Vegan Travel Tips from Team Sensi's Issy Von Zastrow

May 01, 2017

Vegan Travel Tips from Team Sensi's Issy Von Zastrow

We love learning from our rad athletes. Pro kiteboarder and expert traveller Issy Von Zastrow shares how she deals with the challenges of traveling and maintaining her healthy, vegan lifestyle.

Traveling is always a crazy adventure no matter where in the world you are going with surprises and changes lurking behind every plane ticket. When you add a vegan diet to that endeavor, you are guaranteed an interesting trip when meal time rolls around. With an easy-going attitude and concrete will power, it is more than possible to be a vegan athlete trotting around the globe in search of the best conditions.

When becoming a vegan last year, I wasn’t aware of all the challenges and rewards that would accompany this decision. I ended up with some interesting experiences and in the end, I felt like I had more energy than ever before. The hardest part of changing my diet was being able to listen to my physical self instead of my brain with all of its silly cravings! It can be difficult at first to turn down an ice cream or refuse a beautiful pastry, however, after a few weeks the cravings disappear and new energy replaced it.
Brazil was one of the easiest places for me eat a variety of meals as there are endless amounts of beans, vegetables, and fruit. The hardest place I have been and struggled to find enough fresh food to eat was in the Philippines where a majority of the vegetables are fried with fish oil. Throughout these travels, I put together a few pointers to help anybody setting out on a new adventure.

1. Always bring supplies.
No matter how easy it might seem to just pick up a bag of nuts or some vegetables at the store, it is always good to have back ups in case the location doesn’t come through. In search of your destination, there might be some small villages which don’t have much to choose from. I travel with my own stash of chia seeds, turmeric, protein powder, nuts, and vitamin supplements to keep my body functioning at a high level no matter the exercise routine.

2. Be easy going.
At home, it’s probably no problem to find endless choices of healthy food and preparation materials to make a variety of delicious and tasty meals. While on the road, I often find myself going for beans and rice while I am in Brazil, falafel in Qatar, or stripes-fried vegetables in the Philippines quite often as it is sometimes the only option.

3. Look for the fresh markets.
This is the best place to fill up your bags, as it is usually cheaper and better for you than what the super market can offer. Most places will have a place to buy fresh vegetables, fruit, beans etc. This is the first place I head to try a local assortment of products and see what I can put together to make a complete meal.

4. Have a kitchen.
The only time I have really struggled with my healthy eating is when I don’t have a kitchen to prepare my food and make meals myself. Eating out while traveling is a nasty habit that can easily lead to consuming large amounts of oil and processed food. Having a kitchen allows me to make my protein shakes and prepare meals with ingredients I know I feel good about.

5. Be innovative.

There are plenty of websites and books to help out with finding new recipes to make the available ingredients into a new dish. I absolutely love trying new combinations of vegetables and experimenting with the local spices to change up my routine! I also recently discovered the secret wonders of a travel spiralizer which has made all my meals more beautiful and stringy fun!

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