Q: I am planning a trip to Europe. Any tips for traveling vegan?
1. Plan Ahead. This is a big step to take. Research the places you will be visiting to discover the veggie sanctuaries. Websites like HappyCow.com provide a world-wide directory of veggie friendly restaurants and natural foods stores. This is invaluable in locating your dining destination.
2. Think Survival. Stock up before your trip with as many vegan essentials as you are up to carting around. Superfood powders, energy bars, and superfood trail mixes (try goji berries, raw cacao nibs, and pumpkin seeds) can prove to be crucial when you find yourself in between veggie havens and on long train or bus rides. If you are able to locate an organic market, often called “Bio markets” in Europe, you will be able to stock up at these locations on almond butter, rice cakes, dark chocolate, fresh fruit and whatever travel foods suit your fancy. If you are not able to locate an organic market, most mainstream markets will carry some essentials such as peanut butter, olives, or packaged hummus. Pick up some bread and fresh fruit and veggies, and you are on your way.
3. Go Ethnic. Most towns and cities have at least a few ethnic restaurants in town. You can usually find some vegan options on the menu at Indian, Thai, Japanese, Mid Eastern, Italian, and Mexican Restaurants.
Perhaps the most important tip is to be a bit flexible with your standards when traveling. Those who prefer to eat only organically grown foods, may find themselves eating more commercially grown foods than they would at home. The same goes with those who are accustomed to eating a lot of raw foods, or even gluten-free foods. An important part of traveling is to go with the flow and absorb as much from your experience as possible. Relax into the wonder of the new cultures you are experiencing.
Vegan chef and author Mark Reinfeld offers a variety of best selling vegan cookbooks. He specializes in vegan, vegetarian, raw food and gluten free plant-based diets. He offers a series of vegan cooking classes, including 2 day workshops, teacher trainings, 5 and 10 day immersions, as well as retreats, tours and vacations in both America and Europe. He further offers vegan fusion cuisine recipe development and consulting. To receive the latest news please sign up for his Newsletter and RSS Feeds, or contact Mark directly.