One of the greater perks of being vegan is that when the world gives us really sour lemons, we know how to make darn good lemonade. There are certain things we can’t control, but we still have the individual power to make the most of an uncertain situation. Harness that power and use that extra time on your hands to commit to happiness and prolonged health. It’s time to finally cook from that aspirational cookbook and stock up on vegan restaurant gift cards.
1. Dive into a culinary project
More often than not, our vegan cookbooks evolve into coffee table books we enjoy looking through, but rarely use for actual cooking. If you’re working from home or starting to feel the anxieties of idleness, now is the time to finally make those recipes you’ve bookmarked. To truly take your mind off current events, pick something aspirational, such as bread-making or building up a complex soup or broth. Croissants, bagels, pho, and gumbo all require a good amount of hands-on work to keep your mind and body occupied.
2. Order in from vegan restaurants
While we are all impacted by the current mandates, local businesses are being especially hit hard—some to the point of permanent closure. By ordering in via the restaurant itself or a delivery app, we can all help ensure our favorite vegan eateries are financially able to reopen, once given the government green light. And remember to tip a lot more than you usually would. Strike a balance by cooking one to two meals a day at home and ordering at least one meal out.
3. Catch up on vegan documentaries and videos
Enjoy the meal you ordered in while watching What the Health, The Game Changers, Okja, or Running for Good. Need something lighter? Check out pro-animal animated movies such as Ferdinand and Chicken Run.
4. Shop for vegan groceries online
The bare aisles at grocery stores can be a bit of a downer. Find everything you need to cook from those neglected cookbooks at virtual vegan grocery stores. Try Vegan Essentials or Billon Vegans to get started.
5. Try a vegan meal subscription service
From Purple Carrot to Veestro to MamaSezz, there is a bounty of vegan meal delivery companies still in full operation. Many of them are offering discounts of up to 30 percent off given the times. Other solid options to try are 22 Days Nutrition, Sakara Life, Fire Road Foods, and Daily Harvest.
6. Read every back issue of VegNews
In case you’re in need of some light reading material, we’ve got you covered. With 20 years’ worth of print magazines, we can guarantee our back issues will keep you entertained and occupied for at least a few weeks. Order yours here.
7. Celebrate with vegan sweets
You do not need a special occasion to enjoy a piece of cake (or whatever sweet thing you’re craving). Check out these cakes that ship nationwide, or peruse Goldbelly for vegan goodies that can be delivered to your door. We’re about to hit “Confirm” for a five-pint-pack of vegan ice cream from NadaMoo (it’s 20 percent off right now!).
8. Talk a walk in nature
The great outdoors provides plenty of room for social distancing. Whether you decide to make it a workout or not, just being out in nature can help soothe nerves and brighten your day. Go for a hike, run along the beach, or simply stand in a field and listen to the sounds of nature—it’s far more realistic than the nature sounds playlist you’ve been streaming on loop. Just remember to stay six feet away from anyone else doing the same.
9. Learn something new
With time on our hands and the internet at our disposal, we’re diving into topics we may have dabbled in but never truly pursued. Research vegan urban gardening, learn how to make your own fermented sauerkraut, watch a meditation 101 video on YouTube, or immerse yourself in barista culture and finally learn the difference between an oat milk cortado and a flat white.
10. Purchase vegan gifts for the rest of the year
While stores have closed their brick-and-mortars for the time being, online shopping is still an option. Think of the upcoming birthdays, baby showers, home-warmings, and weddings you have coming up and do a bit of gift shopping in advance. From candles to apparel to restaurant gift cards, you can stock up, support small businesses, and never be left scrambling for a last-minute gift. You can also buy gift certificates to use later.
Tanya Flink is a Digital Editor at VegNews as well as a writer and runner living in Orange County, CA.