Whether you are going out to eat or traveling, these tips will help you meet your plant-based needs on the go!
While it may seem daunting to eat out when following a plant-based diet, luckily the plant-based food scene is showing no signs of slowing down.
So, you’ve decided to go plant-based for every meal or a few days a week and, perhaps thanks to our Meating Halfway guide, you now have a few animal-free dishes on rotation in your home. But how do you handle eating plant-based when not in a controlled environment? What to order at a restaurant or in an airport?
We’ve got tips to help you navigate the wider world on a plant-based diet.
1. Consult an app for plant-based friendly restaurants wherever you go.
Apps like HappyCow list vegan and vegetarian-friendly restaurants all over the world and even filter based on your location, so you don’t have to waste time combing through menus in your hometown or in another country.
2. If going out to eat with others, don’t compromise on your needs to please your dining companions.
It’s important that you enjoy your meal just as much as everyone else. So, consult menus ahead of time, and if a restaurant suggested by a friend only offers fries and a side of cauliflower for plant-based diners, kindly recommend a different place. Just because your dietary habits may differ from those around you doesn’t mean you can’t stick to your values. Offer an alternative you’ve been to or read about that will satisfy everyone. Feeling bolder? You could also convince your group to join you at your favorite plant-based restaurant and inspire them to reduce their own animal product consumption!
3. That said, if you end up at a restaurant with little to no plant-based options, get creative!
If a restaurant menu is devoid of plant-based options, try to create your own meal with a side of beans, rice, french fries, or Brussels sprouts. Ask the staff if they can make you a vegan pasta or a pizza without the cheese and an extra serving of mushrooms. Most restaurants are becoming more familiar with plant-based eaters and can often offer you options that may not be listed on the menu.
4. If flying, request your plant-based meal in advance.
For international flights and those longer than a few hours, you typically can request your plant-based meal in advance. After you book your ticket, you can select your meal choice through the airline’s website or call the airline directly. Most major air carriers now offer a vegetarian or vegan option. You may even get your dish served before everyone else on the flight--lucky you!
5. Pack some plant-based snacks ahead of your trip.
Let’s face it, airport and rest stop food leaves much to be desired. Although some restaurants in major airport hubs now offer at least one plant-based menu option, consider packing your own plant-based snacks for your trip to avoid disappointment and hunger pangs! Stock up on some chickpea puffs, crackers, plant-based cheese, nuts, cut-up fruits and vegetables, and small hummus cups. For some added excitement, bake a simple banana bread loaf and take it on the go!
While it may seem daunting to eat out when following a plant-based diet, luckily the plant-based food scene is showing no signs of slowing down. Restaurants and grocery stores across the country and all over the world are realizing the importance of catering to evolving dietary preferences, including providing options for those looking to consume fewer or no animal products.
With your help, we can make animal-free options the norm. Sign our petition calling on the largest food companies to commit to reducing their procurement of animal products in favor of plant-based ones. Together, we can create lasting change for animals, people, and the environment.