Vegetarian Eating on the Road

vegetarian diet

Today, a guest article from Craig Ballantyne on how to stick to vegetarian eating on the road, even when you go to a Japanese Hibachi restaurant and Shula’s steakhouse!


Vegetarian Eating on the Road

Well, I thought, this shouldn’t be too hard. After all, I’ve been to Texas (twice) and Europe without any problems, so how hard could Disney World and Tampa be for the vegetarian lifestyle?

Turns out, a little harder than I expected. Fortunately, I’m only on a vegetarian diet, and not a raw vegan meal plan like Kardena.

So I’ll be honest, I ate a lot more cheese than I wanted, and I had eggs a couple of days, but more importantly, I want to share my “big night out restaurant meals” with you.

The first two nights I was in Orlando, staying at a Disney resort for a seminar, I didn’t eat “real dinners” because everything was so busy. So it was a lot of snacking on fruit and nuts. I started the day with late breakfasts of vegetable omelets, and lunch was a giant spinach salad with cheese and apple slices. It was really good, but I knew I had to eat more so that I wouldn’t lose weight (not my goal). images

Finally, on Saturday I had a big dinner night out at Benihana’s Hibachi restaurant in the Hilton at Disney. They have a few vegetarian options, and I ordered the Garden Delight. I rarely (never) eat tofu, but the meal came with a lot of vegetables and a square of tofu, it was pretty good.

Everyone at my table ate steak or chicken, but not me. Kardena was also there, but she sat at a different table and I didn’t get a chance to see what she ate. Probably the same as me, or maybe she just had a raw salad, not sure.

So Benihana’s gets a thumbs up for being veggie lifestyle friendly.

Then it was on to Tampa. The first night there I had a big dinner at Carrabba’s italian grill. It was fettucini alfredo and I even had dessert. That was my weekly reward meal.

The next night a big group of friends went to a restaurant called Jackson’s in Tampa, and they didn’t have any meatless entrees on the menu. Of course, like any good restaurant, they simply altered one of their pasta dishes and removed the meat. It was great, and so was the salad I had before it. Lots of vegetables.

Then came the real test…the next night a friend treated our group to dinner at Shula’s steakhouse. Not only did they not have a meatless entree on the menu, but they didn’t have pasta anywhere on the menu either. However, all you need to do is ask…

…and Shula’s whipped up a pasta dish with vegetables that even made some of my meat-eating friends jealous. Ask and you shall receive. cr_04

And finally, last night we went to Columbia, an amazing and authentic Spanish restaurant. Amazing atmosphere, and even better food. I orderd the Vegetarian Cubana – a giant plate of rice, beans, plantain, potatoes, and more.

Delicious. I recommend it…totally worth the trip to Ybor City.

And that brings us to today…on my way home, eating bananas, almonds, and an apple at the airport. It’s so easy to eat healthy at airports these days, that you can’t use that as an excuse anymore.

So that was my wild vegetarian eating trip to Florida – and I also had a lot of great workouts. Planning and asking will help you stick to your fat loss workout and meal plan.lazymansguideebook_4

To your success,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS
Author, The Lazy Man’s Guide to Vegetarian Eating

2 Comments Leave a Comment

Comment by Tricia
2011-04-20 14:01:54

It’s funny that he mentions being able to eat at the airport healthy these days. Reminded me about a trip recently from DC to Phoenix. Liquids over a certain quantity still doesn’t make it thru. But evidently and entire salad with dressing and all gets right through. I was heading home with my very last salad from Chop’t. I had no time for lunch since it was my last day before moving back and I had to run to the bank to close the account and get a cashier’s check for the balance. So it was important that I do that on my lunch instead of actually eat. Anyhow I still hadn’t eaten my salad when the taxi came to get me. Still hadn’t eaten it on the way to the airport or as I was waiting to check in. So I figured either it would be taken at airport security or my happy salad would be waiting for me on the other side. Sure enough it made it through unscathed. It was in an open bag so it’s not like they didn’t know what it was as it went through the scanners. So apparently you can’t bring too much toothpaste through those machines or they red flag you and search you head to toe, but a fully dressed salad makes it through okie dokie!

Comment by Kardena
2011-04-21 22:10:25

Those airports are a funny thing, but we aren’t complaining. It was worth a shot to try and bring the salad and it paid off! My husband and I bring our own food with us on our flights with no problem. As long as they aren’t liquid like soup, dressings, or smoothies. Good to know for the future! You can always fly prepared :)

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