3 Top Tips for Traveling Like a Sexy Fit Vegan Pro

Traveling as a vegan has become DRAMATICALLY easier the last couple of years (I would know, as I’ve been a traveling vegan for 24 years!)

Even airports are starting to get on board the vegan train thanks in part to the mass distribution of products like the Beyond Burger and the Impossible Burger, which are even hitting fast food joints like BurgerFi and Burger King.

My boyfriend recently texted me a photo of himself at the airport, excited to report he was chowing on a bagel with Daiya cream cheese!

Even though sticking with your healthy vegan lifestyle while traveling has become easier in some cities, it can still pose a challenge in less progressive areas, especially for vegan newbies, hence why I’m writing this article.

Here are my top 3 tips for traveling like a sexy fit vegan pro…

#1: Prepare Healthy, Hearty Food for the Plane

Many people often limit themselves to bringing only snack foods, like trail mix, chips, and candy with them on the plane. Instead, I have found that leaving the snacks behind, and instead bringing hearty, whole foods-based mini-meals works much better. That way, when I get hungry, I can eat something that is both healthy and satisfying, with the result of arriving at my destination feeling fantastic!

My “go-to” plane food is a chickpea salad I make by simply throwing together chickpeas, halved grape tomatoes, black olives, and avocado, tossing this with a little olive oil and Herbamare seasoning, and then adding micro-green sprouts and sunflower seeds. This meal is delicious, nutrient-packed, and keeps me feeling satiated for hours!

Start experimenting, and before long you’ll have your own “go-to’s” for your trips and it will be a no-brainer!

#2: Do our Research in Advance & Prepare Accordingly

There are many awesome apps now to help you navigate the food options in cities all over the world. Happy Cow is the oldest and possibly the most extensive website and app for finding vegan and vegan-friendly spots to eat.

Social media is also a great place to do your research these days by connecting with vegans in the places you’re traveling to. When I went to London last year for example, I join the “London Vegans” Facebook Group and was able to get great advice about vegan-friendly restaurants and markets.

To avoid getting hangry on your trip (which can really put a damper on one’s vacay), I recommend making sure you know where there is a market close to where you’re staying so that you can at least pick up a few items when you arrive, like apples and peanut butter to keep around as a snack (especially if you’re staying at a hotel without a refrigerator for restaurant leftovers).

 #3: Adopt an “Adventure Mindset”

If you’re familiar with my work, you already know I’m all about developing an empowered mindset, which allows people to make conscious, intentional, and mindful choices.

When traveling, I encourage you to leave your expectations at home, and think of the trip as an adventure, including making it fun to find the best vegan food in the city you’re visiting! Without expectations, you eliminate disappointment.

Doing research ahead of time is extremely helpful, but there can be  hidden gems that don’t show up on apps. Ask the locals!

Instead of relying solely on Yelp or Happy Cow, consider asking around once you arrive at your destination so that you don’t limit yourself to the more touristy restaurants and markets. I’ve found myself spending tons of time doing research in advance only to find that the best places end up being the spots that the locals have recommended. So take your eyes off the screens and interact with real people and have yourself an adventure!

Vegan Travel Made Easy

vegan travel tips

Vegan travel is not as difficult as you may think!

I’m headed off to Europe for a 3-week vegan travel tour that I will vlog about as I go, showing you exactly how you can have a blast as a vegan on the road!

You can watch the vlog post or read the blog post below to get all my top tips for preparing for vegan travel…

Hey guys, it’s Ella here with Sexy Fit Vegan. Tomorrow I am leaving to go to Europe for 3 weeks so I wanted to do a post about traveling as a vegan. This is my longest trip ever and I’m super excited! I’m going to Berlin, Amsterdam, London, and Switzerland, then down through Italy, and finally leaving from Milan to come back home.

Fitness Routine and the Vegan Traveler

One thing I do is work out super hard 2 weeks in advance of my trips. I do plan on getting lots of exercise on my trip, but I don’t want my trip to be about exercise and making sure I keep my body in the best tip-top shape. I do want to experience  new cultures, new sites, see new things, have fun and enjoy myself and not be stuck to a routine because that’s what home is for.

Planning for Vegan Travel with Social Media

I’m going to lots of different spots and will need to figure out what I’m going to do, where I’m going to stay, and traveling as a vegan, I will need to figure out how to maintain my health vegan diet. The first step is research. Connecting on social media gives you lots of info about fun things to do, where to stay, which neighborhoods to visit, and all that fun stuff.  

Social media makes it so easy these days. I got into Facebook groups that are composed of vegans in Berlin, London, and Amsterdam. I joined these groups to ask questions and everyone was very receptive.  On Instagram I was also able to connect with people with similar interests.  From one post I found on Pinterest  I went to the authors profile to see what her posts were to see if I related to her. I reached out  because she had a lot of cool pictures like doing yoga and exploring vegan-friendly restaurants but she also had a few pictures that were fun, going to local spots and bars, and other things I want to do with the locals

Vegan-Friendly Places to Stay

I’m staying primarily at Airbnb. Why? Because that’s also, to me, a fun adventure and you can have a kitchen! I want my own place, not just my own room, so I have access to a kitchen and have my privacy. I love having a kitchen so that I can have big meals while I’m out and have leftovers always available if I want to just chill at the house for a little bit and recuperate between Adventures.

Also, remember there are always places, no matter where you go in the world, to get vegetables, fruits, beans and whole grains so that you can always have something healthy at the house. My philosophy is, as long as you’re stuffing your body full of the most nutrient dense foods possible, especially calorie light dense food, you don’t have to worry about how mulch you’re eating.  When I go on vacation, I work to eat healthy most of the time, but then know that I’m also going to have fun and eat some foods I might not normally eat, and be okay with it.

Packing for Vegan Travel

It’s always helpful to pack some vegan raw food or vegan protein bars or powders for emergency purposes. You don’t want to get to that point where you’re so starving that you get grumpy. If you’re like me, I get grumpy when I’m hungry. Bottom line, you know that you’re not going to starve to death, but it is an uncomfortable feeling.and you need a plan so you don’t just go and pick the very first thing you see just because you’re that hungry. I’m not a huge bar fan (I’m talking nutritional bars here – I am a fan of pub-style bars ;)), but having some nutritional bars with you can tide you over until you get to a place that has more choices that are agreeable with you.

Preparing for the Plane Ride, Vegan Style

It’s important to make sure you are prepared on especially long plane rides in case there isn’t anything available to eat that is plant-based or vegan. You can call ahead for long international flights to see if  they have a vegan option for you. It’s a good idea to bring snacks for the trip just in case. For my trip I’m planning on bring baked tofu that comes in packets. The tofu can sit around for hours without going bad, it’s already flavored and works great for a high-protein,  delicious substantial snack. Crackers or popcorn may be available in the airport, but even if they’re vegan and fun to snack on, they’re not really going  to satisfy you for any length of time. The tofu and hummus with some veggies, if packed in a little cooler, can be a life saver!

There is a catch:  you may have your hummus confiscated! On one of my travels I did have my hummus confiscated. This was quite upsetting, as funny as it sounds, but when you’re in a hurry and you’re getting on a long flight and you think you have a snack and you’re hungry and they take that snack away from you and you have to run and get on the plane anyway knowing you’re going to be really hungry, it’s just very disappointing! Bottom line: pack a few good options.

Planning Activities for the Vegan Traveler

Using Facebook and Instagram connections, I was able to find out about the historical sites that I don’t want to miss while I go to such historic cities. I want to experience the culture and also really get to meet with the locals and not just hit the tourist spots. You can always check traditional travel sites like Yahoo Trip Advisor, but I have found that the best way for me to find a cool spot by just asking around, as opposed to planning everything in advance. I also search for local fitness opportunities. This trip, I am nursing a shoulder injury and will probably stay mostly with yoga studios.

Eating Out, Vegan Style

For me, it’s not necessarily important to go into only vegan exclusive restaurants. What I want to do is stay as mainstream as possible and find restaurants that can offer me vegan choices, even if they’re not vegan restaurants. I find it to be an adventure to communicate with the staff at mainstream restaurants and see what they can do to come up with some options for me.

Of course, I also enjoy going to the vegan friendly spots. I have found lots of vegan bakeries that I plan on flirting a little bit with on my vegan travels. At home I have been off of sugar for quite a while, but when there are vegan donut spots that I’m going to come across as I travel through Europe, I’m going to be tasting some donuts!

I hope these tips help on your next vegan travel trip!

The Holistic Holiday at Sea Experience


I’m back from a week aboard the MSC Divina on the Holistic Holiday at Sea and am bringing home tons of great info and experiences to share!Holistic Holiday At Sea

Let me start by saying that it was one packed week. My good friend Anne came with me on the trip and we both agreed that the experience was a perfect mix of fun and education. One of the hardest part about the trip was deciding which classes and lectures to attend because there were so many to choose from. I couldn’t ask for a better problem to have! 

I could go on and on about the details but photos do a great job at telling the story…

The Ship:


The MSC Divina is a classy ship with great service, and our room was very comfortable. 

The Dining:

For breakfast and lunch, Anne and I went for the vegan buffet because there were so many activities we were trying to squeeze in during the daytime. We went for the sit-down dinners though, which included a 5 course meal every night! It was refreshing not to have to question the servers about how the food was made. For once, being vegan was the norm not the exception. So cool!!! Dinner was also the time we met the most interesting people from all over the country, everyone with a unique story about how they came to be on the cruise. I definitely recommend attending the dinners every night, and sitting with new people each meal.

The Excursions:


Book your excursions early! We made the mistake of waiting until the last minute and many of the excursions were booked, especially the ones that came with a vegan lunch included. This year we went to Saint Thomas, Nassau, Bahamas, and San Juan, Puerto Rico. We have a good friend who lives in San Juan so were lucky enough to have a personal, local tour guide on that stop. 

The Classes/Lectures:


There were inspirational classes and lectures of different topics offered over the course of the week by some of the world’s leading experts on nutrition, cooking, and fitness. It was hard to pick which ones to attend because I was interested in so many! I even tried a qi gong class one day, which is something I’ve always been curious about. I was thrilled that one of my all-time favorite speakers, Dr. Greger, was there, and after his last talk, I ran up to the stage to say hello and give him a copy of my book. He was so thankful and we agreed we needed to team up because, as he put it, “The paleo people are killing me!”  

The Amenities:

Holistic-Holiday-At-Sea-Gym-SpaI managed to make it to the gym early most mornings. The gym is at the very front of the ship and give you a gorgeous view of the sunrise over the water. Yoga and other classes were also offered every day at 7am as well as throughout the day as well. The ship also has a nice spa where Anne and I got an amazing massages after loosening up in the steam room and relaxing for a bit. 

The Book Signings:


There were book signings every evening. I felt so honored to be there among such inspirational authors.

A big thank you to Sandy Pukel, the dedicated founder of the Holistic Holiday at Sea for inviting me on the cruise. I am incredibly grateful to have been a part of such a special week.

Stay tuned for more info on next year’s cruise including early bird specials!!!



Vegan Breakfast on the Road: How to Get Creative!


Ever try to get a healthy, filling, vegan breakfast on the road?

It’s not often that you spot a “Lily’s Organic Diner” or “Wildflower Kitchen”  on the exit food signs.  You are more likely you see Aunt Sarah’s Pancakes or Denny’s where a standard breakfast is steak and eggs, and a side of fruit bathed in syrup. Far from a healthy vegan breakfast!

On my last road trip my carnivore friends picked Waffle House.  As we pulled up to the restaurant, I wondered if there would anything for me to eat given that I’m on a vegan diet plan.  I wasn’t surprised that there was no scrambled tofu on the menu. There was hash brown potatoes though.  That’s a start!Hashbrown Vegan Breakfast on the Road

After making sure the potatoes were cooked in vegetable oil, I asked if the hash browns could be the start of some sort of potato-based omelet, adding the standard omelet fillings… peppers, onions, mushrooms.  The waitress got into it.  Then the cook got into it!

When my plate arrived it was a good-looking, tasty, filling, vegan (so far as I could tell) dish…  a double order of hash browns folded over the veggie center.  Yes, a bit greasy, but it was Waffle House.

I find that sometimes when you challenge restaurant staff with your “special needs”, they rise to the occasion and your dining partners say, “That looks better than anything on the menu!” 

Have you had a similar experience getting creative for vegan breakfast on the road? I’d love to hear!

– Steve


Vegan Traveler: New Orleans

Ella Magers, vegan traveler at UFC New Orleans

I took a birthday trip to New Orleans last weekend to see UFC Fight Night (my birthday gift from my boyfriend) and wow, as a pro at traveling on a vegan diet plan, this city is what I would call, “a great challenge!”

First off, I’m relatively easy to accommodate in that I’m happy with simple meals containing popular ingredients. I don’t need my vegan diet plan to be fancy. Give me a salad with lettuce, tomato, avocado, and some chickpeas and I’m a happy camper. I generally travel and go to restaurants, bars, and other hot spots more for the atmosphere than the food options anyway, but that’s just my personality. In New Orleans, there is no shortage of awesome venues to hear great live music, meet interesting people, have drinks, people-watch, and learn about the city’s history. But when it comes to eating, unless you like jambalaya, gumbo, po-boys, or deep fried food, you have a challenge on your hands. 

Here are some recommendations for places I enjoyed:

  • For a local sports bar vibe with great craft beer: The Bulldog
    • The hummus is home-made, FANTASTIC., and you can get it with raw veggie sticks!
    • Great selection of craft beer (The Unibroue Trois Pistoles is a strong, vegan-friendly Belgium beer that’s not served at many bars… loved it!).
    • vegan beer
  • For a local bar with a good beer selection and live jazz: d.b.a.
    • They do not serve food, but let you bring in food from elsewhere and chow there. 
    • The bartenders are experienced and super friendly.
    • d.b.a.-new-orleans
  • For a 100% vegan restaurant: Seed
    • Awesome high-quality menu with tons of variety, but all “nola style” so you still get a taste of traditional food.
    • Perfect brunch spot (pictured are the bloody marys, grits with seitan and mushroom gravy, chocolate chip pancakes, tofu scramble, and fresh squeezed orange juice).
    • An amazing, creative cocktail menu.
    • Modern, cool design.
    • Location is not great (only down side).
    • vegan-bloody-maryvegan-grits,-mushroom-gravy,-homemade-seitanvegan brunchvegan bloody mary
  • For a fun tourist bar with live music: Famous Door
    • Great cover-bands almost always on stage
    • Cheap drink prices
    • Perfect for letting loose and laughing at/with drunk tourists.
    • famous-door-new-orleans
  • To learn about history: WWII Museum 
    • ww2-museum

Then, of course, the UFC Fight night, the real reason we went, was at the Smoothie King Center, and we were incredibly lucky with the card. Almost every fight ended in a knock-out or submission! We were in the third row for these exciting fights, and through a friend, I was able to say what’s up to Bruce Buffer who is not only a talented entertainer, but also a super nice guy! I was happy the veteran Dan Henderson came away with a well-earned victory 🙂

Ella-&-bruce-buffer dan-henderson-ufc-winner ella-rob-ufc-fights

All in all, a fantastic experience. Thanks Rob for making it happen.

I’d love to hear comments about other tips and hot spots so please comment!