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Vegan in the Seychelles!

Hi all!

At the moment I'm looking into how on earth I'm going to survive as a vegan on a tiny island in the Seychelles for a month and a half this winter. I'm going over to do some conservation work with turtles, and although this is amazing work experience for zoologist me, I'm as usual worried I'm going to starve to death!

Situation currently is that there is no cooking facilities, only a canteen which doesn't do a vegetarian option, but does tend to serve a grain of some kind with each meal. My project manager, Dane, has asked around and has assured me the kitchen will be happy to help me get my hands on some staple ingredients, but some usual stuff is hard to get hold of, such as potatoes and onions. Tropical fruit is plentiful of course. He's also looking into getting me a hot-plate or microwave, and in our digs there is a kitchenette, but as far as I gather this is just a sink and fridge currently.

If Dane isn't successful in getting a hotplate in I was thinking about buying one of these off Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Designer-Habitat-Digital-Electric-Induction/dp/B0069KUR6C/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_nS_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=12WMDIEW5EOCS&coliid=IUBM200NNYTDF

I'm also going to take a ton of staple foods with me, and so far I was thinking:

Powdered soy milk
Food bars
Spices
Boullion
Instant noodles
Soy sauce
Powdered veggie burger/falafel mix

So my questions are..
Does anyone have any suggestions for what else I should take?
Can someone suggest a powdered soymilk brand that doesn't taste absolutely foul?
Any cheap places to buy food bars in bulk? (trek, clif, nakd etc.)


Cheers! x x o

Comments

My mum really likes the portable induction hob that I got her, but remember that not all pans work on them.

I find that onion powder works fine for flavouring, so you could bring some of that. If you can get lentils or similar (split peas, small beans) over there you'll be fine, if not then maybe bring some. If you're expecting to eat more pulses than usual bring ginger/turmeric/kombu to make them easier to digest.
Great stuff :) Glad to hear of someone using one successfully. My parents have a built in one in their kitchen, my only concern is the plans are pretty heavy.

Turmeric is definitely on the list! Any weight I have left in my luggage may well be taken up by lentils.
I was going to suggest rice and lentils. For bars, I like the Nakd ones, and they're cheapest to buy straight from the manufacturer. The nut/date ones, I mean; I find the oat/peanut ones taste foul, though obviously that's a matter of personal taste. Natural Balance Foods don't charge postage and are absolutely lovely, with a tendency to sprinkle freebies all over the place. I'd suggest getting a mixed box now, so that you can see which ones you like (they brought out new flavours recently), and then if you place a bulk order, I suspect they may well give you a discount or throw in a box for free.

I'd also suggest ringing up vegan shops like Alternative Stores, and health food shops such as Real Foods, and having a chat with them. I did that when I was trying to think of what to take for a three-day trip to a hotel which was unlikely to be able to feed vegans, and I was on an ultra-low fat diet at the time due to gallstones. Couscous mixes might be a good path to follow.

Edited at 2012-10-10 04:14 pm (UTC)
I might well call up some places.. I'm a bit of a wuss when it comes to asking people stuff! Thanks for the suggestions :D
Maybe you do live entirely on fruit, nuts, rice, grains and pulses - but I would go insane without some CHOCOLATE! And CRISPS! And other "junk" foods (which are perfectly fine in moderation as part of a balanced diet, of course). Also chocolate milk. I guess it'll be too hot for you to want hot chocolate (although that would make powdered soy milk more palatable), but Alpro do UHT cartons of 330ml of chocolate milk (either conventional with calcium, or the organic sort which doesn't have calcium).

The Clif bars called Builders Bars are particularly good because they taste just like chocolate-covered breakfast bars, but actually have 20g of protein in. They don't advertise themselves as being vegan, but enough explicitly-vegan places sell them that I assume they must be. You can only get three flavours in this country: Chocolate, Peanut Butter, and Mint Chocolate, but other flavours exist in the US, and if you were getting them shipped directly to save on weight you might want to order from one of the US suppliers.

Some companies do vegan cakes which keep for several months. Lazy Day are a "freefrom" company whose products are both vegan and gluten-free. I don't recommend their millionaires' shortbread since it has too much shortbread and not enough lovely caramel, but the various tiffin bars they do are all awesome. I just buy them from Sainsbury's, though that link above goes to their web store.

I'd also take some of those Alpro Soya UHT desserts that come in a 4 pack. They come in vanilla, caramel, chocolate, and DARK chocolate (the best), and you can also use the vanilla flavour as custard. Redwood do UHT yogurts but I've never had one to know if it's edible or not.

What do you normally do about breakfast? You won't be able to take 6 weeks worth of fresh bread, but you could take some part-bake baguettes or petit pains to vary your diet a bit. Sainsbury's own brand part-bake baguettes/petit pains are vegan. So are ...uh, I think the company name is Delice de France? They're the ones that our Tesco Express and Waitrose sell, anyway. Check what breakfast cereals are available out there. I am not absolutely certain that, e.g. Kelloggs Corn Flakes have the exact same formulation all over the world.

By the way, I just checked, and apparently the Seychelles uses the same 220-240V, 50 Hz electricity supply, and three pin plugs that we have in the UK. So you can buy a hotplate here and expect it to work there.
Wow! Thanks for all the googling!! :D Especially the three-pin plug thing, amazing, thank you!

I think with breakfast I'm going to go the fruit route, maybe leftover rice + powdered soymilk + sugar to make rice pudding :) I know that you can get the mini cartons in regular soy, but liquid weighs so much I might just be better off with dried stuff. Chocolate powder sachets could be a pretty good compromise though.

I'm not keen on the millionaires' shortbread either! But since I'm going to be out there over christmas (first time away from my family!) I might have to stockpile some of their other goodies.
Personally I don't think Builder Bars taste like regular chocolate anything. They're kind of nice, and great as protein bars go, but I can only eat half at a time or it starts tasting weird (I think the regular Cliff bars have some of that too though so if you're into them it shouldn't be much of an issue). Anyway, Evans Cycles sells them individually if you'd like to try some before buying a box. If you have a shop nearby but it doesn't stock them, you can order from the site with free delivery to store.

I don't know if you've tried Green & Blacks hot chocolate powder (they've stopped listing milk powder as an ingredient in everything, in case you were avoiding them for that), but I think it's much better than any others (less sugar so you may want to add some), and it also dissolves very well which is good if you want cold chocolate milk. I use a tiny bit of hot water and then top up with cold milk.