Tag Archives: health

Four keys to staying vegetarian/vegan abroad

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Dinner served on Iberia Airlines. Photo by me.

Hello everyone! It has been a while since my last entry. Surprise… I am blogging from Salamanca, Spain. I began my study abroad here on June 23. Over the course of my travel I have learned a lot. I am staying with a host family and I am provided three meals a day through my program.

#1 Request vegetarian/vegan food during your flight.

I took a group flight to Madrid, Spain. My friend Maria, a fellow vegetarian, developed the brilliant idea of calling ahead to ask for vegetarian meals to be served to us. During the course of our 11 hour flight, we received two vegetarian meals and several snacks.  According to Iberia Airlines, you must call at least 24 hours ahead of your flight to receive vegetarian options.

#2 Learn local terms for animal products.

For example here in Spain, milk is leche, jamón is ham and meat is carne. Learning the language can be easy with foreign language apps and language dictionaries.

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First meal with host family. Photo by me.

#3 Eat your protein! 
During my first few days in Spain I felt very sick. I endured migraines and stomachaches. My vegetarian meals on the airplane lacked protein. In addition, my first meal at my homestay was iceberg lettuce, tomatoes and french fries. Obviously that was not enough. I had to nurse myself back to health with protein and hours of sleep. My favorite forms of protein are beans, quinoa and green peas. There are a plethora of  protein options to help you while traveling.

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Veggie sandwich at Madrid Airport. Photo by me. 

#4 Don’t be discouraged.

No matter your destination – you are not the only herbivore! Be aware of your surroundings. After just two days in Salamanca, I found two farmer’s markets and a small store that sells organic goods and A LOT of tofu! In addition, there are many tools available online that will help you find vegetarian/vegan food no matter where you are.

Overall, enjoy your trip. Travel is powered by exploration. Go out there and find the foods that work for you. It is a very exciting time! I recently found one of the best veggie burgers at at a location near my university here in Spain.

P.S. I can’t wait to share my vegetarian finds with each and every one of you!

 

 

 

 

 

Why eating cactus should make you love vegetables

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Today, I met a young lady named Kenya at the Pomona Farmers Market. Kenya transports her produce from Arvin, California each Saturday morning in order to sell it at the market.

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Uncooked cactus. Photo by me.

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Best, free apps to make you feel, look healthy

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An engineering student jumps as she celebrates her health in the Arizona dessert. Photo taken by me.

MyFitnessPal by Under Armor

MyFitnessPal is the ultimate meal planner. When using the application, you log your current weight and your future weight goal (the weights may be the same if you wish to maintain). The app then tells you what you should be eating in order to meet your goal. When I use the MyFitnessPal Diary, I record everything I eat. The app also counts calorie, carbohydrate, fat and protein intake.

For example my daily nutrition plan consists of:
1, 500 calories
50 percent carbohydrates
30 percent fat
20 percent protein

There is even a social media aspect of the app where you can celebrate and share your progress with friends who also use the app.

Is It Vegan?

It is week seven of my vegan journey, and I am still learning. With the “Is It Vegan” application, I scan the bar code on a specific food or beverage item and discover all its ingredients. The app then states if the item is vegan, vegetarian or neither.

Since some vegans consider sugar a vegetarian ingredient, the app allows the user to set their personal preference on if they view sugar as vegetarian or vegan. Some view sugar as vegetarian because certain refined sugars are filtered using animal bone char to reduce impurities.

Overall, I am happy with these apps because they help me lead a health conscious lifestyle.