You are what you eat. Following this principle, we have adapted a certain way of eating as a family: We prefer it free of meat, gluten, dairy and (processed) sugar.
Now, to maintain this form of nourishment is easy when you are at home and you know exactly where to buy your gluten-free oak milk or soy sauce. On a journey, however, this is a real challenge.
Eating out can be very difficult, especially with two children who do not want to make any exceptions from the rule. We sometimes urge them not to be “so stubborn” (just to make it easier for us), while secretly admiring their strong will.
That’s why we are more than excited when we find restaurants like the one we just had lunch at: The EcoCaféet in Östersund (www.ecocafeet.se). When I asked what vegan menus they had, the man behind the counter pointed at the food display with a variety of dishes and said: All this is vegan. The burger we ate was the best we ever tasted. And when I asked if there is oat milk for my coffee, he looked at me in a puzzled way, walked over to the coffee machine and checked if the can with the oat milk is still there. In Sweden, he said, half of the people take oat milk with their coffee, so there is always a can with it beside the can of cow milk. No need to ask for it. Bliss!
Stores offer a good variety of gluten-free and vegan products by now. We already experienced this in Germany. Eating out, however, is a huge challenge in Germany, where meat still dominates the menus. We helped ourselves with Indian and Asian restaurants, some rare gluten-free pizzas – or “Kartoffelpuffer mit Apfelmus” (potato pancakes with apple sauce).
Our conclusion so far: It is still not easy to eat what we consider healthy when you are traveling. We observe a clear trend towards a fresh and vegetable based cuisine, however. This goes for grocery stores, who offer more and more vegan products, and for restaurants in bigger towns or cities.
Where there are young people, there are vegan places. This development is encouraging. We believe that in the near future, a meat and dairy free diet will become more normal and socially accepted – and this will make our lives easier.
Karin und Marian