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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Food While Traveling {Saturday}

Today is a day out of town. Specifically, it's a day in Kansas City. Colby is coaching soccer. Alex is playing soccer. When I first started dieting, I had no idea how to handle days like this. Days without a plan. Days when food is spontaneous and meals are determined by what happens to be available. Over the past 5 months, I've learned how to do this. The bottom line is: THINK IT THROUGH. Have a game plan.

You really have 4 options.

1. Plan everything. Prepare everything. Pack everything.
I recommend this if you are serious about losing weight. If you work out and eat right the other 6 days of the week, then it's just plain stupid to let travel days be a free for all. Option 1 works because it's simple. I'm not put in the position to make decisions. It's not emotional. Also, there is no waiting to eat, so you don't get ravenous. You have your meals and snacks ready to go. I pack a bag of non-refrigerated foods and I put foods that need to be chilled in an ice chest. Oh, and pack silverware. Done. You will stay on track this way. Don't say that you can't do this. I have done this when working as a softball umpire from 8:00am-10:00pm Saturday AND Sunday. I basically live out of my car with 5 minutes breaks. If I can do it, you can. 

2. Plan, prepare, and pack some snacks and some meals.
I recommend this if you are dieting or just maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you are dieting, only do this if your travel buddies with no doubt choose a dining location that has options for you. Also only do this if you will be going to a place with many food options like a city. If you are in the car for 12 hours and then you are going to a small community/rural area, stick with option 1. Dieters, also only do this if your are at a mental/emotional place where you can trust yourself. So, on this plan you will have snacks and meals for part of your day and you will have a couple of meals out also. Take an ice chest. Pack stuff. 

3. Prepare nothing. Make good choices in the moment.
This doesn't mean that you don't THINK IT THROUGH. With this game plan, you need a guarantee that there will be places to eat readily available to you. You should still be able to eat 5 meals per day. If that isn't possible, you should be doing Options 1 or 2. Also, don't use this option if you can't trust yourself to make good decisions in the moment. You know if this is you or not. 

This is what I did today. I really prefer Options 1 or 2, but I made the decision to not pack food today and see what happens.

(8:00) Breakfast: {Sandwich}
I knew Panera Bread would have a good option. I made sure to go here for breakfast.

(11:00) Lunch {Mexican Salad}
I knew Chipotle would have a good option for me, so I chose to go there over the other restaurants in the area. This salad is greens, a little brown rice, a small amount of black beans,mixed veggies, about 3 oz of carnitas, and pico de gallo. The key at Chipotle is to tell your server "a little bit."

(2:00) Snack {Gourmet Ice Cream}
I thought this one through. Before today, I asked myself what was the one thing I wanted if I was going to "cheat"? The answer? GlacĂ© Artisan Ice Cream. I kept my portion small. This is 2 scoops. French Lavendar + Christopher Elbow Spiced Chocolate. Remember, I'm maintaining. Not dieting. If I was dieting, this wouldn't have happened. 

(4:00) Snack {Banana + Almond Butter}
I popped into Whole Foods market and got a banana and almond butter. This a trick that I just recently picked up. You aren't limited to fast food or restaurants. Go into a grocery store and buy fruit if you have to!

(7:00) Dinner {Beet Salad}{Veggie Pizza + Asparagus}
Colby wanted The Cheesecake Factory for dinner. I'm fine with that because I know I can get a healthy dinner there. So, during Alex's 5:00 soccer game, I thought it through. I looked up TCF's menu. I always look at menus online. I want to know exactly what I'm getting before I'm sitting down, seeing other dishes, and I'm hungry. I made a plan in advance. The banana snack that I had was hefty, so I wanted something small. I'm eating the Beet Salad (roasted beets, apples, arugula, goat cheese).
I had to revise this. Shame on me for posting too soon! We went to TCF and the wait was too long. So, we went to the pizza bar inside of Whole Foods Market. I had a piece of veggie pizza and 4 asparagus spears for $2.87. Boom.
4. Cheat now, diet later. 
I obviously don't recommend this, but I wanted to list it as an option because some people do this. This is the plan if you are going to throw your hands in the air and say that dieting on the road is too stressful or it's impossible, so you'll just eat whatever and diet when you get home. If this is usually you, the way you change this is to think it through. Prepare and pack some/all food. If you don't want to change, then you won't. Just be aware that you ARE making a choice. 


  1. So, bouncing ideas off you here. Snacks would be easy to pack or go to the grocery store in Breckenridge and buy to keep at the hotel. What is the best choice at hotel breakfast? My guess, plain oatmeal with berries and nuts? Lunch and dinner, stick to lean protein and veg?

    1. I did a post for you today, love! Does the hotel have a basic buffet or is it a sit-down restaurant? If it's a buffet, I would seriously call and ask if they have some staples like plain oatmeal, dried berries, fruit, nuts even? (For me, if the hotel has hard boiled eggs, it's a major score! I love them.) If they do have it, great! You don't have to pack breakfasts! Or you could just pack the dried berries or honey if they won't have it.

      Snacks are kind of easy. For dinner you have many options. Just decide whether or not you are able/willing to go into a convenience story or your hotel for a microwave. If you will be in the car/sightseeing, pack meals that stay cold and you can just eat out of an ice chest. Hopefully my post today will help?