Vegan travels.

June 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

Hello from sunny Brisbane! It’s actually my last day here and i’ll be heading back to the big freezer that is NSW tomorrow.

Grandma and I, in a photo-off – great river walks and fantastic facilities for exercise and relaxation.

Yesterday, I took full toll of my dad’s boating services and requested a ladylike little jaunt on the river. It was so exceptionally beautiful – being on the water is one of my favourite things, and I find it infinitely relaxing and quite meditative. In this instance, the precariously balanced children wrestling at the front end of the boat, playing with potentially deadly hooks, anchors & propellers rendered it slightly less so….but I soaked it up all the same.

So beautiful in fact, that I’m going to spam you with wholly un-health-related pictures from the day. Mental health benefits, no?

Gorgeous colours & reflections.

I’m a sucker for gazing wistfully at the clouds.

Sis, eating with passion.

Hey hey hey! Look who made it on board! They were originally engineered for boating and the like, so of course I had to return them to their maritime roots. UPDATE – have been walking a lot in the vibrams, and tried a little light jogging (we’re talking 50m stints) here and there – no pain or discomfort to report, and looking forward to working my way towards a barefooted gypsy running queen quite soon.

Here is a token (poorly lit/shot) pic of a porridge brekky I enjoyed the other day. With parental funds present, I was able to indulge in some fresh strawberries for the first time in eons! Unfortunately, they just don’t fit my ordinary budget.

This holiday has really been the first time i’ve been away for an extended period as a fairly strict health nut/vegan, and I think it’s something that is doable as long as you’re prepared to take awkward comments & sideways looks on the chin.

In saying that, it is up to you how you want to approach time away. Some people choose to forego their usual eating habits, and just enjoy their holiday – all food is fair game. This may ultimately be a much more relaxed and less stressful method. For me however, ‘healthy’ is just what I want to do; a ‘lifestyle’ as over-enthused women’s mag’s would insist upon  – not so much a crazy diet that I want to adhere to, whilst looking longingly at the ‘regular’ food that everyone else is eating. I don’t want to consume meat & dairy & junk food and things like that because I know how they make me feel, and also the story behind them (ie. refusing to eat animal products for the aforementioned reasons). So in this instance, yes, I wanted to be able to continue with a close-to-normal eating plan.

These things made it so much easier:

  • Packing ‘unusual’ items to take with you, such as Savoury Yeast Flakes, Carob & Cacao powders, Stevia, Spirulina and Quinoa. This way, I at least had a stash of things that are integral to a lot of my eats, without having to pester my hosts to help me scope out the nearest health food depot.
  • Making sure your hosts are aware in advance of your ‘status’. Ie. vegetarian, vegan, raw foodist (gasp!) Even though I have trouble with ‘vegan’ as a label sometimes, because I would eat an egg from a healthy, happy chicken on a lovely, local farm, if it makes things easier just put yourself in a box for the duration of your stay!
  • In the same vein, it might also be easier to use the old ‘allergy’ trick if there are foods you simply won’t eat because of health reasons, etc. Like soy. I’ve found it comes off preachy and judgmental if I go on a spiel about how I don’t feel comfortable ingesting too much soy, and the associated health concerns in front of people who may still enjoy it, and have it ready to serve up to their vegetarian guest (cos that’s all we eat, right?). Instead, a more tactful approach may be to simply say, sorry, I’m allergic! It’s up to you, but I am trying so hard to be aware that not everyone shares the same concerns as me, and may be taken aback by my ‘rules’ regarding some foods.
  • Prepare to be flexible. No, I have not been able to eat organic while i’ve been away. Yes, I have inadvertently eaten some butter or dairy in a recipe. No, I’m not going to say I won’t eat that! to the soycheese my stepmum bought me as a thoughtful alternative to regular cheese – despite the fact it had casein (dairy protein) in it, a bunch of weird flavourings, and made my tummy hurt the next day. It won’t kill me (but I admit, I have felt decidedly lacklustre in the absence of mountains of fresh greens, vegetable juices, and raw foods).
  • Keep up with your exercise if you can – go for walks, explore your new surroundings, pack your runners (or your FFV’s!). This will make you feel much better in general, keep your energy levels up, and help to keep those ‘omigawd i’m losing all my precious fitness’ thoughts at bay!

There you have it! I’ll reiterate, it has not been easy. I’ve actually felt quite depressed and anxious to tell you the truth, as my skin has gone HAYWIRE again, and I suddenly feel sluggish and pudgy. Not that that matters at all but I’m simply channeling the  blerrrghghghghaaaaaaaaaaaewwwwwww vibe. You know that feeling?!

It’s an important lesson for me to learn to maintain some perspective – do your best to be true to how you want to eat and live (for it’s your choice, and should not be subject to the scrutiny of others – however unrealistic this may be!) So i’m definitely having a stern word with my perfectionist monster, and trying to ease on up on the inner turmoil.

It will all be ok, right guys? Right! And on that note, I wish you a happy, positive, healthy adieu, and I’ll see you back in the land of sanity really soon!

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