I put together the simple resources I use for my vegan diet because it seems like everyone has vegan resource guides that are super overwhelming. No one needs 50+ resources to go vegan, because I’m not going to actually look through all of them.
I’m lazy and I want to share my lazy processes with you too. Hopefully they will help you know what to do when you don’t know what to do.
Let’s jump in.
In general, this is best thing you can do to find out if a fast food restaurant has vegan options:
- Do a google search for “[NAME OF RESTAURANT] vegan” or “vegan at [NAME OF RESTAURANT]”
- Check some of the links that pop up. People write up to date articles about what exactly is vegan at each restaurant. These are lifesavers when it comes to eating vegan at fast food restaurants.
You’ll quickly learn which fast food restaurants to avoid. (AHEM McDonald’s, please bring the McVegan to America they were awesome in Sweden, thank you). And which ones have a ton of vegan options (I see you Taco Bell and Chipotle).
You’ll also get pretty good at identifying whether a new place you encounter is vegan or not. It’s like a vegan-radar which sounds kind of nerdy but true.
Eating out at restaurants
So you want to eat out? I included a short version of this section in the Vegan Diet Resource Cheatsheet down below, but here are the apps you NEED to download:
I believe HappyCow costs $2.99 but it’s worth it. And you’re already saving money by not buying meat so it makes financial sense. It’s probably the most important of all the simple resources I use for my vegan diet. If you’d rather not pay for the app, use web version. You just won’t have it if you’re out and about.
If you know where you’re going
Know where you’ll be eating? Then check to see if the restaurant is on HappyCow. If it’s on HappyCow there will be reviews specifically for the vegan food there.
It’s not on HappyCow:
- Find the restaurant on Yelp and click on it’s page
- There’s a search bar in there somewhere above the reviews. You should search for “vegan”.
- If they have any vegan options (or don’t have any vegan options) it’ll probably be listed there.
If it’s still not clear from Yelp or HappyCow, look at the online menu. You can either:
- Guess what might be vegan and ask when you get there
- Call the restaurant ask them
- Eat beforehand. This can be useful if the restaurant only has some vegan salad or fries.
- And just like with fast food restaurants, you might be able to do a google search for “vegan at [NAME OF RESTAURANT]”. This definitely works at bigger chains like Olive Garden. And yes, their breadsticks are in fact vegan! You’re welcome.
If you don’t know where to go
Search on HappyCow for restaurants in your area. You can filter by vegan, vegetarian, or just vegan options. If you don’t put any filters on it it’s going to assume you want any restaurant with vegan options.
If you’re in a restaurant dense area you can zoom into an area that you want to go to. HappyCow only gives you about 10 restaurants at a time so you’ll need to zoom in to get more options.
The downside to HappyCow is that they don’t have all the restaurants they should on there. Some restaurants might have vegan options that aren’t on HappyCow. Generally though it’s helpful and I use it all the time.
Alternatively you can search on Yelp for “vegan” in whatever city you’re in. This can be a bit harder because Yelp will bring up any restaurants with ANY reviews that mention “vegan”. This includes reviews with things like “vegans don’t go here” or “they have zero vegan options”.
So if you’re using Yelp to find restaurants with vegan options, just be weary. You’ll need to search through the reviews or look at the menu to be sure. Yelp has served me well, and I also write Yelp reviews to help other vegans find (or avoid) places.
Eating out with other people
If you can, choose the restaurant. I always take people, vegan or non-vegan, to my favorite vegan restaurants. This gives me a chance to show them great vegan food and they’ll find out that they really like it.
I highly recommend trying a place before you take them, especially if you’re super new to veganism.
If the food is bad then they might say things like, “see this is why you shouldn’t be vegan”. It’s discouraging when that happens. This sucks for everyone so save yourself and try it first if you can.
Eating at someone else’s house or for holidays
My family lives in the boondocks in Southern Illinois.Where I’m from is nothing but cornfields and they cook a lot of meat. Everything is also slathered in butter and milk. Hence why I moved to California.
The ONLY vegan thing we had for Thanksgiving last year was canned cranberries. Canned cranberries! First of all ew, I do not like cranberries. Second of all, eww canned cranberries!?
The worst part is that I’m super lazy sometimes. I didn’t feel like learning how to cook vegan Thanksgiving food in my mom’s kitchen.
So what are the simple resources I use for my vegan diet during the holidays? I actually just brought my own food from the store. It’s the easiest thing to do. You can also get takeout from some place like Olive Garden the day before.
On the other hand, if you want to learn how to cook vegan holiday food you should definitely do that. It’ll give your family a chance to see that vegan food can be good. I plan on cooking for Thanksgiving next year so I’ll need you to hold me accountable.
Eating at someone else’s house
This one can be a little bit tricky. If you know there won’t be any vegan options and it’s a small gathering, then tell them so they’ll know you won’t be eating. Some people can get so uncomfortable if you show up and you’re not eating. They act like they did something wrong.
Regardless if it’s a small or big gathering you can eat beforehand and/or offer to bring some dishes.
Cooking at home for lazy people
I didn’t start cooking at home until recently so I’m not the most seasoned chef. So this one is probably the laziest of all the simple resources I use for my vegan diet.
What I do know is that home-cooked vegan food can be just as good, if not better than non-vegan food. Your creative can shine with new and different styles of cooking, flavors, and spices. You should experiment with different types of cuisines like Middle Eastern or Japanese, and find delicious spins on Indian curries and African plates.
If you don’t want to cook anything new then look up how to veganize your dishes. Substituting milk for non-dairy milks, meat for tofu, etc..
Personally, what works best for me right now is finding 3 uncomplicated, quick, customizable, and healthy dishes (because I’m lazy, remember). And that I really, really like.
- For breakfast I eat nicecream topped with fruit. It takes 5 minutes to make and I SO look forward to it. I’m a kid at heart and take pride in living out every kid’s dream and every parent’s nightmare. Nicecream is like a healthier version of ice cream.
- For lunch I eat some kind of salad with a ton of chickpeas and an amazing dressing. This usually takes 5 minutes, or 20 if I roast the chickpeas. For the longest time I did not like salads. But when I found a dressing I loved it was a game changer. If you find a dressing you love you will look forward to eating salads. I promise. It just takes experimentation.
- For dinner I eat fruits and veggies with a ton of spices and dressings. I don’t take longer than 20 minutes because I like it to be simple and quick. I do make it really tasty though so it hits the spot for me. If I’m craving something sweet I’ll make something like this:
I’m not giving you this so you copy me but to show you how I make cooking at home work for me. I eat healthy things but also what makes me happy. I don’t make myself eat quinoa or green smoothies because I just don’t like those things. And I usually don’t make anything that takes longer than 20 minutes.
Find what you like and what works for you. If you’re not so sure what you like that NoMeatAthlete.com recommends you work through a vegan cookbook and try all of the recipes in it. I think this is a great idea and want to do it soon but I usually just look on Pinterest for short, simple recipes though.
Snacking at home
I might not eat snacks every day, but when I do eat them I eat a lot of them. I really like snacks.
To find snacks that you love, try some of these tips:
- Think of things that you usually snack on and search Google for alternatives if they aren’t already vegan-which they might be! Many chips and some cookies (like Biscoff and Oreos) are already vegan.
- Search google or Amazon for great vegan snacks. Amazon also has vegan snack boxes which gives you a ton of snacks. My dad sent me this Snack Care Package and I love it!
- Go to the store and check the ingredients in various snack aisles.
- If you’re not sure if an ingredient is vegan either search in Google “is [INGREDIENT] vegan” or check PETA’s alphabetical list of ingredients that aren’t vegan and where they comes from.
Those are the exact simple resources I use for my vegan diet
These are the exact simple resources I use for my vegan diet when I’m eating out at restaurants, with other people, or at home. I keep it simple because I’m pretty lazy and want to make it as easy as possible to eat vegan.
To learn more about veganism in terms of health, the enviroment, and ethics, check out these resources:
- To understand what all veganism entails, check out What Is A Vegan?
- Interested in health? Read The China Study. I’m actually reading it a second time because it’s so good!
- Don’t like books? I got you covered. Forks Over Knives on Netflixgoes over a lot of the same information as The China Study. This converted one of my friends to veganism.
- Care about the environment? I’ve heard great things about Cowspiracy. I haven’t watched it yet but it helped my friend convince her mom to go vegan.
- And here is the 12 minute video that made me and two friends go vegan:
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