While it requires careful planning, it is possible to follow the ketogenic diet for Vegan travelers. You will have to plan out in advance potential restaurants to eat at, or look into booking accommodation that has a kitchen for you to use.
The ketogenic diet has become more and more popular as people are discovering the benefits of following a low carbohydrate diet for a multitude of health benefits.
There is also increased interest from people following a Vegan diet looking to utilize the ketogenic diet for additional health benefits (and the same vice versa). The only downside, however, is that a ‘standard’ Vegan diet normally relies on consuming a fair number of carbohydrates.
While definitely not impossible to follow a Vegan and ketogenic diet, it is a bit more difficult as you are restricted to a smaller range of staple food items. With that said, there is still a wide variety of foods available for consumption. You just need to get creative in using them in different ways to avoid having the diet become bland.
To add even more difficulty to following both a Vegan and ketogenic diet, factor in traveling away from home! Again, this can be difficult but it is certainly not impossible. In this article we will explore the potential for the ketogenic diet for Vegan travelers, and what the available options may look like.
What is the Vegan diet?
The Vegan diet (Veganism is the technical term) is where one abstains from eating animal products or by-products. This leads to the diet being predominately plant-based, i.e. eating foods such as fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds, etc.
The Vegan diet is usually undertaken for a number of reasons, ranging from ethical and environmental concerns to the widely embraced health benefits.
What is the ketogenic diet?
The ketogenic diet was discovered to have health benefits for sufferers of epilepsy back in the 1920’s. Recently it has been re-branded as a diet which can assist everyday people in maintaining a healthier lifestyle. This re-branding is accurate, provided the protocols are followed properly and monitored.
The ketogenic diet involves cutting your carbohydrate intake and raising your healthy fat intake as a replacement. This is all done while maintaining a moderate protein intake.
Traveling as a Vegan on a Ketogenic Diet
Personally, while on holidays I prefer to relax my diet and enjoy the local cuisine! But I can understand that some people while traveling prefer to stick to their diet. To stick to any specific diet while traveling, there are a few simple things you do to prepare to ensure you stay on track with your diet:
- Book accommodation that contains a kitchen
Having somewhere to prepare meals and snack is important. You may not always find restaurants who can cater to your dietary requirements. Having a place to prepare meals will help you stick to your diet while away from home. This is where options like AirBnB can be a blessing.
- Research the area you will be staying at
Use tools such as Google Maps to look at the area you will be staying for local restaurants. You can then further look into these restaurants and their menus. There is also a handy website called Happy Cow which is used to find Vegan and vegetarian restaurants. This just leaves you to filter down to the ketogenic friendly options.
- Pack emergency/snack foods
It is unlikely you will always have quick and easy access to foods which are both Vegan and ketogenic while traveling. Rather than having to go hungry when you are not near places with suitable food for your diet. take the time to prepare some snacks you can take with you.
Things such as nuts, seeds or protein bars are convenient. If you have time to prepare pre-cut vegetables such as carrots (only in small amounts on keto) or celery, these provide for a nutritious snack, although they lack the fats you’ll find in nuts and seeds.
- Prepare meals for long travel periods
Before you begin a travel period, take the time to prepare on the go meals where you can. Whether you have a long flight, train ride or bus transfer, it is wise to have meals prepared.
This will prevent you from having to eat either a non-Vegan or non-ketogenic friendly meal while in transit. Snack only go so far, if you have a transit of 8+ hours it makes traveling simpler to have a full meal ready to go (unless you plan to use your time in transit to fast).
What foods are both Vegan and ketogenic friendly?
I have already covered in detail the variety of foods available under a Vegan and ketogenic diet previously.
A couple of examples include:
- Berries (strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries only)
- Nuts (almonds or macadamia nuts)
- Mushrooms (shiitake or king oyster)
- Leafy greens (kale or spinach)
- Above ground vegetables (broccoli or zucchini)
- Seaweed (Irish sea moss or kelp)
What if you are traveling and your options are limited?
Look for simple meals in which you can alter or just avoid certain foods in the dish. Things such as salads, stir fry and plated meals are a good option as they aren’t too hard to separate out the foods you don’t want to eat. Just be sure to avoid high sugar dressings on salads, as well as sugar-loaded marinades and or sauces.
If you are traveling for holidays, I would seriously consider forgoing one part of the diet or the other (Vegan or ketogenic part). You may be in another part of the world with a whole range of new foods and beverages to try. Limiting your eating options will add extra pressures at a time where you should be relaxed and enjoying yourself.
If you are traveling for business or a long period, and you plan to stick to a Vegan and ketogenic diet, follow the above recommendations. Try to make it as simple as possible for yourself. Ask your company to book you a room with a kitchen, or ensure you book yourself adequate accommodation to meet your dietary requirements.
While it may be difficult, it is not impossible
Following a ketogenic diet for Vegan travelers is a tough road. It requires preparation and diligence between finding suitable accommodation and options for local eateries. While difficult, it is not impossible with the right mindset and determination to follow your diet. Have you stuck to a diet while traveling? Share with us your tips below on how you managed to stay on track with your diet!