Guest post by Danielle Clark.
Being vegan is a big decision. Some people would never consider it, while others embrace all parts of the vegan lifestyle. Me? I fall in the middle. I love eating plant-based, hearty dishes, but I also love indulging in some Greek yogurt, pizza, or salmon. I don’t live my life defined by a specific diet. I eat what I want and what feels good to my body. However, I won’t lie to you—eating plant-based makes me feel amazing. I have so much more energy, I sleep better, and I notice a dramatic shift in my mood. When it comes to eating vegan, I like to incorporate variety in my foods. Eating dishes that are Mediterranean-inspired or flavored, like the food at Zoës Kitchen, helps me find variety in my diet and switch things up.
As a busy college student, I’m constantly on-the-go, and often forget to pack a lunch or dinner. Eating vegan on the run can be a struggle, especially when you’re just getting into it. When I first started eating more plant-based foods, I chose simple, dry salads because I didn’t know what was in a lot of the dishes. Plus, just because it’s vegan, doesn’t mean it’s necessarily healthy. I mean, did you know Oreos are vegan?
While many restaurants offer vegan options, they’re usually the side dishes like fruit cups and steamed vegetables. However, Zoës Kitchen is way different. They have a variety of wholesome, DELICIOUS options. When I visited Zoës recently, I got the Mediterranean Lentil Soup, which was absolutely delicious! One of the hard parts of transitioning to a vegan diet is finding plant-based protein options, and this soup is full of it. The lentils pack fiber and complex carbs as well, and overall, this dish has 20g of protein—win! Oh yeah, and did you guys know that Zoës came out with a new, VEGAN falafel? I’m pumped about this. Like all their food, their falafel is made fresh every day and contains only the simplest, healthiest ingredients. Plus, unlike falafel at other chain restaurants, the falafel at Zoës are baked, not fried, which means you’re reducing a bunch of unsaturated fats from the frying oil, along with a boatload of unnecessary ingredients. WIN!
All Zoës Kitchen selections are extremely flavorful and great, healthy options for quick, on-the-go vegan snacks! I love how most of their sides, like the roasted vegetables (if you follow my blog or Instagram, then you know how obsessed I am) and the potato salad are vegan as well! Zoës is very clear about which menu items you can safely eat and what dietary restrictions each entrée and side accommodates, so everyone can enjoy their Mediterranean goodness. Plus, I never have to guess what’s in their food.
So, when you’re trying to eat vegan on-the-go, here are my five tips:
- Look for the freshest options. Oftentimes, food may be frozen in bulk, so look for the option that screams, “I was made two hours ago.” That’s why I love Zoës Kitchen—all their food is made from scratch daily, so I never have to guess!
- Don’t overthink everything—eat what sounds good and what will nourish you. Being vegan isn’t about the kale salads and kombucha—it’s about the positive impact you’ll have on the environment and how you can make a change. So, don’t feel guilty if you decide to go for the vegan burger and fries rather than the juice. You’re doing your body a favor.
- Try to switch it up and don’t always get the quinoa salad, although the Zoës quinoa salad is packed with flavor and fresh veggies! Our bodies get tired of foods we eat repetitively, so try out different options on the menu—Zoës has great vegan options like baked falafel, hummus, roasted veggies and more!
- Don’t be afraid to ask for substitutions. While you may feel bad or annoying for doing it, you’re the one getting the meal!
- Enjoy it!
It’s much easier to eat vegan on-the-go than one would expect. Plus, with vegan dishes like the ones found at Zoës Kitchen, the options are endless!
Want to learn about more vegan options at Zoës Kitchen? Check out how we prepare our cauliflower rice bowl with baked falafel!