Today, one of our Engine 2 interns, Grace talks about eating plant-strong at a steakhouse!
“So it’s my friend’s birthday, and we’re going to a steakhouse… What on earth will I eat?!”
This thought went through my head so many times when I first went plant-based!! Before my friends and family really understood the concept of being plant-strong, I did not really dine at many “vegan-friendly” restaurants. So, I usually ended up at a steakhouse.
While I wasn’t tempted by the butter-battered potatoes or the greasy T-bones, or even the decadent, chocolate mousse pies, I always found myself a little bit discouraged to be eating at the same restaurants when my mindset on health and nutrition had changed completely. After a few visits to the same places and after eating the same boring salad every time (hold the chicken and blue cheese, please), I decided to change my attitude – and my order.
I read every inch of the menu, searching for every starch, fruit, vegetable and grain in the house. Once I found a few that appealed to me, I would casually create my own dish, politely explain to the waiter that, “yes, I am vegan,” and then I’d place my order! Simple as that. A few minutes later, I’d be eating a baked potato with a side of baby spinach, tomatoes and asparagus. And, without fail, the people I ate with ended up being more interested in what was on my plate than what was on theirs!
Not eating at a whole-foods, plant-based restaurant? No problem. Do not let this bum you out! You can create a delicious, nutritious meal by picking and choosing from all of the sides and appetizers on the menu! It is SO important to become your own advocate, especially when it comes to what you eat. Having the knowledge to back-up what you’re eating when you’re dining with a group that may not fully understand or support your dietary choices is HUGE! It will make such a difference in your attitude, as well as theirs.
By choosing this plant-based, whole-foods lifestyle, you have invested in your own personal knowledge regarding food, nutrition, health and overall mental, physical and emotional wellness. Believe in yourself! Feel empowered by the way that you eat! I know that I do. You are doing what is right for you, and that’s all. It’s important to remember and understand that not everyone will agree with what you are doing, and that is okay. Take it in stride. Know that you can find snacks, meals and treats almost everywhere you go by being curious, knowledgeable and efficient. You can eat wherever you like, because being plant-based is a lifestyle, not a chore! Look forward to finding happiness through your healthy food choices… Even at a steak house!
Written by Grace, one of our Engine 2 interns this semester!