Conscious food in Paris


 

Are you vegan and going to Paris?

What will you eat?


It’s not like I haven’t thought about it, but from experience people always tend to exaggerate the difficulty to find plant-based healthy food. And of course, I did find some wonderful healthy sustainable options.  


GROCERY SHOPS/TAKE AWAYS

I very much enjoyed the café/take away concept of Pret since there’s so many options for vegans there. You can get plant-based milk and all of their coffee is organic. According to their website they also have a sustainability strategy; they only buy free range chicken eggs, they support homeless and work to reduce their waste. To what extent this work is being done, I can’t tell you. However, I would recommend it since it’s way better than many places in Paris.

For those who want to do some proper grocery shopping to cook their own meals or bring something home, there is a lovely small organic shop not far from Place de la Bastille called GRAND APPETIT - Restaurant Vegan BIO MACROBIOTIQUE. They even sell organic local cheese and as far as I could see there should be a small restaurant serving organic/vegan food just next to it.


FINE DINING

If you are looking for that wonderful French hospitality, live music, high standards and you are vegan, then Gentle Gourmet is the best place. I had their portobello burger (not something I eat everyday) and their mayonnaise was just wonderful. I even enjoyed an ice coffee afterwards on organic almond milk. Even if I normally don’t drink coffee. It’s a calm area, not directly at the river, but still it has that river-side feeling. I showed up quite early in French terms and my guess is that you might have to book a table on weekends. Several people were dropping in when the singer went on stage.


RAW FOOD

My favourite, absolutely the best food experience in Paris was a 42 Degrees. It was the same day as I finished my ten days’ retreat. Since I hadn’t eaten any dinner and had been quite restrictive on food I was looking for some pleasure but still healthy. This restaurant offers 100% organic and raw! When I was there, on a Sunday, they had a buffet that was to die for. The service was excellent, they go through all the dishes with you, they assist you in the serving and the whole experience is just so much more than eating good food. Even if the starter and the main course are great, don’t eat too much because you get several raw-food desserts/cakes in the end. Highly recommended!


VEGAN SWEETS

If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to visit Paris without having a croissant or a sweet treat that’s not raw, I know the perfect place for you. You’ll have to take the bus a few stops to get a little bit further out of town, but it’s still central and in a nice neighbourhood.

VG Patisserie was a tasty surprise. It looks like the classical French places and I couldn’t believe that all the sweets were vegan, it looked like ordinary sweets. Be there in time if you want a croissant, they sell out quickly!


OTHER EATS

There are still several places to visit that I walked by or had on my list, but just not enough time to eat at. I will mention them briefly so you can check them out on TripAdvisor, on social media, on their website or have a look when you get there.

Café Ginger – close to Bastille, have some vegan food. From what I understood only open on weekends.

EAT Gluten Free – for all of you who love pasta, baked goods and so on but don’t eat gluten. Apparently, they have some kind of organic profile, but I’m not sure what it’s all about.

BioBurger – is exactly what it says, for non-vegan fast food lovers, here you can dig into some unhealthy stuff with a better conscious, and it’s organic (even the coke).

POKAWA – I really wish I saw this one before I filled my stomach with all the rawfood. Not that I regret eating a delicious buffet, but the food here just looks amazing. It’s for the healthy vegans but if it’s organic or not... you have to ask them. Their Instagram page is lovely!

LAELO – yes, it’s organic, vegan and gourmet! What else do you need?

Le Végetarien – here you get simple meals like falafel, lasagne and soups! Good reviews!


REMEMBER

Opening hours make no sense for these places. Some were closed on weekends some were only open on weekends, some were only open for lunch and some only during evenings. Make sure to check what hours they are open before you make the effort to move around the city.


Bon Appétit!

 

Bus from Sweden to Paris

My wanderlust and eagerness to explore new places hasn’t changed since I settled in Sweden earlier this year. This time my attention was drawn towards France, a country I’ve never visited despite all my years abroad. I didn’t have that much time and I really wanted to do another 10-days meditation retreat. Luckily, I got accepted at a place near Paris and could combine some city sightseeing with 10-days of meditation.

However, I felt guilty about flying back and forth because of the impact flying has on the environment. I would only be gone for two weeks and the meditation retreat is something that could have been done in Sweden. I have several experiences of longer journeys in Asia, both with car, bus and train so why not in Europe?

I booked my ticket from the company Flixbus, with an expected journey of 24-hours and a change of bus in Germany. I wasn’t worried about sitting for a longer period of time, it's quite easy if you have books and other things to keep yourself entertained, however one thought crossed my mind; will I be able to sleep?

I took the bus from Malmö an early Saturday morning. Surprisingly there was already plenty of people there and they had (of course) taken the best seats. I ended up sitting in the middle at the far end of the bus. Luckily, several people got off in Copenhagen and I could change place for the better. Then we went south of Copenhagen to the city of Rødbyhavn where the ferry goes to Germany. It all went very smoothly. It would take the whole day before we reached Leverkusen in the western part of Germany, passing by cities like Hannover and Hamburg. The night bus for Paris was delayed and I think I got on at 11 pm, I was happy to meet some other female travellers too. I felt completely safe during the whole trip but I’m always very careful as a female travelling alone. To my surprise the bus was quite full but I got a good seat on the lower deck. Further on, the bus stopped in the middle of the night at a few places. I think it stopped at 3 pm in Brussels which meant that the lights were being turned on, and people were getting off and on. Then early on Sunday morning I arrived in the city of Paris.

The journey home went smoothly too, but this time I travelled from the airport, since the ticket from the city was fully booked. It’s quite easy to get to the airport so you could always go from there. On my way home I didn’t change until Hannover which was nice and there were less people travelling. The price of the ticket really depends on what day and time you want to go. My tickets cost about 120 euros both ways.

To travel by bus is a nice way to see the landscape and meet other people. On my way back I had the honour to sit next to a Japanese guy living in Switzerland. He was on his way to a meditation retreat in Denmark. We both agreed that going by bus was a good deed for the environment instead of flying. 

REMEMBER

If you are planning to travel by bus in Europe I would recommend you to:

  • Be there in time if you want a window seat.
  • Take a seat in the front. The quality of the air is a lot better in the front.
  • Bring a sleeping bag and pillow.
  • Bring earplugs and a sleeping mask.
  • Bring coins for the toilets when the bus is stops. There is a toilet on the bus but it’s not meant to be used for 'big business' (as the driver said).
  • Bring food. The bus does a few short stops, but there is not always time to buy food and the alternatives are very poor. Since I’m vegan and eat organic I had food with me for the whole journey.
 

CLIMATE

The direct way to Paris from Malmö is 1043 km where a direct flight emits approximately 0,507 ton CO2. The emissions from the bus is harder to calculate since it stops at several places and I don’t have any detailed information about the bus itself. However, I choose to pay for their climate compensation package. According to a Swedish climate compensation company an average plane emits 0.16 kg per km/person while the bus emits 0.06 kg per km/person. However, just to compare these figures wouldn’t be right either since a plane emits more during take-off and landing, but also consumes more energy by staying at higher altitudes for longer periods of time (due to being loaded with more fuel). Long-haul flights also produce contrails and carbon emissions have a more harmful effect at higher altitudes. Travelling alone by car would not have been better, but a bus with several people is one of the best choices according to the Swedish Society for Nature Conservation (Naturskyddsföreningen).

For Swedish speakers, there’s a podcast about travelling and climate at Naturvårdsverket. 

App for vegans while traveling

 
 
I've been thinking for a long time to get back to my blogging. I have several ideas on how to handle my social medias and create a platform related to health, sustainability and travel. 
It will come soon. In the end of the summer my vision will be realized. 
 
Until then I just want to recommend a easy app to use. It describe what it means to be vegan in several languages. I used to ask locals and take notes on paper or on my phone, now I don't have to. Just show the card in the right language on the app. 
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