Traveling has never been easier than now. You have all maps in one device, you can search the internet to find places you want to visit and transport to get there. But the only thing that many people still find complicated is eating a healthy diet on the road. We want to share with you our own experience how to sustain a healthy living even when you are visiting the most remote places.
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If you are eating a plant-based diet or you are interested in a more healthy diet in general, you have probably already found yourself searching for good restaurants to eat before you go. 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 upset about in a situation like this. So I’ll share our 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 vegans what you can find and try in Thailand. Also, check our guide for markets if you have a kitchen where you are staying.
We take spirulina on our trips, because it’s a nutrient-rich dietary supplement full of B vitamins, iron and manganese. It will save you a lot of time thinking if you have eaten all the nutrients for the day. No wonder it was decided to incorporate this one of the most nutritious foods on the planet into astronauts’ diet.
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 Goji berries, which gives even extra sweetness for this mixture!
Vitamin B12 is crucial for normal functioning of the brain and nervous system and the formation of red blood cells. No fungi, plants or animals (including humans) are capable of producing vitamin B12, so most people are lack of it without even knowing it. Only through bacterial fermentation synthesis it can be produced industrially to manufacture B12 for fortified foods and supplements.
We use ‘Better You’ oral spray supplement to spray it under the tongue and it directly enters the bloodstream. It’s ideal for travellers, because it’s light and easy use on the go!
Always take a nut jar or any other container filled with nuts. Remember the situation I mentioned before, when we were stuck in a bus for 5 hours instead of 3 hour drive. So this nuts jar was the only way to stop food cravings. We fill it up that it would be always full. Sometimes we put dried fruits and berries, and even roasted beans. Yeah, it’s a thing in Thailand and you can find it in many shops.
Juices to Go
Always take fresh juice when your see it as a take away to your bottle. This little treat will give some 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 is! But you can still find surprising options along the way. It’s not going to be as healthy as the ones above, but give it a try.
There are few things you need to 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, eggs and fish in the meal and one Thai lady wrote us some phrases on a paper to show it for locals.
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, sugar is 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 found everywhere: mango sticky rice with sweetened coconut cream (yum!). In some places they also bake coconut cream and put some corn, greens in it. It might sounds weird, but it’s actualy really good and similar to pancakes.
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. This food isn’t amazing, but sometimes you can be surprised. Once we were super lucky in Pai to find Chinese ‘Jay’ restaurant where everything was super delicious! You should always search for a yellow sign as in the picture, then you will know it’s vegan for sure. It looks a little bit like 17 and ‘Jay’ restaurants usually have many small flags with it.
Otherwise you can ask locals to make 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! Or maybe I was just really hungry…cha,cha.
We also have posts what you can find in specialised vegan restaurants in Bangkok or Chiang Mai. So have a look too. And if you plant to cook yourself during the trip, you should be interested what you can find in Thailand markets.
Disclosure: Some of the links are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. Please understand that all products we recommend are the ones we use ourselves and recommend them because they are helpful and useful.
All words by Eisve Treciakauskaite and all images by Justinas Lekavicius, unless otherwise noted.