Finding a good vegan meal when eating out can be daunting, but a plan and familiarity with restaurants’ offerings can prevent frustration and disappointment. To assist vegan diners, Rachel and Michael Zickar created vegantoledo.com.
The root of the problem
Vegans need to plan ahead, especially when traveling, Rachel explains. “Whenever we travel we always try to find local sites. We really wanted to have a resource for anybody who was passing through the area.” The site has received a great response, with plenty of emails from appreciative travelers, while attracting local interest as well.
“One of the most common inquiries we get is from non-vegans who are looking for a birthday or wedding cake,” says Michael. “They want to respect their guests or partner so they’ll turn to us for that information. It’s really cool to be able to offer that.”
Vegantoledo.com contains almost 100 reviews and suggestions for local restaurants offering vegan options, a completely searchable guide organized by name, region and style, and a mapping feature.
Keeping it fresh
Mike and Rachel (above) will host a book discussion March 8 at Gathering Volumes in Perrysburg, reviewing Dr. Michael Gregor’s How Not To Die, a science-focused examination on the benefits of a plant-based diet. “We try to help vegans to eat healthier because there are vegans out there that don’t always make healthy decisions. We think there are a lot of decisions that even vegans can make that’ll improve their health,” Rachel says.
After reading many nutrition books, Rachel was excited with how Gregor presents the information: “He’s laying it out as a scientist, and not just his opinion. . . . He’s looking at it with a real critical eye and he makes some pretty strong conclusions about what the science is telling us is the best thing right now.” Gathering Volumes has copies of the book for sale.
You reap what you sow
It can be challenging to make healthy choices without support, another reason they created the site, Rachel says. “[…] food is an emotional thing. It’s really easy for people to feel pressure— even when you’re not vegan, when you order something for a healthy reason it can feel like you’re judging others or they’re judging you, even if that’s not what’s going on. I have a lot of sympathy for that.”
Michael offers this encouragement: “You can make changes in your life that will prevent you from needing to take lots of medicine later on— medicine that can be very challenging to leave behind. You don’t have to be vegan to eat vegan. A few simple changes can make a big difference.”
6:30pm | Thursday, March 8
Gathering Volumes,196 E. S. Boundary St., Perrysburg.
567-336-6188 | vegantoledo.com | Free
Just the veganing
Some say that becoming a vegetarian is a missed steak, but they don’t know how healthy and happy some people are living meat-free. Experience the wide variety of delicious, cruelty-free dishes enjoyed by vegetarians and vegans alike during the first ever Toledo Area VegBash. Savor cuisine from the Greenleaf Cafe, The Leaf and Seed, Balance Pan-Asian Grille, Stella’s Restaurant, Cocina de Carlos and Nosh Pit Detroit, sip on drinks from the cash bar, dance to live music, browse a cruelty-free product and service showcase, and enjoy more surprises during this fun and flavorful evening. $15/in advance, $17/at the door. Each ticket includes $10 in food vouchers. Children 12 and under are free. 6-9:30pm. Wednesday, March 7. Maumee Bay State Park Lodge,
1750 State Park Rd. #2. 888-504-8103. facebook.com/toledovegbash