Comments

  1. I look forward to more of these posts. Although I’ve always found plenty to eat when traveling, I find that research ahead of time is VERY helpful!

    • Agreed I got very lucky landing in a place where it was easy despite not planning much ahead of time, though I’ve been there so much I guess it’s kind of the same thing!

  2. Heck yes! Long-time vegan here. Super excited to read more about your delicious plant-based finds around the globe! Congrats on making the change.

  3. Yay! Congrats on going vegan! I have been mostly vegan for the past 1.5 years and I am loving it!

  4. I’m vegan too; I am so happy for you! Could you make posts about vegan options in other countries? 🙂

    • That’s my goal! Will do as I travel more as a vegan. I recall finding great options in Peru too! I wasn’t vegan back then but loved vegan food so this was a natural progression 🙂

  5. What an amazing news to read! I love your blog and follow your tips religiosly and now that you make that decision I kinda feel like proud, just want to say “that’s my girl” 😀
    I’m flying to Indonesia in July for 4 months and then Philippines for another 3 months, this post just came in the right time!

  6. Hey Kristin: Glad to see great support for your new diet on here and best wishes with it. When I started by vegetarian diet (mine is unusual, I limit my dairy intake, and rarely have egg products, but eat a bit of fish (avoid farm raised), but not only a few specific kinds for omega 3’s, so semi-pescatarian) 30 years ago (that long ago, time flies!) many people were like “how about your protein, your strength, your weight”? I find it funny in your case because with this diet you might encounter similar strong opinions or “concerns” from others much like when you decided to live a life as a traveler/nomad, both very positive and not so much. And just like with solo female traveling, you will likely prove to everyone that it can be done with great success.
    In my case, I have a physical religiously every year and my healthy blood tests show that my vegetarian diet only supplemented with a one a day vitamin (which almost everyone I know takes, meat eater or not) is a good thing. I’m a guy so I can’t speak for this for women, but strangely enough I have always had lower than average iron, until I took my one a day vitamin with orange juice every morning which took care of that problem (the iron absorbs into the body in citrus). Calcium levels were never a problem either. On top of this, my weight is the same as when I was in college with the same fitness level and strength (except the usual aging process, watching the back more etc.). I never went vegan (although am close if take fresh salmon out), but I love fruits, legumes and vegetables by nature and encourage a vegan diet as long as you monitor yourself and supplement where needed. If you take medication or have certain digestive sensitivities, one should talk to someone about catering your vegan/vegetarian diet for that (e.g., peanut/nut allergies, soy allergies and the like), but it can work just like with meat eaters. I wish anyone the best of luck with it!
    As for reducing your carbon footprint, in addition to eating vegan, one should eat the local foods and reduce the amount of cooked foods you eat (strangely, I did not realize baking produces more emissions than stir-fry due to time for cooking, although don’t need to get that extreme about it!). Kristin gets additional points on that front!! If one wants to reduce their carbon footprint, but don’t want to go vegetarian, you can help again by reducing cooked foods, eating local, and reducing your intake of lamb (the worst of them), beef, cheese (imported), pork, turkey and salmon (farm-raised) by 50% and you would reduce your carbon footprint by at least a third (based on average diet, more if you are big meat eater or knock out lamb and/or beef totally)!! Plus combining that with a more active lifestyle and removing processed foods (further reducing footprint) and you are golden!
    Looking forward to what you find in your adventures. This has always been my concern with traveling where with my semi-kosher diet on top of it would make be more pure vegan eating out. My Thai friend and manager of a local Vietnamese restaurant told me to use the term “Jay” (Thai) and “Chay” (Vietnam/Cambodia), with some equivalent in China; however, I have heard that refers to what Buddhists eat which may not always be pure vegan. You are there on the front lines and would know more exactly what to do so future advice is welcome as a supplement to your solo adventure posts!!

    • Calcium is actually something I’m worried about without having fortified milk substitutes. They’re just not really a thing here and I’d rather make my own oat milk without the additives. Are you getting it from your multivitamin?

      • I get some of my calcium from green leafy vegetables, nuts (I love almonds) and soy products fortified with it (e.g. soy milk). I also intake a little milk and tiny bit of cheese. However, the 200mg of calcium from my multivitamin when taken with a full meal will absorb in your stomach acid and be sufficient for me if I wanted to go full vegan and had no access to fortified soy milk. As for you, 200mg calcium as part of a multivitamin with a full meal of any sort should be sufficient for you too as a woman. If you blood tests as part of a physicals show no history of problems this is especially true. Annual physicals are important anyhow for everything. When women reach into their 40’s and beyond calcium and vitamin D become more important (pre-menopause and later). However, in that case the multivitamins designed for women with higher calcium levels (e.g., 300mg) would be needed if you are vegan although if you can find soy milk fortified with it somewhere in your travels, that will help a lot. Hope this is helpful and if you have any other questions, let me know and if I can answer the question I will. I confirmed this info with my local pharmacist who are often better than doctors about vitamins and medications. Oh as for vitamin D if you are light skinned you can get that from just a little direct sun exposure every day!

  7. Oops. Made some typos at the beginning in one set of sentences (and one later but will let that go). This is what I meant:

    When I started my vegetarian diet (mine is unusual, I limit my dairy intake, and rarely have egg products, but eat a bit of fish (avoid farm raised), but only a few specific kinds for omega 3’s, so semi-pescatarian) 30 years ago (that long ago, time flies!) many people were like “how about your protein, your strength, your weight”?

  8. Penang in Malaysia is a fantastic place for vegan food. There’s even a vegan sushi joint. I was vegan for about 6 years and although I ate healthy I was unaware of a having a vitamin B12 deficiency which caused healthy problems. Be sure to monitor it because it’s something that has affected many of my friends who have been vegan for a long time.

  9. How unfortunate. Being a vegan is completely incompatible with being a “Travel Muse” for others who long to experience other cultures. What a shame. You had a great blog.

    Please don’t travel to any other countries and try to force your veganism on your hosts. Not only will you insult the,, you also risk making other American travelers look worse than they already do (because of intolerant people like you).

    The only place you are now qualified to travel to and write about is California. Feel free to go throughout that land and be with your people. Enjoy the traffic too.

    • I didn’t know that eating plants makes me intolerant.

      I think leaving angry comments about someone deciding to do something nice for the planet is intolerant, though.

      But just to clear things up, there are vegan locals in China, Thailand, Cambodia, Tibet, Malaysia, Singapore, and many other Asian countries, and lots of them. It’s part of their religious beliefs and they’d be anything but insulted that I’d enjoy their food with them.

      In Berlin, and much of Europe, veganism is very common, and nobody minds here that I opt for plants.

      I found vegan restaurants in Peru, too, run by Peruvians.

      It’s strange and sad that the response to this would be so strong and negative. It helps the planet, and causes no harm. Why do you care?

      Bye Felicia, we don’t need negativity around here <3

    • Hi Jake and anyone who responds this way (and FYI for everyone!): Everyone is entitled to their opinion and express it, but it is important to get your facts straight and you might feel less defensive about it. Here are the facts:
      1. California and vegans: For one thing, California is not the #1 vegan state in the U.S., yet the world. In terms of restaurants per capita, it is around #10! And Oregon rates #1 really. Leave California alone anyhow, it is a fun, beautiful place to visit and if you learn more about the state you will find your preconceptions are way off (e.g., the whole state isn’t San Francisco politically BTW, it was the state that brought us Ronald Reagan).
      2. Intolerance: Being vegan doesn’t mean being intolerant because you personally choose to eat a certain way. If you look down on “meat eaters” which I have experienced in my life with some vegans/vegetarians, then sure. Most by far are not this way, especially these days as it is part of the recent more mainstream being healthy movement. However, looking down at vegans and calling them names is just as if not more intolerant. Tolerance is about accepting differences and being polite about it when in an environment where such a eating habit is unfamiliar. It is all about respect and it goes both ways Jake.
      3. Kristin the Travel Muse: Jake and others, if you want to know of what cool things to eat around the world, you have 5+ years and volumes of virtual pages of information and experiences she has as a meat eater. So many of her readers have alternative eating styles such as vegan/vegetarian and now by switching to this herself, she can now ADD to her repertoire and be a genuine help for this sizable part of her tribe. Also, as a vegan she gets to feel like she has a whole new experience while returning to the same places, much like going back to a place in the summer versus the winter! Food is so important to travel. Take a look at her next post, how she can provide both a meat eater’s and vegan’s perspective by actually living as both! She is more the muse than less now.
      4. American travelers: The key to making a good impression in other countries is to be a good, respectful guest, not a certain eating style. While it is harder to eat vegan/vegetarian in some places than others, and it is understandable how mysterious it is for someone to limit their diet in places where people are struggling for their next meal, it is all about showing respect to your hosts and working around it the best you can. Kristin espouses respect to her hosts and has opened my eyes to traveling to places I would not have considered before by showing ways to help the locals there and leaving the place you visit better than before you came. Examples of what she has promoted include eating the local foods, trying at least a few words in the native language, looking for off the beaten path locales, respecting the environment by leaving a campsite in the same condition as it was when you came (Leave No Trace), not bathing/swimming in untouched water basins, behaving yourself (not partying too crazily, limit your alcohol intake) and so on. I’m sorry if Americans are portrayed less than favorably in some places, although I haven’t researched this to be sure about that. Americans tend to put themselves down a lot.

      I hope, Jake or anybody else who has a strong feeling on vegan lifestyle and Kristin’s change get something out of this comment I made and for others some points to make to friends/family who might react in such matter. Don’t be afraid of veganism and most vegans aren’t doing this to make a statement, it is a style of living that has been around for centuries, if not millenia, and is being embraced now all over. The world is embracing the increased wave of global tourism and providing more options each year. Plus there’s the spike in food allergies in the world such as to peanuts and ever present dairy intolerance (which makes coconut milk an attractive option) on top of religious based diets that have been around forever. This is the world today and time to accept the change! Lastly, promise this is my last comment on this specific post! 🙂

  10. Bravo to you, Kristin! You look like the picture of health, and science supports that the phytonutrients, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes abundant in Plant Based Nutrition will help you prevent the chronic degenerative diseases of heart disease, cancer, and Type 2 Diabetes, as well as other inflammatory conditions. it is kinder to the animals and the environment. I went plant based / vegan following two early small treatable breast cancers in 2005 and 2008, and thus far, no recurrence. PBN will also optimize your glow and energy. Plant Based Nutrition opens up a whole world of food choices , it is not limiting. I have not found it hard to travel and eat plant based; a little planning ahead can help; and shopping in the local markets to enjoy new fruits and veggies is a delight.

    • Thanks Susan! So wonderful to hear it was so beneficial to your health. I’m doing it mostly for the health benefits too, but also find it’s another fun adventure too!

  11. Great new item!
    I’m a vegetarian for a long time, with barely no eggs and milk. I tried going vegan, but i found it very difficult, and my energy was low. I will definitely try it again in the future.
    Eating out is a challenge sometimes, even as a vegetarian, mostly with meat eating friends.
    I really look forward to reading more posts about your journey as a vegan and cool vegan spots al over the world!!

  12. Hi Kristin

    Glad to see more and more people going the plant-based route and my congratulations to you Kristin. I’ve been around for 65 years, (look 15 years younger) am slim and still have the hair colour I was born with (light brown) I’ve been a vegetarian for 44 years, studied and practised macrobiotics since 1985 and am now vegan. I’ve travelled to many parts of the world including Africa, Europe and South East Asia and have had no problem eating plant-based food except when I was in Cambodia. All the best to vegans around the world.

  13. In Bail now, will be heading to Ubud and Gilis and Lombok. Had lots of Gado gado so far! Veggie, not quite vegan myself but thanks for all the tips this is great! I found Brazil, specifically Sao Paulo tough, lots of times I’d say ‘no meat’ and they’d nod along and give me something with chicken ?

    • Yeah I think vegetarian still means fish and chicken are cool in much of the world which I find very confusing but it’s not my culture. I’m scared of returning to Patagonia with this diet. I recall few vegetables available due to the remoteness.

      • Hey Kristin: Never been to Patagonia but from looking around solo traveler discussions I saw these vegetarian/vegan places from this one guy who also keeps kosher (so he would make sure there wasn’t any cheese, chicken etc. accidentally in there if it is not a kosher restaurant). Item number 4 I grabbed from Happy Cow (since Punta Arenas is an important spot so curious if something there) from a strict vegan critic that found only that place satisfactory. Maybe you can take food to go for your travels from these places? We depend on supermarkets when traveling too but can be a pain:
        1. El Living, Arturo Prat 156, Puerto Natales, Chile (vegetarian with vegan options, good rating)
        2. Curcuma: José Antonio Rojo 219, El Chalten, Santa Cruz, Argentina (they make boxed lunches for on the go, vegetarian with vegan options…not far from Fitz Roy)
        3. Ren Vegetariano: San Martín 298, 8400 San Carlos de Bariloche, Río Negro, Argentina (by the kilo, might be good for on the go? Kind on the northern border of Patagonia)
        4. Amaranta Tea House: Avenida Cristobal Colón 822, Punta Arenas, Chile (not a vegan restaurant but have a separate vegan menu of 3 items which I guess is the best you get in this city, vegan burger with veggies, pad thai and risotto)

        Hope this is helpful next time you go there!?? If these aren’t areas you plan to hang out with, never mind!!!

    • The word meat in Brazil specifically refers to red meat, which is why you still got chicken! Meat =/= chicken.

  14. All the food looks delicious, I found being vegan was very easy in all of South East Asia, bar Singapore! I’m actually just veggie but I don’t like cheese so end up eating vegan a lot of the time. Chiang Mai had more vegan restaurants than I have ever seem in my life! More than London for example. It was a lovely surprise

    • I don’t like cheese either! People always look at me like I’m insane when I say that.

  15. Wow this post couldn’t have come at a better time. I have been vegan for 3 months now. I am currently in Vietnam but am planning a 2 month trip to Indonesia in a few months time and was wondering about the vegan options on the less touristy islands. Thank you for your awesome, informative blogs. I cannot wait for Indonesia. Happy travels.

  16. Congrats on your veganism! I’m an omnivore always looking at ways to reduce my meat intake (without subscribing to any one “way”) and it’s always great to see vegan options promoted. Anyone who sees “vegan” and takes it as an affront to themselves is a bit defensive in my eyes. There’s room for everyone on this earth and I salute you for making a challenging step towards a more environmentally friendly wy of living. I can’t see myself going full vegan in the near future but as someone who loves vegan food I’ll be keeping an eye out on your vegan posts. Cheers 🙂

    • Thanks so much Allison! Agreed I don’t see why it should bother anyone as long as I’m not on a soap box making anyone feel bad for their choices, which I wouldn’t do. It would be pretty hypocritical of me as someone who ate meat her whole life until now! Anyways anyone eating more plants is a win and I’m glad you’re looking forward to more vegan posts! <3

  17. Hope you can come back to indonesian with other Delicious food kristin 🙂

  18. This is so wonderful to hear, Kristin! I’m a long time reader, a long time traveler (32 countries in about the last 10 years. Only one stint of long term travel. The rest is all vacations from my full time job as a construction site inspector here in New York City), and a long time vegan (over 12 years and counting!). There is no better way to care for your health, the health of the planet, and the health of the animals then to live a vegan lifestyle. I applaud you. The haters should just take a hike! Can’t wait to read any and all food updates!

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