Being vegan doesn’t have to be expensive or difficult, here are a few tips to eating in and out while sticking to your new diet.
In terms of nutrition, Kameo Snyder, a leading nutritionist at the In Motion Physical Therapy Center based in Town Center, said a plant-based diet is one of the most healthy ways to treat your body.
“Saying that you do not have enough protein in a vegan diet or that it’s an unhealthy lifestyle is a total myth,” she said. “You can get your protein from soy-based foods, legumes, seeds, nuts, and quinoa — which are packed with amino acids.”
Scott Banks, a nutritionist at Banks Nutrition Center, agreed that the essential amino acids, proteins, and carbohydrates can be found in various fruits and grains.
“Avocados, for example, have plenty of healthy fats, carbs, and protein. Other fruits also carry plenty of carbohydrates,” Banks said.
Picking up groceries and making your own food can be an easy way to keep up the diet.
Garret Roberts, a vegan in Newport News, said he buys a lot of his staples at Aldi or Lidl but if he needs something special he goes to Food Lion, Harris Teeter, Whole Foods or an oriental market.
Places like Trader Joes and Whole Foods offer options for vegans if you decide you want to try something a bit fancier like meat substitutes or other pre-made vegan snacks.
Roberts said his food budget is pretty low – he typically spends $30-$40 a week, but in a pinch can get by with just $20 for groceries.
He said he likes to eat in and cook in bulk.
While most restaurants may claim they offer a “vegan option,” there are several places that vegans can get more than one type of dish.
Roberts suggests Indian and Thai restaurants as their dishes can be modified for no meat easier than a traditional American-style restaurant.
He also likes going to Mellow Mushroom for the vegan pizza crust or Moe’s for its wide variety of veggies.
There is a new vegan establishment in Newport News called Vegan Cooking Today. They offer vegan takeout, cooking/prep classes and limited catering options.
Most of the time, eating vegan doesn’t have to be hard. You just have to know what you can eat and where you can find it.
To learn more about being vegan, click here.