I just returned from a shopping trip to a very vegan friendly grocery store here in Santa Ana called Mother's Market, thanks to the advice of my awesome roommates Tiana and Joy.
I got garlic flavored hummus, a kung pao asian bowl meal, two "tasty bite" meals that look interesting and that will be something new to try, and then i got a vegan taco dinner kit with 12 tacos (that'll last me a while!), and refried beans to go with that instead of meat. But possibly best of all, I got myself some lunch while I was there- vegan fettucini alfredo with vegan butter and sundried tomatoes. They have a food bar at the store and it's by the pound, so I just got a little bit (yay portion control!) and it wasn't that expensive, especially compared to what you'd pay in a restaurant for something that good. I just finished eating it and now I am so full and happy. It was delicious.
I guess what inspired me to finally go to this place today was the fact that my main goal in going vegan is to not get bored! Don't get into a rut and just eat what I "can" eat and what I have in the house. Obviously I'm not going to go crazy budget-wise buying new and interesting things every day, especially when I need to finish the fruit I have in the house before it goes bad (but tip on that note- I had two apples that were a little past their prime, and so I made baked cinnamon apples from them! I probably would have never put that much effort into two apples before being vegan.) And also, I'm not going to buy things at stores like Mother's Market that I can get cheaper in the regular grocery store. But still, finding ways to have VARIETY is so important, in any diet. And it's more fun :)
Also, Tiana is letting me borrow this book "Food Rules" by Michael Pollan. (Yes I know the picture is backwards.)