You’ve got your checklist to make sure you have everything you need to have the best vacation possible. If you’re plant-strong, that list may include a list of restaurants and their menus in your destination to save the stress of finding somewhere to eat, or the plant-strong convenience foods you plan on packing in case you’re not able to find something substantial. Recently, I found myself in this position as I was preparing to go on an extended vacation to Whistler (British Columbia, Canada), Maui and Kauai.
I have to admit that I took my planning to the extreme since this was my first family vacation since becoming plant-strong. I spent hours, maybe days, building a binder filled with menus from restaurants in the areas where I would be staying and packed a whole suitcase filled with items such as Eden Organic Beans and Rice, McDougall Right Foods Soups, boxed soymilk, freeze-dried fruit, Wasa and Ryvita crackers, oatmeal packets and bags filled with the dry ingredients for Rip’s Big Bowl. It’s safe to say that I was expecting that I would not be able to find even the simplest of things.
Oh boy was I wrong. The grocery stores we visited in Whistler, Maui and Kauai had the basics covered and even more. In Whistler, found an abundance of local produce (specifically several varieties of berries), unsweetened non-dairy milks, Ezekiel bread and even a HUGE tub of nutritional yeast. Maui and Kauai were a little harder to navigate, but I made it work. Since grocery prices on the islands are INSANE and their produce isn’t the freshest (most of it comes from the mainland over 2,000 miles away) ,I opted to buy frozen fruit to have in the mornings. I was able to find unsweetened non-dairy milks on both islands as well.
At each place I stayed at, I had access to a kitchenette which included a full-sized fridge and freezer, microwave, etc. Breakfast was self-explanatory; Rip’s Big Bowl or oatmeal with fruit, whether it’d be fresh, frozen or even freeze-dried, in the room each morning. However, lunch and dinner were less predictable. I knew that most places we would eat at would at least have a salad I could customize, but a salad alone would not fill me up. With that said, I carried a cup of McDougall instant soup and crackers with me whenever we went out to lunch or dinner. If we were going to be on the road the majority of the day, I packed a bag of raw veggies that were at the grocery store, a can of rice and beans, plastic silverware and a can opener to go with me.
Just because you’re going on vacation doesn’t mean that you should stray from your plant-strong lifestyle. I cannot tell you how many times on vacation that I wanted to cave in and have something that wasn’t plant-strong. I didn’t crave meat, eggs or dairy (never have), but I passed up several vegan entrees just because they contained oil or high amounts of fat or sugar. I didn’t cave in and instead kept myself on track at my weakest moments, even if it meant eating a salad for lunch and dinner for several days in a row. The biggest thing is to have a plan ready to go when you’re eating out, and if you’re able to eat all your meals at your hotel/condo, stock up on the basics.