Vegetables On the Road
Eating vegan while road tripping and camping is one thing, but eating healthily according to the principles of Dr. McDougall and Dr. Esselstyn is a whole ‘nother kettle of beans.
Everybody, vegan or not, knows the importance of eating plenty of vegetables. Sad thing is, for most Americans, eating SAD, fresh fruits and veggies make up less than 10% of daily calories. Meat, dairy, and processed, refined junk make up the remaining 90%. Completely ass backwards. When I watch my fellow campers eat, their meals reflect this SAD fact closely. No doubt many are simply replicating what they do at home, except maybe substituting open fire for an indoor kitchen. But even those who would like to do things more healthfully may run into the problem of incorporating the all important vegetables into meals.
“They take up too much space.”
“I can’t use them fast enough.”
These are exact same concerns I had when setting out on this adventure. How could Ikeep up the high nutrient density and low calorie density I am accustomed to when I am limited to a small, inefficient fridge and an ice chest?
Turns out veggies come different forms, and all can be great:
Fresh- obvious, always best, but difficult
Frozen- often just as good as fresh, plus, your ice chest needs ice anyway
Canned- unjustly maligned, cheap, great availability
Dehydrated- ultimate in shelf life, take up the least amount of storage space
To be sure that these various forms of veggies are all health supporting, I checked with Jeff Novick, RD, who works with Dr. McDougall. The short answer is they can all play a role in a healthy diet. In fact he has been experimenting in a similar way. Here is the discussion thread, if you want more:
Meals don’t have to consist of one form, they can be combined. Fresh or frozen veggies can be combined with some canned or dehydrated veg to recreate recipes you’re accustomed to at home. A bag of frozen veggies could make a SNAP meal, especially with some fresh greens. Some dehydrated peppers could help flavor an Asian stir fry. Canned veggies can lie in wait with no refrigeration to be used in a dish like the Moroccan Veggie Stew.
So, when it comes to camping, or an emergency, don’t worry about your veggies, except eating them. By any means necessary.