I was on the coastal path of the Camino de Santiago in September and October and share my experience with you as you vegan on the Way of St. James get along. One thing I can tell you in advance: you will not only not starve as a vegan on the Camino de Santiago, but also meet many other vegans. I was really amazed at how many vegans were on the Camino de Santiago and I was traveling in the off season. If you don't want to read the whole article, there is a list of essentials for healthy eating on the Camino de Santiago at the end of the article.
One of my greatest highlights on the Way of St. James was the hospitality and helpfulness of the Spaniards. To facilitate you vegan diet on the on the Camino de Santiago, it's a good idea to learn a few Spanish phrases to communicate phrases to communicate what you are and are not eating. More about this later.
Healthy eating on the Way of St. James can be very simple and also balanced, if you integrate the five major food groups nuts & seeds, legumes, whole grains, fruits and vegetables in your meals every day. How this works on the Way of St. James, I show you in the article.
Tip: General tips for your vegan vacation you can find in the article Vegan on vacation.
Vegan breakfast on the Way of St. James
Let's start with breakfast on the Way of St. James. The Spanish breakfast culture is very far away from what I personally as a good breakfast. Most of the time there is toast, sweet bread, crossaints or other pastries with jam. For me personally, this is too little nutritional value and too much sugar, which is why I have mostly switched to self-catering, which is usually also cheaper.
My breakfast usually had the same base: Oatmeal, soy milk or hot water, and fruit. You can find soy milk almost almost everywhere, even in smaller stores. And if there is no soy milk, pretty much every hostel has a water pretty much every hostel has a kettle so you can pour hot water over the oatmeal. hot water over the oatmeal.
The same breakfast every day sounds monotonous at first, by the variety of fruit in Spain, I could bring some variety in my breakfast. breakfast. In some hostels there was cinnamon, which I then gladly used to spice up my breakfast. From time to time I also added cashews or walnuts in my muesli.
With a large portion of oatmeal, soy milk and fruit you can you already cover a large part of your carbohydrate requirements for hiking and eat a good amount of protein at the same time. With oats, soy, fruit and possibly nuts, you've already integrated four food food groups in one meal: Grains, Legumes, Fruit and Nuts/Seeds. Healthy, vegan nutrition on the Way of St. James can be quite simple.
Snacks for in between
I have from Germany a few Energy bar brought along. If you make energy bars yourself, you can also save on the plastic packaging and put the energy bars in a Stainless steel can bring along. By the way, a stainless steel can is a good idea anyway if you want to eat your muesli on the go.
If I haven't snacked on energy bars in a while, I've had either dates and nuts or bananas, nuts and dark chocolate. I ate. With the nuts you cover another part of your protein needs and at the same time healthy fats at the same time, so that healthy eating on the Way to the Way of St. James will be a breeze.
I also snacked on pistachios more often in the evening. Nuts offer themselves in any case, in order to cover the calorie need increased by the daily moving calorie requirement.
In fact, the Spaniards bake relatively often without egg, if you If you are in the mood for something sweet, it is also worth looking for cookies.
Vegan lunch on the Way of St. James
At lunchtime I usually didn't eat that much at all, so that I do not have too heavy stomach, as long as I still have to run. Either I had a larger amount of nuts and dates or I had small and light meals. meals.
In Spain, you can find gazpacho or salmorejo almost everywhere in tetrapaks, which is a really tasty, healthy and convenient meal for and practical meal. Gazpacho or salmorejo are light summer soups that are usually eaten cool Usually eaten cool and should usually always be vegan. The two soups differ only minimally in their composition and consistency.
Another small meal is baguette, tomatoes, cucumber and hummus, which you can find in some supermarkets. Of course you can also use any other vegetable. With baguette, tomatoes, cucumbers and hummus, you cover three food groups again: Grains, vegetables and legumes. Thus, with the lunch you contribute again a part to your healthy vegan diet on the Way of St. James.
Vegan dinner on the Way of St. James
In the evening you can either go out to eat or cook yourself. Usually there are relatively inexpensive two- to three-course pilgrim menus at relatively affordable prices.
However, it's cheaper if you cook for yourself. I have usually cooked a combination of rice or pasta with lentils, chickpeas or beans and vegetables. It's easy, cheap, fast and healthy.
With the combination you cover again at least three food groups: Legumes, (whole grain) cereals and vegetables. At the latest now you should actually have covered all five food groups. so that a healthy and vegan diet on the Way of St. James should really be no problem at all. should not be a problem.
Going out to eat and the vocabulary that goes with it
If you do want to go out to eat, I recommend knowing a little bit of Spanish. You should know phrases like "no como carne/leche/crema/queso/huevo" (I don't eat meat/milk/cream/cheese/egg) and maybe some vocabulary of foods you like to eat. For example, lentiles (lentils), garbanzos (chickpeas), frijoles (beans), arroz (rice), etc.
A dish that should always be vegan as a rule is the paella de verduras - paella with vegetables. When in doubt, you can ask "sin mariscos?" to make sure there is no seafood in it.
If it seems that there really is nothing vegan on the menu, you can simply on the menu, you can simply combine a mixed salad and patatas bravas and patatas bravas. Patatas bravas are pieces of potato with salsa. Brava, a tomato-based sauce that is usually always vegan.
Just before Santiago de Compostela, in Arzuá, there is a pizzeria called Il Fornuccio that offers exceptionally delicious vegan pizza, for example with hummus or pumpkin cream.
In Santiago de Compostela itself, there is a small vegan bakery called Alice in Wonderpie that offers vegan pizza, cakes and sandwiches at reasonable prices, and TS a Casa, a completely vegetarian restaurant that also serves vegan food. Going out for vegan food is not a problem on the Camino de Santiago.
Tips for hostels
Most of the hostels that offer meals are offering vegan-vegetarian meals anyway, because the hostels have to try to to cut costs. If no meals are offered, you should check, if there is a kitchen in the hostel so you can cook yourself.
In the hostel "Tu Camino" in Ontón shortly after Bilbao there are vegan-vegetarian meals, if you ask for a vegan meal when you check in, it should be no problem. meal, it should not be a problem. On request I got in the morning from I also got oatmeal in the morning from the nice hospitalera Maria.
The hostel in Güemes on the Camino del Norte is frequented by most pilgrims because it is really iconic. For vegans, it offers even more advantages: there is a pilgrim menu in the evening, which can be prepared vegan on request. Also, when I was there, they had vegan cookies at the front desk and I was lucky that another pilgrim had left a box of oatmeal so I had oatmeal in the morning. Here again it shows that all you have to do is talk to the Spanish and they will help you.
As you can imagine, as a vegan pilgrim, you have to be extra careful when shopping. Here are a few tips based on my personal experience.
Soy, almond or oat drinks can almost always be found, even in the smallest villages and smallest supermarkets. Only very rarely I have not found plant drinks and had to use hot water for my oatmeal. oatmeal. By the way, oatmeal is called "copos de avena" and is rather difficult to find rather difficult to find in smaller stores. Therefore it is best to buy oatmeal in oatmeal in larger cities and then take it with you.
Beware of Sundays
Two vocabulary words that are often learned in context are. "domingo" (Sunday) and "cerrado" (closed). If in doubt, stock up on your essentials with your essentials on Saturdays. Or go out for dinner Eat.
Beware of siestas
Spaniards take their siesta very seriously and especially smaller smaller stores close during lunchtime. On Saturdays it can happen that the stores do not open after the siesta, so you should stock up in time everything you need for Sunday in good time. The best way to find out if there are cities on your way or if you are staying overnight in a city, so you don't have to carry your groceries too far. In the cities, most supermarkets supermarkets open on Saturday evenings and sometimes there are even 24-hour hour supermarkets.
If you want to go vegan on the Camino de Santiago, legumes are an absolute must in my opinion. Ready cooked lentils, beans or chickpeas are pretty cheap in Spain, super convenient, extremely nutritious and contain neat Protein.
Gluten free on the Way of St. James
I had a conversation with a young woman from New Zealand who has celiac disease and eats a vegetarian diet. Even though the Spaniards eat a lot of baguettes and pasta, you can also find delicious gluten intolerance, you can find delicious alternatives on the Camino de Santiago. I think it similar to living vegan: as soon as you start looking for alternatives, you will find you will also find some. Gluten-free nutrition on the Way of St. James is also no problem. no problem at all.
Equipment on the Way of St. James
Now I have told you so much and you have plenty of tips at hand. The most important items and foods for healthy and vegan nutrition on the Way of St. James, but I still owe you. These you will find here clearly summarized:
- Stainless steel can
- Light travel cutlery
- Multivitamin-mineral complex*
- Homemade energy bars
- Wooden pocket knife*
Personally, I wanted to be very safe on the Way of St. James in terms of nutrition and have from home a Multivitamin-mineral complex* brought to cover my micronutrients. Unfortunately, I know such supplements currently only in plastic packaging. If you know of such a supplement in a jar, feel free to write it in the comments!
To cope vegan on the Way of St. James
If you had any doubts before reading this article, if you can manage vegan on the Way of St. James, I hope I was able to take away some of your some of your concerns. If you are thinking about a trip on the Camino de Santiago, you should definitely dare and not let your concerns hold you back - it's worth it! hold you back - it's worth it!
Besides, of course, it is a super sustainable journey, to walk the Way of St. James, because you do not need transportation on site and getting there is also relatively easy by train.
If you have general or nutrition-related questions about the Way of St. James, then leave a comment and I'll try to help you as much as I can! it goes to help you!
All the best,