Saturday, October 4, 2014

Staying on Plan While Eating Out and Away from Home

At the end of April I went away on vacation to Florida. I was determined to stay on plan, enjoy myself and hopefully lose weight/stay the same by the end of the week. I packed a few essentials in my carry on that I knew I would use during the week. There were a few essential items I brought with me to help me during the meals I was going to have and ake myself. These items were: tablespoon measuring spoon, 1/4 cup & 1/3 cup measuring cups, food scale, food tracker and my cell phone/tablet. I also packed a few food items in my carry on: wheat flax pita bread, sugar free instant oatmeal packages, Luna bar, Trader Joe's brownie bar, Weight Watchers aloha bar, Weight Watchers smoothie package, and a few sugar free Hawaiian punch water packages.
The items themself didn't take up a lot of space in my carry on ... but they made me have peace of mind going into my vacation with a plan of action. I had my breakfast packed for the week and it was something I enjoyed at home. I had some of my favorite pita bread for sandwiches, I had snack bars that were "point comfortable" for me because I knew I'd want a little treat while others were snacking on goodies like Hostess cupcakes, bags of chips and donuts from Dunkins.
I went into it stating that I'd go with the flow ... but I'd eat a simple meal, like breakfast, at the house. A filling, satisfying breakfast that would put me on the right foot at the jump start of the day. I also said I'd probably eat out 1 if not both meals a day. Truthfully, I tried to stick to eating out 1 meal per day (if at all each day), not only to save some cash but to be able to have a back-up plan just in case.
Upon landing in Florida and dropping off luggage, we made a trip to the grocery store to get some items for the week. I did some minor grocery shopping to make some foods for myself. I picked up items like: Salad stuff, hamburger, deli meat, veggies, fruit, soda, water, chips, frozen vegetarian burger patties, condiments, etc. Foods I could have on hand, that were foods I enjoyed and found to be satisfying.
Then when it came to going out to dinner/lunch and even eating in an amusement park I decided to order what I felt like eating, enjoying myself, but making smarter choices instead of going all in and feeling sluggish and gross afterwards. I didn't want to truly go "balls to the wall" and make it an eating fest. Afterall I do want to still be able to fit into my clothes ... and I don't necessarily like being sick for days after eating foods my body isn't used to eating.
The "trickiest" part of my plan of attack was the long hours at the airport. Truthfully, there aren't very many "healthy" restaurants or really even "healthy restaurants" at airports. There are some, but from the three airports I visited they were overwhelmed with customers and the folks waiting on the customers were less than thrilled to be serving pretty much anyone. My plan of attack was to scan all available options in the area of the airport I was in ... see what was available and weigh my options. What did I want to eat not "had to eat" because if I went with "I HAVE to eat this" I would have ordered the fattiest thing on the menu ... you know, just because!
Boston airport, I opted for Wolf Gang Puck's chain and ordered the barbecue chicken salad - opting for no dressing, no tortilla chips, no cheese (and asked for more lettuce). I popped over to Red Robin and asked if I could have a fat free italian/light italian dressing and my lunch was set. In the New Jersey airport I found a restaurant that sold tex-mex type foods and after having to wait 10 minutes for the lunch menu - I order my salad bowl ... the way I wanted it. Unfortunately this meant the person who took my order put it into the computer wrong and I was presented the wrong meal three times. But instead of just eating it, I politely asked for my money back, and when the manager had to step in to reconcile my transaction my meal was completed the way I ordered it.
Here are some of the food choices I made while on vacation.

Boston Airport - Wolf Gang Puck - Barbecue chicken salad (skipping on some additions to the salad to make it 'friendlier')

Dinner "in" - 2 Morningstar quinoa burger patties, sour cream fat free pringles and pickles.

Lunch - Sonic. Chargrilled chicken sandwich (no mayo, or toppings - ketchup on the side), apple slices (I had to pay extra for these) and a medium diet coke.

Dinner at a Steak house (they did not have sirloin so I opted for chicken). Chargrilled chicken breast with steamed veggies (requested plain - no butter).

Orlando Studios - Simpson cafe. Grilled chicken sandwich with a side of fruit salad (instead of tater tots) and a large fruit salad and re-fill of diet coke. The bread on this was SO thick I ended up tearing most of it off because it made it awkward to even try to eat.

Lunch at Chick-fil-A. I have Chick-fil-A when I can at home ... but I noticed they came out with a new chargrilled chicken nuggets (they used to only be on the kids meal). So I opted for an 8-piece, a side salad with fat free honey mustard ... and since I really wanted waffle fries I ate those as well as my "indulgence."

Late night dinner at a BBQ restaurant - pulled chicken salad.

Lunch at New Jersey airport - burrito bowl (no rice, extra lettuce).
In between these meals I ate - hamburger, deli meat, oatmeal, frozen veggie burgers, etc. I just kind of ate what I liked and enjoyed what I felt like when we went out to eat.  While at Disney I spotted a huge gigantic donut in the Simpson section of universal ... and a small part of me wanted it. That is, until I saw the grease stains on the bottom of the boxes. Whoa nelly! And no, I did not eat this:

I opted to buy myself a mug at Disney because it made me laugh and is totally me. A carbivore.
Better yet when I got on the planes (both down and back - including lay overs) I was able to fasten the seat belt - a normal size airplane seat belt. When I was 17 I went on a plane for the first time and had to have a seat extender. There was absolutely NO need for one now ... and I actually had room in my seat to be as comfortable as one can be on a plane. Now that was a rewarding NSV and it's one I'm grateful for ... because after all it's the little things!

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