Veganuary In The Treasure Valley: A Guide
If you're unfamiliar, Veganuary takes place every January and it's a challenge to start the year meat and dairy free and an awesome opportunity to discover new recipes and restaurants you'd otherwise overlook. I'm a full time vegan, but actually got my start in Veganuary almost 4 years ago. And I celebrate every year by spending even more money and time eating at vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants.
There's a common misconception that going vegan means you have to give up all the decadent foods and start this healthy boring lifestyle. And while it's very easy to use veganism as a tool for better health, It's really about not consuming animals or things derived from animals. Think of Veganuary as a way to expand your palate, not restrict it. And throw away the notion that you can't have your favorite foods.
From first hand experience I can tell you figuring out which places have vegan options can be tricky and time consuming. Thankfully Happy Cow takes away some of the guesswork. The site lists a myriad of vegan/vegan-friendly restaurants, complete with reviews, pictures, and restaurant info. Basically it's vegan Yelp. A great resource.
Instagram is heavy with local vegan content for Boise. Plant Based Dining Boise is currently my favorite account. Super easy to follow. Food pics with descriptions of the food and where you can get it. I discovered The Big Cheese vegan sandwich from Lemon Tree Co. because they shared it to their feed.
For easy vegan meals at home, I turn to the Cheap Lazy Vegan YouTube channel for guidance and inspiration. It can be daunting to dive into a new way of eating. The host of the channel, Rose, makes it super simple.
Lastly, here's a little cheat list of foods/snacks that you're probably already eating but didn't realize are vegan:
Act II Butter Lovers Popcorn
Lay's Potato Chips (Classic and Barbecue)
Rold Gold original flavor pretzels
Sour Patch Kids
Cap'n Crunch Peanut Butter Crunch
Doritos (Blaze and Spicy Sweet Chili)
Hershey's Chocolate Syrup
Thomas Bagels (Cinnamon Swirl, Blueberry, Cinnamon Raisin, Everything, Onion, Plain, Plain made w/ Whole Grain, 100% Whole Wheat)
Marie Callender's Frozen Fruit Pies (excluding Pumpkin and Southern Pecan)
You're officially prepped to take on Veganuary in a couple of weeks! I'll be starting with dinner at Mai Thai. Their vegan menu is incredible and my meat eating, cheese loving husband is a big fan, in case you need convincing. Hope you give it a shot!
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