Monday, July 10, 2006

What do vegan triathletes eat, any way?

I just got back from food shopping for our 10-day trip. This is, as I've mentioned previously, our first vacation together, ever, without children. Ever. Did I mention we've never had a vacation without children? Never. This is our first. Ever.

The mission: bring food so we 1) don't get caught in a town where the height of cuisine is Denny's (Cheese: It's the new salt!) 2) don't spend our retirement eating, 3) can prepare it with a hot pot and an electric skillet, 4) have plenty to eat because we're doing two triathlons in this trip (more on this later) and finally, 5) still have room in the Honda FIT for our bikes, clothes, and tri-gear.
-->Contrary to popular belief, it's not about salads with us. Myles doesn't particularly like them, and most restaurants ruin any chance for them to be healthy by using iceberg lettuce (pretty nutritionally deficit) and/or adding ham, eggs, fatty dressings, cheese, fried chicken...

We've done a lot of wilderness backpacking, so I like to think of living out of hotel rooms and our car as a type of luxury camping.
When you look at it that way, it's pretty awesome to have running water, electricity, beds, ice, walls, a/c...but even cooler, because there will be no kids along. Did I mention we're doing this ALONE??
So, how do Vegans pack light and cheap for a trip?

1. TVP. This gets reconstituted with boiling water, and takes the place of ground beef in a variety of settings. Each 2 ounce serving has 160 calories, 30 grams of soy protein, 18 grams of carbohydrate 12 grams of fiber, 20 mg iron, and less than 1 gram of fat. With this, we can make spaghetti sauce, sloppy joes, tacos, and add it to the chili.
2. instant and canned foods. Instant chili, instant mashed potatoes, instant brown rice, instant spicy lentils, instant refried beans, generic crystal light drink, canned veg-all mixed vegetables, canned low-sugar fruit, boxed vanilla soy milk. Bring a can opener and a hot pot.
3. think, "base of the food pyramid" Sandwiches, burritos and entrees using whole what rolls, breads, and buns, taco shells, whole wheat tortillas, whole grain cereals, brown rice, sliced italian bread, pasta, and oatmeal give us our "food pyramid" base, provide lots of complex carbs, and fill us up.
4: Seitan. We eat a lot of this. It's got similar properties to the TVP, except it's made with wheat, and takes the place of larger pieces of meat in fajitas, stir fry, and even sliced for sandwiches. I'm going to make a mess of this stuff, brown it up and season it and bag it for various meals. It keeps well in a cooler (one of the benefits of not eating meat is that you don't have to worry about it going bad). Meat eaters even like this stuff.

5. Avoid too much junk
. No fried foods. Baked Lays, granola bars, and generic wheat crackers for snacks.
Today I'll be making a whole mess of seitan, as well as de-boxing and bagging other things.

5 days until vacation starts. Woo-hoo!


  1. you aren't the only vegan triathlete out there! my coach is a vegan ironwoman....she's actually a vegetarian who is still nursing her daughter who is lactose vegan by default, does that count?
    signed, a vegetarian athena triathlonmom in the east.
    ps can i come camping with you?

  2. Sounds good, except for all the canned stuff. That's meant to last forEVER... it scares me!

  3. Textured soy chunks(?!) I know this kind of stuff isn't so bad, I voluntarily substitute tofu for chicken when I make burritos and for sour cream and in some dips, and put soy milk on my cereal, but couldn't they come up with a yummier name?


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