Eating Vegetarian or Vegan on the Trail

Because all of our meals are vegan, we frequently get asked the question: “is it easy to eat vegan or vegetarian while backpacking?” This inaugural question is usually followed up by inquiries pertaining to calories, fat content, protein, energy levels, weight gain/loss, and concerns about grumbly bellies at the end of the day. While everyone (regardless of one’s dietary parameters) should be asking themselves these very important questions, the simple answer is that maintaining a vegan or vegetarian diet is a remarkably easy and healthy choice. Especially when you are packing Food for the Sole meals!

Below are three suggestions we have for those leaving animal products behind!

1. Pack balanced and nutritious meals - While meals look and feel differently outside of the confines of one’s kitchen, on the trail, the importance of having caloric and substantive meals only increases. During a typical day of backpacking, most individuals will need to consume somewhere between 3000 and 5000 calories a day. While the specific calorie count varies based on the difficulty of the hike and the size of the human, having intentionally planned breakfasts, lunches, and dinners will go a long way in keeping you energized and moving forward.

While creating ones own meals is certainly an option, here at Food for the Sole we do the hard lifting for you. It is especially important for vegans and vegetarians to be getting adequate calories, proteins, carbs, and healthy fats, and all of our recipes are created to be delicious purveyors of each!

-Triple Peanut Slaw: 570 cal, 21 g protein, 43 g fat, 34 g carb.
-Coconut Rice and Cuban Black Beans: 670 cal, 21 g protein, 18 g fat, 109 g carb
-Zesty Miso Broccoli Slaw: 580 cal, 15 g protein, 47 g fat, 35 g carb.
-Garlic Green Bean and Cashew Stir-Fry:  530 cal, 15 g protein, 22 g fat, 69 g carb.
-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Kale & Quinoa: 510 cal, 19g protein, 17 g fat, 76 g carb.
-Lentil Walnut Pilaf with Kale: 550 cal,
22 g protein, 35 g fat, 43 g carb.
-Ratatouille with Nutty Quinoa Pilaf: 550 cal, 17 g protein, 20 g fat, 80 g carb.

To ensure our meals provide you with the nutrition needed for continued daily badassery, we utilize ingredients high in protein (such as quinoa, lentils, and beans), and high in healthy fats (such as coconut, olive oil, sesame oil, peanuts, walnuts, and cashews). Since most of us are vegetarians because we also like to eat vegetables, Food for the Sole meals are also jampacked with deliciously flavored and wonderfully textured broccoli, red cabbage, carrots, green peppers, green beans, zucchini and more.

All of these are great staples for any vegan or vegetarian adventure!

2. Pack extra goodies - While we’re not suggesting you simply load up on Honey Buns and Snickers bars, make sure you’ve got extra fuel handy. Having 3 solid meals during the day is the foundation, but given the rate at which backpackers burn calories, being able to replenish on the go is essential. Bring some bars, carry a jar of peanut butter, or take along any other trail favorite that isn’t too junky.

Really concerned about getting enough calories/proteins/carbs/fats as a nonmeat eater? Pack extra tortillas for meals, add seeds and nuts to everything, and liberally coat anything edible in nutritional yeast.  

3. Listen to your body - If your body is missing something, it certainly won’t hesitate to let you know. In fact, it’ll most likely start intuitively craving the very thing that it is lacking (the human body is crazy right?). Sometimes it can take a day or 2 to pinpoint what that might be, but listen to your body, pay closer attention to what you are eating (read some nutritional labels), and then trial and error your diet until you’ve got a balance that works. Inevitably it’ll be different for everyone, but that's a human condition nonspecific to vegans and vegetarians!

For the most part, if you feel healthy and energized on a consistent basis, chances are your diet is “A-ok.”  

Don’t be intimidated by the prospect of a vegetarian or vegan trail diet. Instead, take it as an opportunity to think intentionally and creatively about how to eat nutritionally and deliciously! We hope Food for the Sole meals can help in this journey, and for more tips, don’t hesitate to shoot us an email:


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