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Old 24-08-2013, 11:26   #1
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Re: Vegan Liveaboards?

Ok, wild and crazy question and please don't eat me for breakfast for asking, but are there any liveaboards that follow a vegan lifestyle?

We have recently changed our diets drastically and it occurred to me that plant based diets may have a harder time getting fresh veg/fruit while cruising. I haven't cruised at all (yet), so I'm just wondering how hard it might be to sustain our diets along those avenues.

Thanks much for any info in advance!

~Red
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Old 24-08-2013, 11:50   #2
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Re: Vegan Liveaboards?

Depends on where you are. Most of the Caribbean Islands you can find plenty of fresh local produce. Probably not the same stuff you would find at Whole Foods in the US so be open to new varieties and tastes.

On the other hand some areas are tough, like the Bahamas. The islands are sparsely populated, many are very small, commercial agriculture is limited and imports are expensive. The problem is exacerbated by the often dry climate and limited water for irrigation. If you spend much time there, especially in the out islands, you might have to mainly rely on dried grains, beans and sprouts for the fresh green stuff.
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Old 24-08-2013, 12:08   #3
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Re: Vegan Liveaboards?

The Caribbean is not the place to be in, if you are a vegetarian. Fresh vegetables are hard to find, unless you attend "farmers markets" on most Saturdays; they are never located near a dinghy dock. The variety of produce will be limited, as for fruits and nuts you should not have a problem. I used to substitute lettuce with cabbage, for my salad snacks. Vegetables are very pricey, due to limited supplies. Fruits on the other hand, are plentiful; papaya, bananas, mango, sugar cane, guavas, coconuts, watermelon, pineapple, and other indigent fruits. Buy a guidebook to the Caribbean, then search which islands have farmers markets. Good luck!

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Old 24-08-2013, 12:36   #4
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Re: Vegan Liveaboards?

Wow...2 posts and 2 different answers (somewhat)...

1)...Most of the Caribbean Islands you can find plenty of fresh local produce...
2)..The Caribbean is not the place to be in.....

can't wait to see more answers and which way it generally swings.

Not to mention that getting fresh is different than living off fresh while cruising.
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Old 24-08-2013, 13:33   #5
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Re: Vegan Liveaboards?

There's a difference between fruits and veggies, perhaps that's why the posts sounded contradictory.

We have some vegan friends who maintained that eating style while living in Australia and NZ on their boat. Again, those are places where lots of veggies and fruits are available. They do not have Whole Foods, so what you do find is largely commercially grown. There are some "farmers' markets'" that have locally grown produce.

FWIW
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Old 24-08-2013, 15:42   #6
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Re: Vegan Liveaboards?

If I haven't misunderstood the question (sorry if I have), I hate to point out the obvious but it's not like backpacking: You've got a galley and a whole load of storage. You take the fresh stuff where you can get it, you eat the tinned and dried stuff when you can't and re-stock the stores whenever you find somewhere good. If you read accounts of the 1968 golden globe round the world yacht race, TVP featured in contestants' stores because of it's longevity. Not only does dried soya keep, it has a boating heritage.

If the question is just about finding fresh vegetables, then obviously depends where you are and the problem is no different for a vegan than it is for an omnivore. Just being a vegan on your own boat shouldn't be an issue. There's also no problem in finding decent sailing gear without leather. And we have electronic depth sounders now so no need for tallow for the lead line :-)
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Old 24-08-2013, 16:19   #7
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Re: Vegan Liveaboards?

It depends on where you cruise.

Some nations are pig eaters, others tolerate some amount of vegetables/fruits.

Stick to the places where there are huge supermarkets as these tend to be your best bets. Next would be places where there are farm markets; these tend to be more pricey.

Worst places are where there are no supermarkets and no farm markets, people may (or may not) keep small gardens by their houses but they may be unwilling to sell and/or ask high prices. In such places choice is often very limited too - unless you LOVE taro ... ;-)

To us, the best places were the EU, NZ, AUS, RSA, Brazil, Panama (no particular order). Worst were Pacific island nations and West Indies.

Cheers,
b.
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Old 24-08-2013, 16:44   #8
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Re: Vegan Liveaboards?

I cruised the Bahamas eating vegan. Fresh stuff is not always available but there are many canned veggies that are good tasting. Canned food also hold their nutritional value. The good part is the major caloric part of my diet is rice, pastas, beans, nuts, legumes and whole wheat flour items. All of which store and keep well. Plus if veggies are difficult to buy and store it's even more difficult to store meats and cheeses without freezers and refrigeration.
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Old 24-08-2013, 17:59   #9
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Re: Vegan Liveaboards?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
There's a difference between fruits and veggies, perhaps that's why the posts sounded contradictory.

We have some vegan friends who maintained that eating style while living in Australia and NZ on their boat. Again, those are places where lots of veggies and fruits are available. They do not have Whole Foods, so what you do find is largely commercially grown. There are some "farmers' markets'" that have locally grown produce.

FWIW
Nope...read them just fine and they contradict.

I know the difference anyhow...
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Old 24-08-2013, 18:30   #10
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Re: Vegan Liveaboards?

Quote:
Originally Posted by JerseyMermaid View Post
may have a harder time getting fresh veg/fruit while cruising.
~Red

It so restricts you to where you can go that you wont really be cruising. You will just be starving in different locales.

Good luck! But I think you will quickly need to modify your diet.

It was funny to read you saying: "We have recently changed our diets drastically". Just last night I had a stealth burger dinner with a mate. He had to wear his Ninja suit, slide quietly over the side of the boat so his wife didn't notice; then swim underwater to shore using a hollow bit of water lilly as a snorkle; then we snuck, him dripping, along the road to the local burger stand where his wife-imposed vegan heart was fibrilating like a jack-hammer as he bust to the front of the line screaming DOUBLBEEFANDBACONDON'THOLDTHECHEEZE!

Just remember cruising is about enjoying life. Its such a healty occupation that a 'normal' diet is fine.


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Old 24-08-2013, 18:56   #11
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Re: Vegan Liveaboards?

Well don't expect to find fresh, organic broccoli in the Caribbean but with the exception (as noted) of the Bahamas and a few other smaller, drier, less agricultural islands (meaning more developed and tourist oriented like the VI) for veggies you can find:

chayote (or cho-cho), callaloo, ackee, carrots, cabbage, yams (not sweet potatoes but you can find those too), peppers, fresh peas, tomatoes, onions and more. Some are seasonal, many were available year round.

Definitely the best place to shop will be the local produce markets, not grocery stores.
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Old 24-08-2013, 20:50   #12
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Re: Vegan Liveaboards?

We also find our diet vastly changed (and much more particular) than it was years ago, but we still enjoy a wide range of healthy and tasty meals when cruising...

Fresh fruit & veg are always an 'issue' because they are not suited to long-term storage for those periods, whether on anchor or at sea, when away from shore supplies. That said, there are some notable exceptions, e.g. pumpkin, pulses, dehydrated fruit and veg, quinoa, and so on, all of which can be stored reasonably long-term...and, with a bit of effort in planning and preparation, will allow quite a varied yet balanced diet with tasty meals.

Fresh green veg are probably the most difficult category to keep on the menu when cruising long-term, but we solve that issue with a clever and simple little device call an Easy Sprout. The Easy Sprout starts with a wide variety of sprouting seeds (readily available in grocery and health food stores, and ideally suited to long-term cupboard storage) and then, with an easy and very water-efficient process, allows us to enjoy delicious and very healthy, fresh sprouts anytime, anywhere.

Check out the Easy Sprout range at...
Sproutamo, Floating Impressions

Another important tool in our galley to support an interesting and healthy diet when cruising is our Shuttle Chef 6000 thermal cooker. The Shuttle Chef allows us to cook a huge variety of meals, certainly including ingredients like the pulses and dehydrated items, in a manner that is ideal for the dry ingredients, as well as both energy efficient -- Meals typically require only a few minutes of stove-top cooking before being slow cooked on their own heat in the thermal cooker -- and extremely convenient for the cruising lifestyle. Both meal preparation and eating can occur whenever it suits you. The cooked meals are hot and ready-to-eat virtually anytime over a several hour 'window'.

As well, the Shuttle Chef gives us another much-enjoyed food category that is otherwise scare when cruising, viz. bread, dampers and cakes. Using only dry ingredients from the cupboard, the Shuttle Chef allows us to enjoy fresh bread, dampers -- Beer damper is our favourite! -- and cakes anytime, anywhere. Yum!

...and there's more! ... Although the Shuttle Chef is the perfect complement for galley food preparation when cruising, we also use ours when we're on land. With the whole range of fresh ingredients available, the Shuttle Chef adds a huge array of delicious and very convenient alternative meals to enjoy on land as well!

Check out the full thermal cookware range at...
Thermal Cookware, Floating Impressions

If anyone's interested in these handy galley aids to better and more enjoyable cruising meals (or in any of our other cruising-in-comfort products!) please email us and mention this thread. We are 2 people who enjoy cruising, very much...and we're happy to offer 'special' pricing to fellow cruisers.
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Old 25-08-2013, 02:45   #13
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I've been interested in the Shuttle Chef for a while, but can you tell me this; if i get a meal started in the morning (while i'm eating breakfast) the pop it into the SC, will it be hot and edible at dinner time, ten or so hours later?

I'm thinking of bean-based recipes like goulash and curries.

i couldn't find out what i wanted to know from the site, i guess i'd really like to see the DVD and read some recipes BEFORE i purchase, rather than after (which is the current option, as the recipe book and the DVD come with the product when one buys it).

Thanks, Matt
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Old 25-08-2013, 05:16   #14
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Re: Vegan Liveaboards?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkJ View Post
It so restricts you to where you can go that you wont really be cruising. You will just be starving in different locales.

Good luck! But I think you will quickly need to modify your diet.

It was funny to read you saying: "We have recently changed our diets drastically". Just last night I had a stealth burger dinner with a mate. He had to wear his Ninja suit, slide quietly over the side of the boat so his wife didn't notice; then swim underwater to shore using a hollow bit of water lilly as a snorkle; then we snuck, him dripping, along the road to the local burger stand where his wife-imposed vegan heart was fibrilating like a jack-hammer as he bust to the front of the line screaming DOUBLBEEFANDBACONDON'THOLDTHECHEEZE!

Just remember cruising is about enjoying life. Its such a healty occupation that a 'normal' diet is fine.


Mark
Mark I love your sense of humor. However, the sort of bias your post conveyed is not helpful to the OP and (for you) is an impediment to learning about different ways of eating.

Food preparation and preference is a cultural thing, and most "peoples" from a European origin (including Aussies, New Zealanders, and North/South Americans) tend to think of veggies and legumes as a side dish, and they don't know how to prepare interesting and varied recipes. It wasn't learned in the family, so your friend's "escape" probably stems from lack of experience and/or bad experiments on the part of whoever cooks his meals.

Most of the rich, processed foods people eat aren't good for them. You can debate that but if it contains animal fats, dairy, "high protein" and refined sugars it will be a slam dunk -- it will almost certainly taste great and kill you slowly.

I've been on a ~95+% whole-foods plant-based diet for almost 2 years and have never eaten (or felt) better. It would be 100% but once in a while I order something in a restaurant that tastes like it might have been prepared with butter added, or I just don't have a choice at the time/place when I'm hungry.

I do miss the many wonderful flavors of cheeses, but don't miss meat at all. I couldn't say this if my wife wasn't really into experimenting with new recipes and spices. She's learned lots of interesting ways to prepare plant-based meals using spices and methods her mother never knew... and many of the recipes are a bit spicy and originate from Mediterranean, Middle-Eastern, Asian and Latin American influences.

So Mark, this largely comes down to food choice, and for many of us a decision to eat types of food (and quantities) that make us feel better and avoid known health issues. Your friend may prefer gluttony and self-indulgence, and to eat whatever tastes good. That's his choice, but his wife is no-doubt hoping to keep him healthy a little longer.

Getting back to the OP -- you used the term "living aboard" which might not be the same as cruising. You will find varying degrees of difficulty supporting your eating choices, and part of the issue is that you won't have the convenience of having a car when visiting new ports. It's rare to find a farmer's market or large food store (or whole foods store) near enough to the docks. When we cruise we find it necessary to hire a taxi once in a while when it's time to provision, and have resigned ourselves to the expense. Fortunately that expense is somewhat offset because it's cheaper to eat this way. Even fresh fruits and veggies are much less expensive than meats and fish (plus you are much less likely to get sick from food spoilage). You might need to resort to canned foods and pastas and dried legumes/grains, but if you have canned tomato and the right spices and an onion/garlic you can conjure up some very interesting one or two-pot meals with whatever you can get fresh locally.

If you have Internet access and ask the locals, you'll find what you need in most places. People eat everywhere.
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Old 25-08-2013, 05:40   #15
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Re: Vegan Liveaboards?

I'm still trying to recover from hearing of the poor indigent fruits in the Caribbean back in post #3! Overall, I'm thinking that a vegan diet is easier when it comes to the tasks of storing and keeping foods fresh. Most of my 12VDC need is for the purpose of keeping animal products from spoiling. In general and everywhere plant products are more available and at a lower costs than animal products. I'll still stick to a mix and hope to be healthy, but I think a vegan could do well on a boat.
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