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!
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.
We were served some delicious rosemary dinner rolls, fresh from the oven I ate one, and only one.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
Salad to start (easy on the dressing, happy there was no cheese or croutons). I didn’t eat any bread.
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.
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.
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.
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 …
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 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!
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.
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
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 🙂