Traveling for work, while trying to stay healthy, and live a Vegan lifestyle can be done.
In my old life, I could travel any where from 3 days, to 15 days a month. I have learned a thing or two about eating clean, and exercising on the road. The good news is that every time I go on another trip I am seeing more, and more healthy options at hotels, airports, and convention centers. Here are some of my best tips.
Load up BEFORE you leave home. I travel with a few items from home to make life on the road easier.
1) Dr. McDougall Instant soups, my favorite Hot and Sour YUM!! This little baby can be your breakfast, lunch, or dinner in a pinch. It is a little high in sodium, but well worth it when you are hungry and the hotel has no options. It can be made easily, only hot water is needed. I prefer using the in room coffee maker to heat up the water, but some rooms have microwaves you can use as well.
2) Tea bags – any flavor you like. Some times just making a cup of tea, and reading a good book before bed is one of the most relaxing things you can do for yourself when you are far from home.
3) Instant Oatmeal packets. Again, thank you in room coffee maker! I like these Dr. McDougall ones, they are vegan, and delish. They fill you up, and make you all warm inside! You can get them in cup, or packets, the packets travel easy, I just make them in the provided in room coffee cups.
4) Yoga classes online! Traveling for work, I always have a laptop or iPad with me. YogaGlo, YouTube, and YogaJournal.com are some of my fave places to get my Asana on while away from my home studio. You can buy a travel mat that folds neatly into your suitcase, or be like me and use a pair or yoga socks, or the bathroom towel as a mat.
5) Reusable water bottle. I always bring mine empty through security, a lot of airports have water bottle filling stations now, and if for some reason your does not, it will come in handy while you are traveling. Traveling can dehydrate you terribly, so keep filling!
At the Airport.
The first thing I always look for is a Cibo Express. You will always find options there, from fresh fruit to sandwiches, wraps, noodles and baked goods! I take one to eat now, and one for the plane, or when I land.
There has been a wave of health conscious restaurants opening up in airports as well, here are a list of a few of my favorites…
San Francisco International Airport – Terminal 2 – The Plant Cafe – fresh juices, fresh salads, and two words… BEET BURGER! Yum! BONUS!! SFO has a Yoga room for you to get your practice in before or after your flight! (Yoga rooms are also available in Dallas, and Albuquerque!)
Los Angeles International Airport Terminal 4 – Real Food Daily – Organic, Plant based, perfection!
O’Hare International Airport – Terminal 3 – Burrito Beach – Lots of clearly marked Vegan options for you to create your burrito masterpiece.
When you get there…
If I have the time, I try and find the nearest Whole Foods, or Health Food store. You can request a mini fridge for your room, if there isn’t one, and stock up on some essentials, bananas are great travel food, you do not have to wash them, and they require no refrigeration. grocery stores have great pre done items for us Vegans, sandwiches, salads, hummus, and chips, pita or carrots. Whole Foods has an entire Veggie bar where you can load up on noodle dishes, and all sorts of salads.
When dining out…
Believe it or not some of the best places I have been dragged to by my job have been steak houses. They always have amazing veggie sides, and big baked potatoes. When in doubt at any restaurant I always talk to the waiter, let them know you are Vegan and they can usually point out some options on the menu, and if your in luck, maybe the chef will toss together some thing for you that is off the menu. So many times they have offered to do this for me and I end up being asked all night by my table mates what I was eating and if they can have some.