I have heard every argument possible against a plant-based diet, and at the core, most comments fall into this category:
Breaking News: It’s super easy to eat a PLANTSTRONG diet while traveling.
For most people, eating plants is as easy as shopping at any market in America—not just health food stores, but also places known for their meat and dairy offerings. And restaurants, with some careful planning, can be surprisingly accommodating. You just have to know what to look for and what to avoid.
When I pack for a trip, I never leave home without a couple bags of Rip’s Big Bowl Cereal (make your own here) and a bag of our PLANTSTRONG Granola. I know I can stop at any Starbucks and purchase a cup of plant-based milk and a banana or two. I will also bring unsweetened applesauce pouches (and a bowl and spoon) to mix with the granola for a super fast snack that requires no refrigeration.
On the Road
For day trips with the kids, we always pack a cooler loaded with fruit and cut up vegetables with hummus. We often plan ahead and make these quesadillas the night before. Once cooked and cooled, we wrap in foil and enjoy them the next day.
The new PLANTSTRONG ready-to-eat chilis and stews are also a lifesaver. Don’t forget to pack a bowl with a lid, then you can rip open a box at any truck stop, and use the in-store microwave to heat your meal.
But what about eating out?
Here are some ideas of what to order in different types of restaurants:
Asian restaurants: Ask for brown rice, steamed vegetables, steamed edamame, or tofu, hold the extra sauces, and use low sodium soy sauce sparingly. Another good option for both restaurants and most grocery stores: brown rice vegetable sushi.
Italian: Go for whole grain pasta, tomato sauce (with no cheese added), and ask them to throw in as many grilled/steamed vegetables as they can find!
Steak House/American: Believe it or not, you can get a great meal at a steak house. You can almost always find options like potatoes, sweet potatoes, and lots of steamed vegetables, or you ask your server for a salad with every fresh vegetable they have on hand (and even fruit!), with a side of balsamic vinegar (or sneak in your own PLANTSTRONG dressing).
Breakfast spots: Request oatmeal made with non-dairy milk or water, fruit, and some nuts. You can also ask if they have whole grain bread, a little nut butter or avocado (hold the oil!), and fruit.
Coffee shops: Hot herbal tea is always a great option. If you use coffee creamer, oat milk is quickly becoming a mainstay at coffee shops. Skip the syrups! If you’re having a snack, go for oatmeal or look for bars with ingredients you can pronounce. Look for whole grain bread or bagels. Scan the lunch menu for hummus or avocado and any greens – then swap cream cheese or butter for your bagel and add some spinach and tomato if you’re lucky! Dried fruit and nuts are great grab-and-go snack options to hold you over.
Gas stations: If you’re on the road, you can find fruit at most convenience stores, and sometimes whole-grain pretzels or unsalted nuts as well.
Grocery stores: Don’t forget local grocery stores, where you can find items like oil-free hummus, whole-grain crackers or bread, cut up and washed vegetables/fruit, cans of low sodium beans (just be sure to pick up a cheap can-opener). You can even buy single potatoes, frozen grains and frozen vegetables to microwave later in your hotel room. Or, you can make a great trail mix with whole-grain cereal, raisins, and a few nuts. Many grocery stores also have salad bars where you can make a great PLANTSTRONG meal. Save some money by purchasing a full container of washed spinach or mixed greens in the produce section, then buy your salad bar toppings to assemble a monster meal inside the greens container. If the store doesn’t offer prepared brown rice on the salad, be sure to pick up some frozen (and check the cafe area for a microwave!). For dressings, think outside the bottle. Look for prepared hot soups: vegan chili or minestrone soup make a great salad topper. Or grab salsa or hummus or a bottle of balsamic glaze before you checkout.
The bottom line—if you rethink your meal options and make it an adventure to find what you need, it’s entirely possible to stay PLANTSTRONG wherever you go!
We’re here for you!
Remember, if you need convenient, healthy, on-the-go snacks and meals, look no further than our line of PLANTSTRONG Foods – including cereals, granolas, popcorn, soups, broths, and chilis. Our exclusive PLANTSTRONG line of foods is here to simplify the journey to a plant-based lifestyle by providing convenient meal solutions built on a foundation of taste, nutritional integrity, and proven science.