A Vegan In Paris

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on August 10, 2010

Good morning!

I enjoyed a delicious bowl of vegan overnight oats this morning. I made this batch heavier on the chia seeds and lighter on the oats just for a fun change.

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Mango Blueberry Vegan Overnight Oats

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup oats
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 cup almond milk
  • 1/2-1 tbsp pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup mango
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • Seeds/nuts for sprinkling (I used roasted sunflower seeds)

 

Directions: In a small bowl mix together the oats, chia seeds, almond milk, chopped mango, blueberries and maple syrup. Place in fridge overnight or for at least 1 hour to allow for the seeds and oats to soak up the milk. When you are ready to eat, top with any other desired toppings and serve.

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Mango in the oats = awesome.

A Vegan In Paris

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[Source]

Last week, I told you about my upcoming trip to Paris during the 3rd week of September with OSGMOM and my sister Kristi. I said I would talk about how I will eat while in Paris, especially considering that French cuisine is far from vegan.

I actually laughed as I typed this last sentence because French cuisine is pretty much the antithesis of vegan eating. It is quite funny to think about.

You know what though, I’m cool with that. Just because I eat a vegan diet doesn’t mean that I think everyone should eat like I do. I understand that all cuisines are different and have certain characteristics that define them, and it just so happens that French cuisine has a lot of cheese, cream, butter, pastries, and meat!

My plan is to have fun like I always do with food and to not worry about it. I want to soak up the culture while in Paris and if that means I have to occasionally soak up some melted chocolate on my croissant then so be it. ;)

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[Source]

Technically speaking, I will have no ‘plan’ going to Paris. I think it’s more fun that way.

Long gone are the days when I used to worry, stress, or obsess about what I eat. Food is fun in my life and I plan on keeping it that way while in Paris. I will roll with the punches and have a good time with it.

Obviously there will be occasions when it is not possible to eat vegan, and I am not going to worry about it. I ate non-vegan for 25 years of my life after all. As far as eating meat-free goes, I don’t think that will be a problem. It’s pretty easy to find or ask for meat-free dishes at restaurants. I just need to learn how to say that in French. ;)

My plan is to have fun…AND bring you along for the journey!

Like I said, I could come home a coffee-drinking, croissant lovin, bon-bon eating non-vegan.

I can’t be sure.

Or I may not come home at all.

Do you have any special diet preferences or needs (vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, wheat-free, nut-free, etc) and have you had to accommodate them while on vacation or away from home? Have you ever had to ‘go hungry’ because of an allergy like gluten or nuts, when there were no options available for you? 

Luckily I do not have any food allergies (I have been tested for everything), just sensitivities. My doctor thinks I have IBS. Foods like dairy, nuts, and high-fat foods can be problematic for my stomach in large quantities, so I try to be mindful of this when eating.

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{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

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Jennifer (It Ain't Meat, Babe) August 10, 2010 at 3:17 pm

I eat vegan whenever I am at home and make an effort to do so when I’m traveling, but without stressing too much about it. My husband and I went to Paris in December and I chronicled our eating in these posts on my blog:

http://www.itaintmeatbabe.com/search/label/vegan%20in%20Paris

I absolutely agree with the recommendation for Le Potager de Marais! It was out absolute favourite.

Good luck! Have a wonderful trip.

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Ana August 10, 2010 at 3:42 pm

“Technically speaking, I will have no ‘plan’ going to Paris”
Way to go Angela, I applaud you in your decision!! Being flexible will help you enjoy every single bit of your trip! I think that the food is a large part of a culture and immersing yourself in the people’s habits is a fun way to learn more about the places you are visiting!
I recently went to Italy and it wasn’t easy to find many vegetarian options. There were lots of veggies but mostly they came soaked in oil, plus I was impressed at how much pork products they eat… argh!
I did enjoy pasta, risotto, and of course gelato! It was fun, two short weeks that I won’t forget and definitely won’t regret not trying a few things here and there that I would not normally eat.
Life is to short for us to try to plan everything. Good for you that you made this decision, I am sure you will enjoy your trip to the most and have tons of fun! Plus I can’t wait for the posts as I have never been to Paris before, it would be cool to join you online during your trip!
Ana

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Tasha - The Clean Eating Mama August 10, 2010 at 3:49 pm

I love your approach. I too feel the same way – I try to have fun first and foremost. If I happen to eat dairy then so be it. I will go out of my way to not eat any meat but will become more relaxed when it comes to dairy. This could be a once in a lifetime experience for you =)

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Lindsay August 10, 2010 at 4:12 pm

That is so exciting to think you get to try new foods and expirience a new way of life. I’m sure you will learn alot! I have a pretty severe allergy to peanuts and it is tougher than it sounds to be careful. Most waiters/waitresses don’t know what the foods are cooked in because peanut oil is the sneakiest!
I went to Central America a few months ago and the local food was super fresh and good! So many fresh veggies and fruits plus hearty grains. It’s making me hungery just thinking about it!
Enjoying the expirience is priceless!!

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Robyn August 10, 2010 at 4:15 pm

I’ve been interning in Japan for three months and all I can say is a vegan could certainly never make it here!! I have been a vegetarian for 10 years now and it has been super hard to eat here. The Japanese really don’t understand what a vegetarian eats no matter how many times you explain it. They just can’t comprehend. Everything has meat/fish/seafood in it.
One lunch I was given was as follows: A ham sandwich, a rice ball with salmon in it and some bread like cream puffs. There was not a single vegetable!!
I’m all for just enjoying yourself on vacation and I have tried some fish here and there, but it’s extremely frustrating when you can’t just get a fresh salad! (They coat everything in gallons of mayo..)
Looking forward to hearing about your Paris trip! When I get back to the States I am going through your recipes to get some nutrients back in my body! First thing: I am trying a green monster once and for all!!

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Lisa (bakebikeblog) August 10, 2010 at 4:35 pm

I have a wheat allergy which made our trip to Japan ‘interesting’ but not impossible. I just learned some key phrases, and also wrote them on a piece of paper, which I could pass on to the waiter.

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Chantal August 10, 2010 at 5:00 pm

Visiting my family in France every summer, I’ve definitely had my share of yummy vegan food, but they’re in the South were it’s easier to come by. However, I’m doing exactly what you’re doing in Greece right now (not being as hard-core about being raw) and it’s been going awesome! Have a great trip!

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Faith @ lovelyascharged August 10, 2010 at 5:39 pm

Girl, you are going to have one heck of a trip! There better be LOADS of photos! “Knowing” you, I’m sure there will be though :)

This issues is pretty much why I “keep a vegan kitchen”, but when I travel or go out, I’m okay with consuming a small bit of dairy (but no meat – like you said, vegetarian is pretty easy to maintain anywhere). Most restaurants even cook veggies in butter, and I find that I feel worse about myself if I pull a high maintenance “I want this without x, y, z, and can we double check that there’s no trace of dairy in it?” than if I indulge in a few bites of feta or an egg baked into a brownie.

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Diana @ frontyardfoodie August 10, 2010 at 6:26 pm

I definitely won’t eat meat but I’m not as strict with dairy. I am allergic to some extend for sure but now as a pregnant woman having added dairy and eggs into my diet I definitely feel you on enjoying what you’re presented with!!

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Joanna @ landanimal.wordpress.com August 10, 2010 at 6:33 pm

So exciting that you are going to Paris! Have you checked veganbackpacker.com ? They might know of some good vegan sites in Paris.

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Lindsey @ Sound Eats August 10, 2010 at 6:38 pm

I totally understand your plan for Pairs, and I just have to throw in my own two cents to those who seem to find you hypocritical. Bottom line: everyone is their own person and has to do what is right for them, regardless of any “labels”. As long as Angela is living for herself in every moment, she’s not being a hypocrite. And I have to say – as someone who has a severe, deathly tree nut allergy, it does take a bit away from the experience to always be concerned about what’s in a dish. When I was in Italy, I couldn’t fully enjoy any dining experience because I always had to be guarded about analyzing everything and double-checking my pocket dictionary to verify what I was about to eat wasn’t going to kill me. While it’s ok to be cautionary of some things (like I tried to be of a lot of meat in Italy), sometimes it’s nice to just live in the moment and enjoy the culture/ experience.

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[email protected]://stacey-healthylife.blogspot.com/s August 10, 2010 at 7:46 pm

Good for you for going with no expectations and embarrassing the culture and traditions.

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wendy @ ABCs and Garden Peas August 10, 2010 at 8:10 pm

I don’t have any sensitivities (not that I know of, anyway) or allergies, so I am willing to bend on vacations or special occasions. I try to remember, though, that I eat the way I do for a reason, and I don’t want to bend my “rules” and then end up paying for it later when I feel like crap. It took me a lot of years to learn what makes me feel good, and I want to feel my best on vacation!

I guess it’s all a balancing act. I like to think of eating as an opportunity to do something wonderful for yourself several times every day (what else gives you the chance to do that?) so if that means treating yourself to a chocolate croissant at one occasion, it might mean scaling it back to a simple veggie salad at the next to ensure you’ll feel your best. I think your attitude toward your trip seems very healthy!

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Pure2raw twins August 10, 2010 at 8:12 pm

In April I went overseas to France and Spain with my boyfriend. I was nervous of what I would eat because I am gluten-free, as well as have to watch my dairy intake. It can make hard traveling food allergies. I blogged about my trip here, http://www.pure2raw.com/travel/, if you are interested.

I too went overseas without a real plan just was mindful of what I was eating, but still tried to enjoy myself!!!

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Jen August 10, 2010 at 8:14 pm

Sounds like a great trip, I’m jealous! I travelled extensively in Europe years ago when there were very few veg options and enjoyed the hunt for the local veg community. I also got a phrase book and learned to say “vegetarian no eggs no milk” in four or five languages and had plenty of interesting, authentic options. For me, the issue isn’t so much health or how the animals were treated before they were killed but that I am not comfortable being the cause of another creature’s suffering &/or death…

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Jess @ MTL Veggie August 10, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Wow, so excited for you and extremely jealous at the same time! I last visited Paris when I was 15 so I don’t really have any resto suggestions for you, but I remember the Impressionist Museum, the Opera House, Versailles, and Notre Dame were my favourite sites :)
Also, not sure if anyone else has mentioned it yet, but the best way to ask for a vegetarian option would:
“Est-ce que vous offirir des options vegeterienne?” or
“Pouvez-vous suggerer la meilleur option pour une vegeterienne?”
If you need any other phrases, let me know :)

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Kaitlin With Honey August 10, 2010 at 8:32 pm

Given my sugar intolerance, I’m at risk of going hungry just about every time I step out of my house! I have yet to go on a real “vacation” (ie. not to a family household) since I learned about this intolerance, but it’s a process! I wish I could be flexible, but flexibility ends up making me sick. I am fully supportive of and impressed by your easy-going flexibility! It will make your time in the beautiful and magical city of Paris that much more enjoyable.

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Penny Lane August 10, 2010 at 8:42 pm

I am gluten free, but thankfully many of my symptoms are superficial and I can live with any internal discomfort for a short period of time. I don’t go completly wild and eat every delicious gluten filled treat I find, but I do find treats that are not readly available in my area and enjoy those to the fullest. I will plan my meals out prior to ensure that the only gluten I eat is something that is new to me and generally only during one meal a day. I think that if I were to leave an area without trying the region’s specialty and I had really wanted to try it I would be dissapointed I hadn’t tried. This happened when I was in Italy, I rarely eat red meat, but everyone had been talking about the veal so I tried it. I hated it, I took two bites thinking the first was a fluke. Now I know I am not a veal lover and when someone talks about it I know what exactly it is. I am totally on the side of enjoying vacation and the foods you find, because when you come home you are then able to share the full experience and often funny stories that go along with trying new foods in new countries and the reactions of you and the locals. Oy now I really want to go back to Europe!

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Emma August 10, 2010 at 8:49 pm

I think your approach to eating and your diet for Paris is fantastic! There is absolutely nothing wrong with wanting to enjoy the experience for all it is! Paris is the type of trip to enjoy for everything it is…the food, the culture, the history. There will always be time to eat healthy and watch your diet. So what if you eat something with an egg in it or milk? Enjoy your trip and experience! You only live once! :-)

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Lindsay August 10, 2010 at 9:28 pm

In May I traveled for a few weeks in Italy, France and Spain. I carried a 3×5 inch index card that said “I am vegan, I cannot eat fish, dairy, meat or eggs,” in all three languages. Servers would kind of scratch there head and then suggest something in a mix bettern Italian/French/Spanish and english. Then they would bring me out wonderful dishes. Every time I was surprised but I never had a bad meal.

Enjoy your travels.

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Gree August 10, 2010 at 9:46 pm

Those oats look so good, I love chia seeds so I am going to try mine that way. Good for you for going to Paris and going about your eating in a relaxed way. With all the walking you will do I am sure you will stay healthy!

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Callie @ Callieflower Kitchen August 10, 2010 at 10:20 pm

I love your attitude towards this :) By obsessing over where you can find something vegan and shunning all of the food that is part of French culture would just be taking the joy out of your trip, and it should be a time you’re able to enjoy and relax during. I hope you have a fantastic trip and have the chance to enjoy lots of delicious French food!

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Casey @ Insatiably Healthy August 10, 2010 at 10:44 pm

Luckily Melbourne is very vegetarian friendly (or Vego as they call it!) But I had no idea or plans of what to expect when I got here either! I like your attitude of taking things as they come. It is the best way to experience the culture. It’s hard when a food preference gets in the way of anything when you are so far from home or out of your comfort zone.
So exciting about your French adventure! Can’t wait to see all the good eats and coffee!!!

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Heather McClees August 10, 2010 at 11:43 pm

I recently discovered I have IBS and its a very hard disorder to live with. Everyday is different and for me, I can’t mix lots of starches like oats with fats. I love oatmeal, but do better when I’m away from cooked grains. Many sprouted foods give my problems too. Oh how I miss my flax crackers and VOO, but my squash mashed potatoes seem to work miracles for my IBS along with the daily Nutri-Shakes!

Thanks for the great photos ! I love seeing your Pari’ pictures:)

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ashley August 10, 2010 at 11:46 pm

I love your outlook and am so very excited for you. :)

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Jackie (Peaces of Earth) August 11, 2010 at 12:43 am

You have an AMAZING outlook. I was supposed to spend the summer in Europe for work, but am not anymore. :( I was worried about it, but I think I would’ve gone with the same approach. Life is too short to freak out!! I have a feeling that any dairy you may consume over there comes from MUCH greater and humane sources than here in North America.

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Flawlessfoodie August 11, 2010 at 6:44 am

Hi Angela!!

Just wanted to say that I have tried your overnight oats and they are fab!! Thanks for sharing such great recipes!! Also I posted this as a link on my blog!! You are an inspiration to many. Keep up the great work!!

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Erin August 11, 2010 at 7:07 am

Angela, I made the Blueberry Mango VOO last night and ate them for breakfast this morning with an iced coffee. I am SO full, but they were SO delicious! I never would have thought to put mango in oats before. Thanks so much for posting this! And I am so happy for you about Paris. It is my dream to go there!

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faith @ gracefulfitness August 11, 2010 at 7:28 am

As a world traveling life-long vegetarian I have had hundreds of challenges finding food on the road. Eating while traveling in foreign lands used to stress me out and cause anxiety but I have learned to relax and remember that it is o.k to be a little bit hungry once in a while, especially when there are people literally starving on the streets next to me. No matter where I am in the world I will never know hunger like a great number of people face every day. Occasionally “going hungery” has only helped foster in me an attitude of gratitude for the abundant resources available to me and compassion for those who regularly lack enough food.

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Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin August 11, 2010 at 7:40 am

I think your plan to not have a plan is awesome! Why spend your time stressing out about food instead of enjoying your time there? :D

My nut allergies make it really hard to eat out. Most sit down restaurants are okay about accomodating my allergies, but buffets and vegetarian/vegan restaurants are a lot more difficult. Just last night I tried to go to Urban Herbivore (a vegetarian/vegan restaurant in Kensington market) and they told me there was NO way they could accomodate my allergies. Such a bummer! :(

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Nicole Graziano August 11, 2010 at 8:06 am

My boyfriend and I are vegan and usually find plenty of vegan options when travelling. We did have a bit of a tough time in one town in Nova Scotia last year, but we dealt with it by buying vegetables and hummus and various other vegan foods at a grocery store. We are vegan for ethical reasons and would not consider eating non vegan, even when out of the country. I’m sure that there will be plenty of vegan options in Paris for you to enjoy.

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Danica August 11, 2010 at 10:57 am

I LOVE your attitude Angela! I definitely think that is the best way to approach your vacation in Paris – live it, have fun with it and don’t stress about what you can eat/not. Afterall, it’s not every day you will have a chance to indulge in the delicious European eats – live without regret :)

I can’t wait to read all about it :D

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Rachel August 11, 2010 at 1:37 pm

As a vegetarian, the hardest time I’ve ever had finding food was when I was up north in Iqaluit for a week (for work). There aren’t a lot of restaurants there to start with, and they’re either meat potato, or showcasing the local cuisine (lots of Arctic char, that sort of thing). But even there I was able to feed myself – it just wasn’t the most varied diet!

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Cherie August 11, 2010 at 7:31 pm

Don’t worry too much about food in France. I know they will at least do vegetarian. Last time I was there, all I had to do was tell the server I was une vegetarianne and they were happy to create a delicious dish for me. Have a great time!

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Kristen @ Kristen, Sweetly August 11, 2010 at 9:44 pm

I cannot wait to eat through Paris with you! (This is my first comment, sorry for the lack of introduction. :-p)

I’m not vegan right now, but vegetarian. I have no problems eating out anywhere typically, but struggled with it traveling for work last fall. I hadn’t been veg for too long, and was getting some weird backlash when I brought it up. I decided the easiest solution for me was to not draw much attention to it with colleagues. They all knew, but I didn’t want to jump in and suggest restaurants, etc. I clearly made it through fine, but most nights were unhealthy cream-sauced pastas, and one, at a super swanky steakhouse, consisted entirely of tomatoes (calling themselves a caprese salad).

I feel much more comfortable with it at this point, and am interested in so many more health-conscious aspects of my decisions. By now, I’m sure I’d stick up for myself, make the healthy choices I want to, and ask for special things, regardless of company! :-)

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Claire August 12, 2010 at 5:23 pm

I am pretty picky with my food since the only way I get to feel comfortable and confident with my body is by eating fresh, organic foods that are low in sugar, salt and trans/saturated fats. Also, I recently became vegetarian. But I am currently living at my aunts house in Belgium and staying there for 10 days, with a squeezed in trip to Paris for two days. Belgium is famous for their rich waffles, decadent chocolates, sugary beer and extremely fatty salty french fries. The fries are actually cooked in beef shortening, not vegetable oil… Ive been freaking out a little and gaining a few pounds but am also having a blast with all this craziness and tell myself that its only for a short period of time…
Have fun in Paris :)
xxo

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Adeline August 12, 2010 at 11:49 pm

Agreed – mango in oats is amazing! I’m not vegan but VOO is like the vegan version of birscher muesli?

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scubatoad June 3, 2014 at 12:50 pm

I know this is an older post but I am responding to your question at the end about special diets while traveling. I have been to England many times in the past as my husband is British but my recent trip was the first time since discovering my food allergies to gluten and dairy. I was very stressed about this one in particular because I would not be staying with family and able to cook my own meals. I was hiking 200 miles with a friend and relying on the understanding of B&B hosts and restaurant chefs to feed me without making me sick.

We succeeded because we did legwork ahead of time – some towns were quite small with limited options. We pre-booked B&Bs and restaurants that “got it” (based on emails and conversations) and with the exception of one B&B and one restaurant, I was pleasantly surprised by the care and attention taken to provide me with tasty and safe meals. I also found that the UK regulations on food labeling is better than here and the major grocery stores list their vegetarian/vegan wines. I can only hope the US will follow suit one of these days.

Discussing my restrictions with restaurant owners and chefs prior to my visit made the situation much more comfortable for all involved and I was able to enjoy eating out with much less stress than I usually can at home. And small care packages mailed to strategic locations ensured I would have the allergen free snacks needed to keep me going on the trail.

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