Thinking of turning vegetarian on vacation? Anywhere in the world, it’s not the end of the world. There are vegetarians everywhere and if they can make it work, so can you. Just do a bit of homework about places that serve vegetarian meals and you shouldn’t have any problem. But why would a non-vegetarian want to give up a carnivorous lifestyle, especially when travelling? Turns out there is more than one reason to; four, in fact –
1. New Place, New Perspective
In an all new place, the environment is different and you are on the happy plane of vacation high. When you give up meat and go vegetarian on vacation, you choose a different food pattern. A new food pattern exposes you to a whole new world of tastes and textures. A new place will have several different foods you can try, many of which may be indigenous to that place.
On a meat diet, you probably go for all the meats that you have eaten all your life, barring a few exotic sea foods. Instead, just imagine the freshest vegetables, nuts and fruits, in a range of dishes you never knew existed! Chances are, you will miss the fragrant palak paneer (spinach puree with cubes of cottage cheese) in India; unknowingly bypass the awesome vinegret salad (diced cooked vegetables like beetroots, potatoes, carrots, onions, sauerkraut, pickles) in Russia/Ukraine; or erroneously skip the hearty vegetarian tartiflette au reblochon (potatoes, reblochon cheese, onions, white wine and spices, with mushrooms substituted for bacon) in France, unless you’re looking for vegetarian fare.
Related: Top 5 Veganism Myths Busted
2. Not just a Vacation, a Health-cation
While you have a good time, it doesn’t hurt to become healthier. Vegetarian diets could help you lose a bit of weight, lower the bad cholesterol and, reduce your cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes risk (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition). A study by EPIC-Oxford has shown that fish eaters, vegetarians and vegans have a lower BMI than meat eaters. The Journal of the American Heart Association has reported that vegetarians have lower levels of bad cholesterol. At the same time, meat eaters significantly reduced their bad cholesterol when they turned vegetarian. All while you enjoy being vegetarian on vacation.
3. A Good Time to Try a New Way of Life
If you have ever felt empathetic towards other forms of life on earth, go veg. Instead of wondering about trying a meat free existence, this is the perfect time to actually do it. When you are stress free, in an environment that is not demanding in other ways, you can give a new way of life a try. With many different ways to eat vegetarian food than you probably knew back home, a vacation is a great time to try vegetarianism.
4. An offbeat Experience
Even if you are vacationing at a spot that you have been to already, going vegetarian will afford you an entirely different outlook. You stay away from the usual hangouts and tread the path less taken. You are bound to stumble upon a few gems where other vegetarians flock. Away from the pizzerias and the burger joints, you may discover a cozy little local veg cafe. And the highlight is that these are mostly frequented by the locals for their dose of a lovingly prepared veg meal.
So go ahead and take the plant based diet route on your next holiday, and you will not regret it.
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