Going out to eat can be difficult as a vegan because many restaurants are not going to specifically cater to your dietary needs and because you might have a difficult time finding food that you will feel comfortable eating. Here are some tips for going out to eat and still being able to maintain your lifestyle.
1. Plan Ahead
Your first step is going to be to plan ahead. If you are going out to eat with friends, make sure that you know what restaurant you are going to be going to ahead of time. Then, look at that restaurant's menu. Make a list of different meals that seem like they could be vegan or meals that could easily be adapted to being vegan. For example, if you go to an Italian restaurant, look ahead of time for dishes that don't automatically contain cheese and for dishes that have lots of vegetables such as mushrooms and tomatoes. If you find a dish that's perfect but that has chicken, make a note of the title of the dish and the fact that you are going to need to make sure that you order it without the chicken.
If you can't find anything that will suit your dietary needs at a particular restaurant, make sure that you call ahead and ask if they are able to make any accommodations as long as you give them enough notice. Many restaurants will be happy to help someone if they know the date and time that the person is going to want to eat a special meal and will be able to come up with something that you can eat with relative ease.
2. Make a Meal of Sides
If you cannot find an entree that is going to work for you, scour the list of sides for ones that are appetizing to you and fit within your lifestyle. Choose three or four sides and make sure that you pick one that has beans or some other food that contains a lot of protein. Doing this will allow you to ensure that you are able to go out to a restaurant with your friends and not force them to choose a special restaurant just for you.
3. Find the Vegetarian Options
Finally, ask your waiter if he or she is able to offer you a vegetarian menu and see if you can adapt any of the meals that are on this menu to vegan meals such as by removing the cream or swapping the sauce for something that doesn't contain dairy. Some restaurants will have a vegetarian menu that is not automatically given to guests. It doesn't hurt to ask.
For more information, talk to your waiter or waitress from local Italian restaurants in Fort McMurray.