Welcome to the first edition of our new monthly column: Ask a Vegan.

One of the experts we’re collaborating with for our new Q&A style series is Christina Richards from cityloveee.comChristina is a vegan travel & lifestyle blogger and vlogger. She documents her vegan finds while traveling and at home on her blog and YouTube channel.

We’re so happy to have her here to answer any questions you may have about veganism. If you have a question for Christina, leave it in the form below. Or visit our advice column page.

We started with some questions we’ve been wondering about and we hope you find them helpful if you’re interested in pursuing a vegan lifestyle.

Q1: What do you consider the perks of going vegan? Why should someone consider a vegan lifestyle?

It is incredible how many perks there are to becoming vegan. You wouldn’t believe that the list is kind of endless. There are slightly obvious perks that I will get to later, but some perks that you may not have considered are:

Less to no acne

Many people attest to this, myself included, eating plants = less acne. I didn’t have very much acne when I first hit puberty, but unfortunately I did start getting acne as an adult. I still have very sensitive skin to acne, but it has cleared tremendously since becoming vegan.

Natural way to lose and keep off weight

I have always been naturally thin and athletic so I this doesn’t effect my body too greatly, but there is no fat in plants so if you constantly consuming no fat, then it becomes easier to lose and keep extra weight off. Individuals who do little to no exercise can find themselves loosing weight based on diet alone.

You never consume cholesterol because there is no cholesterol in plants
I am not a medical expert, but it doesn’t make sense to want to consume cholesterol, the leading cause of heart disease (which is the leading cause of death in the United States). It took me a while before I put two and two together, but when I think about the food I’m consuming and the way it works in my body, I’m happy to think I’m probably putting something good in there.
Really great poops

When you eat a lot of fiber you digestion just works. TMI! But it’s true!

Stronger hair and nails

My hair and nails have become so much more strong since I’ve become vegan.

It’s just fun

The true scope of all of the edible plants there are in the world is insane. A vegan diet can bring upon so much creative with your food and your lifestyle. Like when it comes to vegan beauty, I love supporting lesser known brands because it’s fun.

+ so much more.

But most importantly not consuming animal products helps the world be a little bit brighter. When you consider how often an average American eats meat, that’s ultimately an animal per meal. Then times that by a million + more. That’s a lot of animals and that a lot of death. & most of them aren’t living a happy healthy life either. That is to say there’s a weight off my shoulders when I know I’m not contributing to that industry.

Not only do the animals benefit from this lifestyle but so does the earth. There are many facts and infographics on how a standard American diet contributes to global warming. So many trees, water and land get destroyed for animals to be raised for food. I encourage you to do more research.

And on a lighter note, the vegan community is a great one. I’m sure everyone has had experience with an angry vegan and feel like that veganism isn’t for them, but there are so many joyful vegans that are more than happy to help you. I am one of them.

Q2: What are some tips you have for eating vegan while dining out?

Bottomline, eating out as a vegan takes practice and patience. It’s definitely a learning curve. I honestly don’t remember my first time ordering as a vegan, but I’m sure it wasn’t pretty. You kind of learn how to assess the situation and order accordingly. Do you think this server is going to understand what vegan is? That type of thing. In 2016 so many more people know what vegan is, which is great! But don’t assume and be as polite as possible. There’s also a learning curve for what to look for. There can be sneaky ingredients or practices that are not vegan.

A way that you can prepare yourself is to look at the menu before arriving at the restaurant. That way you can already have an idea of what you want to eat & you’ll have your questions ready for the server, if need be.

Learn what cuisines are more often vegan friendly: Asian, Indian, Italian, Mexican + more.

Angela Liddon (creator of my favorite recipe, 15 Minute Creamy Avocado Pasta) also has a great post on tips for eating out as well. I especially like her last tip. Community over a table doesn’t necessarily have be completely focused on what we’re eating. Usually if you’re going out for dinner, it’s to enjoy the company. Sometimes eating out as a vegan can be difficult, so being more lighthearted about the situation can help everyone.

If you have a question for our next Vegan Q&A, let us know in the comments below or ask in the contact form below. We’ll be collaborating with experts in other areas soon too, so feel free to ask us about anything. 

Benefits of veganism and tips for dining out at restaurants as a vegan. New advice column at lifegoalsmag.com

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