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Friday, May 20, 2011

Eating Healthy While Traveling

Traveling and eating healthy has always been an oxymoron to me. You have to deal with the inconvenience of travel, which can make you anxious and/or cranky, and then there is the reality that by virtue of the travel you are not eating normal meals at normal times.

I am currently traveling. My flight took off day before yesterday at 1:15 pm. This meant I was able to eat my normal breakfast but that lunch was going to be "on the run".  Fortunately, I thought about this ahead of time and brought along a protein bar, an apple and a Zero Vitamin Water. It was actually a good lunch to tied me over.  I ate it on the bus to the airport.

I was traveling Frontier and had vowed I wouldn't eat the chocolate chip cookie when offered. Well then the flight was delayed by an hour....and it was by then, a long time since lunch. I couldn't resist and took the cookie! At least now they only offer you one cookie instead of two. I chased it down with tomato juice...at least that wasn't a bad choice!

Once at my destination I planned to meet a friend for dinner. Long days can lead to being tired which can tempt us to "throw caution to the wind" and then allow us to make bad choices. How to make good choices at dinner? Here is some of what I thought through-

*Pre-think my possible choices, knowing the restaurant I was going to and the city I was in. When in Kansas City, would it be fun to indulge in a great steak?

*After a long day, I don't want to "deny" myself anything, just think through what I might really enjoy without  making that one thing I might enjoy into EVERYTHING I might enjoy!

*Talk about what I am thinking about eating and what I want to order with the person I am eating with. By sharing I am more apt to stick to the plan and remain honest with myself.

*Avoid ordering multiple courses. If I am going to order an entree, then I need to skip the appetizer, salad and additional sides...not to mention the dessert. Better to find an entree that includes the starch and vegetable. Or, if I really want an appetizer, have that as my main course and add a side salad to round it out.

*Do I really want a glass of wine? After a long day of travel,  it is hard, maybe too hard, to resist. If ordering, order by the glass. Pick it well, so you enjoy what you drink, and then know it will be just one glass.

How did I do? What did I do?

To start with I ordered a glass of water with lemon. Somehow adding the lemon makes it seem like a "special" drink for me and allows me to slow down on ordering the glass of wine. I did order the Kansas City Strip Steak. The dish I ordered came with mashed potatoes and asparagus. I did order  a nice glass of red wine-- a pinot noir. I didn't order anything else. When the steak came I cut it in half before I started eating. I ate half of it, half the mashed potatoes and all of the asparagus (I asked for a doggie bag for the rest). It was all delicious, especially with the wine. Bread was brought to the table, but I didn't need it. We sat for a little while longer so I decided to order a non-fat, decaf cappuccino. Bad news was it came with a biscotti. I stared at it for a while and then I couldn't resist. I dipped it in my coffee and ate a bite. That was all I needed and all I ate. I certainly didn't really need it. Again, my need for it wasn't physical, it was psychological. My solution, in order to let go of the fixation, was to have a bite. That did the trick. Someday, though, I would like to get to the point where I could just not eat any of it.

So at the end of it, how did I feel? Full. Satisfied. Pleased I could, for the most part, stick to my plan...especially since it was a "Travel Day".