a year ago
Yosemite is fabulous, Mary and Drew Jackson were perhaps the best group leaders I've had on any outing, and the other program participants were a joy.
Once again, though, your vegetarian choices were terrible. Issues:
1. Plated meals leave us no choice - we bailed from four and bought our own meals, usually at the same venue. We packed cheese, crackers, fruits and nuts for our outings. Hotels and restaurants now routinely serve a variety of good vegetarian choices - the issue is what the Road Scholars staff orders for our vegetarian plated meals.
2. A salad and pasta primavera is not nutritionally adequate meal. We were served this four times in a six day program. It makes us second class citizens when others are served generous portions of salmon, chicken, beef, or sea food.
3. Your vegetarian options were almost all vegan. That would be okay if they had adequate vegan nutrition and flavor, but they did not. Some eggs, dairy, yoghurt, gardenburgers or other protein source would have helped those options. The soggy roasted vegetable wrap for a picnic lunch was the low point of nutrition and aesthetics.
4. No problems with breakfasts - eggs, yoghurt and the usual offerings work just fine.
5. This is the 6th Road Scholar program we've had this problem with. The vegetarian choices have been good to excellent on the cruises (Aegean Odyssey, Paul Gaugin, and the Great Lakes cruise), but even the land portions of those excursions were disappointing for vegetarian meals.
6. I am a physician with training in public health and also edited a health and nutrition newsletter ("Doctors Orders") for 20 years. I would be happy to discuss vegan and vegetarian nutrition and dietary options if your staff need help.
7. I recognize that the Road Scholar demographic has not as widely embraced vegetarian and vegan diets as other age groups. If you had more 30-something clients, you would already have fixed this.
Christopher H. Coulter, MD, MPH