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Possible to be vegan/vegetarian in Ambergris Caye

Posted By: SandsD

Possible to be vegan/vegetarian in Ambergris Caye - 05/16/14 05:41 PM

Hi everyone. I am new to this forum although I have been reading a lot of the posts. My husband and I are thinking of moving to Belize and it sounds like a great fit for us in many ways (the income part is covered).

However, I eat a fairly strict vegan diet (no meat/dairy). I am a bit worried that there will be limited availability of food, as I have heard fresh vegetables are hard to come by on the Cayes and that gardening isn't practical (not sure why). I love to cook, and love rice, beans & tortillas etc., so I don't need a lot of packaged foods. For ingredients, it does help if there are Indian or Chinese groceries available. Are there any markets that cater to 'ethnic food' (I could go to Belize City occasionally)?

I also wonder how I might be received. I know that with some cultures, refusing food is quite rude. Even if I wanted to stray from eating no meat or dairy, it has been so long that I get sick if I eat it (although if there are small amounts like butter on food it's fine).

If anyone has any experience, seond or firsthand, with how eating vegetarian or vegan food in Belize works, or doesn't, please comment!
Posted By: Noelle

Re: Possible to be vegan/vegetarian in Ambergris Caye - 05/16/14 05:56 PM

Almost all the grocery stores are chinese-owned and have some Chinese ingredients, especially condiments. Food & Beverage in Belize City has a pretty good selection of seaweed, noodles, dried mushrooms and Chinese condiments. There is at least 1 Indian grocer in BC and 2 Indian restaurants.

Vegetable selection on the Cayes is limited due to things needing to be barged out so you see a lot of what lasts: cabbage, potatoes, carrots, onions etc. Gardening is difficult because the ground is sand, not dirt, so you need to haul in any black dirt you plant in. Once you do that the land crabs and iguanas tend to eat everything so you need to protect the plants, especially when they are small. There is much better vegetable availability on the mainland.

If you have not already, you should visit the area you plan to live in to see if it works for you.
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: Possible to be vegan/vegetarian in Ambergris Caye - 05/16/14 07:52 PM

I live on Ambergris Caye and love the vegetables here. Yes, they are barged over twice a week from the mainland. BUT they are so delicious and nutritious that you will never want to buy anything in the US that is not organic.
I make so many different variations of cold slaw that I never tire of it. The cauliflower is so good I have made a meal of it. The potatoes are similar to the golden ones I got for a high price in California. I call the carrots "Ugly carrots" as they come in all shapes and sizes - not pretty little bunches that all look the same. They are soooooo good.
Then there is the fruit - yummy - seasonal and ripe. I just made a big fruit salad for lunches the last couple of days. I use lime juice and honey for the dressing.
There are things here that you have never seen before and one of the joys for the tourists are the restaurants.
Come on down and feast and relax.
Posted By: ScubaLdy

Re: Possible to be vegan/vegetarian in Ambergris Caye - 05/16/14 07:53 PM

Oh - I forgot to mention - no one will think you are funny because you are different - we here are all funny.
Posted By: SandsD

Re: Possible to be vegan/vegetarian in Ambergris Caye - 05/16/14 09:11 PM

"no one will think you are funny because you are different..."

I'm liking this place!
Posted By: Diane Campbell

Re: Possible to be vegan/vegetarian in Ambergris Caye - 05/17/14 10:36 AM

There is a Vegan cafe in Belize City at the Bliss Institute. The owner has a facebook page and blog - can't remember her name, but probably somebody on this site can post it.
Greenhouse in San Pedro has condiments and ingredients galore, including an excellent selection of Indian spices.
Posted By: SFJeff

Re: Possible to be vegan/vegetarian in Ambergris Caye - 05/17/14 04:17 PM

Nowadays, it's probably just as easy to maintain a vegan diet in San Pedro as it is anywhere in the States. Don't forget the supreme mileage you can get out of coconut milk (we've made, amongst other things over the years, some pretty good vegan pancakes here using coconut milk for our vegan guests.)
Posted By: Katie Valk

Re: Possible to be vegan/vegetarian in Ambergris Caye - 05/18/14 11:40 AM

https://www.facebook.com/india.c.allen.7?fref=ts

Ma Ma Chen on Eve St in Belize City
Posted By: SandsD

Re: Possible to be vegan/vegetarian in Ambergris Caye - 05/20/14 02:29 AM

Lots of great info here. Thank you!
Posted By: SandsD

Re: Possible to be vegan/vegetarian in Ambergris Caye - 05/20/14 02:29 AM

Lots of great info here. Thank you!
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