While veganism does limit some of the physical number of ingredients you can use, like dairy or egg, it is certainly not limiting in general. Going plant-based opens your eyes to what you have been eating in the past, and by being forced to come up with replacements, you’re actually expanding your dietary repertoire. I’d never even heard of half the veggies I enjoy before I went vegan. Rather than limiting, I like to think of veganism as challenging. I love finding non-vegan recipes and “veganizing” them. Some of the best vegan food I’ve made have been veganized versions of my favorite pre-vegan foods, thus, I know it’s not only possible, but pretty darn tasty.
It’s very easy to veganize baked goods with egg replacements like flax eggs or chia eggs or even commercial egg replacers. Many companies have made vegan versions of common ingredients such as butter, and cream cheese.
Although I don’t recommend eating a lot of vegan junk food, there are an increasing amount of new companies offering vegan versions of your favorite snacks and treats. Vegan donuts, ice cream, chips, cheese, etc. have become widely available items. You’ll find the greatest amount of special vegan foods at specialty grocery stores, like Whole Foods, more and more large grocery store chains are developing special aisles catering to those with dietary restrictions.
Outside of the home, I haven’t found my vegan lifestyle to be limiting so much as the way others view the vegan lifestyle. Depending on where you live, there may be a lot of amazing vegetarian/vegan restaurants that offer seriously delicious food. Often, vegan food is more creative and high quality than normal American food because it has to be. Besides vegan specific restaurants, I’ve always been able to find delicious vegan dishes at many ethnic restaurants. I especially like Thai, Mexican, and Japanese sushi restaurants.
Frankly, the only time I’ve ever felt limited as a vegan was when I was catering to others’ food preferences. However, this feeling of limitation is not resigned to vegans; anyone limits themselves when they make sacrifices for others. I’ve been vegan for a little over a year now, and while my friends are very conscious of my dietary restrictions, I’m more than willing to make compromises on restaurant choices, etc. if I know it will make the most people happy.
Overall, I don’t think veganism is limiting so much as it is empowering. If I hadn’t gone vegan, it’d be so easy for me to settle for low quality and uninspired food. Instead, I challenge myself every day to think creatively and eat deliciously.