Vegan restaurants are cropping up all over the country. No longer are they associated with bland and restrictive food choices– with options ranging from Creamy Carrot Ginger Bisque to Mango and Avocado sushi roll, to Pan Pizza with Sundried Tomatoes, “V”, is definitley for Vegan! And, so many are now realizing, not only the many benefits of a plant-based diet, but also the deliciousness of the meal.

For 28 year old Stacey Gehring, just getting a great tasting veggie burger could entail up to an hour long ride into the city. But, now since a local Vegan restaurant cropped up nearby, she can enjoy a variety of plant- based gourmet meals with gluten –free options, as well –as locally grown and organic foods. Gehring, now easily delights in delectable side dishes made with root vegetables, greens, and decadent salads with raw veggies, not to mention a green tea smoothie. Moreover, her niece can enjoy tasty veggie dishes all while getting the benefits of more plant food in her diet.

Experts believe the benefits of plant- based diets range from health gains, such as lower cholesterol to lowered blood pressure to the higher intake of nutrient rich essential vitamins and minerals the meals pack. Many who embrace Veganism believe they benefit from increased energy, glowing skin, vitality, youthfulness, and so much more! Giving up processed animal products and many unhealthy fast food choices are another reason people are encroaching upon this fare and loving the new and varied Vegan restaurants. Not to mention wanting to incorporate more vegetable and plant-based foods during meal time.

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Restaurants now offer a Plant-based diet

Plant based diet- Millennial Magazine

Enter Café Gratitude, an all-encompassing, organic plant-based restaurant, specializing in up-scale gourmet cuisine that leaves the heart, soul, and stomach well- nourished and satisfied. The 100% organic meals and energy of the hip eatery also emits a vibe of 100% gratitude and gratefulness!

In their words: “ We strive to create a menu and environment that supports health and sustainability for both our community and the planet. We practice business through a term we call “Sacred Commerce”, where we provide inspired service, honest and transparent communication, and express gratitude for the richness of our lives.”

Café Gratitude reflects upon a “world of plenty” and enthralls with the energy of aliveness and utilizes fine organic ingredients, supports local farming, safe-guards the environment, and so much more. Café Gratitudes’ chef delights in bringing an intermixture of textures that are abundant in flavor, but also maintain the important authenticity of the nutrient rich plant-based cuisine.

Dawn A. Sharp, a nutritionist/dietician, personal trainer, yoga and pilates instructor, Thai yoga massage practioner, who also is launching an awareness program geared for 18-35 year olds focusing on healthy lifestyle choices and so much more, has advice to those seeking full-on Veganism. “Transitioning to a Vegan lifestyle should be done gradually and with caution, Sharp tells MiLLENNiAL. “You want to insure that you are meeting your daily nutrient requirements Macro-nutrients (Carbs, Fats, Proteins) as well as Micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals). One key vitamin that is not found in ANY plant source is Vitamin B12. Vegans should make sure to supplement with B12 and consume high quality grains and products fortified with B12.” Sharp also recommends a hemp/pea protein shake for all-encompassing nutrient fortitude, be taken twice per day.

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Sharp emphasizes the need to choose quality nutrients over poor food choices. “Eating low value foods such as white flour bagels, pastas, chips, sugary sodas, lattes and other junk foods DOES NOT constitute a healthy Vegan. Choose foods as close to the earth as possible, visit local farmers markets and support organizations that don’t animal test. Read ingredient labels on edible and non-edible items such as soaps, clothing, etc. Be smart and be conscious of your choices.”

More benefits to consider

But, perhaps at the heart of this matter lies the ever increasing awareness of the animal rights movement and animal exploitation. Jane Velez-Mitchel, celebrity journalist and best-selling author,hosted her own TV show for six years on HLN, and has a new website called Jane Unchanined. Jane is well-known for her animal right’s advocacy and, even more importantly, does not consider being Vegan a sacrifice, but only a gift. Velez-Mitchel has been Vegan for 18 years and is “still going strong” with increased energy and vitality”. She says, “When your body is not being used as a graveyard for dead animals, it’s going to be cleaner, more pure. “

Jane gladly uses the Happy Cow App to find Vegan restaurants, which she observes are “multiplying like happy liberated rabbits,” while traveling in the world. “My girlfriend and I have used it in Prague, Vienna, Los Angeles, Texas, Israel… the list goes on. We have ALWAYS found a compassionate choice! It’s like being in a very special club. Wherever we go, we find others who think, feel and eat like us! It leads to instant camaraderie. Call it the Kindness Club”

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As far as the future of people adopting a Vegan lifestyle as it pertains not only to health, but to advancing the animal welfare movement, Velez-Mitchell sums it up as such: “I think it is all in the hands of the Millennials….It’s the next generation , that is less brainwashed by TV commercials because they’ve cut the cord, on who will lead the charge to a more evolved diet. The Millennials are not as susceptible to corporate/industry BS. They are hip to the lies.”

Plant based diet- Millennial Magazine

For some adjusting to a more plant-based diet may take some time and effort, but the rewards are plentiful. The availability of Vegan restaurants, the demand for fresh produce, appealing food, healthier lifestyle choices, and people’s desire to invest in local economies are hallmarks of this movement. Moreover, this forward way of thinking will only help animals and the animal right’s movement bring light and compassion to the ways in which so many animals are made to suffer each and every day. Remember, compassion matters and so does eating ones veggies!