So You've Decided to Go Vegan: Tips from Radical Eats's Staci Davis

This week has been (partially) devoted to a topic we don't often discuss here at EOW, otherwise known as the Omnivore's Emporium. (I call it that in my head.) And that topic is going vegan.

It's a controversial word, and one that often calls to mind PETA protests and the type of militant Womynist-style figures as portrayed in that Jeremy Piven classic, PCU.

But vegan isn't a bad word, and we're here to disabuse you of that notion, while teaching you a little more about veganism -- including where you can eat out in Houston and, today, what you should know before tackling a vegan diet.

We asked Staci Davis, founder of Radical Eats, what she considered most important to know before embarking on a vegan path. Here are her answers (as well as helpful tips and tricks):

  • Eat your fruits and veggies: Eat a banana, a peach, some celery with peanut butter, or carrots, in between meals to fill in the gaps. These will provide you with good fiber and stave off the hungries.
  • Have some emergency vegan "junk food" in the fridge. My favorite is a Tofurky-brand lunchmeat sandwich with Vegenaise on Ezekiel bread. On a really good day I'll have lettuce, tomato and avocado available to round it out, or even arugula.
  • I also like to have a salad station in the fridge, precleaned lettuce, tomatoes, exotic olives, pre-made pico de gallo, a can of beans, seasoned nuts or seeds, fruit like oranges or fresh figs, celery, etc... I invest in good raw olive oils and flavored vinegars -- the trick; three parts oil to one part vinegar, then salt and pepper. You would be surprised how good and filling a buttload of raw veggies can be.
  • Learn to make pasta. If you're gluten-free, try Tinkyada brown rice pasta. Lightly saute vegetables, add garlic, white wine, vegan butter and herbs and voila!!!
  • Vitamin B-12: Take it!

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