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7 Tips for Successful Whole Food Plant-Based Dining at Traditional Restaurants

“What Will I Eat?”

One of the biggest questions I had when considering a move to eating whole food plant-base was, “What will I eat when we dine out?”

Keep in mind that I am a lifelong picky eater who doesn’t like veggies! Well, at least not until the past year. Exploring veggies cooked in different manners other than boringly steamed has changed my life. Being willing to taste them cooked different ways—at least one time (what moms always say and we picky eaters don’t like to heed) has also been a game changer.

Grits, Roasted Asparagus, and Vegetable Medley
Vin’tij Food & Wine in Sandestin, FL

After transitioning to meatless meals at home, I decided to tackle dining out. After a few attempts, I found it was much easier than expected. In fact, it is so easy that I now get excited to try new restaurants to explore more plant-based goodness.

Tips for Whole Food Plant-Based Dining

Following are seven tips that help me sustain my commitment to plant based eating and find new ways to enjoy those “yucky vegetables.”

1-Look at the menu online before selecting a restaurant.

2-Check out the salad options.

3-Check to see if they have a vegetarian or vegan section. This is becoming more common in some cities based on changes in customer lifestyles and expectations.

4-Scan the menu to see what fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains are offered—both as sides and with other dishes.

5-Call ahead and ask if they have any vegetables of the day or off-the-menu options. For example, J Alexander’s, where we dine often, serves grilled zucchini daily, but it is not on the menu.

Miso Carrots, Roasted Asparagus, Haricots Verts, Zucchini, Squash & Carrot Noodles, and Grilled Potatoes
Tommy Bahamas in Sandestin, FL

6-Ask if you can create a plate or bowl from their sides and items offered with other dishes.

7-Finally…try something new! You may just uncover something your taste buds love that you can add to your repertoire or a new way to cook them at home.

More About Plant-Based Eating

Whole food plant-based (WFBP) eating is not necessarily vegan nor vegetarian. It just means most of your diet comes from plant sources such as fruit, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds and nuts, etc. Some WFPB eaters, including myself, may still eat animal products, but only a very small percent of the overall diet.

If curious, I have complied a list of physicians and healthcare resources that have been helpful to me and my family. Click here to view.

XOX, Hope Maria

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