My clients and friends have asked me about maintaining a healthy routine during trips and travel. To me, healthy and travel are meant to go together! While we can’t predict everything that’s going to happen, and we (sadly) don’t have our Planted Table meals with us, there are endless amounts of resources available for finding delicious plant-based foods abroad.
I was lucky enough to get an invite to Spain with my best friend Kelly last month! She and I are both pretty much on the same page when it comes to healthy living, which makes life easier. As a first step, we set up a joint spreadsheet and did our homework ahead of time, and wow, there are tons of plant-based restaurants to choose from in Spain. We had some very memorable meals!
Aside from an otherwise seamless experience, I did hit a snag during my layover at Chicago Midway Airport. The airport food options were not helpful.. beer, hotdogs, meat, pizza. Honestly. Chicago, come on! I eventually got a pita with falafel, and I thankfully had packed some of my favorite gluten-free seed crackers (Trader Joe’s GF Norwegian Crispbreads) with an almond butter packet. That helped keep my blood sugar balanced because of the plant fat and fiber.
At that point I texted Kelly, whom I was meeting in Boston en route to Seville, and asked to please have lots of yummy plant-based food at the ready for my arrival, and she did! We had huge, loaded vegan guacamole burgers with quinoa salad and sweet potato fries on the side from By Chole. Nailed it!
Off to Sevilla, we went.
One of the places I researched in Sevilla was Jester. I wanted to track down a cafe that offered nondairy milk, and I’m glad I did. It did not disappoint. The British chap helped me out and told me how to say the name of each non-dairy milk in Spanish, which came in handy. Leche de avena, por favor!
We did a ton of walking and ended up averaging between 20,000-25,000 steps a day just from exploring various sights and neighborhoods. Movement is important to us, so we were happy to see how much we were doing.
On our master spreadsheet, we had a list of restaurants we wanted to find, but we also popped into those that looked inviting along the way. Sometimes I think the best plan is no plan at all!
In Madrid, we enjoyed curried vegetables over a vegan pumpkin pancake with a lentil salad on the side.. delish!
In Barcelona, we found a ton of fantastic plant-based food options, lots of different types of food and even matcha tea lattes (with oat milk). I did a happy dance!
We found vegan ramen, and vegan sushi, plenty of vegetables and patatas fritas, even avocado toast!
One of the most incredible restaurants, Resoterra, we discovered on a blog, but wow, we had no idea we were in for something so special; one of the best vegan restaurants and best vegan meals we have EVER had. Everything was certified “0 miles” slow food, organic, vegan, gluten-free, and they even have organic wine. We ordered almost one of everything, and each dish came to the table as its own course. Vegan croquettes, which were exciting to us because croquettes are traditional Spanish tapas, olives, a parsnip soup with black garlic and tangerine, flatbread with fennel, pumpkin, onion, kale and capers, GF pasta with black sesame paste and lemon juice, and a thick and delicious curry with brussel sprouts, mushrooms and sticky rice balls covered in crispy sesame seeds. It was by far our most memorable meal. We enjoyed every minute and every bite.
I did take some lovely food photos but most of the time my phone was put away, so I could be fully present in the experience of it all, engaging all my senses, mindfully. I didn’t want to miss anything!
Overall, I think being present is what it is all about, and recognizing, no trip and no plant-based diet is perfect. Our time in Spain wasn’t about being obsessed about calories or food or exercise (or trying for it to be “perfect”), but more about being conscious, and mindful.. considering, what would make me feel good? What really excites me?
I think there is a beautiful place where healthfulness and joy intersect. That’s my favorite place. We found it here.
I am wishing you a healthy holiday season and happy travels as well!
Thanks for tuning in.