Being Vegan On The Road- In A Van, A Converted Horsebox, While Traveling And Out And About. A Little “How To” About Navigating This Way Of Life.

Being vegan can seem like the most limiting, boring and tedious lifestyle out there, but as any passionate vegan friends will tell you if they haven’t already- once you get into the flow of things, it’s emotionally, mentally and physically fulfilling and the future for our generation.

Before you click off the article, for fear of it becoming a little too preachy and less informative, just so you know- we are done with the -hipster, hessian sack wearing, smashed avo on toast-sales pitch. In this blog post we will cover a few basics of how to nail vegan living on the road, with a little know how, enthusiasm and a higher consciousness, you can enjoy life to the fullest with this balanced way of eating and living. If you are vegan already or you are curious about conversion, we hope to try and spread a little knowledge and love.

Now for a few UK stats courtesy of our friends at The Vegan Society, “In 2016 The Vegan Society in partnership with Vegan Life Magazine commissioned research that found that there were over half a million vegans in Great Britain: three and a half times as many as estimated in 2006.

At least 542,000 people in Britain are now following a vegan diet and never consume any animal products including meat, fish, milk, cheese, eggs, and honey. This is a whopping increase from the last estimate of 150,000 ten years ago.- The Mintel Meat-Free Foods UK Report for 2012 shows that meat-free and free-from sales are expected to reach a total of £949m in 2012 with meat-free sales set to reach £607m and free-from market sales expected to reach £342m. Almost four in 10 (38%) Britons have bought vegetarian or meat-free food, while one in five (20%) has bought free-from food.” (To read the full article and for more info, click here.) Impressive stuff no? These wonderfully promising stats show that veganism or as us die hards call is- “A plant based Lifestyle” is gaining serious momentum in the UK. You also don’t have to be vegan to enjoy the incredibly nourishing and satiating foods of the movement.

Life on the road can be tough to navigate without even thinking about food, vegan or otherwise; However, there are some key tips to keep in mind that is guaranteed to see you right, even at the most scarce times, when perhaps all you have in your cupboard in the humble chickpea! So what should you ALWAYS have in those cupboards of yours to avoid the supper time panic?

1.) Pulses- Beans, beans, good for the heart the more you eat the more you. . . .  well, you know how it goes. Pulses, beans, and grains can be the basis of cheap, cheerful and nutritionally dense meals. For your essential fiber, protein and vital vitamins, pulses, legumes and grains of all varieties are the real unsung heroes, the legit super foods. Think lentil curries, bean stews. Alternatively, take lead from our Mediterranean friends and mix cold beans into salads with delicious dressings. We will hit you with some recipes soon so hang tight!

2.) Pasta- from the original inventors of Pasta in South East Asia (Noodles) to those cheeky Italians who took the idea back to the homeland and developed the world’s favorite food, pasta is an integral part of the world’s diet. Pasta largely fed the poorer Italians for thousands of years and now seems to be the dish of choice for students as it’s quick, cheap and easy. HOWEVER, pasta can become an artisan and imaginative dish to be easily composed on the road to keep you satisfied. Traditional dried pasta is vegan as it contains only buckwheat, water and sometimes salt. Fresh pasta can contain egg so be sure to read the print, however, brands like Barilla are a trustworthy goto and a global powerhouse producer, still based in Northern Italy! Think homemade pesto with avocado, basil and pine kernels, or maybe a deliciously simple garlic and tomato sauce- both drizzled with the best local olive oil to serve, add a little nature, a campfire, a glass of red wine and the silence of the wilderness and you have life goals right there!

3.) Spices maketh the food! Perhaps a famous slice of steak aside, meat has little flavour on its own, spices and other additions are what add flavour to the meal. Therefore having a few versatile spices in your cupboard can transform a veggie dish. From simple risottos to Middle eastern inspired dishes, one of our top choices is powdered saffron. A much cheaper alternative to the regular saffron; powdered saffron is flavour rich and makes any dish more earthy and all-around more glorious. Another spice mix that is gaining popularity is Sumac. We sprinkle sumac on salads of a richly sweet and nutty flavour or added into Moroccan cooking for another dimension. Of course, we couldn’t go with mentioning the basics like ground coriander, curry powder, ground chilli, cinnamon, paprika (epic on potatoes), Garam Masala and dried herbs.

4.) Buy locally. Veggies don’t keep amazingly well unless they are refrigerated and on the road, you are very unlikely to be lugging a nice stainless steel American fridge with you! Not only is this your chance to support small local growers and markets but also to sample some weird and wonderful local specialities. When passing through towns, steer clear of the supermarkets and instead, whip out your phone and check out local markets. You can find the best discounts at markets, picking up the freshest veggies at a fraction of what they would cost at the supermarket. When veggies are this fresh, all they need is to be lightly fried in some garlic, drizzle some extra virgin oil, lemon and rock salt to serve and that is sheer perfection.

Begin vegan is a whole lifestyle, one that makes you feel better from soul to surface. That’s why adopting this lifestyle if not just about the food, it’s about embodying the fundamental principles of the movement and that also means skin care and general living. When you become vegan you will see your world open up and reveal things you didn’t see before, sorry, not going wishy washy again, we promise. You will notice the carbon footprint of some everyday activities, the cruelty behind some of your favorite products. BUT all this knowledge is just the perfect opportunity streamline your life, before a little more minimal and conscientious. Instead of using a whole wash bag full of products from big name conglomerates like L’oreal and Garnier, basically, anything owned by Johnson & Johnson. Instead, investigate what local manufactories make simple skin care. Or simply cut out nonessentials and opt for natural alternatives, coconut oil can be used for not only cooking but to brush your teeth, wash your hair and cleanse your skin. Essential oils can become your perfume and everyday items like granulated sugar can be your new exfoliator.

So there you have it stargazers, a very basic starter pack on how to begin your plant based journey while on the road. We will be posting follow up blogs with recipes, tips of zero waste living and other hints and tips about the whole lifestyle. Together we can discover how to navigate the world of the minimalist and conscious living.

Until next time. . . .

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