Traveling and being a vegetarian is much easier today than it has been in years past. It used to be that vegetarian meals ordered in restaurants or on airlines were not attractive, filling, or tasty. This has all changed. Most restaurants have a wide selection of attractive and delicious vegetarian foods. Traveling vegan without using any dairy or eggs presents a little more of a challenge, however. The salads in most restaurants and the option for vegan meals on airlines do make vegan travel easier today. When traveling, it may be helpful to carry some supplemental food to insure that the meal eaten on the plane is sufficient for caloric requirements. It should be noted, however, that travel is less fatiguing, and less sickness and depression are experienced after getting back to the routine of home if less is eaten while traveling. This is due in part to the inactivity of sitting most of the time while traveling. Here are some suggestions for foods that travel well:
Nuts of all kinds travel well. For example, peanuts (sometimes served on airlines), pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, pistachios, and the nuts the Roman soldiers carried with them everywhere—sunflower seeds. Roasted "soynuts" are harder to chew than nuts but make a nourishing supplement to a skimpy meal.
Raisins travel well and are a very tasty and nutritious food to supplement a small meal.
Granola is a favorite of ours to carry with us when traveling. Granola with some fresh fruit or raisins makes a complete meal in itself.
Zwieback tends to get broken up with travel but does have the advantage of a very long shelf life. This is not true of any other whole wheat, homemade bread.
"Healthy cookies" do not have a long shelf life, but may last for a few days of travel. The lower the sugar level of cookies, the shorter the shelf life. Packaged cookies and candy are not the best travel food because the more refined the food, the harder it is on the insulin-glucose regulating mechanism of your body.
Fresh fruits are delicious but most have the disadvantage of being both heavy and very fragile, even though the shelf life may be satisfactory for travel. Apples are recommended as one of the best fruits—they travel well and do not bruise easily. Dried fruit has none of these disadvantages and makes a delicious supplement to any skimpy meal. Together with zwieback, dried fruit can make a whole meal—particularly as an evening meal. Dates also travel well, are not heavy in relation to calories, and have a very long shelf life.
Dried fruit of all types is light and lasts well. It is also very tasty and delicious. A word of caution must be given, as dried fruit is concentrated and tends to contain a lot of sugar. Since the calories and space are concentrated, we need to consider what it would be like if it were not dehydrated, or we may eat too much. This may present a problem for diabetics, even though the sugar in dried fruit is complex. Complex means that the sugar molecules are very large and they have all the vitamins, minerals and nutrients that the sugar needs for digestion. For these reasons, complex sugars of fresh fruits are much better tolerated by diabetics. Whatever problem dried fruit may present to diabetics, it is minimal compared to refined sugar products or soft drinks that contain refined sugar. Even so, these dried fruits should be eaten judiciously!
If traveling by car, drinking water is a necessity to carry, as adequate water may not be available everywhere along your journey. Dehydration is a condition that tends to be chronic and is an easily preventable condition. Keeping the body well-hydrated is the key to fighting fatigue and keeping up endurance on a long trip. Remember to drink water between meals—not with your meals!
Canned and preserved foods in jars may be taken for food when you travel. The disadvantages of this type of food are its weight, the necessity of having utensils to eat it and the possibility that the glass may break and make a big mess. This type of food is often most delicious when served hot. This may not be possible as it is difficult to heat preserved fruit "on the road".
Remember Two Things When Traveling!
First, avoid eating as much as you usually eat. Traveling today means sitting most of the time. Sitting takes less energy which means less energy is needed. You will feel better if you eat less than you would when normally active. This usually takes deliberate decision and determination because the stomach is used to getting a certain volume to feel satisfied. Less volume of food is often associated with a sensation of hunger. If the decision to eat less is made at the beginning of the meal, this will help the stomach to be warned, if not fully satisfied, with less volume of food. Eating slowly may also give more satiety.
Second, avoid eating between meals. Food and drinks and "snacks" are often served while traveling. This presents a temptation to eat at inappropriate times. Not only is the temptation there, but you also have time to eat! The combination of time on your hands and the offer of food makes it especially important to have already decided ahead of time what you are going to do when offered food. The best answer is to take a drink of water at these times. If you are hungry, the colder the water, the more effective it is to shut off the hunger pangs. Happy is the individual and great is the feeling of being in control of appetite!
Because your daily program is changed when traveling, get some extra rest. Go to bed earlier and try to get more sleep than you do at home. With jet travel, not only is the daily schedule changed, but often the time zones, or even the hemisphere you are in, are changed. This means that your body rhythms are changed which adversely affects your immune system while the body adjusts. Contrary to popular opinion, the best way to help your body adjust quickly is not by taking melatonin or any other drug or hormone. The best way to assist your body to adjust to a new time zone quickly is to drink lots of water, eat less and rest and sleep more. Be adequately protected from cold with appropriate clothing to avoid getting fatigued and chilled. Fatigue and chilling, combined with changes in time zones or hemispheres, is a sure formula for sickness.
Malaria Prevention Note for International Travelers:
Malaria is still a number one killer in the world. Good news! Olive Leaf Extract taken at the rate of two capsules, three times a day, is reported to give good malaria protection even in areas where malaria is the killer form and is resistant to modern drug therapies. Also good news—Olive Leaf Extract is nontoxic!