Saturday, July 11, 2020

Eating Vegan on the Road

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My husband and I travel full time. We are on the road a lot and we’re in new locations a lot. We have a very small bag of kitchen supplies and we never know what kind of kitchen we’ll have in our next location. We also stay in hotels a lot as well.

We have learned a few tricks about making healthy decisions on the road and when we don’t have a lot of options around us.

First, I always recommend finding a vacation home rather than a hotel when possible. It is usually cheaper, a lot nicer and you can cook that way. But let’s say you are limited, then what?

Then – when staying in a hotel always ask for a mini fridge (if it’s not part of the room) – you can get around the charge by telling them you have medication that has to be kept in the refrigerator . We have been really impressed with Hyatt Place hotels, they are predictable, clean, have lots of room and a decent size mini-fridge.

Next, get to a grocery store. We have yet to be in a city with out an entire vegan section in the grocery stores! It’s called the produce section.

here are some basic ingredient ideas :

  • Bagged dark greens
  • Chopped veggies
  • things like: cucumbers, tomato’s, zucchini, mushrooms, carrots, celery
  • Chopped up fruits (or if you can bring a knife, you can cut up fruits/veggies on your own) *also most stores sell cheap cutting knives.
  • banana’s, oranges (things you don’t even have to worry about washing)
  • raisins
  • canned beans (if you can bring a can opener, or buy one there for really cheap at the grocery store)
  • whole grain bread
  • balsamic vinegar
  • fat-free vegan mayo if you can find it (nasoya is a great brand, found at a lot of grocery stores)
  • A healthy cereal – no sugar added shredded wheat is great, ezekiel cereal, grape nuts, no sugar added corn flakes, one of the kashi cereals.
  • Non dairy milk – rice, soy, almond, hazelnut, oat, grain, hemp (there are so many of them) try to do a lower sugar one.
  • no salt added tortilla chips
  • salsa
  • unsalted (low salt) pretzels
  • extra firm tofu
  • hummus
  • pita bread

As for a meal plan on the go:

Breakfast:
“Big bowl” cereal with all the fruit you like in it. (and non dairy milk)
or: slice of whole wheat bread with a little nut butter and fruit. If you want to cut down on fat you can skip doing any nut butter.

snacks:
chopped veggies, pretzels, salt free tortilla chips and salsa, veggies and salsa. pretzels and raisins trail mix. hummus and pita bread

lunch:
salad with lots of veggies and a can of beans and balsamic vinegar on top
or a sandwich – lots of veggies on a sandwich with dark lettuce, and a slice of tofu – you can put balsamic vinegar on it, mustard or a fat free vegan mayo.
*if you soak the slice of tofu in the balsamic vinegar for a few minutes first it will taste much better.

You can also mash up some beans in a plastic sandwich bag and use it as a spread on a sandwich.

Tortilla salad – can of beans, salsa, dark greens, veggies.

hummus in a pita pocket filled with veggies and tofu if you like (or just veggies)

Dinner out:
Check out: https://happycow.net

When we are traveling a long distance we often pick our route by mapping out different vegan places we want to try. It makes it more fun and gives us something to look forward to.

Eating out can be tricky sometimes – but I have a few tricks.

Scan the menu and find the healthy stuff.
Don’t use the menu as an absolute – more like a guide. So if you see there is a baked potato in one dish you know they have baked potato’s and you can start mixing and matching stuff!

  • Italian places: Whole wheat pasta with tomato sauce and veggies – great dish. Tell them to hold the cheese!
  • Mexican: Beans, salsa, veggies, tortillas, rice! If they have brown rice – even better.
  • Greek: Hummus, veggies, pita – sometimes they have some decent salads as well. falafel is usually safe.
  • Sushi: Veggie sushi rolls, again if they have brown rice – even better
  • American: Generally the hardest to get something good at. But check the menu, look for things like whole wheat pasta, brown rice, steamed veggies (ask them to hold any butter) salads with tons of veggies and a non dairy dressing.
  • Pizza! Just get it with out cheese but TONS of veggies – get every veggie you can fit on it.

Fast food:

If you are being held at gunpoint or something..

  • Baked potato and side salad at Wendy’s (non dairy dressing) you can also get salsa at wendy’s – and you can throw your salad on your potato if you’d like.
  • Some burger kings have a vegan hamburger – but you have to ask.

Mexican (like taco bell) beans, rice, veggies, tortillas.

Gas stations:

  • Most have fruit now!
  • Pretzels
  • Granola bars (with out dairy)
  • Some of the Cliff bars are ok in a pinch.

ONLY drink water! or unsweetened tea! No need to consume junk in what you are drinking.

List of Healthy Vegan Travel Snacks

Healthy travel snacks will help keep you on you from resorting to the drive through or vending machine. Consider these healthy diet snacks for your car or office.

Healthy Energy Bars

The key with energy bars is to carefully read labels. Not all of them are good for you. Many are packed with sugar, fat, and preservatives.

My favorite are Clif Bars. There’s a flavor for everyone, from Blueberry Crunch to Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip to Oatmeal Raisin.

Clif Bars have 10 grams of quality soy protein, 4 grams of fiber, and mostly organic ingredients. The sugar content is a little high, so don’t eat more than one a day.

Even better, Clif Bars are made from high quality, all-natural ingredients, and the company is environmentally sensitive. Clif bars were formulated for outdoor enthusiasts, so they stay fresh for a long time, even in a hot car.

Other acceptable energy bars include Luna Bars and Lara Bars.

Fresh Fruit

You can’t go wrong reaching for an apple or banana at 7-Eleven or one of the fresh fruit plates at Starbucks. Get a healthy dose of fiber and satisfy your sweet tooth with a piece of fruit instead of a candy bar!

Nuts and Seeds

Healthy diet snacks include a handful of almonds, cashews, or peanuts. They go a long way to satisfying hunger. Even sunflower seeds will get you to your next healthy meal. Starbucks stocks small packages of healthy nuts. Not sure how well they go with coffee, but they’re easy to eat in the car.

Soy Yogurt

Healthy food snacks like soy yogurt are perfect for those late afternoon or mid-morning munchies. Whole Soy and Silk brands are creamy and delicious, made from organic soy, and come in a variety of yummy flavors.

Soy lasts longer than dairy too, so buy a bunch and stash them in the fridge at work. Just be sure to put your name on the bag or hungry co-workers might swipe them!

Instant Organic Oatmeal

The winner among these healthy travel snacks? Nature’s Path Instant Organic Oatmeal. It’s high in fiber, low in sugar, and tastes great.

It comes in boxes of 8 single-serve packets. Keep some in your desk for emergencies. Add some raisins or nuts if you have them.

These 5 snacks will keep you from resorting to the drive-through. Yes you can eat healthy in your car or office even when life is completely hectic!

5 COMMENTS

  1. Amanda

    What a great post – especially for fairly new vegans (like myself)! I always try as much as possible to cook when we travel.

  2. fin

    Smart choice Vegan, nice article..Hope my wife could do the same thing when when we are travelling.

  3. Loren

    I’ve done most of these tips pretty regularly, but I learned a few new ones! Do you travel with your dishware?

  4. Nat

    We have one kitchen bag that has a pressure cooker (small one), 4 cup rice cooker a pan and a spatula 🙂 we rely on the vacation homes we rent for every thing else.

    Also, we love our Tiffin for making our own food to take on the road.

  5. Alisa

    That’s a great list. Another thing that I love for lunch is the hummus panini in Rip’s book. I swear I’m addicted – I have to limit my intake. It’s good with bread or a whole wheat tortilla. And I don’t have a fancy panini press so I use 2 cast iron frying pans.

Previous articleBecoming Vegan: Story
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Nat
I went on a plant based diet after diabetes almost took my life. Now, almost 2 years later not only have I reduced my type 2 diabetes symptoms, I have lost close to 200 pounds (and still losing). This is a place where I write about my journey as I continue the quest for health, and living a good life for today, and long into the future. Get hold of me on nat@cleanseplan.com

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