Hello! I’m new to the vegan game + would love some lunch ideas for the trail. Ideal for long distance backpacking/thru-hiking!
7/18. GOOD for you and good FOR you! Animal products seem to be highly inflammatory and bad for one's long term health. Been vegetarian for many years. Even on the Trail. It is generally a social hassle. So rather than explain, I quietly bring my own food or find something to eat food or drink offered--too tired for debates. Food represents courtesy and love for YOU to many cultures, ours included; refusing is culturally insensitive. Be polite.
For the Trail, say nothing. Invest in a good dehydrator and bring your own food. Try noodle or rice meals with beans. Beans have complete proteins and the drained, canned type hold their nutrition. Cook your own food. Take care of yourself. Usually, "farmers markets" have lotsa vegetables, grown with few or no pesticides. But you HAVE to ask. If they don't know, move on. Some veggies sold as "organic" are very toxic and store pesticides.
There are many, options for quality vegan meals, but you do have to work at it and be prepared to shell out MORE money.
Learn to read labels carefully; most prepared "vegan" meals have high sodium, MSG, sugars, high glucose, dyes, corn, or other fillers hidden in the product. Ya have to be a chemist to decipher! So: you have to make your own.
Less is more; it's a lot of work. When hiking, you have to really pay attention to quality, complete protein intake. It's a lot of work and requires careful planning.
Try canned vegetables and soups with no sodium added. Most commercial soups have LOTS of salt!
Buy rice carefully, certain brands have lots of arsenic. Try whole food items. Try dried green or red lentils, cook them in no sodium broths. Try nuts. Raisins usually have too much sugar. Experiment at vegetarian restaurants.Try nut butters (again, YOU have to read labels!!) Buy quality" sprouted" bread or tortillas (usually frozen) Commercial breads have lots of sugars and dough "conditioners". Stay away from "whole wheat" breads. Many canned foods use too much sodium and dyes. READ the labels! Try hard boiled egg whites. Stock up on sale vegan foods.
Avoid foods from China. Again READ LABELS; learn how to compute sugars and sodium levels.
Cooked pastas are easy. Try pricey olive oils. Cheap is not always best. It's all highly political too. And, you have to shop a lot and prep everything. Read all the research on vegan-ism and who is sponsoring the research. Buy those pricey silicone bags and non-plastic containers. You are forced to buy in bulk and have to store stuff. Search the Internet for vegetarian foods.
I invested in a good blender, knife, peeler, cutting board, pressure cooker. I cook a big batch and freeze. I also obtained some pricey sea salt; rather than the "iodized", cheap stuff.
It's definitely worth it, but, ironically, more work.
Greenbelly Meal2Go makes awesome products, most of their meal bars are vegan and quite tasty in my opinion. Got me through some long days on trail during my AT thru hike. Lenny and Larry's Complete cookies also always hit the spot, packed with everything you'd need for a big day on trail.
Of course, you can also never go wrong with the classic PB+tortilla wrap.
@Naomibro thank you SO much for all this information!!! Extremely help + I’m sure I’ll referencing back to it many times during this learning period! I really do appreciate all of this!!! 🧡
@Max_Kiel_Trail i forgot about Greenbelly- I’ll definitely be checking out their meal options!!! Thank you!!!!