Hopefully, you’re eating a plant-based diet to live a LONG and healthy life (emphasis on the long). Realize that slip ups will occur from time to time and do your best to get back on track at your next meal.
Don’t get stressed over your vegan diet, especially when your life is crazy busy! Done the right way, a vegan diet can actually be a much easier diet to follow than your standard American diet (SAD). What are some of your favorite vegan meals when you’re in a rush?
Taji Mortazavi is the founder of We’re Talking About Food. Devoted to democratizing health, Taji believes anyone CAN live a healthy lifestyle regardless of age, illness, career, or other secondary factors. Support Taji by visiting her site and following her on Facebook and Twitter.