Here we are, back to the cold winter reality of New England. I loved Mexico. We had a beautiful vacation and soaked up the gorgeous sunshiny weather. This was the perfect time of year to visit Mexico because it never felt too hot or stifling, even on the one day it rained, it only rained off and on and one could still enjoy outside activities throughout the day.
The biggest and most important lesson I learned, first hand, is this: you must be prepared!
During the travel to and from your destination, you must pack simple, light, small snacks to get you through those times. Airport food and convenience store foods are very expensive and very often are not vegan friendly. You will be reading labels until your eyeballs fall out and then you will feel the money draining out of your pockets… better to be prepared.
Know what food will be available at your destination. Read menus, and visit the restaurants, look, and ask questions. A lot of times things will be obvious, such as fruit platters or salad bars; most of the time those selections will be vegan, unless they use a cream sauce or dressings. Also obvious will be platters of meats and meat based stews or meat and egg based breakfasts.You will know, those are not vegan. By the way, pancakes will almost always have eggs and milk in them, the best breakfast, I found to be for me was fruits, and oatmeal. But you may have to ask for the oatmeal to be prepared with water, because if you are going to a breakfast buffet most likely the oatmeal will be prepared with milk and butter.
Also not so obvious are veggies, rice and pasta dishes. A perfectly vegan-looking rice and veggie dish may have meat broth or butter or salt pork in it as the beginning preparation. The pasta sauces usually have meat, meat stock or cheeses. The veggies may be grilled in the meat drippings to give them more flavor. Best to stay with veggies that looked steamed and/or have no sauce.
My easiest finds to make things vegan for me, was veggie pizza, pasta, fruits and salad bars. The pizza was made vegan by asking for the veggies of my choice and no cheese on the pizza.
At another meal, I would ask for plain pasta, which I would then add to it veggies from the salad bar and other condiments I would find, which were vegan, such as an olive relish or stewed tomatoes. So each time I had pasta, it would be different depending on what I chose to put on it. Very liveable, very satisfying and easy on the stomach.
And so it depends on your dietary goals and how closely you want to adhere to your own guidelines, and why you have chosen those guidelines, how your experience will be. what are your goals? Do you want to not gain a lot of excess weight while you are vacationing? Do you want to avoid the blah feeling and the overstuffed stomach ache feeling that leaves you unable to enjoy other activities for even a short time? Do you want to spend extra time in the bathroom while your digestive system complains to you because of your meat based indulgences? If all of the answers to these questions are no, then stay as close to your vegan diet as you can. Really. You will feel so much better for it.