I've been raving about the upsides to plant based eating; however there may be one downside – traveling while eating a plant based diet. Now I'm up for challenges and I took this one head on. Even I needed to learn how to plan my meals traveling on a plant based diet.
Challenge #1: Lack of plant based options that are readily available, i.e. there is not afast food, plant based restaurant on every corner. You have to look for healthy options.
Challenge #2: Airplane food! Need I say more? It's not fresh and there isn't a vegan option.
Challenge #3: Eating out with colleagues, family, or friends who aren't vegan. When trying to find a restaurant that can accommodate everybody's food likes – it can be challenging, especially when you're the only vegan.
How I Planned Healthy Food Options for the Plane Ride
Knowing that the airline wouldn't have options suitable for a healthy plant based meal – I struck it out ahead of time to plan my food and the container to put it in.
I searched everywhere online for just the right organizer to store my goodies for traveling. Bento boxes were at the top of brain as a resource for storing the foods. I needed something that traveled well, kept my food separated, especially for items that were wet, and provided generous compartments.
On Amazon.com, I found a bento box called Modetro Ultra Slim Leak Proof Bento Lunchbox shown below. It has a sealing lid so that each compartment wouldn't leak liquids into the other compartments or even worse into my travel bag. It also comes with a very slim, form fitting bag that you slide the bento box into, zip it up, and has handles. It easily slid into my travel bag with my laptop.
Next on the list was packing my lunch. I opted for “finger foods” only because I didn't really have anything prepared, like a salad, or sandwich items, so this worked out well. Carrots, blueberries, dried figs, homemade red pepper hummus, artichokes, grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, almonds, and lastly organic tortilla chips for scooping up the hummus.
Even the flight attendants were asking me where I bought the bento box. It worked out really well and traveled well too. No spills!
While leaving Seattle and flying high above the clouds, we got the most beautiful glimpse of Mount Rainier. Watch the video for more footage and beautiful pictures of this awesome sight.
App for Finding Vegan Restaurants
Another way I planned was to download an app called HappyCow – which I sometimes accidentally call “Holy Cow”. I can't tell you how many times I called it Holy Cow when I filmed this weeks video and then had to cut it all out!
Anyways…. this little gem will use your GPS to find restaurants around either fully vegan, fully vegetarian, or with vegan/vegetarian options. One of the things I love about this app is the planning feature of creating a trip ahead of time, researching restaurants in the app and adding it to your trip.
The beauty of adding the restaurants to your trip is knowing ahead of time what's available so you can make quick recommendations when traveling with others.
We ended up finding a really great restaurant called Chelsea's Kitchen with a fabulous vegetarian taco plate that I veganized aka hold the dairy, hold the cheese please.
Ethan's Vegetarian Tacos came with roasted brussel sprouts – yum – cauliflower, greens, grilled vegetables, and kale coleslaw (hold the cheese). Oh, and these little homemade corn tortillas to die for! It was so good, I ate their twice while in Scottsdale, AZ.
Besides being dehydrated – due to not wanting to drink a ton of water then constantly have to excuse myself to the ladies room during my meetings – I did pretty well with eating healthy.
While it can be challenging to travel on a plant based diet or vegan diet, it's completely possible with PLANNING! I keep saying it so I hope you're hearing it – planning is key to success especially in the early days of learning how to eat more plant based foods. Once you figure out the places you can go to on the run, then you don't have to plan as much – for those of you who are more inclined to be spontaneous.
And by the way, grocery stores are the ultimate fast food. You can head straight to the produce department, grab some fruit like blueberries, strawberries, a banana (you don't have to buy the whole bunch), bag of ready to eat carrots, the bulk bins of nuts and seeds, a ripe avocado, a bag of fresh or dried figs, a container of grape or cherry tomatoes, and the list can go on.
I think you get my point. You have choices.
Week 4 Weight Loss
It's been 4 weeks now since I fully went whole food plant based and I feel incredible!
Even with challenges thrown in my way, I still lost weight and I found away to mitigate the challenges. Since my focus is on getting healthy, I didn't let these challenges overcome my mind and give in to eating foods that are unhealthy. Instead, because I feel so incredible and know this is a lifestyle, not a diet, I'm eating foods that feel nourishing (including healthy carbs and fats), and I don't feel deprived.
That is key!
This week, I lost 1 lb for a total weight loss of 12 lbs.
What are some of your challenges with eating healthy or sticking to other diets?
Have you ever eaten a plant based Mukbang breakfast? While my mukbang was rather small – not the traditional Korean definition of eating large quantities of food in front of viewers – I did, however, interact with the camera for my YouTube video on making my tomato hummus toast and all things happening in week 2 of my whole foods plant based way of eating.
Plant Based Mukbang Breakfast
Years ago I would eat this very simple breakfast of toast with cream cheese slatherd on top and sliced tomato laid over the cream cheese. My mouth just waters thinking about it. Since I'm eating plant based now, I thought, “Why not use hummus instead of cream cheese?” – and so tomato hummus toast was born.
Somehow my explaining how to make tomato hummus toast morphed into just a simple discussion, not only on the plant based breakfast itself, but also a recap of the week – as I eat my breakfast. I've seen mukbangs before and am somehow intrigued by the notion of watching people eat – but only when the topic is something I enjoy.
If you want to see more plant based mukbangs – let me know in the comments below or in the video comments. I kind of had fun with this and can show you more of what I eat throughout the week.
I hope you enjoy my vegan, plant based mukbang breakfast and how I've still lost weight any carbs this week.
Tomato Hummus Toast
Author: Amber Baldwin
Recipe type: Plant Based, Vegan
- 2 slices of whole food organic bread, toasted
- 4 slices of organic whole tomato
- 4 tablespoons Hummus (whole food organic or homemade of your choice)
- Toast your bread until golden brown.
- Cut the tomato into thin, round slices.
- Spoon the hummus onto each slice of toast. You can use more or less depending on your liking.
- Place 2 tomato slices on each piece of toast.
Crazy Changes to My Body in Two Weeks
I'm really enjoying this incredible way of eating. For years now I've drifted towards eating more and more plants rather than meat. When I had a food sensitivity test many years ago, it noted that I am highly sensitive to eggs and dairy. Consequently, it was then that I began changing my diet and testing how my body reacts to foods.
Literally, after only two weeks of eating whole food plant based, my body is experiencing some incredible changes.
My joints feel loose and not stiff.
I have so much more energy and I'm not as tired anymore.
My mind is more alert and I appear to be thinking more clearly.
I'm just so surprised at how quickly I'm feeling better which is a great testament to how you can heal your body with proper food and nutrition. I'm just so happy that after all the diets and mental anguish related to serial dieting – that I'm finally free of the self sabatoging, judgement, and shame.
For me, this is a lifestyle – it's not a diet. I no longer believe in diets and the confusing information out there that lead us all to confusion on how we should or shouldn't eat.
Breathing Increases Metabolism
One of the beautiful messages I learned while getting my certification as an eating psychology coach – was that simply taking the time to breathe more increases the oxygen in our blood, increases metabolism, and reduces stress.
Simply – it causes you to slow down and really think about what your eating. When we eat, even with low level constant stress, our bodies can still gain weight even if you're eating healthy food. Have you ever gone on vacation and ate whatever you wanted only to come home thinking you must have gain at least 5 pounds, yet you lost weight?
It's called the relaxation response. Your body relaxes on vacation. You're enjoying life and taking the time to slow down, breathe more, and destress.
So next time you eat, take some deep breaths before you begin and maybe a few during.
What I Eat When I'm Hungry Between Meals
In order to make sure that I'm not left completely hungry between meals – or if work gets so busy that I can't run downstairs to grab something – I make a fruit and vegetable bowl in the morning to sit on my desk all day.
It usually consists of blueberries, a banana or apple, grap tomatoes, maybe an orange, some sliced cucumber and hummus, dried figs, and raw almonds.
Through out the day I can snack on this gorgeous bowl of color and still feel full. Now compare that color to baked piece of chicken and tell me this isn't prettier. Yum!
Result of Eating Whole Food Plant Based After Two Weeks
Even though I'm insanely busy with work, staying dialed into a plan and working that plan is creating a successful result again this week. I'm experiencing more fullness which is probably attributable to adding more carbs – like potatoes and rice. Imagine that – potatoes and rice and still losing weight. That will be another blog post sometime.
This week I've lost 3 more lbs for a total of 8 lbs. I know losing this amount of weight this quickly won't be the norm. I presume it will begin to level off at some point to a more slower, consistent loss each week.
Let me know in the comments how you liked my vegan, plant based mukbang and anything you all might have questions on so I can continue to add more to the videos each week.
My Meals this Week:
I've been making many of my meals, like rice, potatoes, bean chili, mushroom gravy, etc in my Instant Pot which I highly suggest. It creates delish meals in fraction of the time and under pressure giving it more flavor. This will replace your rice cooker, your pressure cooker, and your crock pot.
- Instant Pot Vegan Mashed Potatoes: MakeRealFood.com
- Instant Pot Vegan Mushroom Gravy: KlunkersKitchen.com
- Spicy Peanut Tofu Bowl with Rice: VanillaandBean.com
- Chocolate Cherry Green Smoothies using my VitaMix Blender
- Tomato Hummus Toast (recipe above)
- Bean Chili and Rice using the Instant Pot. I literally just threw in beans, canned tomatoes, onion, and spices for the chili and then served it over rice that I also cooked in the Instant Pot.
- Fruit/Veggie Bowl with tomatoes, blueberries, banana/apple, dried figs, carrots, almonds.
- Raw fruit and veggies
Equipment Used to Film this Video: