5 Practical Tips for the Traveling Vegetarian Fitness Enthusiast3 min read
Having traveled quite a bit around Southeast Asia (I’ve been to Yogyakarta, Bali, Mandalay, Luang Prabang, and various other cities around this region), I can confidently say that one, traveling won’t mean you’ll starve yourself, and two, you don’t have to quit working out.
While it’s a bit challenging, a little bit of planning pays. Here are five things for my checklist before I head to any destination:
- Are there any vegetarian restaurants nearby? HappyCow (www.happycow.net) is a great resource for vegetarian/vegan travelers. See if there are any listings of vegetarian/vegan restaurants in your destination.
- Are there gyms around the area? The best way to do this is to Google. Try different permutations of “gyms in (name of city you’re going to)”. If possible, ask your hotel if they have a fitness facility. Usually, hotels listed on agoda.com or Trip Advisor will indicate if your chosen accommodation has a gym. If you can’t find any, how about taking suspension trainers with you for the trip? It’s an easy way to work out while on the move. Workouts are available online – or you can ask your personal trainer to create one for you so you don’t have to sacrifice your strength for traveling!
- What’s the local word for vegetarian? I’ve learned that going to countries with a large Buddhist population will potentially have a number of vegetarian options. But this isn’t always the case – the selection in Myanmar isn’t as many as you would expect. They have a word for vegetarian though – thathalo. Still unsure if your meal is vegetarian or not? Stick to tofu or tempeh. If all else fails, survey the local market. You’re bound to find something!
- Can I rent a bike instead of taking a cab or the local public transportation? Not only will it help save gas and the environment, riding the bike also allows you to check out more places in your destination while staying fit. Usually, there are bike rentals available in popular tourist spots (to share, I rarely saw a tourist taking a cab in Luang Prabang or Bagan.) If you can’t find any, ask your hotel to help you find one. While you’re at it, why not download a fitness tracker (like Fitocracy or Fitbit) on your smartphone?
- What supplements can I take with me? During my last trip, I made sure to make room in my luggage for my creatine and protein powder. It lessens the hassle of worrying if I can eat something protein-rich along the way. Anything else I find during my trip – like nuts and beans I could munch on, for example – are just a good plus, but I’m secure that I won’t have to fret that I can’t find anything protein-rich during traveling.
Guest Author: Evan Tan
Evan Tan is a vegetarian traveler who’s into fitness. He is a creative professional based in Manila. Visit his website at www.writerinmanila.com.
Photo by Tim Herzog.