1. Do you have any dietary requirements? If you do, what are they and why do you have them?
I am a vegan so my diet does not include any animal products such meat, dairy, eggs, honey, or any other animal derived ingredients, as far as is possible in my daily life. I adhere to a vegan diet because of a philosophical belief that animals are not required for use, or exploitation, by myself because it is possible for me to lead a healthy life without paying for the unnecessary use or abuse of animals, for food or for other reasons. Other considerations such as the impact of animal agriculture on the environment play a role in my motivation to be vegan.
2. Does searching for a restaurant that can cater to your requirements leave you feeling like you are inconveniencing your family and friends? In what way?
There are very few chain restaurants which do not have at least one vegan option, and many vegetarian options can be made vegan. Sometimes if I am at an independent restaurant with no specific allergen or vegan menu, it can be difficult finding out what is good to eat there, and often I have to ask the waiter many questions, and sometimes even they need to check with the kitchen. This can be time-consuming and inconvenient for others and myself.
3. Tell us about things you struggle with when it comes to your nutrition.
The biggest problem regarding my nutrition is, when eating out, vegan options can be too small compared to the price paid, considering the mostly inexpensive ingredients are used. I think chain restaurants are providing great options for vegans, but since vegan food is plant-based it is less heavy on calories in general, portions can often be insufficient to make a decent meal. Even in restaurants, a side of broccoli/salad can be so expensive and small-portioned, making it more difficult to order healthy options, too.
4. Can you share any advice for people struggling with the same issue?
Searching for a restaurant to cater for vegans is always best done in advance of going out to eat with a group of friends or family. Checking in advance what options they have can be helpful to know if they have something you like, or to know that they only have a salad and to try somewhere else! There are plenty of options for every cuisine and price range, and using apps can be very useful too if you’re travelling.