Have you ever been traveling and realized that you are in a pinch to find something healthy and vegan to eat?
“Have you ever been traveling and realized that you are in a pinch to find something healthy and vegan to eat?”
I recently returned from a trip to Southern Utah and was inspired to share how my husband and I survived being vegan and being on the road in cattle country.
If you are vegan and/or whole food plant based (WFPB) then you know that traveling can be quite a challenge for our diets and lifestyle! Especially when traveling with other people who do not have the restrictions we have (In my case- with the in-laws)!
For 7 Days I braved camping and traveling in the most remote parts of Utah.
Traveling from hole in the wall towns to isolated mountains and camping along the way I discovered that Utah was not so vegan friendly compared to Southern California!
Here’s a few tips I used to come back just as healthy and vegan as I left!
1. Steakhouses…Did I really just say that?
In the remote land of Southern Utah there seems to be two options in terms of places to eat out. Steakhouses and steakhouses.
This might be the last place that a vegan or WFPB foodie might think of going to in terms of getting a wholesome and 100% vegan square meal.
Let me tell ya that steakhouses have saved my butt from starving more than once over! When you are traveling with other non-vegans and looking for a place to eat, steakhouses are a great option when there aren’t any others.
Here’s a few facts about why steakhouses are a great option:
- Almost every steakhouse has a salad bar.
- Steakhouses almost always have baked potato or sweet potatoes. (Just cut the butter!)
- Almost every steakhouse has steamed veggies and rice.
I was able to get a baked plain potato, steamed veggies, and rice with salad bar. A totally vegan and whole food meal at a steakhouse!
“A totally vegan and whole food meal at a steakhouse”
2. Personal sauces and condiments = SECRET FLAVOR ARSENAL
As I mentioned above you can find places like steakhouses where you can get the basics of a WFPB diet.
However, I have found that you have to cut most of the “flavor” of the food to make it vegan friendly (and in my case oil free). That’s where my traveling flavor arsenal comes in!
There are so many times my vegan friendly flavor stash has turned food for energy into food for pleasure. I recommend always taking a small bag of your favorite flavor boosters and condiments to make eating out more interesting.
“…my vegan friendly flavor stash has turned food for energy into food for pleasure…”
My personal arsenal:
- Nutritional yeast (I keep it in a small zip lock and sprinkle it on my food! Yum!)
- Lemon Juice (I use the organic ones in the squeeze bottle!)
- Hot Sauce (My favorite is the Trader Joe’s sodium free chili pepper sauce! Booyah!)
- Spice Mix (I use a awesome locally made coffee rub that tastes amazing on EVERYTHING!)
- NOW Organic Stevia Extract (This has been a life savor when getting oatmeal and other items that normally add sugar at restaurants!)
I carry my flavor arsenal around in my purse and bust it out at restaurants all the time! This is a great tip even when not traveling as well ;]
3.Do your research…beforehand
As much as vegans are talented at finding ways to survive off the cuff, I highly recommend taking the time to do your research.
There are some really cool resources that have already gathered information about vegan friendly menus at restaurants etc. Here are a few resources that I have found very handy while on the road:
You can search “vegan restaurants in ____” on any of these sites for any options nearby! This saved me when we finally got to Moab Utah (The first place with actual vegan friendly eateries).
4.Traveling chef ? Why not…
As you all know eating healthy requires lots of fresh veggies and fruit, and this can be a tricky problem when traveling in remote areas and relying on restaurants and quick foods alone.
Especially when most veggies only stay fresh for a few days at most without refrigeration! That’s where its a huge help to bring along a mini cooking arsenal! This is where your traveling flavor arsenal comes in handy again!
Here’s the basics:
- Small non-stick Pan
- Small cutting board
- coconut cooking spray or grape seed oil
- chefs knife
- portable gas stove (Cheap, light, and easy to use anywhere!)
Once you have your arsenal you can literally cook just about anywhere! (I have cooked full blown vegan meals in hotels on more than one occasion).
I happened upon a local farm stand while in Boulder Utah and grabbed some of the best veggies I’ve had in a while! I cooked them right up on the tailgate of our truck! If you can’t find anything locally grown then you can usually find fresh, and often organic, produce in local grocers (if there are stores around ;]).
This method is a serious life saver when on the road and making sure you get your bodies fill of fresh fruits and veggies!
5. Bring Backups for “when all else fails”
When traveling I like to prepare for the “when all else fails” moments. I keep a super flexible and easy back up food supply so I don’t go hungry on the road!
“I like to prepare for the “when all else fails” moments”
Some of my favorite traveling foods are:
- Protein Meal Replacements like Powerootz (Keeps fresh, easy to carry around, easy to make in the car or on the go!)
- Unsweetened Nut Milks like So Delicious in the box (Doesn’t require refrigeration, goes great with my shakes!)
- Sprouted Whole Grain Bread like Angelic Bread (Will usually last for a week, easy way to beef up meals)
- Vegan Hummus like Majestic Sprouted Hummus (Easy to use, great veggie dip, will last a long time)
- Organic Apples (Keeps a long time, doesn’t bruise as easily, low calorie snack)
- Raw Nuts (Satisfying, goes great in many dishes and salads, easy snack on the road)
- Raw Organic Dried Mango and Fruit (A great sweet treat to fill those dessert cravings! Nothing worse then being vegan and craving something sweet on the road with no options!)
Enjoying a Powerootz shake at our camp site in the mountains!
Enjoy the ride
Now that your 5 steps closer to becoming a professional traveling vegan you can enjoy a healthy lifestyle no matter where you go! As for me and my husband…the skies the limit!
I know there’s plenty of you guys with awesome tips and tricks as well! How do you make it as a healthy vegan on the go?
Best In Health,