Michelle Berry

Hello!

It’s Michelle here from Michelle’s Plantry & Vegan Eats Out. With your help we can spread the word that vegan meals are delicious, satisfying and worth the effort to put on the menu. Our voices and choices can create an impact that makes a difference in the world. My mission is to spread the joy of vegan eating, make it easy for restaurants to round out their offerings, and ultimately reduce animal suffering. Thank you for taking the time to visit and I hope you find this a valuable resource.

Why I created Vegan Eats Out

As much as I love cooking at home, at least once a week I look forward to eating out at a restaurant and feeling the energy of people spending time together relaxing and enjoying a good meal.

There are too few restaurants in my area, south of Boston MA, that offer vegan/plant-based options. I usually have to craft a meal from the Sides section of the menu with a mix and match combo of garden salad, rice, potatoes, and veggies or ask ‘Can I swap the fish tacos for cauliflower tacos?’

Because I know from experience that plant-based cooking doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive and it shouldn’t be a burden for restaurants to add an entree or two, I had to do something to help move the needle.

Creating a restaurant directory for vegan/plant-based diners who struggle to find options nearby like I do seemed like a great solution.

I look forward to building this directory.

My Transition to Eating Vegan

When I took on a 30-day vegan diet challenge on January 1, 2016, I never imagined it would take me on such a transformational journey. At the time, I was 46 and feeling a bit lost and anxious. I was eating the average American diet of mainly meat, cheese, and overly processed ‘food’ with sporadic dieting when my jeans got too tight and I felt bad about myself. Even though the foods I was eating made me feel like crap, I had no intention of ever making such a drastic transition to just eating plants! Here’s the super condensed version of what happened. A few days before the New Year, we watched “Forks Over Knives” a documentary on the benefits of adopting a whole foods, plant based diet. (If you want to watch, click the link above 🙂 My husband, who loves a good New Year’s challenge, said “Let’s do it for 30 days’ ‘. I knew he dozed off during the documentary and didn’t know what he was getting us into. “You’re crazy, no way!” I said, but I guess I love a good New Year’s challenge as much as anyone and so it began. I immediately started scouring the internet for vegan survival tips to get us through the month of January.

Down the Rabbit Hole

But I still wondered, was it good for us? My whole life I believed consuming milk, cheese, and meat was absolutely necessary for good health. Were people actually thriving on a strictly plant-based diet? I love to read, and read, and read, aaaand down the rabbit hole I went. I learned from reliable, trusted sources with science-backed evidence and real people sharing their stories, how powerful plants are in fueling, energizing, protecting, and repairing our body while meat and dairy can actually cause harm to the body.

I learned the uncomfortable and horrific truths of meat and dairy factory farming. I learned that eating less meat and more plants helps Mother Earth thrive so she can continue to sustain us.

I gained a new perspective that stuck and I was from then on, changed forever. In short, not only do I want to take good care of myself and my family, I want the same good health for the planet and the animals we share it with.

But Let’s Be Honest

What really fuels lasting change is how our choices make us FEEL. Yes, eating plants makes me feel really good in these ways; light, satisfied, joyful, clean, energetic, powerful, peaceful, confident, connected to the Earth, and just plain happier. But, the main reason I stick to a vegan diet is to reduce animal suffering. The thought of causing fear and pain to animals when instead I can enjoy a delicious and satisfying plant-based meal is a no-brainer for me.

You may be wondering if my family eats just like me. No, my husband and 2 sons are my sometimes reluctant and sometimes delighted taste testers. Even though they don’t eat 100% plant-based, they do enjoy a wide variety of delicious whole food, plant- based meals along with all the health benefits and cooking skills that follow. I believe if most people swapped even just one of their meals a day or week to a plant-based option, we’d be making positive changes.

When I’m not cooking up a storm in the kitchen, I enjoy the simple pleasures of curling up with a good book, traveling, practicing yoga, biking, crafting, and spending time at home and in nature with my family and friends.

Thanks for visiting and taking the time to learn a little about me.