Fellow cleanser Brenda already has a few years of experience being sugar-free and a vegan and was kind enough to share some valuable tips on gracefully manuevering through menus and events. Thanks so much, Brenda!
Here's what Brenda had to say...
I'm loving this cleanse. I've been vegan, no sugar for two years but am especially enjoying being gluten and alcohol free.
I have a suggestion for eating out or eating at a pre-planned event. I find it usually is no problem if I call ahead and request a vegan meal. With a pre-planned event it's usually very simple, the hotel or restaurant is used to dealing with food allergies and/or issues. It's funny because when you do this you will often get a beautiful plate of grilled veggies and be the envy of the other guests. And for desert they will typically give you a bowl of luscious berries and again, everyone else at the table who might be at all health conscious will eye you with envy and ask the waiter if they can have the same.
With restaurants, I have found it's best if they offer side dishes on their menu. Gibsons is one of my favorite "vegan" restaurants because they have a great assortment of vegetable side dishes--I love their sauteed onions and sauteed mushrooms--yum!
When I know I'm going to a place with a challenging menu I will call ahead and give them a heads up that a vegan is coming. I've done this at Art Smith's Table 52. Some places just don't offer side dishes or have anything vegan on their normal menu but are usually very eager to please your special requests.
I also like your suggestion to not go to an event too hungry. The most challenging I have found is going to a cocktail party. There will be no appetizers typically that are vegan. If you go to an event like that straight from work, it's so difficult. You might be starving and there is just nothing for you to eat. I like your suggestion of always having some nuts with you in case you do get stranded. The same when I fly. I try to bring plenty of snacks with me so I don't end up ordering a tube of potato chips on the plane!
Best of luck to everyone doing this cleanse. Hope you're feeling great!