One Meal a Day For the Planet Eating Challenge

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What is veganism? Curious about vegan travel? Want to join along in the One Meal A Day Eating Challenge? This post will tell you about going vegan from a non-vegan perspective. Why, how, and travel tips for vegans. You’ll get it all in this post! What is veganism? Curious about vegan travel? Want to join along in the One Meal A Day Eating Challenge? This post will tell you about going vegan from a non-vegan perspective. Why, how, and travel tips for vegans. You'll get it all in this post!

*This post is sponsored by One Meal a Day for the Planet. All opinions are mine.*

One Meal a Day For the Planet Eating Challenge

I was inspired to join the One Meal a Day for the Planet Eating Challenge because of actress, mother, and author, Suzy Amis Cameron. Her new book, OMD: Add One Plant-Based Meal Every Day to Save Your Health, Save Your Waistline, Save the Planet (coming out in the fall of 2018) challenges people to make small dietary changes. For many of us, going full vegan is just not possible or attractive for one reason or the other. Instead of telling people it’s all or nothing, Cameron advocates swapping out just one meal a day an idea I can fully support.

When I met up with the One Meal a Day Crew at Shiftcon back in February, I knew I wanted to join in. I often lament about modern ag in Iowa. I don’t like the chemicals that permeate our air and water to grow corn and soy for animal feed. I’ve seen the statistics about modern agriculture being a top five contributor to green house gas emissions. I just think we eat too much meat in our society.

Eating plant-based meals is a great way to cut your carbon “foodprint.” One of the reasons I’m a huge propenent of eat local is to reduce our carbon footprint. You can have an even bigger bang for your buck, so to speak, by eating just one plant-based meal a day.

vegan meal for the one meal a day for the planet eating challenge

So what is veganism, anyway?

You’ve all heard the joke about vegans, right? How do you know someone is vegan? That’s all they talk about. It’s similar to crossfitters. How do you know a crossfitter? It’s all she talks about. {I happen to be a crossfitter, so I can totally joke about them.} I am not vegan, though. I was a vegetarian for about two years in college and I really liked it. But then I married an Iowa Farm Boy who liked meat.

And you know what? I like meat too. And cheese. I really like cheese. I’m not about to give it up full time. But I will totally give it up for one meal a day. I already prioritized one vegetarian meal a day – usually breakfast or lunch, but sometimes dinner. How difficult can going vegan really be?

Well, let me tell you, vegan is quite a lot more difficult than vegetarian. And I decided to undertake this One Meal a Day Eating Challenge during one of the busiest times of my life. I have been traveling almost non-stop since Earth Day when I announced this challenge on Instagram. It has not been easy. But it is totally doable, and despite all the traveling and yummy food I’ve been eating, I’m maintaining my 10 pound weight loss from earlier in the year!

So what is veganism, anyway? Veganism means avoiding any and all animal products from food to clothing. That means no eggs, honey, meat, cheese, or milk products. I’ve heard from many vegans that they chose the lifestyle for health reasons. Other people choose to go vegan for the health of the planet. Still other people choose to go vegan out of concern for animal rights. 

Whatever reason you might choose to go vegan, over the last two weeks, I’ve found that it can be tricky – particularly when traveling.

old quebec city - navigating vegan travel

Navigating Vegan Travel Opportunities

During this challenge, I’ve realized that vegan travel is not really that easy, but it can be done. In the last couple of weeks, I spent almost an entire week in Charleston, South Carolina, and another {almost entire} week in Quebec City, Canada. Here are a few tips I have for the vegan traveler:

  1. Choose ethnic cuisine. Certain ethnicities are just really conducive to veganism. Do you like Mexican or Thai food? You’re in luck! They both have lots of vegan friendly options. One of my favorite vegan lunches has been the rice and bean bowl. Add sauteed veggies, guacamole, and spicy salsa and I hardly miss the meat or the cheese! Yum! Phad Thai with tofu? Also yum!
  2. Check out – a phenomenal database of vegan and/or vegetarian restaurants.
  3. Pack your own snacks for those times when you really can’t find any vegan options at all. They do exist, but if you take along your favorite granola or have access to hummus and veggies, you’ll be all set until you can find a restaurant or shop with vegan options.
  4. Book a hotel with a fridge at the least, or a kitchen, so you can prepare your own food if you’re in a pinch.
  5. Ask restaurants for substitutions. I found more vegetarian options than vegan, but it’s totally acceptable to ask a restaurant to leave off the cheese or the honey topping to make a dish vegan.

tropical nice cream - vegan dessert

Vegan Food Ideas I already had on the blog before starting this challenge!

Turns out, I already have several vegan snack ideas on this blog before I started this challenge. If you’re looking for vegan meal snack ideas, check out all of these recipes. They’re either already vegan, or can be simpy by leaving out an ingredient or subbing an easy ingredient – like almond dairy for milk dairy.

Pineapple / Pomegranate Smoothie

Tropical Nice Cream

Blueberry Nice cream

Almond Milk Pancakes

Olive Garlic Hummus in the Instant Pot

Want to join me in this 21 day OMD Challenge? Click the link and sign up to receive the newsletter! It’s filled helpful info, sample menus and more. It’s pretty easy to do and you might be surprised by the benefits of changing your diet for just one meal a day!

 “The very same foods that protect your health also protect the health of the planet.”–Neal Barnard, M.D.


About Michelle Marine

Michelle Marine is the author of How to Raise Chickens for Meat, a long-time green-living enthusiast, and rural Iowa mom of four. She empowers families to grow and eat seasonal, local foods; to reduce their ecological footprint; and to come together through impactful travel.

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