How to Transition to a Vegan Diet

Veganism is on the rise! Whether it’s for the animals, the planet, health reasons or Beyonce, more and more people are turning to the diet. Between the consumer demand for more vegan options in grocery stores and restaurants and the innovation of plant-based foods, going vegan is easier than ever. Here’s how to transition to a vegan diet in an easy and delicious way.

Transitioning to a vegan diet is easy when you find a vegan restaurant you love. Visit one of Beyond Sushi’s locations in NYC today! Order Now

Go at Your Own Pace

There’s no right or wrong way to transition to a vegan diet. What’s important is that you transition in a way that will help you stick to your new lifestyle. If you’re the type of person who can quit meat and dairy cold turkey, go for it! But if you want to ease into a vegan diet, that’s OK too. 

Start by reducing the amount of animal products you eat by participating in “Meatless Mondays” or committing to a certain number of days each week to eat plant-based. Another popular approach is “crowding out” meat and dairy by increasing the amount of veggies and whole foods you put on your plate.

Beyond Sushi Tacos NYC
Yep, these Beyond Sushi tacos are vegan!

Remove Non-Vegan Products from Your Home

The only way to guarantee you won’t eat any animal products is to not have them in your home. Go through your pantry and refrigerator and get rid of any non-vegan items. If the food is still good, consider donating it to your local food bank.

Tip: If you live in a household with non-vegans, purging your kitchen of non-vegan items probably isn’t realistic. Instead, dedicate a drawer or section in the refrigerator and a basket or bin in the pantry for vegan items.

Stock Your Kitchen

Now it’s time to give your pantry and refrigerator a vegan glow-up! Make sure your shelves are well-stocked with whole grains (oats, quinoa, rice, etc.), canned beans, vegetable broth, pasta, spices, condiments, frozen vegetables, etc. Keep plenty of fresh fruit and veggies on hand as well as other vegan snacks, like hummus, crackers and whatever else your vegan heart desires.

Learn How to Read Food Labels

One of the biggest learning curves when transitioning to a vegan diet is getting in the habit of reading food labels. You’ll be surprised by how many foods you might think would be vegan actually contain animal products! Seriously, milk is added to everything. Be on the lookout for these top offenders: milk and milk byproducts (like casein and whey), lard, gelatin, and honey. 

The good news? Vegan labels are becoming more common. However, just because it doesn’t have one, doesn’t mean it isn’t vegan. Here’s lookin’ at you Oreos! Bottom line: always read the food label.

Focus on What You Can Eat

Having the right mindset about your new vegan diet is so important. If you focus on the foods you can’t have, you’ll feel deprived and frustrated. Instead, remind yourself of all the delicious and nutritious foods you can eat, which is usually more than the foods you’re choosing not to eat anymore. 

In fact, most people who go vegan enjoy a wider variety of foods than they did in their pre-vegan days. If you do get a craving for non-vegan foods, order or make a vegan alternative to scratch the itch.

Vegan Dumplings NYC
Vegan dumplings, yum!

Keep It Simple

There are thousands of vegan recipes on the internet, but many of them have long ingredient lists that can take hours to prepare. Luckily, a vegan diet doesn’t have to be complicated. Sometimes the best meals are made without a recipe and with minimal ingredients you already have in your pantry. Breakfast can be oatmeal with fresh fruit, a smoothie or avocado toast. Lunch can be a large salad, a veggie wrap or a grain bowl. And dinner can be pasta with tomato sauce, a vegetable stir-fry, veggie tacos or vegan sushi. There are no rules, just have fun!

Eat Enough Food

Nobody likes to be hangry, vegans included. Because fruits and vegetables are lower in calories, you’ll need to eat more so you don’t get tired throughout the day. If you’re hungry, eat! And don’t worry about portion size, especially while you transition to a vegan diet. Just make sure that you eat a variety of foods to ensure you get important nutrients.

Educate Yourself

Going vegan is more than just feeding your body, it’s also about feeding your mind. If you aren’t the best cook, Google how to veganize your favorite meals, search for YouTube tutorials and how-to videos, watch cooking shows, build up your cookbook collection, take a vegan cooking class or order a vegan meal delivery kit. 

If you’re going vegan for health reasons, follow popular vegan blogs, read books like “The China Study” or “How Not to Die”, follow plant-based doctors, listen to podcasts, or watch documentaries like “Forks Over Knives” and “What the Health.” Knowledge is power, especially when you’re powered by plants.

Take it One Meal at a Time

Adjusting to a new diet, especially if you’ve been eating the standard American diet for your entire life, takes time. Instead of worrying about what you’re going to eat at Thanksgiving or at an event that’s months away, focus on your next meal. If you slip up and eat meat or dairy, don’t worry. The vegan police aren’t going to show up and write you a citation. Remember, you’re human and you’re doing the best that you can. If you fall off the plant-based wagon along the way, that’s OK too! Make your next meal a vegan one and keep going.

Find Your Favorite Vegan Restaurants

Whether you want to skip cooking or are looking for inspiration for new vegan dishes, explore your local vegan restaurants! You may be surprised at how many great vegan restaurants are in your local area. Navigating the ins and outs of vegan food and dining out can be overwhelming. But thanks to technology, there are vegan apps that can help! Happy Cow is a great app for finding vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants. 

Beyond Sushi Vegan At NYC
Beyond Sushi vegan sushi!

Visit Beyond Sushi in NYC

Beyond Sushi is New York City’s leading vegan restaurant chain best known for our innovative plant-based offerings. On the menu, you’ll find globally inspired dishes that will leave a lasting impact on both your palette and the planet. Dine in with us or order takeout or delivery today!

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Vegan Wedding Menu Dos & Don’ts

It finally happened! Your significant other has popped the question and you’re in full-on wedding prep mode. You picked out the date, said yes to the dress and booked your wedding photographer. The only thing left is to figure out what to serve after you say “I do!” Here’s how to create the perfect vegan wedding menu that will make your guests fall in love at first bite.

City Roots by Beyond Sushi would be honored to cater your wedding in NYC and surrounding areas with artfully crafted vegan cuisine. Contact us to learn more.

Do: Create a Menu That Reflects You as a Couple

Your wedding reception is the most important dinner party of your life. While you definitely want to wow your guests with veggie-licious food, don’t forget that it’s your special day. Whether you choose a buffet, cocktail-style or formal dinner reception, your vegan wedding menu should be a reflection of both of you. 

At City Roots by Beyond Sushi, we are happy to work closely with you to create a refined and unique menu. A few examples of menu items are our signature sushi station, served on a gorgeous stainless steel display, passed hors d/oeuvre selection like sage sweet potato lollipops and impossible sliders, and desserts like green tea rosemary donuts.

There are so many more options available! View our full Catering menu here!

Pro tip: It’s rare for newlyweds to get a moment to themselves during the reception, let alone enough time to eat without being interrupted. Ask your caterer or wedding planner to prepare a to-go bag for after the wedding. This ensures you’ll get to enjoy the fruit (and veggies!) of your labor.

Do: Work with an Experienced Vegan Caterer or Vegan Chef 

Because veganism is more mainstream now than ever, it’s easier to find a caterer or a chef who say they can bring the vegan wedding menu of your dreams to life. It’s important that whoever you choose has experience preparing elevated and flavorful vegan food for large parties. Often fully vegan caterers give you the best selection and quality because it’s their entire focus.

When you meet with them, come prepared with questions. Ask them how long they’ve been cooking vegan food, if they’ve catered a vegan wedding before and which cuisine is their specialty. You’ll also want to make sure they can accommodate your guests’ allergies and dietary restrictions.

City Roots by Beyond Sushi can help you create the perfect menu for your wedding. We offer upscale catering with full-service options. View Sample Menu.

Sushi New York At Beyond Sushi

Don’t: Emphasize Your Menu as Vegan

If guests know you’re a vegan couple or one of you is vegan, they probably expect plant-based food at the wedding reception. But for those who haven’t experienced a vegan wedding, you may be better off leaving the v-word off your invitation. It’s okay to highlight that your menu is vegan, but try not to push it in people’s faces, which might alienate some guests. That said, most guests may not care that your menu is vegan—and many may be pleasantly surprised! 

Do: Get Non-Vegan Approval

Not everyone screams “Kale yeah!” when they hear vegan food. When planning a vegan wedding menu, it’s important to make sure your guests will actually enjoy the food. The best way to find out if your food will pass the non-vegan taste test is to ask. 

Ask the catering company what their policy is about bringing guests to your menu tasting. They usually allow an extra guest for free, or they may charge a small fee. Either way, it’s worth getting a non-vegan friend or family member’s seal of approval so you can remain calm as a cucumber on your big day.

Bouquet Flower NYC

Do: Keep Your Guests’ Dietary Restrictions in Mind

While a vegan menu is a slam dunk for guests with dairy and shellfish allergies, you still need to ask all of your guests if they have any dietary restrictions. Nothing kills the vibe of a wedding quicker than an EpiPen. When you send out your RSVPs, leave a space for them to let you know about any allergies. You’d be surprised by what people are allergic to! Avocado, anyone?

Do: Keep it Seasonal

When it comes to menu planning, seasonality matters. Ask your caterer what fruits and vegetables will be in season when you have your wedding. This will not only help to keep costs down, but it ensures you’ll get the freshest ingredients.

Don’t: Skimp on the Portions

The last thing you want after working so hard to plan the perfect wedding menu is to not have enough food. While plant-based food is more nutritious and even nutrient-dense, you want to make sure your guests leave satisfied instead of hungry. That way they won’t run out of steam on the dance floor!

Beyond Sushi Vegan At NYC

Do: Have Fun with Your Menu

You know how amazing vegan food can be, but your guests might not. Your wedding reception is your chance to show your guests that vegan food is more than tofurkey and sad salads. Try serving innovative dishes they might not have seen before, or veganize classic dishes they’re expecting to see. Just overall, have fun and play to your tastes!

Do: Work with City Roots by Beyond Sushi

Hungry for more vegan wedding menu inspiration? Contact City Roots by Beyond Sushi in NYC today!

Our stations and passed hors d’oeuvres bring a completely customizable and sophisticated touch to the table. Let us help you create a beautiful and memorable culinary experience for your wedding!

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