Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Veganism for the Business Traveler

Those who embrace the vegan lifestyle think it is perhaps the greatest thing in the world. As a new vegan I am inclined to agree. It certainly has been a positive experience for me.  What's not to love about dropping 20 pounds, improving my cholesterol numbers, and seeing an overall improvement in my health and energy without feeling deprived or making choices that cause harm to animals and the environment?

Maybe you have considered trying a vegan diet but think it impractical or difficult because you travel a lot.  If you are a business traveler, you probably wonder, What's the point of having an expense account and meal allowance if I don't take full advantage of it and eat the things I wouldn't normally eat at home? Right? The problem with that mentality, particularly for those who are not disciplined, is that before long you pack on unwanted pounds. The convenience and allure of that expense account begins to take its toll on your health, leaving you with guilt and less energy to meet the busy demands of family life once you return home.

If you are enjoying the benefits of eating a plant-based diet at home, then perhaps with a little creative planning and discipline you can find it possible to eat vegan on the road. The possibilities truly are endless but here are a few suggestions off the top of my head to keep you healthy and energized while you are away from home.
  • If staying in a hotel that furnishes a fridge and microwave, use your expense account to do a little grocery shopping.
    • Stock the fridge with fresh fruit and veggies from the produce section or salad bar.
    • Purchase (or pack in your luggage) non-perishable nutritious snacks such as granola bars or nuts. Just read the labels carefully and stay away from added sugars or refined flours.
    • Vegan freezer meals prepared in the microwave could be a healthier alternative to a heavy restaurant meal. With the time you would save dining out, you could even hit the hotel workout facility and energize yourself with some cardio or weight training exercises.  What a bonus!
    • Worried about how to save unused portions?  Pack some Ziploc bags in your luggage to store leftovers in the fridge, especially if you will be staying the week.  If you have to throw away a little food before you check out, don't sweat it.  You probably saved the company quite a bit of money by shopping and eating in. If you shop wisely, there won't be much waste anyway.
    • Make sandwich wraps using whole wheat tortillas instead of bread. A package of tortillas and plant-based deli slices, topped with veggies from the store or salad bar, could keep you deliciously and nutritiously fed all week.  Don't forget to pack brown bags or a soft-sided lunchbox, too, so you can take your lunch to the office.
  • If you must dine out with a client or co-worker, choose restaurants that offer vegan options (no meat, dairy, eggs) for business dinners and lunches.
    • Most restaurants these days have vegetarian or vegan options, and those that don't will generally accommodate any reasonable request for altering a menu item to satisfy you, the customer.
    • Search online for restaurants that have vegan or vegetarian menus, or visit the website for the restaurant where you will be dining to see what they offer.  You may just be surprised!
Happy, healthy trails to you!

Dee Dee

Copyright 2016 by Dee Dee Wike and Joy Wike. All rights reserved.

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