What do Vegans do when they travel?

Watching what you eat is not always easy. It requires willpower, discipline and lots of sacrifice. But watching what you eat when you are travelling, especially when you are visiting family, takes willpower, discipline and sacrifice to a whole other level!

I find that I can work hard at staying fit for months, only to see all my effort undone in a couple weeks staying with family. Not necessarily because they eat poorly. We usually meet for special occasions, such as holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. These are all times when people express their joy of being together over a table full of food and drink. Or in a family room with appetizers and goodies strewn around the room within arms’ reach of the guests.

The last couple times I visited my family in Los Angeles, I was able to maintain my condition by adhering strictly to my diet (Vegan Before 6:00) and by finding a gym where I could exercise regularly. Both discipline and exercise are essential to meeting my goals.

On this trip to Los Angeles, I am coming undone. Not only am I finding it harder to find vegan items at restaurants when we go out, but I have not been exercising. With family we don’t always have our choice of restaurants. My parents for instance have restaurants where they routinely go each week. The same places for brunch, for lunch and other meals when we eat out. Unfortunately these places do not offer many choices for vegans. So I end up ordering the one item on the menu that fits my diet. More often than not this vegan item is not satisfying at all and/or is too small.

I’m really surprised in Los Angeles of all places it’s so hard to find vegan choices at restaurants. It should be easier here than other cities since so many people pay attention to what they eat. Organic grocery stores, restaurants and food is featured everywhere, yet purely vegan choices are not.

In Europe, it’s even harder to be vegan when you eat out in restaurants and when you are travelling. There always seems to be some kind of dairy product, eggs or other animal protein included in the dish.

Now that I’ve vented a bit, I count my blessings that I’m VB6 (Vegan Before 6:00) which allows me one meal a day that is non-vegan. Without this “free-pass” it would be even more difficult to travel or to spend so much time dining with friends and family. Yet, being vegan most of the time makes me completely sensitive and sympathetic to the difficulties faced by vegans when they venture out of their homes or want to engage in social intercourse with non-vegans.

Please share with me what you do when you travel to maintain your discipline? If you are vegan, please share your advice on finding vegan choices in restaurants, especially for breakfast.

I’d appreciate it if you would share this post with your friends so we get more ideas!

3 thoughts on “Eating Vegan Not Always Easy

  1. I find it extremely difficult to be vegeterian and eat out in Belgium. Being a vegan would be even more complicated. Not impossible of course but you would have to spend time finding a restaurant offering vegan plates and eventually having a very small range of plates to choose from. Most restaurants don’t even hold salads without strips of meat (bacon, ham, chicken, etc.). Meat remains at the core of our meals, probably out of cultural reasons. Time will come when there won’t be enough meat to feed a world which is becoming more and more demanding. Then we will be left with a choice: eat little meat and replace it with bugs or green proteins. I personally have a preference for the second alternative but if a large amount of people choose likewise, we will have to face another major concern: where will we find enough farmland on this overpopulated Earth?

    1. Thanks, Nadine. Yes, it is difficult and hopefully will become easier as more people move towards a plant-based diet. By speaking up at restaurants, vegans can raise the awareness of restaurants of our needs. Most people don’t even understand what “vegans” mean and how it differs from vegetarians. It reminds me of the film “The Big Fat Greek Wedding” when the aunt says to the groom…”Oh you’re a vegetarian…so you eat lamb!” It’s almost the same for vegans, except people think we eat fish or chicken. Lol!

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