More and more people are making the healthy switch to veganism every day. Folks who eschew the eating of animal flesh in favor of a plant-based diet report more energy and endurance as well as elimination of guilt about feasting upon fowl, fish, meat, dairy products and eggs. Of course, it's one thing to stick to a totally vegan eating plan when in the comfort of one's own kitchen. It's another thing entirely to stay true to vegan ideals when on the go.
Anyone who wishes to eat animal-free away from home has a number of options. Here are some of the best.
Pack Your Own Before You Leave Home
Invest in a few hot and cold food carriers and stock them with fresh selections from your pantry and refrigerator before leaving the house. Fill a zip bag with cut carrots, celery sticks and jicama matchsticks, and fill a small sealable container with peanut butter or your favorite tofu spread. You can enjoy a vegan nosh any time you like.
Toss a wilt-free salad of chopped broccoli, cauliflower, radishes and other sturdy veggies with a vinegar dressing. Place it in a seal-top container, and don't forget the fork. If you don't have time to pack a healthy vegan meal in the morning, make the time to prepare one the night before. If you need to leave the house in an unexpected hurry, toss a few granola bars and a bag of nuts and dried fruit into your briefcase, backpack or purse.
Plan Ahead Before You Travel
It can be tricky to find a vegan-friendly eatery in an unfamiliar town. If a travel agent is putting together your itinerary, be sure to advise them of your dietary needs. If you're planning your own vacation, consult a travel review site such as TripAdvisor. Search your destination city for vegan and vegan-friendly restaurants and call ahead for reservations, or at least make a note of the restaurant locations.
Improvise, Improvise, Improvise
If you're on the go and wish to dine out, drive past all fast food joints and find an Indian, Pakistani or Vietnamese restaurant. They almost always offer a good selection of non-meat options. If you find yourself in a Mexican restaurant, order black beans and tortillas for a quick and filling, meat-free meal.
At an all-night diner? Ask for dry toast and tea. It may not be glamorous, but it will nourish you until you can locate a real vegan meal. When attending a movie, ask for popcorn without butter. Keep a shaker of brewer's yeast handy, and you can munch away to your heart's content without harming any living animals.
If you're on the road and the only dining option truly is a fast food place, choose a salad without dressing. You may wish to ask your server if the fries are cooked in animal fat or vegetable oil, and choose accordingly.
You can find vegan-friendly foods if you know where to look. Many delis, convenience stores, and workplaces boast used vending machines packed with salads, fresh fruits and nut-milk smoothies. One may also find a freezer case with at least one non-dairy dessert treat. If the store you're in has no freezer case or refrigerators, shop the shelves for packaged nuts, sunflower seeds and dried fruits.
Adhering to a strictly vegan diet may not be simple, especially when you're on the go. If you've evolved beyond carnivorous eating, we don't have to tell you how good it feels. That fine feeling and the inherent health results of a plant-based diet are worth the small effort it takes to remain vegan even away from home.