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Old 16-10-2013, 07:34   #166
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Re: Vegan Liveaboards?

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As for being a vegan and cruising, again, my suggestion is to take a season and plan your day-to-day travels based on farmers markets. Some people cruise to explore history; some to walk on beaches. Try exploring the various farmers markets and you'll have a wonderful time of enjoying local produce, finding recipes to use them, and learning about the area you're visiting.

We also keep a staple storage of beans, rice, canned goods, etc. It's really quite easy and lends itself very well to the cruising lifestyle, blending with the environment, and leaving a small wake.
I agree. Farmers markets are an excellent source of fruit and veg, as are small family run groceries here in Greece, as often produce is available from their garden or a neighbour's. Choices are limited as they are seasonal (I generally simply buy what looks good rather than from a preprepared shopping list, then later decide how to cook it), but the advantage is that food has not been transported long distances and kept in cold storage for days or weeks.

Nothing like how I shopped at home, but flexibility in meals and diet is necessary to successfully adapt when cruising. I am eating a lot better now than I did before I started cruising, not just because of the ingredients, but because I have the time to slowly and potter in the galley and experiment lots .
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Old 09-08-2014, 07:06   #167
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Re: Vegan Liveaboards?

I see that no one has mentioned any gardening on board... There are now aeroponic tower gardens that seem very efficient . Is anyone out there growing herbs and veggies on their boat?
(Our boat is being delivered in a few weeks and we will become live aboard cruisers soon).

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Old 09-08-2014, 07:37   #168
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Re: Vegan Liveaboards?

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Originally Posted by Nick & LA View Post
I see that no one has mentioned any gardening on board... There are now aeroponic tower gardens that seem very efficient . Is anyone out there growing herbs and veggies on their boat?
(Our boat is being delivered in a few weeks and we will become live aboard cruisers soon).

Nick
Actually this is a common question on the forum. Bottom line it isn't really practical on a significant scale, at least for vegetables for several reasons, the main one being room. Most veggies will require a good bit of space per plant so most boats will only have room for a very few plants. Most plants give a relatively small quantity of food per plant so the potential harvest will be small.

Another problem is most food plants do not tolerate salt and even the salty atmosphere is enough to cause problems.

Also, if you are underway it can be a problem trying to secure heavy pots full of dirt and plants. Growing food would be more practical if you are sitting still.

Finally, if you are cruising, some countries get really upset if you have plants and dirt onboard that can potentially import pests that might attack local crops. Some countries even require you to get rid of any and all fresh food on board before you are allowed to enter, even stuff bought at a grocery store.

So practically growing a few fresh herbs seems doable but producing any significant volume of food is unlikely. Be prepared to toss even the herb garden if the country you enter has rules against plants.
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Old 09-08-2014, 16:30   #169
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Re: Vegan Liveaboards?

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Originally Posted by Nick & LA View Post
I see that no one has mentioned any gardening on board... There are now aeroponic tower gardens that seem very efficient . Is anyone out there growing herbs and veggies on their boat?
(Our boat is being delivered in a few weeks and we will become live aboard cruisers soon).

Nick
Congratulations on the 'new' boat!

We agree with all of skipmac's comments in reply above.

We maintain a modest supply of fresh herbs (chives, basil, parsley and coriander altho the latter is v sensitive and only occasionally successful) in small plastic pots that all fit inside a small plastic bin. The bin contains the mess...and makes the whole setup easy to move inside when we're sailing in rough stuff. The salt spray certainly kills quickly.

Another suggestion along similar lines is to do your own sprouts. The seeds are easily stored with long shelf life and there is a large variety available to provide healthy and tasty supplements to a cruising diet. So we always have a supply of fresh sprouts.

We tried several different types of sprouters and ended up with the Easy Sprouter as we found it the simplest and most reliable...and it also uses v little water. If you're interested, you can find more at...

Easy Sprouter Set, Floating Impressions

We wish you fair winds and following seas!
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Old 09-08-2014, 18:54   #170
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pirate Re: Vegan Liveaboards?

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Originally Posted by Nick & LA View Post
I see that no one has mentioned any gardening on board... There are now aeroponic tower gardens that seem very efficient . Is anyone out there growing herbs and veggies on their boat?
(Our boat is being delivered in a few weeks and we will become live aboard cruisers soon). Nick
We currently have two active posters growing foodstuffs on board. There are likely many more. One is in the way far east, the other in Miami. They'll see this and weigh in I'm sure.
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Old 09-08-2014, 20:17   #171
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Re: Vegan Liveaboards?

Good stuff all! Thanx


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Old 20-08-2014, 16:49   #172
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Re: Vegan Liveaboards?

Sorry if this is expressed elsewhere, but I just couldn't wade through it all.

Consider that you are going to be traveling the world (if you are cruising), and visiting the most beautiful, exotic, and culturally rich parts of the world.

You will be missing a lot by limiting your food choices in this way. It may not seem like much to you now, but being "purely vegan" or even "mostly vegetarian" is very, very foreign to many parts of the world.

I myself was finally forced to abandon my vegetarian diet after my second tour in Texas, and just before facing my first tour in New Orleans.

Save yourself the heartache, and leave saving the world to someone else - enjoy your travels to their fullest by enjoying the hospitality and cuisine of the people you will be meeting.

You can limit your exposure to meat products without entirely eliminating them, and also keep in mind that the agricultural methods used in remote locations are very different than those used in the "first world", which is part of many first-worlder's motivation to become vegan in the first place.

Edit: Not vegan bashing, I'm supportive of people's desires and motivations for becoming vegans, but it truly can be very limiting.
A mecca for veganism is the middle-east through India. If you plan to travel in those areas, you're going to have a great time with the local vegetarian cuisine, as long you can keep the scurvy pirates off your bow.
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Old 20-08-2014, 19:43   #173
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Re: Vegan Liveaboards?

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Originally Posted by ArtM View Post
Sorry if this is expressed elsewhere, but I just couldn't wade through it all.

Consider that you are going to be traveling the world (if you are cruising), and visiting the most beautiful, exotic, and culturally rich parts of the world.

You will be missing a lot by limiting your food choices in this way. It may not seem like much to you now, but being "purely vegan" or even "mostly vegetarian" is very, very foreign to many parts of the world.

I myself was finally forced to abandon my vegetarian diet after my second tour in Texas, and just before facing my first tour in New Orleans.

Save yourself the heartache, and leave saving the world to someone else - enjoy your travels to their fullest by enjoying the hospitality and cuisine of the people you will be meeting.

You can limit your exposure to meat products without entirely eliminating them, and also keep in mind that the agricultural methods used in remote locations are very different than those used in the "first world", which is part of many first-worlder's motivation to become vegan in the first place.

Edit: Not vegan bashing, I'm supportive of people's desires and motivations for becoming vegans, but it truly can be very limiting.
A mecca for veganism is the middle-east through India. If you plan to travel in those areas, you're going to have a great time with the local vegetarian cuisine, as long you can keep the scurvy pirates off your bow.
Appreciate your sentiments but respectfully have to disagree. In the last 40 years I have traveled the world extensively, cruising and flying. I have traveled all across the US, been to Mexico, a number of countries in Central and South America, most of Europe, to north Africa and the middle east. In none of these places has it been a significant hardship to maintain a vegetarian diet nor have I felt like I have missed out on contact with the local culture and cuisine. In fact, quite the opposite, I always try to stay away from the "America" hotels and all inclusive resorts and stay local and eat local.

I have found that in most of the places I visited their is much less emphasis on meat in every dish and every meal than there is in the USA so dishes without meat are just part of the diet. Perhaps the South Pacific where fish is such a significant part of the diet could be problematic. Maybe I'll get there some day but so far, no problem.
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Old 20-08-2014, 22:50   #174
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Re: Vegan Liveaboards?

I follow a plant-based diet when at home or aboard the boat and we're able to cook our own meals. We have an eclectic variety of recipes rooted from many cultures, many of them are seasoned with sauces and spices that infuse complex and interesting tastes. It's not boring at all. However, it becomes more difficult to find healthy variety in a plant-based diet when eating out in restaurants, or travelling in other countries.

While I disagree with ArtM's premise that you are somehow missing out or disconnected from the local culture if you eat a vegan or vegetarian diet, I sometimes find it difficult to eat a strictly plant-based diet in some places and situations (and still keep it interesting). South and central American countries tend to be very big on meat (Brazil is probably the most extreme -- a "proper" Brazilian banquet might have more than 10 varieties of meats). With all due respect to Brazilians -- I can LIVE without that. Travelling in Brazil might be challenging on a plant-based diet.

Another example is all of Europe and North America where they (we) simply don't do many interesting sauces or seasonings for veggies. They do pasta quite well, and grains, but again the central focus is on cheeses and dairy, meats and fish (which they do quite well, with the exception of Americans who seem to want to fry everything in grease or soak things in saturated fats, then top it off with mountainous desserts. C'mon folks shortening and refined sugar are edible but not "food").

But a person eating a plant-based diet can get by just fine without more than an occasional taste of ultra-rich, ultra sweet and ultra fat foods. We don't mind missing out on a bloated waistline, coronary disease, type-2 diabetes, indigestion or "acid reflux" from eating wrong.

We can order a tomato sauce pizza with all the vegetable toppings, "hold the cheese". Sprinkle a little touch hot oil or red pepper flakes and you're golden.... Or order paella without the seafood, but with added cooked veggies and legumes instead (whatever's in the kitchen for side dishes and toppings e.g. mushrooms, sweet peppers, broccoli, olives, onion, legumes, hot peppers etc. Don't forget the legumes and nuts for protein). Or order a BLT but ask to substitute avocado for the bacon. Or order appetizers and side dishes of salad/veggies/potatoes/rice/bread when there's no non-meat entrée. Hummus is fairly common as a spread or dip throughout Europe and North America, and is often found as an appetizer. Or order pasta primavera with a fra-diavolo or marinara sauce instead of a crème sauce.

None of this is "missing out". I was in France earlier this year and decided to "enjoy the cuisine" by departing from my plant-based diet. Between the butter and crème sauces, that seafood dinner did not sit well. While the flavors and presentation were indeed divine the meal made me feel heavy and lethargic, and it was hard to digest compared to my usual fare. The simple meals were better.
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Old 21-08-2014, 06:26   #175
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... While the flavors and presentation were indeed divine the meal made me feel heavy and lethargic, and it was hard to digest compared to my usual fare. The simple meals were better.
Someone pointed out to me after a Thanksgiving meal as I was headed to the couch stuffed tighter than the turkey that they didn't enjoy feeling "full as a tick", full to bursting, heavy, ready to explode.

It took awhile but that wisdom finally kicked it. The simple meals are far better and leave one satisfied and energetic rather than exhausted and needing a nap. Even without being a vegan, treating meat as a side dish rather than the featured attraction can change your life and your shape.

I often enjoy reading the threads about great cooking and lavish meals but it's not for me personally. And think of the wasted time and effort and expense! I know many of you aren't concerned about the expense but no matter how wealthy you are, in a few hours you're hungry again.

I live in a nation of fat unhealthy people. I share allegiance to the flag with them but little else.
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Old 21-08-2014, 13:51   #176
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Re: Vegan Liveaboards?

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I have found that in most of the places I visited their is much less emphasis on meat in every dish and every meal than there is in the USA so dishes without meat are just part of the diet. Perhaps the South Pacific where fish is such a significant part of the diet could be problematic. Maybe I'll get there some day but so far, no problem.
I think you and I are closer than you think.

I'm talking about vegetarianism in general, but MOSTLY I'm talking about "strict" veganism. Throughout the western world, people use meat, seafood, and dairy products in nearly everything they make. Chicken stocks are used to make nearly all "vegetarian" soups, pork fat is used extensively in home-style cooking, and many "specialty" dishes make heavy use of butter and cheese.

You WILL be missing out if you stick strictly to a true "vegan" diet. Even as a regular vegetarian, you should be ready to be flexible if you want to enjoy the local cuisine beyond hunting out locally grown vegetables and cooking them up in your sailboat.

As a foreigner in another country, the greatest honor I can receive is an invitation to someone's home. When that happens, I do NOT want to be getting snooty about what I will and won't eat.
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Old 21-08-2014, 17:25   #177
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Outstanding post Art. Thanks.
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Old 21-08-2014, 20:26   #178
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Re: Vegan Liveaboards?

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Throughout the western world, people use meat, seafood, and dairy products in nearly everything they make. Chicken stocks are used to make nearly all "vegetarian" soups, pork fat is used extensively in home-style cooking, and many "specialty" dishes make heavy use of butter and cheese.
First I am not a vegan and do eat cheese, eggs, butter, etc. I agree that in some countries non vegetarian stocks are used in many soups but my personal experience, except in the US and to some degree Latin America, most vegetable dishes are indeed vegetarian. Pork fat in vegetables is really most prevalent in the US south. I grew up with it.


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You WILL be missing out if you stick strictly to a true "vegan" diet. Even as a regular vegetarian, you should be ready to be flexible if you want to enjoy the local cuisine beyond hunting out locally grown vegetables and cooking them up in your sailboat..
Again this is not my personal experience. In the last 40 years I have traveled to and eaten at local restaurants that served local cuisine and was able to order dishes without meat or chicken or fish in: Bahamas, Mexico, Haiti, Jamaica, Germany, Austria, Poland, France, Spain, UK, Ireland, Netherlands, Belgium, Puerto Rico, Israel, Columbia, Panama, Morocco, Italy (of course), even Brazil which is a very meat oriented country.

In many cases the restaurants I visited did not cater at all to tourists, had no menus in English and often no one working there that even spoke English. Occasionally I was only able to choose from just a few things on the menu but always found enough to eat and always a local dish.

So I have never felt like I was missing out on local food or culture as a vegetarian.


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As a foreigner in another country, the greatest honor I can receive is an invitation to someone's home. When that happens, I do NOT want to be getting snooty about what I will and won't eat.
Done politely I don't think expressing your feelings about diet are in any snooty. I have always made it clear that my preferences are just my preferences and in no way criticize or judge how anyone else wants to eat. When family visits I will serve them barbeque.

I guess I should relate this story. Years ago I was in Jamaica and started chatting with a farmer at the local market. I stayed a couple of hours talking with him about the local fruits and produce, farming techniques and how difficult it was to make a living. When the market closed he asked me to come visit his farm. It got late in the afternoon so they asked me to stay for dinner. I tried to beg off reminding him that I was a vegetarian (it had come up in our talks about farming) and I didn't want to trouble them but they insisted saying No Problem. So went to dinner where the served a big plate of vegetables.... with a big piece of goat meat to go with it. So I ate the goat since it was the polite thing to do.
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Old 23-08-2014, 17:29   #179
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Re: Vegan Liveaboards?

Well after reviewing a lot of these comments it still appears we all eat what we like as it is available. Myself a senior, single male am not much of a cook. For me simple is best. My cruising is and has been the San Juan's in WA and the beautiful islands of BC. I eat at the pubs, harvest from the sea, and do markets when and where I can find them. When it gets right down to it a nice fresh salad, 1/2 a baked potato, a couple slices of sourdough, a rare beef or buffalo steak and a glass of red wine is pretty hard to beat. I also toss in a Scotch when I have the inclination and extra $$. Total veg? For me no. No veg's? Boring. So live on folks. I think a good solution is whatever, just in moderation. Sunseeker
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Old 23-08-2014, 18:49   #180
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Re: Vegan Liveaboards?

I not a vegetarian but I recently went a week on board without meat and enjoyed it. I bought some Textured Vegetable Protein in a local heath food store and made some of my dishes that usually required meat as an ingredient and substituted the TVP in it's place. Enjoyed it just as much as the meat recipes. So I ordered a two and a half pound can for an upcoming cruise next week and will expand the menus somewhat. The TVP is cheaper and easier to store than meat so it has a place on my boat. It's versatility is a plus too. But, if there is a Prime Rib Night at nearby restaurant where I'm anchored I'll be in there too!
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