Tips for eating vegan in the workplace

May 12, 2013

We’ve all been there: You’re trying to adopt a new personal routine, and something stressful at work—a looming deadline, a big presentation, or a hard-to-meet quota—makes it hard to stay on track. For those considering adopting a vegan diet, here are some tips from Susan Levin for sticking to it during the workday.

Stock up on easy snacks. Levin recommends keeping vegan-friendly snacks at the ready so you’re less tempted to cheat. Whole-grain pretzels or dried fruit stored in a resealable container are good options to keep in a desk drawer. If you have access to a refrigerator, she suggests opting for hummus and baby carrots.

If you’re in a hurry, it doesn’t have to be fancy. Eating vegan doesn’t necessarily mean eating something that’s freshly prepared. Levin said that most grocery stores, from Safeway to Whole Foods, have a wide range of vegan frozen-food options at inexpensive prices.

Chat up the staff at lunch outposts near your office. PCRM employees have found that restaurants and grocers have been very willing to accommodate frequent vegan customers. “They see you regularly, they know you’re regular customer, they want your business,” Levin said. For example, Rodman’s, a grocery store near PCRM’s office, has started carrying vegan products that PCRM staffers have requested.

Plan ahead. If you’re attending a business lunch or a conference, Levin recommends calling the restaurant or hotel ahead of time to make sure they’ll have vegan options. And even if they don’t have a vegan entrée, Levin said you likely won’t be out of luck. “Often times they try to have fruit or salads, sometimes pasta, things that I know are going to be appropriate for my dietary choices,” Levin said.

Be open-minded. Levin recommends trying lots of different kinds of foods so as to expand your options. “Once you have your quiver full of arrows, you can embark upon this much easier, so you don’t get overwhelmed and you don’t give up,” said Levin.

— Sarah Halzack

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