After traveling as a vegan for the past two years, I’ve realized is can sometimes be hard to avoid falling into common pitfalls, like believing you aren’t able to stay healthy while traveling as a vegan or that it’s going to be too hard and you might end up eating some sort of animal byproducts. But with a little planning and some thinking ahead, it doesn’t have to be!
Traveling as a vegan can be a fun and fruitful (pun-intended 😉) experience.
So whether you’re out exploring the tip-tops of mountains or snorkeling down deep into the ocean, staying healthy while traveling as a vegan is important. Keeping your diet balanced and getting in enough nutrients, while still having a good time and trying new foods, will sometimes be difficult but it’s so worth it. And it’s extremely vital to keep your body in top shape with the right vegan diet, as it can wreak havoc on your system if you don’t get enough vitamins and nutrients.
But with some helpful advice, it can be easy. Here are 8 tips for staying happy and healthy while traveling as a vegan:
1. Make sure to pack along some multivitamins.
Most (if not all) multivitamins on the market have the daily amount of B12, iron, and vitamin D – all essential components of a happy and healthy body. B12 is an exceptionally important vitamin. It’s vital in the production of DNA, maintaining healthy nerve cells, and for helping iron work correctly in the body.
2. Get in at least 1 serving of leafy greens per day.
While traveling as a vegan, make sure to get in at least one serving of leafy greens per day – if not more. Whether it be spinach, kale, arugula, or collards, leafy greens are rock stars when it comes to nutrition. They have loads of immune-boosting vitamins like A, C, and K, as well as fabulous amounts of colon cancer preventing fiber.
3. Make legumes your new BFF.
Foods like beans, peas, soy, hummus, and lentils are all loaded with awesome amounts of fiber and protein. A highly nutritious food group, legumes are unique in their diversification of vitamins and minerals. They’re one of the best plant-based sources of protein, usually harboring about 18 grams per serving! And they’re usually very cheap… it’s a win-win situation.
4. Always be prepared.
When you make planning ahead a habit, you’ll most likely always be prepared for uncomfortable or untimely situations. If you’re going out in the day, research nearby restaurants before you leave to see if they have vegan options. Or bring enough vegan snacks to sustain you until you can make yourself a tasty vegan meal. The key to sustaining a healthy vegan diet while traveling is to make it easy for yourself!
5. When viable, opt for slow-digesting carbs.
Rather than doing your body some harm by loading up on simple carbs like white bread and pastries, do it some good by opting for slow-digesting like whole wheat pasta, rice, oats, barley, or quinoa instead. Compared to simple carbohydrates, whole grains tend to have higher amounts of fiber and various important vitamins and minerals. Additionally, contrast to popular thought, complex carbs do not have the same metabolic affect on the body as simple (refined) carbs.
6. Make sure to get in enough calories.
Usually, if someone is deficient in protein on a vegan diet, it’s likely they’re not eating enough calories to sustain their body. Vegans eating a varied diet of nuts, legumes, and veggies rarely have a difficult time getting enough protein as long as their diet includes a sufficient amount of calories. Only about 1 out of every 10 calories should come from protein. Thus, only about 10% of the total caloric intake needs to be a form of protein, which isn’t much! It’s easy to get in enough protein, so don’t stress about it!
7. Get in enough fats (the good kind!).
As the body is unable to make certain fats like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, it’s important to eat foods that have them, like tofu, nuts, and soy. Both fatty acids are needed for essential body growth and repair, and recent research has revealed that omega-3 fatty acids may play a role in preventing diabetes and certain types of cancer. Case in point, make sure to not be deficient in either! Or you’ll be soy-rry. 😝
8. Remind yourself why you are following a vegan lifestyle.
If you ever feel yourself falling into a the risk of maybe trying some animal byproducts, or if you feel like you’re failing, just remind yourself why you went vegan in the first place. You obviously chose this lifestyle for a reason and stuck to it, so all you need is a little reminder of how great it is! And if you slip up once or twice, don’t sweat it. Just hop back on the vegan train and get going. You got this.
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