Being a vegan means saying no to a lot of things, especially if you don’t know what’s in the product or food. But that is no excuse not to treat yourself! There is so much that you can say “yes” to.
I am assuming for the sake of this article that you eat a plant-based diet, with no animal by-products (including honey). I am also assuming that if you identify as vegan, you do not wear leather or fur or buy products that have been tested on animals.
I love being vegan as a marriage of my values and good health. Here are some lovely ways to treat yourself no matter where you are.
At the Bar
Unfortunately, the bar can be one of the hardest places to be a vegan. All you want is a nice beverage at the end of the day, and you have to worry about whether it has been clarified with an animal by-product like gelatin, or that the mixers contain coloring that is derived from animals.
Before you go out, take a look at Barnivore (they have options for apps to download on your phone, too) to see if your favorite liquors are animal-free. This is the perfect excuse to treat yourself to some top shelf alcohol. Brands that are vegan: Bombay Sapphire, Absolut, Jagermeister, and Maker’s Mark, to name a few. Soda water and 100% fruit juice (if available) are your best bets for mixers.
Hopefully, there are vegan bakeries in your town where you can occasionally indulge. In Portland, Oregon, where I live, we have several top-notch bakeries to satisfy a hard-core sweet tooth. These include Sweet Pea Bakery and Back to Eden. If you are unsure what is near you, check out Happy Cow for vegan restaurants in your area.
What if there are no vegan bakeries around you, or you don’t want to leave the house? Then try the best vegan chocolate chip cookies ever. Tip: I have adjusted the recipe by using ¾ cups of sugar and substituting almond extract for vanilla. Delicious! This is the best vegan cookie recipe I have found; almost as good as any cookie you would find at a bakery.
I also love the vegan candy bars from Go Max Go Foods. You will never pine away for another Snickers or Mars bar again.
On the Road
Plant-based eating can be very hard when you are on the road. There are very few chain restaurants that have vegan-friendly options, and if they do, it is hard to support businesses that also serve animal products. Luckily, this is a good excuse to stop at a local fruit stand for whatever is in season. It can make for a chance to meet farmers and get closer to your food source.
If you are traveling by plane, you can pack some of your favorite convenience foods in case you can’t find anything else to eat. Some of my favorites are Terra Chips and Betty Lou’s nut butter balls. You can also always reference PETA’s “Accidentally Vegan” snack list if you end up at a corner store with no other options.
It Doesn’t Have to be Food
There are lots of great vegan products out there, but I am in love with lip balms; they are the perfect answer to a little treat that won’t cost you an arm and a leg. So many times, however, they have beeswax in them, which in a no-no for vegans. My two favorite vegan brands are Crazy Rumors and Hurraw!. They both have standard flavors and fun ones like Cola, Bubble Gum, Earl Grey, and Coffee Bean. I am always reminded of the Bonnie Bell flavors I would covet as a small child.
Savor life the Plum Deluxe way and treat yourself!
Photo credits: simone.brunozzi, author, dolanh, author