Fall Guest Post Series: Vegan Travel Strategies

Hey Blogfaces!

First things first: I just got new glasses! They are awesome and red. I bet you didn’t know that I wear glasses, because I never wear them in pictures.

Well, SURPRISE!

Truth is, I’m scared of contacts. The whole sticking my finger in my eyeball thing kind of freaks me out.

Anyway, yesterday I went to my first eye exam in nearly three years. How ridiculous is that? You know you need a new prescription when your vision is exactly the same whether your glasses are on or off. So, poof! New glasses. My point? My eyes are adjusting to them as we speak. Things are still a little blurry. So, I decided that it’s the perfect time for this awesome guest post from my good blend (blog friend), JL.

In her post, JL offers some great tips for eating vegan while on vacation!!

JL

My (vegan) travel strategies

Thank you, Rebecca, for this opportunity to share some very basic travel strategies for the new vegan. I have learned so much from reading blogs and yours was one of the first I discovered! It feels good to “give back.”

I started eating vegan in January. I found the transition surprisingly easy (and wonderful and healthy!) The one big obstacle? Travel. I know some vegan bloggers assert “it’s easy, you can eat vegan anywhere!” Sure, if a piece of ice burg lettuce tickles your fancy!

Here are a few ways that I have managed to eat well while traveling:

1. Stay somewhere with a kitchen. In July my husband I spent a week on Lake Waramaug in Connecticut. We rented an apartment at an Inn and I prepped foods for the week. I enjoyed tofu scrambles and green smoothies for breakfast, bean salads and fresh fruit and veggies for snacks. In August we sent to Vermont and stayed at a friend’s home –in a guest house with a refrigerator and stove– so I was able to make some delicious, vegan meals.

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2. Call ahead. From rural Pennsylania to San Diego to Barbados, have a plan. I phoned restaurants and resorts to determine if the chefs could accommodate my vegan diet.

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3. Pack snacks/portable foods: Cans of beans, juice box-size rice/soy/almond milk, nuts, vegan nutrition bars, dehydrated crackers and fruit. With these foods handy you can snack before going to a restaurant or you can toss some nuts or dried fruit on a boring salad.

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4. Let someone else do the work for you. There are some terrific websites dedicated to healthy/vegan travel including Vegan World Trekker, Vegan Backpacker, and The Healthy Voyager. Quarry Girl has great vegan restaurant reviews from cities all over the world.

With a little advance work you can kick up your feet

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and enjoy your vacation!

These are just a few ideas. How do YOU eat healthy and well while traveling?

JL goes Vegan: Food & Fitness with a side of Kale

Post-40 JL became a marathoner and triathlete, changed careers and transitioned from vegetarian to vegan. She now blogs about vegan cooking (and wine!) and fitness. JL is a community college administrator and teaches nonprofit management at a local university. She holds a B.A. and M.S. and is currently enrolled in an advanced graduate program on Adult Learning.

Thanks JL!

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8 comments

  1. I just got a new glasses prescription for the first time in about 5 years (I wear contacts, but I like to be lazy some days, especially when I have to be to work at 6 am!) and it took me almost two weeks to stop feeling drunk when I wore them because the prescription was so different!
    Anyway, these are excellent tips! Part of the reason I fell off the vegetarian bandwagon was that it was not easy to eat out once I moved out of a city. You’re right, it’s not simple, and you have to have realistic expectations if you’re going to stick with it!

  2. It’s always nice to plan in advance. You can call restaurants, buy food in Whole Foods or local small stores, stay in places with kitchens and live just like you’re at home, except your on the road. Like the immortal George Carlin said, to paraphrase, when you go away you have to decide how much of your “stuff” you need to take with you to where you’re going to make it enough like the place you just left.

    My problem is I rarely have the luxury of planning ahead. I’m sent off on a trip, often with no more than an hours notice. If I have the time I might be able to call the hotel and request a room with a fridge so the few essentials I take with me, (Silk Soy Creamer for my coffee is what I’d need on my desert island), don’t spoil. I’ve had nights where none was available and had my stuff resting on top of the ice in the bucket in the room. Around 3AM it melts and makes a small glacier sound and usually wakes me up. By 9 AM it’s all melted.

    So traveling with food in my cooler is great if I can get a fridge in the room. Staying in a place with a kitchenette is the best but that rarely happens. I always have either a Copilot or another Captain with me and they prefer the full service places, being less concerned with where they get their food and what they put into their bodies.

    So what is the reality of traveling on the road? 2 apps for my iPhone have saved my life. Vegout does a quick search based upon my iphone location and shows me Vegan, Veg Friendly, and Health Food places by distance. I can display them on a map so can figure out which way I want to head. Most of the time I don’t have the luxury of eating at an all vegan place so my second app is Veggie Passport. It has key phrases regarding vegetarian/vegan dietary requests in languages from Arabic to Vietnamese. They phrases are in the native alphabet so you pick a language, such as Chinese, then click on the phrase such as, “I am a vegan so I do not eat meat, fish, poultry, shellfish, eggs, milk products and animal by products.” and the kanji pops up for you to just show your server.

    I’ve been in too many ethnic restaurants and been “yessed” to death only to find out later from a more english savvy waitperson that, in fact, what I just ate was most assuredly made with chicken stock. (Ugh!)

    The other thing I use a lot is Google Maps. I pull up my current location and do a search for vegan. Just see what pops up. Then I do a search for vegetarian and see what pops up. I get a lot of pizzerias because they have a “Vegetarian Pizza,” but if you look at the list, (with phone numbers), you can make a few well placed calls and find that vegan dinner dish for yourself.

    Best,

    Marty
    Marty’s Flying Vegan Review
    http://www.martysnycveggiereview.blogspot.com
    @veganpilotmarty

  3. Thanks for the great comments, folks! I’m a fan of Mary’s blog so nice to you, Marty! I agree that you don’t have to be vegan to use these tips. Sometimes when traveling we want to eat in a healthy way, as we would at home, and planning is necessary.

    Traci, congrats on your “newly vegan” status!

    Rebecca, as always, thank you for the opportunity to share on your great blog!

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