The Ghosts In Our Machine

Kelly’s Ghost-Free Journey Day 1

The faces representing the four main animal industries: Entertainment; Fashion; Food: Biomedical Research: Photos by Jo-Anne McArthur

Good Morning Kelly!! We are so thrilled to take this journey with you. For others who are joining us (and we hope that there are many!), Kelly is from Vancouver and works for Lush Cosmetics as a Shop Manager.

Kelly, we know that you have been a vegetarian for 1 year and are now ready to embark on a vegan journey. You had mentioned that you travel often and would like to get some tips about quick meals and foods to grab on the go.

Could you tell us a little bit about how you normally handle eating while you’re traveling?

Coach Donna and Coach Rosemary

The opinions we express as GFJ Coaches are ours personally. We are not professional health practitioners.  Neither are we treating a specific health care issue.  That means we are not offering advice on health-care problems. If you  are experiencing a health-care problem, it is important to seek the advice of a health professional. However we are experienced, practicing vegans and we look forward to coaching you on your journey..

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  1. Kelly July 16, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    I tend to search out familiar places like subway… I now I can get something quickly without asking too many questions… I think.I will struggle with vegan breakfasts. I usually just grab a muffin and a muffin with coffee. I was thinking of trying to make some vegan muffins… Then I can just grab and go. I am off today and am going to head to the grocery store to get my kitchen stocked up. I cleared out my pantry last night and am just planning now!

    • Lorena July 16, 2012 at 6:08 pm

      Hi Kelly, welcome to the GFJ! In relation to traveling and vegan food choices, I sometimes travel with my work to places that have no idea what vegan means! Food can be challenging, especially breakfast. What I found is many coffee shops now serve things like oatmeal and have fruit on hand. I either bring my own soy milk or sometimes they have it there. Always ask how they make the oatmeal because sometimes it is made with milk, but most of the time just with water. This breakfast has saved me….believe me! Hope that helps! Good luck with the rest of the journey.

      • Coach Donna July 16, 2012 at 2:44 pm

        Great point about oatmeal, Lorena. This has been my go to breakfast at many places! It is true that breakfast can be more challneging than other meals -it makes one realize how embedded eggs and dairy are in our eating cultures.

      • Kelly July 17, 2012 at 11:41 am

        Thanks! Oatmeal is such a great breakfast idea… Luckily Starbucks always has soy and is usually in every town!

    • Coach Donna July 16, 2012 at 4:43 pm

      Hi Kelly,
      If you make your own granola, it’s cost effective and you can bag some to keep with you for snacks, etc. There are some great recipes on this site – also a recipe for vegan muffins.

      • Diane Levy July 16, 2012 at 4:48 pm

        When we travel, I always bring breakfast items, usually cereal and the mini packs of soy or coconut milk. Usually the hotel rooms have a small fridge, so it is easy to chill the milk. We also bring a tupperware container of diced fruit to eat with the cereal.

        • Kelly July 17, 2012 at 11:39 am

          Great tip Diane!! I saw those mini packs today and they will definitely be comin with me on my next trip! Thanks!

    • Jennie Ridler July 17, 2012 at 12:26 am

      Good Luck on your journey Kelly. I am so proud of you!

      • Kelly July 17, 2012 at 11:42 am

        Thanks Jennie! xo

  2. Kelly July 16, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Does anyone have tips on what I should be wary of at the grocery shop? I know there are hidden animal byproducts everywhere!!

    • Lorena July 17, 2012 at 9:57 am

      Hi Kelly, always check for “whey” in products. It is a derivative of dairy, but gets hidden, because it is considered a protein. Also, honey is an animal buy product…I know that not all vegans feel honey is off limits, but I tend to be a purist, otherwise, why call yourself vegan?? Anyway…agave is a great alternative, as is rice syrup…so look for honey in products if you are choosing not to include it for this challenge. And, as you likely already know, in any kind of vitamins or beauty products, glycerin should be avoided, unless it specifies vegetable glycerin. It really does become second nature after awhile….just a learning curve at first. Good luck!

  3. Coach Rosemary July 16, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Welcome Kelly!
    We’re so excited about first day! Seeking out familiar places is a good first step in the process, as too many changes all at once can be overwhelming. It depends on what approach you’re comfortable with. However, if you’re visiting familiar places, you’ll probably need to ask some questions about the ingredients in their food. I hear Subway has a vegan patty now, but not available everywhere…but maybe in progressive Vancouver! Also, muffins often have egg/dairy. If you have a chance, check out the “Tips to Get Started” link on the GFJ main page. You’ll find resources with specific pantry and fridge ideas. Let us know if you have any specific questions about menu planning, basic recipes or food prep!

    • Liz Marshall July 16, 2012 at 4:07 pm

      Hi Kelly, look for “Vegan” and “Not Tested on Animals” labels. At first it feels inconvenient, but then it becomes second nature 🙂

  4. Kelly July 16, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    I have some recipes in hand and am going to make a list… I will update later how things go and what struggles I come across!

  5. Coach Rosemary July 16, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Kelly, here is a link to an article about hidden ingredients. There are many ingredients to look for that may not seem obvious. We’ll post a bit more about that in a few minutes….

  6. Coach Rosemary July 16, 2012 at 4:47 pm
  7. Liz Marshall July 16, 2012 at 4:59 pm

    Hi Kelly! Welcome! We are very excited to officially initiate our newly expanded and improved 5-DAY GHOST-FREE JOURNEY. We hope you and our online community / audience get a lot out of the experience. For the Ghosts, – Liz Marshall

  8. Coach Donna July 16, 2012 at 5:12 pm

    Hi Kelly,
    I just found this link that lists Subway locations in Vancouver that offer the veggie patty

    Are you near any of these locations?

  9. Kelly July 16, 2012 at 5:21 pm

    Thank you! I have tried the subway patty and quite liked it. I am going to read those articles now. All this support is great!:-)

    • Coach Donna July 16, 2012 at 5:42 pm

      I’m envious that you have those patties available – wish we had them here in Chatham, N.Y.

      • Kelly July 16, 2012 at 5:56 pm

        I am very lucky here in Vancouver, we have amazing veggie restaurants and option… It figuring out th e puzzle!

      • Nina July 16, 2012 at 2:48 pm

        Hi Donna – speaking of patties – I have been aspiring to a fully vegan lifestyle for just over a year but at the same time I have been very busy with work – to save time I end up eating a lot of the processed veggie patties – mainly Licks veggie burgers and also the President’s Choice Blue menu veggie patties – but they make me feel bloated – it is the gluten in them that does this? I wonder why there even is gluten in them? Is there a brand you recommend that is healthier?

        • Diane Levy July 16, 2012 at 3:06 pm

          Nina, do your stores carry Dr Praeger’s California burgers? They taste great, are very light and don’t make me feel bloated. I sometimes have a problem with veggie burgers that are very high in protein. It’s great they are so filling, but it does not make me feel very good.

          • Nina July 16, 2012 at 3:10 pm

            Hi Diane – thanks for the tip-I’ll have to investigate! So the concentrated protein can also have that effect?

            • Diane Levy July 16, 2012 at 3:24 pm

              I love the veggie/grain based burgers too. I really like the new gardein burgers, they taste very good but I always feel somewhat off after eating them. I did notice high protein foods have that effect on me, I am not really sure why. I guess it is because it takes longer to digest?

          • Coach Donna July 16, 2012 at 3:14 pm

            I love these too!! I definitely prefer veggie burgers that are more veggie based than high concentrates of faux meat stuff.

          • Coach Rosemary July 16, 2012 at 3:27 pm

            I highly recommend trying a few burger recipes, and then making them in batches. This way, you know the ingredients and can store in your freezer. The V-Word (Rhea Parsons) is a fantastic blog with really good recipes. Here’s one I’ve tried:


            The bloating can be from the gluten in the burger, but also,the bun from Lick’s is pretty large…up to 270 cal and one of their buns has 43gr. carbs. Think about switching it up with homemade whole food ingredients and a gluten-free wrap or bun. 🙂

        • Coach Donna July 16, 2012 at 3:12 pm

          Hi Nina – I supose that it could be the gluten. Gluten has protein and this could be why it is often added to so many products – it could also help to bind ingredients together. I really like Sunshine Burgers – they are mostly made from brown rice and sunflower seeds. I’m able to get them at a mainstream supermarket by me, so I assume that they are widely available. The Sunshine Burgers that I get specifically state vegan on the front of the package – I think that they have several varieties – I don’t know if all are vegan

  10. Diane Levy July 16, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    Hi Kelly! I am noticing more grocery stores in my area are carrying vegan items. Thankfully, more and more people are requesting these items. If I see products I would like to try, I usually ask the store to carry them and typically they comply.
    As far as traveling goes, I would look at for a list of not only restaurants, but healthy food stores. I use it frequently, it also contains reviews which really help.
    Good luck on your journey!

  11. Coach Rosemary July 16, 2012 at 3:45 pm

    I just found this vegan burger, and it looks amazing. If you’re trying to cut down or cut out gluten, use a lettuce wrap 🙂

  12. Coach Rosemary July 16, 2012 at 3:46 pm


    • Diane Levy July 16, 2012 at 3:55 pm

      The Whole Foods deli carries an amazing quinoa burger. So good on it’s own, no bread required!

    • Coach Donna July 16, 2012 at 4:28 pm

      this looks so delicious!!! I am getting inspired to try some new recipes.

  13. Abigail Doan July 16, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Good luck on your journey, Kelly. I am currently in Eastern Europe and just heading off to bed for the night (we are 7 hours head) but I just wanted you to know that I found lots of great solutions while traveling and living abroad during my GFJ in November 2011. Some times the best solutions are the fresh produce and raw offerings that are totally indigenous to the region … not sure that this helps really for all of the above questions.

    One thing that I loved about being macrobiotic years ago was eating seasonally, and this concept often helps while traveling, too. Some times nuts, in-season fruit and grains are the most energizing foods to be had. This has worked for me in Bulgaria.

    Good luck and I wish you an amazing journey. The GFJ coaches are exceptional! For The Ghosts ~ Abigail

    • Coach Rosemary July 16, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      your commentary is so helpful and practical. Sometimes we can make things so complicated when all we need is “the original fast food”….fruit, veggies, nuts, and grains. Seasonal items are always the best tasting and most nutritious. Thanks for posting!

  14. Coach Rosemary July 16, 2012 at 8:53 pm

    Hi Kelly,
    Just wondering how your grocery shopping and meal prep went on your first day? Any interesting insights?

  15. Alissa August 12, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    Tips for vegan breakfasts on the go:
    JJ Bean and Our Town cafes have great vegan muffins. Politely pester your local places to start carrying vegan baked goods! Tim Hortons double-toasted cinnamon raisin bagel with peanut butter is good. Smoothies at Jugo, Booster Juice etc.

    Best Wishes!