Friday, January 8, 2010

Eating while traveling

I’m traveling for 3 weeks this month (house-mate is home so no burglar opportunities). My first trip worked out well--assuming I make it home tonight. There was an organic grocery store 0.6 miles from the hotel, and I requested and got a refrigerator for my room. In addition to the fresh produce from the store, I brought several cans of beans and Fuhrman soups. So I was set!

My typical breakfast was a big salad topped with lots of berries (fresh or frozen ) ,½ can beans, and 1 Tbsp ground seeds. Super yummy.

Lunch was a big salad topped with chopped apple, banana, the rest of the can of beans, ½ bag frozen cherries, and 1 Tbsp ground seeds. The cherries made it fabulous.

Dinner was a big salad topped with a can of soup, chopped small tomato, bell pepper, some lime juice (forgot my flavored vinegars so bought some limes) and 1 Tbsp ground seeds. This was good but was my least favorite meal.

This turned out to be too much food. I didn’t really get hungry between meals. Next week I will probably can the canned soups, though I’ll bring a couple for backup. I think I’ll have berries and sweet peas on my dinner salad instead of the soup. I love berries and sweet peas.

Since this was a business meeting I socialized a lot with my colleagues at the bar and restaurants. I’m getting a reputation for being a weed/grass/salad eater. I brought my meals to the restaurants or just said I’d meet people later at the bar. I ran into a little trouble at one restaurant. As usual, I bribed the server by telling him: I am allergic, brought my own food, and will tip him as if I’d purchased an entree. That has never failed to work. But the maitre de saw me eating out of my plastic bowl and he got upset. I asked him if he wanted me to leave and he said, “Can you just put your food on a plate?” So I said yes and he left me alone. The next time I was more discreet and it worked fine. So lesson learned there—use a restaurant plate instead of my plastic bowl.

You might ask, why don’t you just try to eat the restaurant food? I’ve tried this in the past and either I end up compromising on the healthy choices or eating a very low calorie salad, leaving me hungry. Since I’m traveling three weeks this month, compromising is not an option for me. Compromising for 3 weeks is just eating unhealthy. So I just do this, people think I’m a little weird, but in fact, it really is no big deal once people get used to it. And if it does bother some people, I don’t really care.

My roommate at the meeting also tries to eat healthy so she also likes to go grocery shopping and fix her own breakfast and lunch in the hotel room. She has an interesting view. She says society is waging war on us (both the food industry and the “health care” and pharmaceutical industries which make a lot of money "treating" symptoms of disease but not curing them) and leaving us with no healthy eating options. So we are fighting back by eating healthy.

I’m still adjusting to not drinking at these meetings. I only stopped this last year, and my friends are used to my getting drunk with them. So it’s an adjustment for both of us. It’s not quite as interesting to hang out with friends to the bar as it was when I drank with them. There seem to be three stages of being a bystander to this. The first is when they just start drinking. I think this is most pleasurable, as I recall. It’s time to relax and be with your friends, it feels good going down, and good when it hits your brain. This is the part where I’m a little jealous because I’m just sitting there feeling normal while they are feeling extra good. In the second stage, they are getting a little dumb and the conversation gets a little boring, reverting to the usual topics. In the third stage, they are getting drunk and letting loose so the conversation starts getting interesting again. When I drank, I used to prefer the first stage. Now I prefer the third, admittedly at their expense. Maybe I should just show up later when they are drunk. It’s nice knowing I won’t have a hangover in the morning.


Anonymous said...

I enjoyed a little chuckle while you talked about observing drinkers. I plan to drink less (not that I drank that frequently) this year, so I am prepared for some boredom I had already predicted.

As to be a little weird in restaurants or whatnot, I already refuse to shake hands, so what's another weird attribute? : ) I applaud you!

kneecap said...

Hi Stephanie!

I never drank that much either and after I gave up caffeine, it made it harder to perk up the next day after even one drink. But I was definitely susceptible to social pressure, especially at these meetings. I still have some really bad memories of some really bad hangovers!

Ha, nice to know someone else with quirks! Do you get sick less since you stopped shaking hands? I shook a lot of hands this week. :)