Traveling have never been easiest than now. You have all your maps in one device, you can search the internet to find places you want to see and transport to get there. But the only thing that many people still find complicated is eating a healthy diet while traveling. We want to share with you our own experience how to sustain a healthy living even when you are visiting the most remote places.
If you are eating a plant-based diet or you are interested in more healthy diet in general, you have probably already found yourself searching for good restaurants to eat before you came to the destination. No worries, we do it from time to time also, but sometimes it feels like a waste of time. Or we stuck on a bus for 5 hours unexpectedly and then our tummies get a bit upset about this situation. So I’ll share my advices what you should always take with you to eat healthy and nutritious diet on your travels.
Firstly, I’ll share some tips what you should always take with you to fill yourself with nutrients and healthy calories. And secondly I will give some advices for plant based people what you can find and try as vegan options in Thailand or check our guide for markets and be prepared to buy some good there.
We take spirulina on our trips, because it’s a nutrient-rich dietary supplement full of B vitamins, iron and manganese. No wonder it is decided to incorporate one of the most nutritious foods on the planet into astronauts’ diet. So it will save you a lot of time thinking if you have eaten all the nutrients for the day.
You can take spirulina capsules or powder with you, that’s what we do. We usually smash 1-2 bananas with a fork and then mix it with spirulina powder. All alone it tastes like a pond water so you won’t mind to give it a little sweet flavour. Sometimes we also add some Goji berries, which gives even extra sweetness for this mixture!
Vitamin B12 is crucial for the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system and the formation of red blood cells, and even more. No fungi, plants or animals (including humans) are capable of producing vitamin B12, so most people lack of it. Only through bacterial fermentation synthesis it can be produced industrially to manufacture B12 for fortified foods and supplements.
We use oral spray supplement to spray it under the tongue and it enters the bloodstream directly. It’s ideal for travellers for it’s lightness and easy use if you live an active lifestyle!
Always take a nut jar or any other container filled with nuts. Remember I have mentioned when we were stuck in a bus for 5 hours instead of 3, it was our only way to stop food cravings. We fill it from time to time that it would always be full. Sometimes we put dried fruits and berries, and even roasted beans. Yeah, you can find these in many shops in Thailand.
Juices to Go
Always take fresh juice as a take away to your bottle. This little treat will give you nutrients and they can help offset less-healthy food you have eaten. I have mentioned this in another post and why it’s so important to have your own bottle.
Eat as many fruits as you can. We loved that markets are full of ripe fruits and you can buy it sliced and perfectly prepared to eat right away in Thailand. But don’t forget to take as many fruits as you can carry back home or to your hotel, it’s a great snack while visiting temples!
Thailand is not as easy place to travel for plant-based eaters as Bali! But you still can find surprising options along the way. It’s not going to be as healthy as the ones above, but these are the things you should know before you come to Thailand. First of all you need to learn few phrases in Thai to be sure it’s vegan: “ben mang sa wirat” (เป็นมังสวิรัต) which means ‘I am vegetarian (which is equal to vegan in Thailand). We also made a small vocabulary how to ask if there is no meat, egg and fish in the meal and one Thai lady wrote us some phrases on a paper sheet to show it for locals with info what we don’t eat.
Don’t be afraid to ask by pointing to any meal if it is vegetarian. This is what we did and it worked for us in most of the places. We even tried sweets: some balls and roasted white bread with sugar (yes, it’s everywhere in Thailand), coconut flakes and corn in Sukhothai. Latter one was so good we decided to order it twice that evening!
Other plant-based sweets that are everywhere in Thailand: mango sticky rice and baked coconut cream (yum!).
Also search for popped rice crackers. You can find them in small shops, but the best ones are freshly baked and they can be found at the markets.
Generally what you will eat in Thailand is a standard ‘Jay’ (Buddhist form of veganism) lunch buffet and are not always amazing, but sometimes they are. Like we were super lucky in Pai to find Chinese ‘Jay’ restaurant where everything was delicious! Always search for a yellow sign as in the picture. It looks a bit like 17 and ‘Jay’ restaurants have many small flags with it.
Otherwise you can alway be surprised by locals making steamed veggies with sauce anywhere! Once we got soup in the mountains close to Phu Chi Fa and it was so good that I still crave for it sometimes! Head to another posts if you want to know more about solid meals from vegan restaurants in Bangkok or Chiang Mai.
We also wrote a post about all veggies and fruits you can find in Thailand markets.
All words by Eisve Treciakauskaite and all images by Justinas Lekavicius, unless otherwise noted.