Going Vegan & Vegan 101

Are you planning on going vegan or do you want to learn more about veganism?

How To Find Vegan Food Nearby – 6 Easy Ways!

Many cities have restaurants with amazing vegan food. But how do you find vegan restaurants? Finding vegan food nearby has never been easier if you know what to look for!

a collage of four photos showing pictures of restaurants

I’m sure you know how annoying it is when you go to a restaurant and all you can eat is salad. Fortunately, there are many easy ways to find vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants online. This is especially helpful when you’re traveling. To make things easier for you, I explained six easy ways to find vegan food nearby. 

How To Find Vegan Food Nearby – Finding Vegan Restaurants The Easy Way

1. Google

Asking Google is often the first idea and it works out pretty well. Just type in “vegan food in …” or even “vegan food nearby” if Google knows your location and Google will come up with some helpful ideas.

2. Happy Cow

Have you ever heard of Happy Cow? Happy Cow is an online service that helps you to find vegan and vegetarian restaurants. I’ve used it for years and absolutely LOVE it. Especially when you’re traveling it’s incredibly helpful and makes life a lot easier.

The access to their homepage is free to all users, who can also provide content if they want. So when you’ve been to a restaurant you can upload a review and photos of the food you had. This way finding a good vegan restaurant becomes much easier for everybody. And you even get to see a sneak peek of the food you could have.

Happy Cow also has an app that costs $3,99 and it’s available in many languages. You can filter vegan, vegetarian, and veg-friendly restaurants on both the website and the app.

Besides, you can adjust the price and the distance to your personal liking. So you can choose if you’re only looking for vegan food nearby or if you’d be willing to make a bigger trip.

Also make sure to choose the option that only shows you restaurants that are open. Of course this won’t be necessary if you’re looking for vegan restaurants you want to visit in the future. In this case, Happy Cow offers a helpful feature that allows you to create an itinerary of places you want to visit.

Happy Cow has been around for quite a while. In fact, it was founded in 1999 and now has over 50,000 listings in over 175 countriesaround the world. If you’re using Happy Cow to find vegan food nearby, I encourage you to leave a review or even add new restaurants as this is the way it grows.

3. Vanilla Bean

a screenshot of the app vanilla bean in the apple store (a website and app that allows you to find vegan food nearby)

Vanilla Bean is very similar to Happy Cow. However, they offer different filters to find organic, gluten-free, and raw food. So this might be especially helpful for people with specific diets.

In contrast to Happy Cow, their app is free. It’s not as big yet as Happy Cow, but new reviews and photos are coming in every day and it’s growing and growing. They already have more than 32,000 restaurants, so they’re growing pretty fast.

Vanilla Bean is very easy to navigate and I especially like their maps.

So I think it’s great to use a combination of Happy Cow and Vanilla Bean. It makes finding vegan food nearby even easier! Or use both apps to plan your next trip with delicious vegan food!

4. Blogger’s City Guides

Besides, also many bloggers provide you with helpful city or travel guides. I’ve done this too when I first started my blog. You can find an article about vegan food at the East coast in Canada and the U.S. It includes Toronto, Montreal (I didn’t know that I’d move to Montreal years later at that time), Boston, and New York.

I also posted an article about vegan food in Lisbon. I really enjoyed writing these posts and maybe I will do this again in the future.

Pinterest is also a great place to find these vegan city guides by bloggers. Just type in “vegan in …” in the search function and I’m sure you’ll find some helpful articles.

5. Yelp

Yelp can also help you to find vegan food nearby. Yelp.com is a local search service that provides crowd-sourced reviews. So it’s like a directory of local business including restaurants.

If you want to look for vegan and vegetarian places, you can narrow the search down to “vegan” or “vegetarian”.  There is also a Yelp app.

I personally prefer to use Happy Cow or Vanilla Bean as it’s specially made to find vegan food, but Yelp could also be a good help.

6. Ask Locals

And last but not least, ask local people. They might know a good vegan place or someone who is vegan or vegetarian. This is especially the case when you’re traveling.

Vegan Diet – Everything You Need To Know About Becoming Vegan!

Are you thinking about a vegan diet, but you are not sure where to start? Then this article is perfect for you! It tells you everything you need to know about becoming vegan! And it also includes a helpful vegan food list, tips for newly vegans, and so much more!

I still remember when I became vegan five years ago. Everything was new and I had sooo many questions. Is a vegan diet healthy? How do vegans get protein? What about supplements? And what are the best tofu recipes? Over the last few years, vegan cooking became a passion for me and I started this blog.

So let’s take a step back and talk about all the basics of vegansim!

What Is Vegan?

Sometimes it might seem like veganism is a new concept. Especially with so many new vegan restaurants and vegan cookbooks all over the world. However, the term “vegan” was coined as early as in 1944 by members of the Vegetarian Society in England.

Like vegetarians, vegans choose not to eat any kind of meat or fish. But in addition vegans also do not consume dairy, dairy products, eggs, or any other products of animal origin.

Vegan Definition

So veganism is the practice of not consuming any kind of animal-derived products.

There are different forms of veganism:

  1. Dietary Vegans – they do not eat any kind of meat, fish, dairy, or eggs. However, they are not focused on animal-free clothing, furniture, beauty, and cleaning products.
  2. Ethical Vegans – they do not consume meat, dairy, and eggs as well as any kind of animal-derived products like leather or products that were tested on animals. For them, veganism is mostly about the animals and veganism plays a part in all areas of their lives.
  3. Environmental Vegans – they eat a vegan diet mostly because of environmental reasons. Particularly factory farming is environmentally unsustainable. They wish to reduce their “carbon footprint”.
  4. Raw Vegans – they eat a strict plant-based diet, but they don’t consume food that has been cooked over 105-115 °F.
  5. Health-Inspired Vegans – they eat vegan food for their own health (for example to avoid cardiovascular disease, lower cholesterol, and lose weight).
a collage showing reasons for a vegan diet (animals, environment and health)

Vegan Foods – Vegan Food List

There are so many vegan foods out there! It’s much easier to find vegan food than you might think. In many supermarkets there is even a special vegetarian and vegan section.

Here’s a list of the vegan staples I’ve always got at home:

My Vegan Essentials:

  • fruits (fresh, frozen, and dried)
  • vegetables (fresh and frozen)
  • legumes (chickpeas, black beans, navy beans, kidney beans, red, green, and brown lentils – either canned or dried)
  • whole wheat grains (brown rice, whole wheat pasta, bread, tortillas)
  • potatoes and sweet potatoes
  • herbs and spices
  • quinoa, buckwheat, oats, and other gluten-free grain alternatives
  • nuts and seeds (for example cashews, almonds, walnuts, pumpkin and sunflower seeds)
  • hemp, chia, and flax seeds
  • healthy fats like avocado or nut butter
  • soy products (tofu and tempeh)
  • plant-based milk alternatives (for example soy milk, almond milk, and oat milk)
  • vegan yogurt and cheese
  • nutritional yeast (great for “cheesy” sauces!)
  • oils (for example olive oil, coconut oil, and sesame oil) and vinegar (balsamic and white wine vinegar)
  • condiments like hummus, sriracha, and vegan mayonnaise
  • vegetable stock
  • sweeteners like agave and maple syrup
  • ingredients for vegan baking (flour, baking powder, instant yeast, ground flax seeds)

I already wrote another blog post that answers the question what vegans eat. It also includes some of the most popular vegan recipes.

a close-up of cabbage and carrots in a basket

My Favorite Kitchen Tools in My Vegan Kitchen:

1. A good high speed blender (I use a Vitamin 5300)* for smoothies, homemade nut butter, creamy vegan sauces with cashews, and so much more!

2. A medium-sized food processor (I use a Cuisinart 14 cup food processor)* for sauces, salsa, pesto, energy balls, hummus, and all kinds of chopping.
3. An Instant Pot or any other pressure cooker. I use an Instant Pot DUO 60 * 6 Quart and absolutely LOVE it. It’s perfect for cooking brown rice, dried beans, and lentils, and even whole meals. Check out my roundup of vegan instant pot recipes for more ideas.

4. A set of good knives! * They make chopping so much easier! 

How to Become Vegan

Becoming vegan might be a bit intimidating at first. You’ve decided you want to go vegan, but where should you start? And what about all those new products you have never seen in your life?

My tips for becoming vegan:

  • Go at your own pace – only a few vegan meals a week are way better than no vegan meals at all! Take it slow, especially when your family and kids are involved as well.
  • Educate yourself on the benefits of a vegan lifestyle – watch documentaries on Netflix (for example “Forks Over Knives” or “What The Health“) and read books about veganism and nutrition (for example “How Not To Die“)
  • Reach out to other vegans – join vegan forums and Facebook groups, go to vegan meat-ups, and talk to people. Ask for help! And you might even find some new friends.
  • Learn what to avoid and what to look out for – check ingredients labels in the supermarket and learn how you can replace products like dairy or eggs.
  • Make sure you get all essential nutrients –  if you eat a great variety of vegetables, nuts, seeds, and legumes you won’t have any problems, but it’s important to educate yourself about the fundamentals of a vegan diet. And make sure to supplement vitamin B12.
  • Try new recipes and new products – there are so many vegan recipes out there. Don’t be discouraged when something doesn’t turn out as planned. Just move on to the next recipe and adjust it to your personal taste!
four photos showing tips for becoming vegan (go on your own pace, educate yourself, reach out to people)

Benefits of a Vegan Diet

There are many benefits of a vegan diet. A balanced vegan diet does not only provide many health benefits but it also helps to prevent major diseases that lead to the death of many Americans.

Here are the most important benefits of a vegan diet:

  • A vegan diet is often much healthier than a traditional Western diet. It’s richer in certain nutrients (if you eat a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables, beans, nuts, and seeds, you will have plenty of magnesium, potassium, vitamins A, C, and E as well as folate).
  • It can lower your risk of heart disease (it can prevent heart attack and stroke).
  • Vegans have up to a 75% lower risk of developing high blood pressure.
  • A vegan diet can reduce cholesterol levels.
  • It can help people with arthritis and reduce symptoms of arthritis and associated pain.
  • A healthy and balanced vegan diet can help you to lose weight.
  • Besides, it’s good for your skin and can lead to a reduction in blemishes.

3 thoughts on “Going Vegan & Vegan 101

  1. Great post! Also nice to see different definitions of vegans! It is kinda hard for me to see people especially the more influential ones bashing on people who have a vegan diet but aren’t aware of animal sufferings yet since it can really turn people away from even trying veganism.

    Like

    1. Exactly! I mean encouragement & love will always win. Plus we should still be happy that even though they aren’t consciously doing so, an innocent animal is still being spared!

      Liked by 1 person

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