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?