As I get ready to leave (TOMORROW) for my trip to Bali, I am packing, repacking, and organizing. As a plant based eater, I know I need to prepare adequately before for any circumstance I may encounter. It may be a few days before I can find some good plant based fats, for example. While I was in Cuba, I ate so many rice and beans meals, I began to wonder what a vegetable even looked like. For this trip I am packing a multi vitamin and also a greens supplement. It contains mostly spirulina, to bump up my iron, calcium, and B12 intake. I also have chia seeds and pumpkin seeds for my journey.
I’m also really happy to report that GoMacro sent me a box of goodies for my trip! About twenty or so mini bars! I’m so grateful for these bars and the support of GoMacro. They are delicious and will be a lifesaver on the long plane rides and hikes!
I’m happy to report also that I raced in my first Slalom race on Saturday at the Nantahala Outdoor Center and took home first in my division! I have a new sport for this summer.
Andrew is already over in Bali, getting ready for my long awaited arrival. To help with the packing, he sent me this little article to share with all of you. He is a dear friend of mine, and a soul mate when it comes to this kind of lifestyle. Enjoy!
As I watch the sun go down over the horizon, the turquoise water glistens. The air is warm and humid as I await my Balinese Vegan meal. To me, this adds an extra adventure to my travels: eating food that’s nutritious but also causes minimal harm. I can enjoy this meal fully knowing it was made with love.
This is the experience of an international vegan traveler; however, being vegan/vegetarian also has it’s own set of challenges. With a little preparation, basic knowledge in nutrition and an adventurous/adaptable attitude you can thrive on your next international adventure.
1: Being prepared: Bring food and supplements.
I bring nutrient bars, chia seeds, chlorella tablets, probiotic, flax seed, and B12 capsules. I like Pro bars for the long plane, train, bus, and boat rides. When you need a nutritious meal it’s easy to bust one out and get instant proteins, omegas and calories. Probiotics are to keep the good bacteria coming. It’s keeps all the good stuff in your gut which in turn will make you more adaptable when living in a foreign land. Avoid alcohol, cigarettes and any other activity or substance that will lower your immune system. Give it at least a week before you do so. I personally don’t drink except maybe on special occasions and even then it’s minimal. It’s always a personal choice. The flax seed oil capsules can be taken with any meal to help make food and other nutrition more absorbable. B12 is a modern world issue. If your not supplementing B12 you may want to consider it. Look into it and make sure you bring enough for the duration of your trip as it may be difficult to obtain in country.
2: Dissecting a menu
Learning to look at a menu with dissecting eyes can get you a fantastic vegan meal. Look for side dishes as well as ingredients in entrees and you can ask the waiter or waitress if they could add a certain ingredient in your meal. For example, if you’re looking at a salad with feta, cucumbers, tomatoes etc but you want some fats and protein to make it EPIC, ask them to add Guacamole from the chips and guacamole and also add a side of black beans from the side options. No cheese. It’s a skill you may already know as a vegan and you will be happy to know it applies in foreign lands as well 😉 The hard part can be the language barrier. Be simple. Say Add tempeh, No meat and that’s it.
3: Pick a vegan friendly country
Most countries have roots in plant based diets mostly in the poor regions but now with the modern world meat seems to be a luxury now even the poor can afford. With the rise of animal products everywhere, especially in touristy areas, you have to be able to navigate markets as well as restaurants. Look for greens of any kind, fresh fruits etc and many restaurants will take the food you found and cook it for you. Many hostels will also offer ways of cooking your own food. Be adventurist and you will be rewarded. If you find yourself not finding much in the way of vegetables and fruits, this is where the chia seeds and chlorella come in. Chia seeds give you much needed protein and omega 3s. Chlorella is a cleanser and offers B-12 among a plethora of other benefits. You get the picture. Countries like India are way different than Argentina. Making food a part of your choice is worth looking at if food is important to you.
So there you have it. No reason to get complicated. Knowing your body and what it needs is a really important skill to have. Knowing you need fats, proteins, certain vitamins, and minerals can help you make wise decisions when it comes to food choices. As an adventure traveler you have to be somewhat adaptable but don’t fret. Depending on the country you visit you may see that animals live on actual farms, plants are more nutrient rich because they are not imported and grown in big Agro corporations. Do your homework and you will have a wonderful vegan experience on your future international adventure!