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  1. #1
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    Touring tips for a Vegetarian? For a Female rider?

    Hello everyone, I am about to embark on my first long tour, from Virginia to Oregon. I am a female vegetarian, and I was just wondering if anyone had any tips for items to have along or things to try that I will find absolutely invaluable, either as a girl or a vegetarian. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Gordon P
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    I spent a month in America last fall and I found it to be a challenge to be vegetarian and I was in 3 of the larger cities in the north! When I am cycle-touring I shop for food at grocery stores and will buy fruit, vegetables, yogurt, cheese, nuts, juice, breads and anything that is healthy, has no MSG and can keep without being refrigerated. For breakfast I will eat oatmeal, fruit, granola bars and yogurt, for lunch I usually stop for a long rest and have a big lunch often with local beer or wine. I make lots of veggie sandwiches on whole grain bread, fruit, nuts, olives, cheese etc... For super it really depends if I have a camp stove or the use of a kitchen like at a youth hostel for example. Pasta, been and rice dishes with veggies and bread is always filling. If you know your route, look up vegetarian restaurants and make a list with maps and have a good veggie restaurant meal when you can!

    Oh and the best advice for a girl would be to stay away from meat eating Neanderthals!

    Gordon p

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    It'll be tough going everywhere. When I couldn't really get some veg grub I wanted -I went for mac and cheese, oatmeal with anything I could think to add. Small restaurants can be accommodating, I've found.

    Pretty much what Gordon said.
    I love to commute and ride. Keeping a positive focus.

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  4. #4
    Senior Member bhchdh's Avatar
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    Check out the journels at Crazyguy. I think you will find alot of information on both subjects.
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/?o=2LbOc

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    jwa
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    Can't speak as a girl, but...

    Several years ago my then-14 y.o. daughter, who a month earlier became a vegetarian, did a 7-day tour along the C&O towpath. Her diet was hampered by the fact that she didn't (doesn't) really like veggies. She did fine w/ cottage cheese (much more available than one might think!), PB&J, mac&cheese, etc. Luckily she didn't know then that Gardettos contain anchovies. We did learn that Hamburger Helper cooked & eaten w/o adding meat is quite tasty. Velveeta keeps a long time if stuffed inside your sleeping bag during the day (Kraft Singles are similar, but more expensive per weight....)
    Last edited by jwa; 05-11-08 at 09:38 PM.

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    I buy brown rice and lentils or split peas when I'm running out and passing a real grocery store (which will have these in one-pound bags) and cans of beans basically anywhere that sells food. These are the core ingredients of a nearly infinite number of evening meals with whatever fresh fruits and vegetables are available (these can be cooked with the rice and legumes, or added raw to leftover-rice-and-legume salads the next day). Also, peanut butter and whole-grain crackers like Ry-Krisp for breakfast and/or lunch. Add whatever milk proteins you favor -- even gas stations often have milk and yogurt, and powdered milk is an almost weightless backup/emergency ingredient -- and you should have the protein issues of a vegetarian diet covered.

    All of this is cheap, too, which leaves money in the budget for a vegetarian restaurant meal whenever you want to break the monotony of your own cooking imagination. I'm a sucker for lunch at small-town Chinese restaurants -- their vegetarian offerings are often way more homestyle than the rest of the menu.

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    Senior Member cycotourer's Avatar
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    There is excellent info from Friedel of Travelling Two for women touring cyclists.

    http://travellingtwo.com/resources/t...women-cyclists

    Unless you plan to eat at restaurants, taking fruit, legumes and vegies should be relatively easy. Travelling with meat would be a bigger problem as you would have to buy fresh daily, but anything not too waterery/squishy would keep well. e.g. pumpkin, potato, oranges, nuts, dried fruit, beans and lentils, etc.

    Travelling Two also have good on the road cooking tips with a list of what they usually carry with them .... leave out the fish and you have a vegetarian touring pantry!

    http://travellingtwo.com/resources/eating-on-the-road


    regards
    Maureen

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    nun
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    This isn't female specific, but it should help the vegetarian in you. My 3 base foods are vegetarian stock
    cubes, honey and couscous. The couscous is light and easy to cook and with the stock cubes or the honey
    you can make a filling savory or sweet meal

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    Along with what everyone else said,
    Not all yogurt is vegetarian. Many contain gelatin. I have to be careful and most small stores do not have a varied selection of those things.
    It can get real boring, but lots of luna bars have worked well to get me through to a place with a better selection.
    Also a guy I know who went cross country with almost nothing had a friend mail packages to post offices along his route. That way he knew what he knew what his ingredients would be.
    omething I really really like are the Japanese seaweed salads. If you are lucky enough to have a good Asian market near, there is usually a variety and they are dried and packaged small. Add water and it is a good size salad.
    I the tips from two traveling but prefer a Diva cup over a Mooncup.

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    Sorry for the typos, There should be an"S" on omething, and I meant to say I liked the tips...

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    Senior Member cycotourer's Avatar
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    + 1 Couscous. Its easier and quicker to cook than rice or pasta. In fact we don't really "cook" it, just pour on boiling water and let it soak a few mins. You can add onion, garlic or herbs and/or chopped dried fruit such as dates and apricots to add flavour.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwa View Post
    Can't speak as a girl, but...

    Several years ago my then-14 y.o. daughter, who a month earlier became a vegetarian, did a 7-day tour along the C&O towpath. Her diet was hampered by the fact that she didn't (doesn't) really like veggies. She did fine w/ cottage cheese (much more available than one might think!), PB&J, mac&cheese, etc. Luckily she didn't know then that Gardettos contain anchovies. We did learn that Hamburger Helper cooked & eaten w/o adding meat is quite tasty. Velveeta keeps a long time if stuffed inside your sleeping bag during the day (Kraft Singles are similar, but more expensive per weight....)
    Regular cheese keeps a long time too. Don't be afraid to just cook the same sorts of things you already cook at home. you probably will have to improvise a bit, but so do us meat-eaters.

    As for being female - I think the only real difference here is safety. As a solo female, I'm less interested in free-camping than I would be if I was male (or at least a big person). I feel a bit safer in a developed camp site, where I usually introduce myself to the camp host and let them know I'm alone, so they might check in on me if anything weird happens. I don't free camp much unless I am either totally hidden or somewhere so public and obvious and allowed that I feel safe. And I don't ask for permission to camp in people's yards - i think a lot of guys do this, but i feel like the chances of getting a werido are too high.

    I have taken people up on the offer of a room or a place to camp near their house before, but only if I've already had a conversation with them and they feel safe. Obviously, one could blow it on this decision. THe only time it turned out slightly icky was an offer from another woman - she turned out to be a total alcoholic, drunk at the time, and i didn't' figure it out until I was in her car. Oops.

    There have been a very few times where I changed my camping plans and took a room instead, because of potential creepy people. I think it's important to stay aware of your situation, even if you are tired and hungry and just want to camp, and if it feels weird it probably is, so do something about it. I expect this is true for men as well.

    I usually get a room if I'm in a significant size city, or camp in an RV park type campground.
    ...

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    Quinoa is also a good thing to eat on the road. Lots of protein, lightweight, and easy to cook. One thing that I noticed on my last tour (the first one as being vegetarian) was that I had plans to eat veggie sandwiches, etc., but those plans quickly deteriorated to PBJs because they are so quick, carb-filled, and delicious. I also ate a ton of oatmeal with raisins.

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    I don't do much touring other than weekend trips, but my day job has me traveling a lot. I'm not a vegetarian because I do eat fresh fish.(no beef pork chicken) However fresh fish is tough to find away from the coasts.
    My boss frowns on me cooking in the company car so here is my list.

    I eat often at SubWay, They have a vegetarian sub under $5 (12") most Subways have fresh spinach which is much tastier than the usual iceberg lettuce. Skip the mayo and a sandwich can last all day without refrigeration. Lots of Subway stores, I have seen them out in the middle of nowhere even in Canada.

    Wendy's Side salad and Baked potato (.99 each most places) I don't care for their dressings( too sugary) I have the salad pretty often, I bring my own oil and vinegar

    Taco Bell, Questionable nutrition value but they use vegetable oils for frying and Xanthan gum as a viscosity modifier instead of lard and gelatins from animal by-products. The "seven layer Burrito ( refried beans, rice, lettuce tomato, onions, guacamole and salsa) is about the best thing they serve IMO.

    Road side stands, during the summer lots of people selling home grown vegetables fruit and baked goods along the road.

    McDonald's has a salad also but it always has a strong taste of preservatives.

    Many "family style" restaurants offer a Vegetable plate entree ( especially in the south) which is usually 3-5 different vegetables. or they may offer a soup & salad combination

    Diners often have a "Greek Salad" ( hold the anchovies) They are usually a meal within themselves. So called "veggie burgers" are pretty common at diners these days, though I suspect they are grilled on the same grill as the regular hamburger meat.

    Chinese as mentioned previously,

    Salad bars and buffets, I don't do these as often as I used to, too many people with questionable hygiene sticking their hands into the food while serving themselves.
    Last edited by RCordone; 05-12-08 at 06:28 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cycotourer View Post
    + 1 Couscous. Its easier and quicker to cook than rice or pasta. In fact we don't really "cook" it, just pour on boiling water and let it soak a few mins. You can add onion, garlic or herbs and/or chopped dried fruit such as dates and apricots to add flavour.
    Couscous ground up is white flour. Couscous is white-flour noodles minus the eggs and oil. I love couscous, but I wouldn't eat it as a staple grain (especially in a vegetarian diet -- it's of almost no value for building complementary proteins). Cooked whole millet and quinoa vaguely resemble couscous in taste and texture while supplying much greater nutritive value -- give them a try if you haven't.

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    jwa
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takara View Post
    ... Cooked whole millet and quinoa vaguely resemble couscous in taste and texture while supplying much greater nutritive value ...
    How available are any of these 3 in rural small town America? I get 'em all in medium-size & larger stores in my city of 250,000, but how about a town of 2,000 that's 3 days' ride from a "city" ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwa View Post
    How available are any of these 3 in rural small town America? I get 'em all in medium-size & larger stores in my city of 250,000, but how about a town of 2,000 that's 3 days' ride from a "city" ?
    Well, sure, the more exotic it is, the less likely you are to find it in a tiny place. But when you find it there, it's great! And there are medium-sized places between the tiny places and the big places. Look around harder if it's a college town or a tourist trap or a place where immigrants live or migrant laborers visit -- these are places where you're more likely to find whole grains among the Ho Hos.

    Couscous, millet, and quinoa were all available in the towns of 8,000 and 15,000 where I spent time last year in Minnesota and Wisconsin. They weren't available in the two towns under 1,000 where I also spent time -- but these were both less than ten miles from the bigger quinoa-and-millet-friendly towns.
    Last edited by Takara; 05-13-08 at 12:08 AM.

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    it might be beneficial to research the location of natural/raw/healthfood stores along your determined route.
    that way you don't have to carry too much or too little food at any given point.

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    jwa
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takara View Post
    ... these are places where you're more likely to find whole grains among the Ho Hos...
    Whew! For a second there, I thought you were gonna dis Little Debbie Swiss Cake Rolls!

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    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Takara View Post
    Couscous ground up is white flour. Couscous is white-flour noodles minus the eggs and oil. I love couscous, but I wouldn't eat it as a staple grain (especially in a vegetarian diet -- it's of almost no value for building complementary proteins). Cooked whole millet and quinoa vaguely resemble couscous in taste and texture while supplying much greater nutritive value -- give them a try if you haven't.
    Couscous is just pasta. On it's own its pretty boring, that's why I add the vegetables and stock cube. It makes a good dessert with dried fruits and honey added. As I'm not a vegetarian I sometimes add tuna. Couscous is my go to carbohydrate, but obviously not all I eat.

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    SRS
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    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post

    I think it's important to stay aware of your situation, even if you are tired and hungry and just want to camp, and if it feels weird it probably is, so do something about it. I expect this is true for men as well.
    I agree. I go with my gut feeling. If something is odd, weird, out-of-place or a person seems just a tad too friendly, I move on.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jwa View Post
    How available are any of these 3 in rural small town America? I get 'em all in medium-size & larger stores in my city of 250,000, but how about a town of 2,000 that's 3 days' ride from a "city" ?
    You can usually turn up some kind of whole grain in a medium sized town (say, 10-20k people). Brown rice, wheat berries, blends... Maybe not millet or quinoa in particular. I don't look for either one since I'm fondest of rice. Even the smallest town will have white rice. It may not be ideal, but it won't kill you for a few days. Besides, the processed stuff can be an excuse to get fancier with fresh veggies .

    Split peas are another fast cooking dried bean. They're more traditional in the South and Caribbean than lentils, so they can be much easier to find in even the tiniest town in the US.

  23. #23
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Torrilin View Post
    You can usually turn up some kind of whole grain in a medium sized town (say, 10-20k people). Brown rice, wheat berries, blends... Maybe not millet or quinoa in particular. I don't look for either one since I'm fondest of rice. Even the smallest town will have white rice. It may not be ideal, but it won't kill you for a few days. Besides, the processed stuff can be an excuse to get fancier with fresh veggies .

    Split peas are another fast cooking dried bean. They're more traditional in the South and Caribbean than lentils, so they can be much easier to find in even the tiniest town in the US.
    My recommendation of couscous over things like rice is that it cooks so much faster.

  24. #24
    Senior Member pasopia's Avatar
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    Vegetarian touring is pretty easy in the US, as long as you are ok with buying food in grocery stores. If you want to eat out a lot it may be harder. I tend to eat a lot of cereal and peanut butter and jelly in the day. At night at cook a big meal that usually involves couscous or pasta, and vegetables. One easy meal I really like is canned baked beans (vegetarian kind, obviously) mixed with cut up veggie burgers. After a long day of riding this is surprisingly delicious, and really fast to make.
    I tend to carry of a bag of spices that I like. Seasoned salt is a good general flavor that works on pretty much anything.
    The hardest thing about being a vegetarian on tour is having to turn down food when really nice people offer it to me.

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    Many grocery stores will make you a custom sandwich in their deli section--they are usually happy to make me a cheese & veggy sandwich--with extra cheese instead of lunch meat. And, you can usually find a side salad while you wait (potato, macaroni, slaw, etc., depending upon your diet restrictions.)

    Also, if you add corn to beans, you get a complete protein (says my trainer)--I'd bring a can opener and plan to buy a can of vegetarian chili in a pinch.

    Mexican places in small towns usually offer vegetarian burritos (beans & cheese, sometimes with added stuff like rice, veggies, etc.,) sometimes just labeled as "bean burritos".

    I also eat fish, so tuna in packages works well when I need a protein boost.

    Oh, and a cheese pizza can always be found.

    I find vegetarian (pescetarian in my case) eating pretty easy (I buy lunch at restaurants/stores every day and dinner several days per week) and I live in the mountain-west region.

    As far as safety -- will you be able to carry a cell phone? if so, what about a gps phone with live web updating? (so your friends and family can always hop online at anytime and see where you are at in real time.)
    Last edited by hoverfly; 05-15-08 at 07:30 PM.

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