Sunday, April 13, 2014

Vegan/ Vegetarian Evening!

I've been curious about the vegan lifestyle for a while now. I even considered going vegan but I never knew where to begin. I did research on my own, but that wasn't enough. I wanted to talk to someone who was actually a vegan and could give me insight on what it is like from their own personal point of view. I found that someone, my friend Alexis Gallmon!
Alexis Gallmon at the Signature Theater
Wanting to learn more about her vegan lifestyle, we met up yesterday at an amazing vegan friendly restaurant called Busboys and Poets where I interviewed her on her journey. Not only are they vegan friendly but, they have a selection for everyone. They have food listed on their menu for people who eat everything, prefer gluten free meals, and are vegans and vegetarians.

As I looked over my menu, I decided to try a vegan and vegetarian dish. For my appetizer I ordered  the Vegan Nachos (picture shown below) which was amazing and the Vegetarian Pesto Lasagna for my entree which was good as well. Alexis had the Coconut Tofu Bites with Plum Sauce as her appetizer and the Falafel Sandwich as her entree which she said was really good. She let me taste her appetizer and I will have to say that the tofu was pretty good. Normally I hear people complain that tofu isn't good but those bites were pretty tasty. As we ate our dinner I began asking my her questions.
My Appetizer: Vegan Nachos 
Alexis Appetizer: Coconut Tofu Bites w/ Plum Sauce
What is it like being a vegan?
Alexis: I like being a vegan, I definitely feel a difference in my health. I lost 10 pounds from just changing my eating habits. It was hard in the beginning because I had so much temptations around me. My family still eats meat and I would always smell bacon, ribs and things of that sort. I still liked the taste of those things so it was hard, but, as the days pass it definitely gets easier. Sometimes seeing the meats make me sick lol.

When did you decide to become a vegan?
Alexis: The New Year. It wasn't a resolution, it was something that just happened and now I stuck with it... I'm glad that I did.

How long have you been a vegan?
Alexis: A couple months. Between 3- 4 months, I'm not sure of the exact date.
My Entree: Vegetarian Lasagna
Alexis Entree: Falafel Sandwich
Where did the idea of becoming a vegan come from?
Alexis: No idea. I just woke up like that, like Beyonce I guess (She says jokingly). I just knew I wanted to be healthier and just felt like this was the push I needed and where I wanted to start.

What's your favorite restaurant?
Alexis: Woodlands Vegan Bistro, because they have a lot of choices for me and they also have soul-food. They have from soul-food to raw food and fresh juices... My favorite item on their menu is their Macaroni & Cheese.

Is being a vegan expensive?
Alexis: I would say it has been less expensive in certain aspects. Less expensive because I can go to the grocery store and my main proteins will be plants and beans opposed to expensive meats and seafood. But, in someways more expensive because it makes me more aware of what I'm consuming. So, I always read labels now and opt for organic options which is...pricey.

Do you have advice for anyone wanting to become a vegan?
Alexis: Take your time.  Don't feel pressured into it. Do what makes you happy. Don't worry about what others think...
Me at the Signature Theater
After we paid for our meal we walked around and hung out for a bit. We took a few pictures in the Signature Theater in Arlington, VA. After our visit to the theater we decided to head to our cars. Before we pulled off Alexis gave me a copy of her grocery list, meal plan, and favorite grocery stores (shown below). I had so much fun hanging out with Alexis and learning about her vegan lifestyle. I am not sure when or if I will become a vegan but for now I will use her list as a guide for healthy eating.