Restaurants, Travel, Food & Avoiding Pitfalls
So I spent 4 days in Portland recently. Amazing city with very cool, eclectic mix of fun things to see and do. I highly recommend a visit. For my business travelers I want to offer a glimpse of healthy survival. Once a gain it is EASY if your vision has been trained to see the good stuff.
Ate every meal at a restaurant and was never “forced” to eat wheat or dairy. How is that possible? It’s not only possible but enjoyable and rewarding as my brain never shut down due to a wheat induced carb coma. Allow me to run thru my days.
I am a creature of habit and I think most of us would also claim that tendency. I’m used to having a protein shake each morning to fuel my brain and muscles and it happens to taste good and it’s good for me. So I prepare individual protein powder packets to take with me. You can use a little Baggie, or a plastic container of any type. I make one for each morning and it takes up very little space. I also add in a glutamine powder, some organic cocoa as antioxidant, and anything else I desire. I have several well made powders that mix easily without a blender and I simply pour them into a water bottle and shake it up. I will use a simple piece of paper rolled into a funnel shape to facilitate transfer into the water bottle. So no this may not be the top of the list in fine dining but it’s simply a healthy start to my day and it takes minimal effort or time.
If your hotel serves breakfast then getting eggs or sausage and some fruit is easy. Pass on the bagels and muffins unless you are looking to do some shopping for larger pants while out of town. If I am meeting someone for breakfast I still have my protein shake as it immediately fuels me and by the time a get to breakfast I’m not starving and can eat light or grab some whole food to round out my healthy calories for the day.
Lunch can be quicksand for many. The classic “eat while we work” often means sandwiches and chips. Option A is to eat the meat, the ham or turkey but leave the bread behind even if that means you need two sandwiches. Pass on the chips. That’s a bag of trans-fat that will drive inflammation, slow down your cognition, hamper proper liver detox, alter hormone receptor function, and provide excess sodium. Look for the often ignored apple or banana that is sitting all alone on the lunch table, overshadowed by the myriad of chip offerings. Grab the small salad if available or two of these if they are small.
Or . . . simply reach into your briefcase for one of those healthy Dale’s organic raw protein bars that taste delicious and offer 20 grams of protein. What do you mean you didn’t pack one? If your smart enough to schedule a dentist appointment 6 months in advance then I’m going to assume your smart enough to realize that long before you got on the plane to go to Chicago you knew exactly where you were going and what situation you were walking into. I know you prepared for this trip, planned the flight, the hotel, and brought all the right documents, digital files, power point and even packed an extra flash drive “just in case” but you had no idea that you might get hungry on Tuesday at 12:15 or that someone might attempt to feed you garbage? Really? You’ve never gotten hungry at 12:15 before right? I get it, this is uncharted territory, a new experience and you didn’t see it coming. Life is so cruel.
So here comes dinner and the group wants to take you to Mama Felucio’s Italian restaurant as they have the best home made pasta and bread. What the hell, the days over and I don’t need my brain anymore and besides these pants have built in elastic waistband (nice planning). But at the last minute you decide that a night of feeling bloated just doesn’t sound appealing. Eating true Italian food does not mean eating giant bowel of pasta. I just had the most phenomenal meal last night at Trattoria Gallo Nero in Portland. It was a festival in my mouth with rich flavors and blended seasonings that left me licking my plate. I’m embarrassing in a restaurant . . . you’ve been warned. There was not an ounce of wheat, bread or pasta consumed and it was thoroughly satisfying. I had roasted vegetables and sautéed spinach like I have never tasted before. Don’t allow Italian to = giant wheat belly. Any true Italian will tell you that many great Italian offerings have nothing to do with pasta.
I enjoyed many great wines, I had some Belgian chocolate, found some spicy Indian food one day for lunch and thoroughly ate my way across the city of Portland but did so without once touching wheat or dairy. It was easy and wonderfully enjoyable.
But it is truly a mindset. Don’t let others poison you. Take control of your body and YOU decide what goes in there. You’re not 4 years old, your Mom is not forcing you to eat. When we collectively tell the world what we want we see change in our restaurants and grocery stores. But we have to refuse to play the role of victim. We are allowed to say “no thank you” with a smile on our face and pleasing tone in our voice. It’s not about insulting others or whining about our choices (no one likes a whiner), it’s simply choosing our path in life and navigating around the potholes. We will arrive at our destination but we have to see the path in order to make it there in one piece.
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