Vacation's are tough when you're trying to stay on track. And, put veganism in the mix and it suddenly can seem even more daunting. But don't worry, there are ways to stay true to your diet even when you're away from home! The trick for me is to get the mentality out of my head that "anything goes" if I'm on vacation. That never makes me feel good, so I look for a good balance of staying on track BUT also letting myself indulge in a treat every now and then (especially one's that are native to what area you're visiting!).
So, what is the key? PREPARING. Bonus⭐- this also will help you save $$ on eating out. For our trip to Wells, ME last weekend, I planned ahead and bought groceries for breakfasts, lunches, and snacks, so all we would end up doing is eating dinner out.
1. Breakfast Prep
I prepared Overnight Oats and brought those in the cooler with me. A few hours before we left, I took 4 individual tupperwares and put in oats, vanilla almond milk, and maple syrup (and stirred it all together). I cut up fruit, and put that in a separate tupperware. Lastly, I put together all the toppings in another tupperware: chia seeds, cacoa nibs, sliced almonds, and walnuts. Each morning, I took a tupperware of the Overnight Oats, threw in some of the fruit, and finished it off with some of the toppings. You want to make sure to keep the fruit and the toppings separate, and put them on only right before you are ready to eat the oats, or else they will get soggy.
P.S. Don't forget to pack silverware 🍴
2. Lunch Prep
Lately, I've been working hard to keep the carbs down, and sandwiches haven't been front and center on the lunch menu. But, this is one of those things where you just have to allow yourself some flexibility - in my opinion, sandwiches are one of the easiest meals to eat at the beach, so I went with it. I bought a loaf of bread, peanut butter, and a few apples. I packed a small cutting board and a knife, and just like that you have an easy way to make Peanut Butter and Apple sandwiches! Something easy, portable, and not too messy. You can also try Peanut Butter & Banana, PB&J, Avocado & Tomato - whatever is quick and easiest for you!
3. Snack Prep
This one is easy. I packed fresh fruit, a bag of Skinny Pop popcorn, a few Nature Valley granola bars, and (GUILTY) a bag of Cape Cod Salt and Vinegar chips. I was heading to the beach, it only seemed right! Again, it's all about the preparation.
4. Eating Out 101
This one can be tough, but Maine was really killing it with the Vegetarian and Vegan options!! I lucked out in Kennebunkport at Federal Jacks. They had so many options - Veggie Burgers (Yes, plural!), a Veggie Chick'n Sandwich, Black Bean soup, etc. It was my dream menu. I ended up with a Brussel Sprout salad topped with a Beyond Burger (and a Bloody Mary on the side 😉). But, not every restaurant is that easy. What I find that a lot of places now will have a vegetarian option, but it's not always on the menu. So the first thing is to just ask! The kitchen will always have vegetables on hand, so typically they are happy to accommodate you. The other thing that I always look at is the Appetizers & the Sides. If you can't find an Entree that fits your Vegan needs - look at ordering a few smaller things. For example, you could get a Caprese salad (without the Mozz) + a side - maybe they have steamed spinach or a baked potato. An easy choice is Pasta Primavera - ask them to hold the sauce if it's cream based, and opt for a fresh lemon squeeze instead. Trust me, you will find something if you put your mind to it!
5. Have Fun and Don't Stress!
You're on vacation, after all. If you accidentally have a dish at a restaurant that's made with real butter, or you really want to have that Lobster Roll because you're in a Coastal Town known for their fresh fish, don't beat yourself up. What you do every day is SUCH a monumental step forward for the planet, and our animals. It is the lifestyle that makes a difference. Be proud of that!