Since there weren't any blizzards predicted for this past weekend, it was the perfect time to take the kiddos to see my parents in Connecticut. (Also, the hubs was out of town at a conference in DC.) Now, a word on my parents' eating habits. I love them to death and they are rock star grandparents, but their idea of healthy eating is to make that Mountain Dew a diet. Okay, so that's not really fair -- since my dad was diagnosed with diabetes several years ago, my parents have had to really cut down on the sugar/starch intake. But, like many Americans (myself included) they want to have their cake and eat it too -- even if it has to be made with Splenda.
At any rate, I knew if I was going to stick to my vegan resolution, I'd have to take matters into my own hands. First stop, Whole Foods. There's a reason why it's nicknamed Whole Paycheck -- there's always a little sticker shock at the register, no matter how careful I am to buy bulk and on sale. Eating organic, never mind vegan, is expensive! (This could prompt a whole rant on how we're subsidizing the wrong kind of food, but more eloquent ranters than I have already done so.)
Here, then, are the staples I chose to get me through the weekend: unsweetened coconut milk, vegan bread, organic greens, vegan muffins, strawberries, coconut milk yogurt, smoked tofu, vegan cereal, lemon & avocado (to use as salad dressing), a giant head of garlic to roast, and some yummy peanut/chocolate granola bars to satisfy my chocolate cravings (those cupcakes couldn't last forever!) There was already fruit, more salad veggies and -- hurray! -- hummus back at the house. My one mistake was to forget the Earth Balance. My parents use margarine, but it contains milk, and even worse, trans fats. Another bad-for-you disguised as a good-for-you.
This was way more than I ended up needing, but good practice, since we're headed west next week to visit my husband's parents in California. This was the first time that I looked closely at labels on items I wouldn't normally think of as containing animal products. Several yummy-looking breads didn't qualify since they were made with honey. And there's hidden dairy all over most granola bars!
How about you? What are your vegan must-haves when traveling? Ideas for budget-conscious vegan eating?