Essential Vegan Foods To Bring While Traveling

By: Julie Morris

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We asked best-selling cookbook author and passionate vegan chef Julie Morris to give us her best tips for traveling as a vegan. We’re thrilled to partner with Julie on our exciting new online course, Go Vegan! 30 Days to a Plant-Based Lifestyle. This intensive, interactive course features vegan cooking skills, tips on getting proper nutrition and thriving on a vegan lifestyle, and more than 70 recipes for a vegan meal plan to get you started. Check it out now.

TWV, or Traveling While Vegan, may not be a trending hashtag acronym yet, but at the rate of increasing popularity of a vegan diet, it’s only a matter of time before it’s a well-known term!

It’s a situation I understand well. I travel a good bit for my job, and remember the anxiety I faced during my early days as a vegan when it came time to hit the road. Although enjoying a vegan diet has always been easy within the security of my own kitchen, a different city (or country) doesn’t always offer the same safety net of healthy plant-based options. Don’t get me wrong — there’s a surprising amount of vegan food in the world to enjoy (hint: most of the time it’s not called vegan food, it’s just food … that happens to be vegan!), but for the occasions when time or patience runs out, I rely on a few things that I’ve actually brought with me.

Packing a light, pared-down “kit” of key vegan foods while traveling can make all the difference in how you feel on a trip: You won’t have to compromise your energy, health, or values. Over the years I’ve refined my kit into a system that covers all the fundamental vegan bases in a hyper-condensed form.  So the next time you pack a suitcase, you consider bringing a small supply of these “Plan B” essential vegan foods:

Energy Bars: As a condensed mini-meal, an energy bar can feel like it’s truly saving the day. Look for varieties that contain as many natural ingredients as possible, or for best results (and significant financial savings), make your own! Homemade energy bars are surprisingly easy to create using a food processor, and can be cut into bars and wrapped in plastic or parchment for single servings. Pack one for each day.

Something Green: Fresh green foods are a foundation of any healthy diet, but can be surprisingly difficult to find when traveling to a new city. This is where green powders or tablets can be your best energizing friend! Made out of freeze-dried nutritious greens, such as kale, broccoli, wheatgrass, or spirulina, these superfoods are hyper-concentrated (a little goes a long way). You can bring spirulina tablets (a few for each day), or single-serve packets of your favorite green powder blend to add to a bottle of water.

Something Protein: While it’s getting easier to find great-tasting vegan meals, not every restaurant offers a good nutritional balance. Traveling with vegan protein can help satisfy cravings and allow you to be more relaxed with other meals (bonus points if it includes vitamin B12). Bring a stash of vegan protein powder that you can shake inside of a water bottle for a quick smoothie. Or just make sure the energy bars you choose are high in protein – look for 10 grams or above.

Crackers & Almond Butter: While it’s easy to grab the sweet stuff, packing a little something savory is good for both your taste buds and your health! A box of crackers can help satisfy an unruly stomach, while a little bit of nut butter makes this snack more nutritionally balanced with healthy fats and easy-to-digest protein. Look for crackers that are made of nutrient-dense whole grains and seeds (they will be the most satisfying), as well as single-serve pouches of nut butter that are perfect for packing.

A Treat: TWV is an enjoyable and easy experience 99% of the time. On the rare occasion that it’s not quite as epic from a delicious standpoint (hello, airplane food), having a treat you can look forward to can be a complete game-changer in your mood! Keep a small stash of one of your favorite treats, such as a go-to chocolate bar, a bag of fruit gummies, or homemade cookies. This little pick-me-up is a great reward for sticking to your values.

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