I am often asked “how do you maintain a raw vegan diet while travelling?”
Since I started my raw food diet in 2008, I have travelled all over the world, so I thought I’d share with you some of my experiences on these trips and other things I learned along the way.
For this article, we are not going to talk about going on vacation to the typical hunting grounds of raw foodists; places like Hawaii, Thailand, Costa Rica, Brazil, or other places where tropical fruits are easily available and affordable.
Let’s also leave out of the equation, the choice to go on vacation to remote islands where the only raw food easily available is coconut.
Let’s just assume that we go on holiday to a city, like New York, London, Madrid, Paris, Buenos Aires, or similar.
Let’s also assume, for the sake of this article, that we don’t stay in an Airbnb or an apartment with a kitchen; where preparing full raw meals would be easier.
Let’s say we decide to stay in an average hotel room with no kitchen and only a small fridge, as most have.
Does it make sense to eat 100% raw on this type of vacation? In my opinion, it does and I’ll explain why.
If there’s one thing I hope for when I go on vacation, it’s to not get sick, so I can enjoy my time to the fullest, whether it’s visiting friends, sightseeing, shopping, at the beach, or whatever.
And there is no better way, in my opinion, to achieve this, than by eating 100% raw.
I never get food poisoning and I am always free of digestive problems.
This is how I do it:
– I never eat greens or too many vegetables when I am on trips.
Vegetables are something to be wary of in many foreign countries where water quality is questionable. Even in modern countries, I prefer not to eat them, as I don’t trust the cleanliness procedures of restaurants when it comes to vegetables.
Also, making a big salad in a hotel room isn’t easy or fun, so I generally eat far fewer salads (if any) during my travels.
I once saw a video of a girl promoting a raw food diet on YouTube and she told her followers she brought the Vitamix everywhere she went, which made me laugh.
Can you imagine the mess in your hotel room after preparing a simple meal with a blender? Everyone has their own approach, but to me, that’s not a raw food diet, that’s a hell diet.
Personally, I prefer to travel light and not have to worry about food.
Overall, I would say that it’s quite easy to eat raw, plant-based while traveling.
As a general practice, when I am hungry, I eat fresh fruit, but I never overeat, as I prefer to feel light and energetic when I am out and about.
Let’s say, for example, you are on vacation in London. You can walk into a Marks and Spencer store, or any other supermarket, and find fresh coconut water, and many other fresh fruits already peeled and ready to eat. As in other cities, you can find fresh fruit and fruit salads just about everywhere.
Other great places to find fruits and vegetables around the world, apart from supermarkets, include grocery stores and farmers’ markets (which in many countries are simply called “markets”).
In the evening, when I feel like eating something savoury, I usually eat fresh corn that I prepare in the hotel room.
However, it is a good idea to bring a flexible cutting board, as well as a knife and a couple of Tupperware containers.
Fresh corn has several health benefits, such as B vitamins and essential minerals like zinc, magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese.
Also, since its sodium content is relatively high (15 mg in 100 grams), eating fresh corn completely satiates my cravings for salty foods. This is especially helpful when I’m on vacation and can’t prepare homemade salads or raw savoury dinners.
I don’t eat fresh corn every night on vacation, some days I may eat fruit all day; other days I may opt to fast and just drink water; which feels amazing too.
Another dinner recipe I usually prepare in my hotel room is simple tomato halves with a little oregano (savoury and salty). Other times I may eat cucumbers (which are easy to peel and satiating) and also peppers (red, green, or yellow).
During the trip, I generally snack on Medjool dates and other dried fruits.
As you can see, eating 100% raw during the vacations is no big deal, and it can be the easiest, cheapest, and healthiest option by far.
As for going to vegan and raw vegan restaurants, I avoid them completely as they use copious amounts of oil and other unhealthy ingredients in their recipes.
I will carry on with my normal life while on vacation. I never turn down invitations from friends to go to restaurants and bars and I never make a fuss about being raw vegan, or even mention my diet.
If friends want to invite me to a restaurant, I say yes and I’ll have tea instead of eating, no big deal.
The important thing is spending quality time with your loved ones / friends / family, etc. and enjoying their company, not what we eat.
We socialize for people and company, not food.
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