5 Days Of Restaurant Meals

Saturday morning, I left my home and drove to the airport, and didn’t return until tonight. While I was gone, I ate 4 breakfasts, 5 lunches, and 4 dinners in restaurants. I tracked every bite. And I feel really good about it.

Day 1: Saturday

I was traveling for work, and I started with a plan. I brought two hard-boiled eggs, an apple, and a bag of cherries to the airport. Those were my “in-flight meals” instead of pretzels and peanuts. During my lunchtime layover, I chose a grilled kabob sandwich with a giant bowl of fruit instead of the standard fries. I only ate half the pita. Off to a great start!

Healthy Airport Lunch

Once we landed in Nashville, we went exploring before our 7:30 splurge dinner reservation at Etch. We stopped on a patio to listen to some live music and had a beer. Then we went to dinner, where I had another beer and shared this amazing roasted cauliflower appetizer with two lovely ladies.

Roasted Cauliflower Appetizer at Etch

We were served some delicious rosemary dinner rolls, fresh from the oven I ate one, and only one.

Rosemary Dinner Rolls at Etch

Then I got the duck confit ratatouille crudo. I ate all the duck and maybe about half of the veggies. This was a delicious dish. I chose it because I don’t get to eat the protein often, and it was vegetable-centric. It was amazing.

Duck Confit Ratatouille Crudo at Etch

I also didn’t say no to dessert. I chose a dish based on in-season fruit (which included a cake and a small serving of delicious house-made ice cream).

Peach Dessert at EtchTotal Weight Watchers PointsPlus for Saturday: 63. Yes, that’s a lot, but it was my splurge meal and I had the points for it.

Day 2: Sunday

I made the mistake of sleeping with just the sheer curtains in front of the windows, and I think the city lights made for a fitful sleep. At 4:45 a.m. I was wide awake. The old Liz would have stayed in bed, awake or not, for two more hours. Instead, I called the desk to confirm that the gym was open, and busted out a 5K on the treadmill (after realizing I had put my running pants on inside out while getting dressed in the dark).

June 29 Run Photo

After my run, I met some friends for the workout I had actually planned for the day – Zumba! It was offered for free as part of the conference I was attending. We completed a 50 minute class, and I was sweating buckets! I liked the workout because it was easy to keep moving to the beat, even if I had no idea how the choreography worked. I should try more music/choreography-based classes. Here are some of us after the workout, with our instructor.

NASFAA Zumba Crew

We grabbed breakfast (yogurt parfait & a banana) and set up our exhibit booth for four hours. We ended up eating lunch at a sports bar (ick), but I think I made one of the best possible choices, given my options. I had salmon (wiped off most of the sauce), corn chowder, and veggies.

Healthy Sports Bar Meal

That evening there was a reception with tons of food stations. I only tried one (grits, with bacon), and kept the portion small. I didn’t even have a drink. We had a late dinner, and I had a quinoa and tabbouleh salad. Yum!

Total Weight Watchers PointsPlus for Sunday: 43 (earned at least 16 Activity Points)

Day 3: Monday

I went to the hotel restaurant for breakfast, and was disappointed that all of the main dishes were pretty high-calorie (and the breakfast buffet was $19). I managed to put together a healthy, delicious meal based on the sides that were offered. I had two poached eggs, a gorgeous bowl of fruit, and a side of ham (I only ate half. I think it was about two ounces).

I spent the morning in conference sessions, and then attended a luncheon. I dread these, because it’s way too easy to consume 1,500-2,000 calories when you’re offered a salad, bread, entree, dessert, and coffee. I did pretty well with this one, though.

Conference Lunch Salad

Salad to start (easy on the dressing, happy there was no cheese or croutons). I didn’t eat any bread.

Conference Lunch Vegetarian Entree

My delicious entree of polenta topped with roasted veggies and drizzled in a balsamic reduction. Most everyone else had chicken, green beans, and mashed potatoes. When I’m at a conference, I go vegetarian for a variety of reasons. About 80% of the time it’s lower calorie. If I notice that the veggie option is cheese-covered pasta, I suck it up and eat the meat and try to eat in moderation.

Conference Dessert I Didn't Eat

This was the dessert that I DIDN’T EAT! I thought it was lemon chess pie, a southern specialty, and I was ready to enjoy it. I took one tiny bite, and it tasted like a vanilla wafer. Not what I was expecting, and not worth the 8-12 points it probably is. I pushed it away, enjoyed my coffee, and ended lunch in an excellent place, points-wise.

There was yet another food-filled reception, during which I ate nothing and drank only Diet Coke. I even managed to avoid this giant cheese cart.

Conference Reception Food I Didn't Eat

We went out for another group dinner, and I made the best choice I felt I could. I turned down the nachos that got passed around and chose an entree of red snapper, vegetables, and corn bread. I did not eat the coleslaw.

Healthy Dinner At BB Kings Blues Club

I also had a good time that night, and had three beers.

Total Weight Watchers PointsPlus for Monday: 49

Day 4: Tuesday

I should have run on Tuesday, but I didn’t. I felt that my body needed the rest (to stay awake, not for running recovery). I repeated Monday’s breakfast exactly, and went to a day of sessions. I had plans to eat at an amazing farm-to-table restaurant, but for other reasons I ended up in the conference lunch. This is one of the times that the vegetarian option was definitely not impressive. The standard entree was roasted pork covered in gravy, with grits and green beans. The vegetarian option was …

Poor Conference Vegetarian Entree

The same thing, with grilled tofu replacing the pork and balsamic reduction replacing the gravy. The tofu wasn’t terrible, but the grits were dry and had the texture of a pancake. I took one bite and deemed them not worth the points. But the cheesecake we had for dessert? Yeah, that was worth the points.

After a long afternoon that included taking down our booth, we returned to the same restaurant where we had the decadent Saturday dinner. The salads had also looked phenomenal, so we were going to give them a try. But then we found out what the soup of the day was.

Mushroom Soup at Etch

Mushroom soup with a mushroom confit on top and a drizzle of truffle oil. Yum! I’m estimating this small bowl of soup was about 10 points. And worth it!

Beet and Berries Salad at Etch

This salad was also amazing. The photo doesn’t do it justice, but it has roasted beets, harissa cranberries, spiced peanuts, berries, and a goat cheese semi fredo. YUM.

Lemon Lime Sherbert at Etch

Blueberry Rye Sorbet at Etch

I wanted dessert, but after having cheesecake at lunch I knew I had to keep it light. I had this duo of sorbet and sherbert. It was excellent.

Total Weight Watchers PointsPlus for Tuesday: 54

Day 5: Wednesday

Today was a travel day. I had the same breakfast at the hotel restaurant yet again, and put in an hour and a half of work before leaving for the airport. Our flight was at 11:30 and our connecting layover was tight, so I planned ahead and got lunch to eat on the plane—a 400-calorie cobb salad and some grapes. It kept me satisfied until I got home, where I made a healthy, veggie-centric dinner and enjoyed a popsicle.

Total Weight Watchers PointsPlus for Wednesday: 28

Summary

While I definitely ate a bit more than I probably would have if I had stayed home, I’m really proud of the choices I made on this trip. I didn’t snack or mindlessly drink, and I got some activity in. My weigh-in was supposed to be Tuesday, but since I didn’t have a scale in my room I skipped it. My next official weigh in will be next Tuesday, but I’ll check the scale each morning for the next few days to see how my weight fluctuates after the trip. I’m putting all of my thoughts together into a coherent “how to stick with your weight loss plan during business travel” post that I believe will be posted on a popular weight-loss blog. I’ll let you know when/if it’s published 🙂

8 thoughts on “5 Days Of Restaurant Meals

  1. This sounds like you did freaking great! Way to go on the willpower. Um, that mushroom soup though? I would kill for that! Looks so effing good!

  2. you did amazing.. good job getting in the work outs also ! Its so hard to navigate when you have no control over whats offered – great job !

  3. Man, you killed it with your meals! Good for you. It seemed like you were very aware of what was going in your mouth. And I love that you had a Zumba class as part of your conference. Fun!

    1. I think we were lucky in that one of the conference staff just happened to be a Zumba instructor. But I’ve also seen conferences that offer fun runs in the morning. I like the group fitness idea better because I don’t have to worry about being the slowest runner.

  4. Wow!! You did REALLY great!!! Even if you gained any, it is nothing close to how I would have done. Inspiring!

    1. 3 days after the trip, I was down a pound from the day I left. I gained a little of that back thanks to time spent at the bar this weekend, but no long-term damage. Woohoo!

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