Travel Well On the Go… with a Plant-Based Diet

By Chelsey H. Allen, B.A., RHN

Plant-based diets are moving beyond popular. And for a good reason. As we continue seeing well-being as an inherent part of travel, it’s no surprise that more destinations are offering choices that support the planet and our health.

When we travel, regardless of diet dogma or food preferences, it’s always refreshing to see healthy options on the go. Especially at airports, or en route to one, nourishment is now within closer reach with cold-pressed green juice at 7-11, kombucha on tap at local breweries, Beyond Meat at fast-food chains, to plant-based (whole food) snacks on the plane.

Many BC-based resorts are also taking a greener approach in supporting sustainability, eco-tourism and plant-based menu items. Leading hotel company, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts integrates healthy food choices throughout their properties in British Columbia, as do independents like Oak Bay Beach Hotel, Nimmo Bay Resort and Echo Valley Ranch, to name but a few.

Offering locally-sourced garden produce of herbs, lettuces, zucchini and squash to heritage tomatoes, the plant-based bounty in British Columbia is astounding and mostly organic… and, it’s incredibly good!

When travelling, we know that feeling good in our bodies is primarily achieved through nutrition, movement and sleep. Keeping our energy replenished is vital. This is where protein serves as your body’s passport to thriving.

The most common question is likely…”did I eat enough protein today?” Travelling as a plant-based eater takes this to a whole new level, as we adjust to new time zones, eating patterns, and what is readily available.

If you follow a plant-based diet, or you’re striving to ‘eat more greens,’ the protein struggle can be real. Getting a sufficient dose of protein starts with understanding its role and how plant protein supports our well-being.

A Quick Protein 101

Protein is made up of 20+ building blocks called amino acids. The nine essential amino acids must be obtained through diet. Animal sources are considered “complete” proteins as they contain all of the essential amino acids.

And while most plants are considered “incomplete” proteins, our bodies can close the plant protein loop.

If we’re eating a variety of plant-based food sources every day, the body will have a proper pool of amino acids to utilize and keep us energized.

So when you’re flying through the airport or waiting for the next ferry, try to find whole food sources of plant-based proteins like beans, lentils, quinoa, millet and tempeh
at the food courts. Your body will thank you, honestly.

Food Travel Tips for the Road

Pack the snacks. It’s a bit of work upfront but worth it. Think boiled eggs, raw nuts & seeds, apples and almond butter, plant-based energy balls, kale chips and cucumber with hummus. If you’re short on time (i.e. packing the suitcase at midnight), breathe easy – many of these snacks can be procured along the way, or at the airport.

Research ahead of time. To track down nutritious and veg-friendly locations, use hashtags on social media to help narrow down your search (ex. #VegetarianBC or #PlantBasedVancouver).

Listen to your gut. If you know that certain foods will leave you feeling sluggish or heavy, try to limit them and diversify your diet. If whole food options are scarce, opt for packaged snacks that have the least processed ingredients or ‘natural’ flavours/additives.

Enjoy the journey. You may have to take some liberties with your diet. Staying open and flexible will allow you to savour the moment while appreciating the experience overall.

Rejoice too because as green, clean eating continues to trend around the globe, travelling well and healthy is becoming more accessible than ever. If you prefer to eat vegetarian, or mostly as a plant-based food enthusiast, this is excellent news.

Wellness Paradise at Brentwood Bay Resort

By Cheryl MacKinnon, Great Wellness Getaways

Located within the tranquil setting of Saanich Inlet, a short drive outside of the city limits of Victoria on Vancouver Island sits the exquisite Brentwood Bay Resort. The contemporary west coast property offers 33 luxurious suites, each of which, in a great twist of design, face the waterfront. This uncomplicated, elegant setting is one of BC’s best wellness havens to indulge in a wellness getaway.

Begin by melting away any lingering stress with a massage at the hands of the Resort’s serenity-inducing therapists. The ocean-view spa offers a full array of treatments focused on promoting holistic wellness and restoration. A glass of wine served with decadent chocolates is such a nice touch as you lounge fireside post-treatment in a comfy robe and slippers.

Maintain a calming vibe with a long, gentle swim, or, depending on your mood and needs, float and stare at the open skies above. The heated outdoor pool and hot tub are both open year-round, providing soothing respite on a grey coastal winter day. Experience a remarkable sense of being during a two-hour eco-adventure cruise to the nearby rainforest park, only to return to Brentwood Bay (weather-dependent, of course) via kayak. Are you feeling rejuvenated yet? Oh yes.

The spa and outdoor recreation amenities are not the only authentic elements of wellness offered at Brentwood Bay. Mindfulness expands at the Leadership Centre, where workshops like The Human ElementⓇ deliver tools to allow individuals to become more engaged, joyful, and purpose-driven within their lives. With a focus on eliminating the mental and emotional restrictions we face, we can progress when liberated from these barriers. The Leadership Centre provides impactful change for individuals who are willing to initiate self-work to find joy.

If food is for eating, and good food is to enjoy, the Resort’s Arbutus Room has a thoughtful menu that delivers. With an ever-changing expression of the local produce and seafood from the Saanich Peninsula, paired with a variety of regional and world-renowned wines, be sure there is a pleasure here to engage even the most discriminating palate.

Bright and sunny weather to a familiar coastal drizzle, this wellness getaway will ease your mind, soothe your body and restore vibrancy to your soul. Visit Brentwood Bay Resort; slow down and let this wellness getaway do all this and more. For more information, please visit

First-Ever Wellness Travel Consortia Website Launches in BC

By Cheryl MacKinnon & Gayle Morris, Great Wellness Getaways

Welcome to our site. We are thrilled you’ve found us and hope you’ll return often. In this first blog post, we’re sharing a bit of background on how wellness travel has evolved.

Times are changing. Wellness seekers are crossing over into every aspect of life. Teaching toddlers yoga, teenagers meditating, and climate change advocates each have their place in the wellness travel movement as you’ll learn here at We know this is the right time to bring together wellness travel seekers with the best providers of wellness possibilities available in British Columbia.

For the past twenty-plus years, mainstream media has picked up on people of all ages looking for new ways to live better and longer, with energy to spare, particularly in Western culture. Many would argue inner peace and well-being go back millennia with countries in Europe and Asia, promoting mindfulness and healthy living 100s or 1,000s of years long before the trends of today. Meditation, gratitude, yoga, clean eating and holistic medicine have been practised and shared amongst civilizations since the beginning of time.

It was only 15 years ago when the Global Wellness Institute opened its doors with research and development to support the exciting travel niche known as wellness. From the outset, the information allowed savvy tourism providers to grow their bottom line by adding wellness assets to their operations. The Institute’s work continues to provide invaluable data to the industry, and in fact, has helped in the creation of as has that of our colleagues at the Wellness Tourism Association.

What became apparent in the early days of wellness travel was focusing on putting the guest first. Travellers investing in their health when travelling for business or pleasure began demanding the most from their road trips, holidays and vacations. Travellers of all walks were soon requesting hotels and resorts to upgrade their gyms with top of the line equipment and put them in better locations. Fresh air, with big windows flooding natural light into fitness areas, were seen as positive, progressive moves. What is so unmistakable now, certainly wasn’t so that long ago. Mother Nature has always provided the best attributes for health and wellness.

The refurbishing translated to pools being renovated or built to allow for swimming lengths, often with adult-only hours. Savvy hotel and resort operators continue to see opportunities to further grow their wellness profiles by not only offering workout gear on loan – think Fairmont Fit and Wellness with Westin. Now, yoga and Pilates are on the wellness menu seven days a week, instead of only on weekends. Wellness is in the kitchen with cooking classes using locally harvested, fresh ingredients being a part of the guest experience at both urban and destination hotels and resorts. More recently, we’ve seen juice bars and a more comprehensive selection of healthy food choices available from room service to restaurants. Today, in 2019, wellness seeking guests travelling throughout the world are granted an abundance of health and wellness choices to help maintain their lifestyle.

This is the why and how of how was born. Connecting British Columbia’s community of wellness tourism and travel providers to showcase the province as a world-class, year-round wellness travel destination is here.

If you don’t find what you’re looking for today, please come back often and let us know what you would love to see here. We’ve made it is easy to stay up to date by signing up for our newsletter. And if you’d like to share your thoughts and ideas, please reach out to us at

What’s Next?

Exploring the Thompson Okanagan region’s remarkable wellness getaways.