Having traveled to over 40 countries, 37 as a vegan, I’ve experienced the highs of eating in the vegan mecca of Portland, OR and the lows of minimal choice in Siberia. As a traveler on a budget seeking to maintain a good level of health to prevent days/weeks spent in bed, here are the five foods I try to always have on me. They’re available worldwide and ensure you maintain a high base level of health on your travels.
Eating breakfast as a vegan on the road is possibly the trickiest meal. Eggs on toast is not good, and any breakfast named after a country is ruled out…English breakfast, American breakfast etc. You get the picture. Oats have plenty of health benefits, but more importantly with a bowl of oats, water and fruit you get none of the bad stuff added to the breakfasts you find in in restaurants and supermarkets. No added sugar, misleading advertisements, food color. Just food as it should be.
Are you a tea or coffee person? Who said you need to be one or the other? If you are a coffee monster, incorporate a cup of green tea in your day. Green tea reduces bad cholesterol, a great idea if you are prone to indulging in local cuisines that aren’t exactly healthy. If you are indulging in so much local cuisine your weight increases, green tea will help that weight come off again. There are plenty more benefits to green tea, but these two are most helpful when it comes to travel life.
Natural spices are full of health benefits. My preferred spice is cinnamon which I put on my oats. The two biggest benefits to travelers is cinnamon’s role as an antioxidant and a anti-inflammatory. As an antioxidant cinnamon ensures we keep our damaged cells to a minimum. Cinnamon really shines for me as an anti-inflammatory working to reduce inflammation and swelling occurred in my day to day adventures in new cities and towns. If you tend to walk a lot while traveling, you may not notice the direct benefits, but I’m sure that overnight it helps my body get ready for the following day.
Ginger is one of the stronger tastes we come across in food. Ginger is incredibly helpful and I try to make sure I have either a ginger tea each day or put ginger in one meal every day. You do not need a lot to receive its benefits. Ginger prevents nausea for those who like to test their stomach on rough rides and various forms of crazy transit and is great for the immune system, fighting off incoming flus and helping recover if a nasty cold has taken you hostage. Like, cinnamon it is also a great anti-inflammatory.
Vitamin B12 (I’m counting it as a food) is the one vitamin that cannot be sourced naturally through fruits and vegetables. In some destinations, such as Thailand you can find vitamin B12 in tofu. A lack of vitamin B12 is hard to detect, but with side effects including tiredness, prominent gas, pale skin, loss of vision and even psychosis, take a vitamin B12 pill first thing every morning. The glass of water you will also drink is never a bad thing either.
From time to time I will substitute cinnamon with cocoa, if I am really craving something sweet, as a vegan this is sometimes tough to find. Chia seeds and goji berries are also extra substitutes with great benefits.
Take Action Today
Put these five action items to put in your bag:
Green Tea: Drink at least one cup everyday.
Ginger: On standby if you feel sickness coming on.
Vitamin B12: One pill every morning.
Oats: Have a bowl of oats for breakfast
Cinnamon: Sprinkle on a meal or in your coffee each day.
Staying healthy on the road isn’t easy. Don’t blame yourself if you do feel ill for a couple days, it happens. These foods mentioned above will go along to ensuring you stay healthy on the road. What you may have noticed is you can incorporate these items in a breakfast routine.
Wake up have a glass of water and your vitamin B12. Boil up a large pot of water, and let a green tea cool off while you prepare oats topped up with fruit and a sprinkle of cinnamon. After you green tea, catch up on your social media while having a ginger tea. Boom. Now you are set for a day full of adventure with plenty of healthy substances and a liter or so of water consumed.
Is there any food you always have in your bag while traveling?
Guest Author: Jub has compiled some advice to share because on his recent global travels he has felt the pain of being in non-vegan-friendly locations. You can read more about his travels here: www.tikitouringkiwi.com