Vegan Travellers – Going to Iceland

Hello dearest friends! I have been wanting to write about travelling as a vegan for quite a while and it would be safe to say that this was one of the main aims of TheVeganCatLibrarian. Then, reflecting a bit on the various themes as well as on what happens around you and the people that you meet, I thought it would have been better to set some foundations on veganism and take it from there. While I believe that there is more to say on the basics of veganism, I would like to get started on the travelling-as-a-vegan side of the blog. And I would like to start with Iceland.

Introduction to Iceland

Sooo, Iceland was on my bucket list for ages. All those that know me, do know that I LOVE the cold: this goes to cold weather, cold countries (maybe less cold people but some are okay). Since I was a child, I have romanticised on these cold places as where I grew up didn’t get much snow and even in Winter, there is a thermal excursion of up to 20° C (meaning that even if we were to reach -10°C at night, during the day it would easily go up to +10°C). Also, for a kid heavily bullied because of her physical appearance, cold weather means not having to strip off the essential layers of comfy protection (see oversized sweaters). And another reason for which I love the cold is that it’s much easier to cope with it than with the heat: if you have enough clothes, you can survive, and you can also move without fearing to faint. Note: I am talking of up to -15, being well wrapped up or being able to have a warm shelter and warm food; I am not talking of extreme situations nor I am saying going to below zero temperatures without being well equipped, I am not *that* naive; and I know that there are people who thrive in the heat. The fact remains, that I have always loved autumn and winter much more than spring and summer (so much so that spring makes me feel unwell and you can read more here).

Iceland sits on the Northern Hemisphere, almost in between the European continent and North America: it is very frequent for flights to stop in Reykjavik to refuel and people are also stopping there for one or more nights on their way to the other continent. Iceland is also close to Greenland and it is possible to do a day trip from Reykjavik (although it is expensive). From the UK, the easiest way to get to Iceland is by flight and it takes roughly 2hours.

Interesting Politics

What was even more attracting to me, was hearing how, after 2008 economic hell basically created by the banks, Iceland went against the decision that ALL THE OTHER COUNTRIES TOOK of saving their banks and actually persecuted the bankers. I mean, f****** bald, brave and right move! No one else seems to have the balls of doing something of the sort to their banks (yes, there are intertwined interests and the other governments mostly think f*** the people, let’s keep feeding the banks because they’re useful to our campaigns etc. Let’s not go there…). So, small, little Iceland says a big FUCK YOU to the banks. And as you can see, she’s still there.

Another reason for at least liking, if not outright loving, Iceland: she’s green, has a massive focus on sustainability. They use geothermal energy to power them: the heat from the geyser is used to heat up buildings and more!

The Land of Ice and Fire

The whole Icelandic island is a mixture of perennial glaciers, wonderful waterfalls, spectacular moon-like scenery and bare land; to this, add geysers, volcanoes and much tundra. It also has beautiful fjords, especially in the North-West of the island.

Okay, taking into consideration all this, clearly the main source of food is not vegan (see fish and cattle and all that derives from them: all of them swim or roam free during their lives, and while here we don’t really condone eating animals, there is this meagre consolation.). But, as we are resourceful vegans, we can survive and thrive even in a not-that-vegan-friendly place.

Litli Geysir

Vegan Iceland

To be honest, the first time I went to Iceland in 2014 I didn’t look too much into vegan places: I booked the 6-day trip very quickly basically from one day to another almost as a spur of the moment kind of thing and I hadn’t planned nothing. Also, I wasn’t too sure about the chance of Iceland having dedicated vegan places. As I relied on hostels, I was able to cook stuff for myself and the meals were mostly sandwiches and fruit. The sandwiches were consisting of bread, vegetable spread and salad ingredients. The brilliant thing was the presence of few healthy shops like Holland&Barrett, so there was quite a lot to choose from for my sandwiches. I survived well for the whole trip, from Reykjavik to Akureyri in the North, the East Coast and back to Rekjavik passing by the Vatnajokull and Vik in the South. There were also many 7/11 markets where I would grab snacks and I stopped for a couple of dinners to get chips from local restaurants.

The second time I went was in 2017 for a Rammstein concert and I was much better-prepared thanks to a classmate who told me when she went to Rekjavik she actually had food in a vegan place, apparently quite famous: Mama Reykjavik. For my 3-day trip to the West Fjords (one part of the island that I didn’t manage to visit in 2014) I relied on some premade vegan-friendly food that I could find on the road as well as local cafes for small snacks along the road trip (that area is not very populated and you could go for several miles before being able to find some houses, but you would be surprised by what you could find in these isolated cafes these days -see vegan snickers at Stúkuhúsið – Café!).

Food from Mama Reykjavik
Snickers by Stúkuhúsið – Café

As you can see, it is possible to cope well as a vegan in Iceland: you can go almost everywhere and be able to eat more than decently. I don’t know if it would be possible to live for months or years in this country, but there are vegan places in Reykjavik so probably there are some “permanent” vegans (as opposed to the tourist ones).

It must be said that this food is not very cheap, but also Iceland, like the other Northern Countries in Europe, is generally speaking quite expensive. Both times I went, it was on a budget (£ 1,000 for food, accommodation and travels for 5-6 days): I looked for the best flight deals, stayed in hostels (which, by the way, are the best, cleanest, friendliest hostels you’ll ever find) and ate out 1-2 times each vacation, relying as I said, on markets.


Iceland is a fascinating country and if you can go, do it because it is worth it. This was a tick on my bucket list, and I am extremely happy to have been able to go there twice. If you think that as a vegan, it would be difficult, I hope this post helped in showing you that there are really no issues! The only slight problem might be the costs, but even if you do only one holiday per year, go to Iceland to spend a few days in one marvellous land.

Please, let me know if you have any questions or feedback 🙂


TVCL, xx

Recipe Sunday – Puffed Quinoa & Nut Bars

Happy Sunday peeps! Still going strong with my Limpia detox (20th day!) and as I said in my last post, you can do this and still enjoy food. To show how this is possible, I am sharing a delicious sweet recipe that is nicely easy and quick to make and you’ll just love it!

Puffed Quinoa & Nut Bars by ChoosingChia

Puffed Quinoa & Nut Bars by ChoosingChia

Because I am on a more restrictive eating regimen, I cannot eat any flours or sugar making it a bit more difficult to have a nice dessert. But this is really not a problem, because there are many sweets that you can make. These Puffed Quinoa & Nut Bars are one of such recipes and absolutely a must. They are matching all the rules of the detox and it’s really delicious.

The ingredients are:

  • Dates,
  • Peanut Butter;
  • Vanilla Extract;
  • Cinnamon;
  • Salt;
  • Puffed quinoa;
  • Sunflower and Pumpkin Seeds;
  • Chopped Almonds.

Put the first 5 ingredients on a food processor then add the remaining ingredients and pulse until everything is well incorporated but you are still able to see some puffed quinoa, almonds and seeds.

Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment or wax paper and press the mixture evenly into the pan with your hands. Place in the fridge for 2 hours to set.

Cut into bars and store in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

That’s it! Easy peasy.

Let me know what you think!



What I Eat In A Day – Limpia Edition

Everybody is doing it, so I’ll do it too: “What I Eat In A Day”, but not on a regular day. As I am doing La Limpia again (but reduced, therefore instead of 50 days it’s 25), I would like to share what I have been eating these days which is something a bit different from other vegan “WIAIADs”.

As I hinted in this post, La Limpia is a way of detoxifying your body (from head to toe to reproductive system) by taking specific herbs first thing in the morning, then basically is just avoiding processed foods and any type of flour. Needless to say, it is advised to avoid alcohol, tobacco and drugs during this time. Last time I went for the whole 50 days: this time I decided to do it reduced because I wasn’t feeling great for few months at the end of last year and felt I needed to do some kind of detox.

The main rules are:

  • For 50 (or 25) days, you will have an herb first thing in the morning with empty stomach and the herb changes every 10 (or 5 for the reduced Limpia) days starting with Garlic (a whole clove of garlic to be swallowed with some water, like a pill), then Plantain, Dandelion, Horsetail and Mugworth;
  • No processed foods, from pasta&bread to sugar and all the flours (no chickpea omelette :((( nor crispy tofu made with cornstarch). Not even home-made stuff;
  • No deep-fried food.

So, as a vegan, what would one eat?! Is this the situation where one will be able to only eat salad? I can tell you that absolutely no! There is plenty of delicious food to enjoy even with these restrictions. And I am not even telling you that you’ll need hours of meal prep or just enormous quantity of time to prepare these dishes (however, a bit of meal prep is useful), because you can make food that will take just few minutes as well as more elaborate foods.

Generally speaking, as you can eat ALL the veggies and fruit (fresh and dry) and nuts and legumes and all the wholegrains, you already see that there is plenty of choice for foods.

Honestly, I like a bit of meal prep, but don’t get confused as my meal prep is actually very lazy: is the kind of putting beans to soak on a working morning while the kettle is boiling so that I don’t have to think about it until when I come back from work, when I’ll just change the water and put the beans to cook. And you can make an extra batch of rice/millet/quinoa while you get ready in the morning as if you put them in enough water you don’t really have to pay much attention for the next 15/20minutes. However, you can always get the tinned legumes if you are pressed for time.

While the rules don’t contemplate processed foods, you can still make your own patties and burgers as well as your own mayo. Tofu and tempeh are also in the midts.

In terms of sweets, things are just slightly trickier but don’t despair because we are resourceful vegans and we can definitely do this.

A Day Eating For This Regimen

Let’s get to the point: what am I eating during this time?

I am on my 16th day of Limpia, currently having Dandelion in the morning, and I’ve been almost always had porridge made with water. I have it with a spoon of peanut butter and either a chopped apple or banana.

Should I feel peckish mid-morning I’d have fruit, but the porridge it’s really quite enough to get to lunch.

For lunch, it’s usually millet or rice with veggies and/or legumes.

While at dinner it would have been quinoa with tofu or tempeh or any legume. I would also make Gomjajeon (Korean potato and onion pancake), roasted vegetables, Red Lentil Fritters, patties and balls. You can also make your vegan cheese, for example, this Pure Ella Cranberry and Rosemary Cashew Cheese Log or the Mozzarella by Eating By Elaine as well as the Zucchini Pizza Bites by Elaine.

And for dessert, you will ask? Well, you will be surprised to see that there is actually a lot that you can do! These No-Bake Carrot Cake by The Big Man World, these No-Bake Pecan Pie Bars by Eating By Elaine or Homemade Nutella by Eating By Elaine. And why not treat yourself to Pumpkin Pie Truffles by Short Girl Tall Order?


True, La Limpia is a restrictive diet and even more on a vegan diet. But, it is very rewarding because you’ll feel better: it is a small sacrifice to pay and it’s only for like 25 or 50 days. As I am writing, I am actually feeling quite energised: can’t still really get up at the time I would like to, but as soon as I do the day goes on quite smoothly without much need to rest. Is it La Limpia? I honestly don’t know, but I believe it is helping and I have fewer toxins in my body.

So, my suggestion is that it won’t do harm and you could even get something positive out of it.

I’ll try to update you at the end of this, but please let me know if you’ll try to or you want to try it so that I can give you some advice.



Vegan KFC? – No Thanks

I think we have discussed quite a lot of what “vegan” means in many of my previous posts and if you’ve followed me for a bit you’ll probably guess what I am going to say next.

Just No. There isn’t much to discuss here, for 4 simple reasons.

  1. KFC ain’t vegan;
  2. Their “vegan fried chicken” ain’t vegan;
  3. Vegans that are supporting this are probably confused by the word “vegan” in the “vegan KFC menu”: it ain’t vegan;
  4. This is greenwashing.

KFC is not vegan

It stands right there, in the name: Kentucky Fried CHICKEN. Its main business is fried chicken. It was born with the intention of selling chicken. Chicken it’s the main ingredient. This means that they have massive, huge, humongous chicken farms where chickens are being grown for then being slaughtered, cut off in pieces and then cooked. This intrinsically involves the whole process of macerating/gassing male chickens and having female chickens laying eggs until they can’t do that anymore and at that time will be slaughtered. Hence, this company is not vegan and even the plant-based products are vegan.

This is just another one of these problematic diatribes where big NON-VEGAN (not even looking them from a far galaxy in a parallel universe of another realm of existence would make them look like vegan) are trying to get back that slice of the economic pie that is being munched back by people going plant-based/vegan/more local etc. meaning that they are not supporting their massive businesses. And how are they doing that? Going in partnership with brands that are famously PLANT-BASED (still ain’t vegan) to provide food for that slice of the economic pie that is moving away from them (i.e. KFC using Beyond Burger for their plant-based menu items). This is basically trying to lure back people with the promise of getting closer to the vegan ideology by offering plant-based food and making people think that they actually care.


In actuality, what they are doing is greenwashing. What does this mean? It means that companies advertise themselves or their products as being environmentally friendly while their policies and other products are most definitely not. This is a practice that you can see more and more of lately for example with petrol companies and the clothing industry (i.e. Primark and H&M). This obviously goes back to the fact that these companies are losing big chunks of the economy with people turning away from them by switching to more sustainable brands and practices. So, here you go: how can KFC (and for that instance, McDonald’s, Burger King, Subway etc.) get the nostalgic vegans, the people that are starting on their vegan journey and those approaching a more plant-based diet? Offer plant-based options. Something that you would never have expected by those companies who have made killing animals their main source of business.

And around the Internet obviously, there is this diatribe between the vegans that are convinced that anyone offering plant-based options should be praised and those who don’t think that (me).

Just as an example from the first category, the vegan rapper and animal rights activist Gaia’s Eye – Gaia Is I, is explaining in this video why he supports KFC: his opinions are well articulated and thought, but I still think it’s naive. Going to KFC, giving money to this big corporation, is just making sure that KFC (&Co.) will still be around with its murdering business.

The philosophy behind veganism advocates for animal liberation: to keep feeding these companies, it means slowing down such process.

What can we do?

I am painfully aware that sometimes, especially when you are travelling to more rural places or internationally, it might be difficult to find vegan-friendly food. But it is possible, even without going to KFC or McDonald’s and the likes.

I went to some remote regions of Iceland as well as in Montenegro and it wasn’t always easy to find food. However, I went to local shops and mini-markets to get bread, vegetables and fruits, and sometimes I could find a health store with vegan-friendly foods.

In less remote regions of the world, if you really are nostalgic about foods, there are many independent places that can offer fast food up to the standards of the major fast-food companies.

If you want animal liberation, you can always find a solution.