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Eating Raw and Vegan While Traveling

Let’s say that you were to travel extensively, go on a round-the-world trip, or even just go for a vacation abroad.

Does it make sense to eat a raw food diet when you travel?

As you know, I promote a plant-based diet (raw foods is great), and I am a proponent of eating a lot of fruit.

I’ve also traveled extensively before, including an 8-month trip around the world covering over 20 countries, so I’m aware of the challenges and also advantages of eating raw on the road.

One of my main concerns when traveling is health, which means eating as well as possible and getting exercise (which is not always easy when traveling!).

Overall, I would say that it’s quite easy to eat a plant-based diet when traveling.

The best places to find fruits and vegetables around the world are usually grocery stores and farmer’s markets (which in many countries are just called “markets”).

The problem when traveling is not just to find food, but to have a way to eat it.

At home, I normally use a big Vita-Mix blender at least once a day to make green smoothies.

While traveling, you’ll need to minimize your luggage and bringing a 15-pound vita-mix is usually out of the question. Even a travel blender takes a lot of space and is hardly usable to make smoothies.

A good idea is to bring a flexible cutting board though, as well as one knife and a couple of tupperware containers.

While traveling, a good portion of our diet can consist of fruits that will be cut up and eaten that way.

In many countries like Thailand and even throughout Europe, fruit is easy to find and delicious.

Vegetables are something to watch out for in many foreign countries where the water quality is questionable. I’ve known more than one raw-foodist who got seriously ill with parasites after eating greens and vegetables in Asia.

Also, making a big salad in a hotel room is not that easy or fun to do. So

So I generally eat a lot less salads during my travels and instead eat more cooked vegetables.

Eating 100% Raw or Not?

Some people, for various reasons, make the 100% raw diet the most important focus in their lives. So if they went on a one-year trip around the world, they would do everything they can to eat 100% raw all the time.

For me, based on previous experiences, I’ve decided that eating raw is not my main concern when I travel.

There are several reasons for this:

1) When traveling and without access to fruit in bulk, and without a blender, it’s much harder to get enough calories from fruit.

2) I consider high-fat raw meals to be worse for health than low fat cooked vegan meals.

3) My goal is health and not just “raw foods”. I also want to have fun on a trip and not feel stressed by having to eat 100% raw all the time.

4) Because I don’t want to be eating a lot of raw vegetables in many countries for health reasons, supplementing the diet with some high-nutrient-density cooked vegetables is a good idea.

5) When eating 100% raw for a while, the body will violently react to any cooked foods eaten because it has not adapted to eating them in a while. Based on previous experiences, it’s not a good idea to become *that* sensitive on a trip, especially if it takes you to remote locations where finding enough fruit calories might be difficult.

My philosophy for eating while traveling is simple:

– I eat a lot of fruit because it’s easy to find, safe and usually less expensive than everything else.

– Avoid raw vegetables in many countries for health reasons.

– If I have access to a kitchen and will be in one location for a while, I buy ingredients to make simple and healthy plant-based meals.

– If I’m traveling for tourism, I enjoy some of the local cuisine and burn it off by walking over 18,000 steps a day!

– I don’t worry too much about making my diet perfect when traveling.

Stay safe, eat fruit, walk a lot, and enjoy your trip!

What do you think? If you traveled around the world, would you stick to a 100% raw diet? Post your comments below.

NOTE: You can save 55% on my course “How to Travel the World for Free” by using coupon code IRELAND for this week only. Click the link below to find out more and remember to use the coupon code on checkout for the discount! 

Frederic Patenaude
Frederic Patenaude
Frederic Patenaude has been an important influence in the raw food and natural health movement since he started writing and publishing in 1998, first by being the editor of Just Eat an Apple magazine. He is the author of over 20 books, including The Raw Secrets, the Sunfood Cuisine and Raw Food Controversies. Since 2013 he’s been the Editor-in-Chief of Renegade Health.

Frederic loves to relentlessly debunk nutritional myths. He advocates a low-fat, plant-based diet and has had over 10 years of experience with raw vegan diets. He lives in Montreal, Canada.