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  • Primal Business Trips

    I recently started a new job where I'll be traveling a bit- probably 15-20% of the time. I thought making a journal about the experience would help me stay on track, and learn how to do it correctly. And maybe someone else out there can learn something from it too!

    This week I'm going to Chicago for 2 days of work and 2 nights in a hotel. We're in the middle of downtown and meals are expensed, so I had high hopes for steak and decent primal food, but the coworkers I'll be with are already talking about pizza and hot dogs. My plan for exercise is to walk around on Michigan Ave, depending on the weather- my hotel also has a good gym so I can head there if it's too cold.

    So the itinerary is:
    1 day of travel- drive 5 hours to Chicago
    2 days of meetings/ 2 nights in a hotel
    Drive back the night after meetings end

    Bringing with me:
    2 Larabars
    Almonds
    A can of tuna
    Dehydrated blueberries and apples
    A little bottle of olive oil (thinking I'll have to rely quite a bit on salads)

    I guess we'll see how it goes, and I'll check in later this week!

  • #2
    Beef jerky.
    Disclaimer: I eat 'meat and vegetables' ala Primal, although I don't agree with the carb curve. I like Perfect Health Diet and WAPF Lactofermentation a lot.

    Griff's cholesterol primer
    5,000 Cal Fat <> 5,000 Cal Carbs
    Winterbike: What I eat every day is what other people eat to treat themselves.
    TQP: I find for me that nutrition is much more important than what I do in the gym.
    bloodorchid is always right

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    • #3
      Originally posted by magicmerl View Post
      Beef jerky.
      I know that would be at the top of the list, but I don't like it! I've tried making it myself, some that a friend made, and buying from a few different (good quality) sources but I guess it's just one of those things. Really I'd rather IF than have to choke something down. I realize this probably makes me an oddball!

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      • #4
        Hubby travels A LOT, sometimes every week for a month or more. He's started taking tins of boneless, skinless salmon for breakfasts in hotel rooms (he's squeamish about bones & skin), macadamia nuts, occasional lara bars.

        Good idea about bringing your own olive oil, since unless you eat at really good restaurants, you'll get seed oils in your salad dressings. Might think about packing coconut flakes, an avocado or two, maybe good quality hard cured meats if you have a fridge in your room. And boiled eggs, hard cheeses if you do dairy.
        My musings

        The old stuff

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        • #5
          Chicago Part 1

          2 days into my trip, one to go!

          Yesterday:
          -Had a late breakfast at home, 3 eggs cooked in coconut oil, flaxseed sprinkled on top.
          -Took a coffee with cream for the road, but stopped at Starbucks for another one. I ended up using half and half because they got confused when I asked for cream.
          -Had a few pistachios and dried apple slices after arriving at the hotel
          -Dinner was fantastic! Went to Rockit (Rockit Bar & Grill - Chicago), had a couple of chicken wings in barbecue sauce from a shared appetizer. Dinner was the "locavore burger"- about 6 ounces of local grassfed beef (made me so happy ) with a smoked cheese and some kind of spicy bacon mayo. I asked for it without the bun, and swapped the fries for greens with olive oil. Also had one of the best bloody maries ever as a splurge/20%.
          -Exercise was early holiday shopping and walking all over the Magnificent Mile for a couple of hours.

          Today:
          -Had a lot of trouble sleeping last night, and only got about 2 hours of bad-quality sleep. I'll need to bring earplugs or download a white noise app for the next trip.
          -I was ravenously hungry all day, I'm assuming because my body wanted fuel. In the past I would have just poured caffeine down my throat, but I had more success giving it food instead! I ate a little more than twice as many calories as usual, but kept the ratio pretty normal at 61% fat, 13% carbs, 26% protein.
          -Breakfast was from the hotel buffet. I estimated 3 or 4 scrambled eggs (possibly with egg beaters or something in them, they tasted so "off" from the eggs I buy at home), 3 slices of bacon, 2 small cups of coffee with cream and a pat of butter mixed in. I still felt hungry after scarfing that down!
          -For lunch we got vouchers for the office cafeteria, so I hit the salad bar and made a BAS with grilled chicken, some cheese, pile of random vegetables, hard boiled egg, lemon juice, and my olive oil from home. Also had half of an apple on the side, and fish oil pills.
          -Had a Larabar during the afternoon break, and a little more coffee (just black).
          -Dinner was at Bandera (no website to link to)- on Michigan Ave and very primal friendly. Had a glass of merlot, and half of a grilled artichoke for an appetizer. Dinner was a huge piece (more like a slab) of salmon, guessing 8 ounces- it came with spinach and mashed potatoes, but I subbed broccoli for the potatoes.
          -No workout... right now staying upright is taking plenty of effort on its own. I'm hungry again but off to get some much-needed sleep instead of stuffing more delicious food into my mouth.
          Last edited by KimNKY; 11-07-2012, 09:40 PM.

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          • #6
            This is a little late, but just covering the last day of my trip.

            -Breakfast at the hotel buffet again. 2-3 eggs, 3 slices of bacon, 2 cubes of cheese, and a few chunks of pineapple. Coffee with cream on the side. The waitress asked twice if I wanted toast and orange juice and seemed worried when I said no. I've lost a clothes size but probably still look to a CW person like I shouldn't be eating/drinking so much fat... it's probably a good thing she didn't see me stick a pat of butter in the coffee!
            -Lunch was a voucher for the office cafeteria, so I made a salad (not really hungry so not big-ass): lettuce, spinach, grilled chicken, feta cheese, mushrooms, carrots, and some olive oil from home.
            -A few almonds during the afternoon break.
            -Dinner was late and on the road. Looking back, I was really more bored than hungry so I probably would have been better off just walking around a store or something. But it was after dark in an area I didn't know, and Starbucks was there and open. I had an unsweetened hot tea and most of a "Protein bistro box" which has apple slices, grapes, cheddar cheese, a hard boiled egg, and a flatbread with peanut butter. I tossed the bread and nibbled on everything else, it was definitely a better option than fast food but not the greatest. And after I got home and googled it, I saw there was a huge recall recently on the peanut butter. D'OH.

            In the end I think I was pretty successful. I didn't end up needing most of the food I brought along, but for my next trip will still plan on bringing it just in case. I'll be in downtown Chicago again for part of it, and at the end out in a suburb where the primal restaurant options won't be as good.

            The big surprise was the second day, and feeling a need for SO much food after not getting any decent sleep. In my CW days I would have just kept up a constant stream of caffeine and sugar and felt like crap, but by just listening to my body I got through the day really well. I was still exhausted, but functional and productive, and mostly felt okay besides the tiredness! My goals for next time will be to get better sleep (ask for a room not facing the busy street) and do some actual workouts.

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            • #7
              Kim, I have the app "White Noise" on my smartphone, and I use it when I go on business trips. I think it cost me all of $1.99.

              I also travel fairly often, usually for either a week, or two weeks, at a time. I try to stay in hotels that have kitchenettes in the rooms. A couple times when I've had a full stove (cooktop + oven), I'll put a roast in the oven and have my fellow travelers come to my "house" for dinner, instead of eating out.

              My travel always involves flying there, so I IF the duration of my flight. That way, if someone wants to eat out someplace where primal is difficult to get, I don't feel guilty and I put the non-primal in my 20%.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by KimNKY View Post
                -Took a coffee with cream for the road, but stopped at Starbucks for another one. I ended up using half and half because they got confused when I asked for cream.
                The trick at Starbucks for cream: they won't ever have it OUT, you'll have to ask the barista.
                ask for "heavy whipping cream" - that's what they call it.
                You may have to specify further:
                "you know, the stuff you make whip cream with, but... not whipped" or
                "not steamed or foamed, just like you'd put milk in your coffee - I want to use this instead" (although a latte with heavy cream ain't too shabby!)

                Sometimes it's easier to ask for the heavy cream after the drink is already made or ask for "heavy cream at the bar" - they'll set it where they set the drinks and you can pour it in yourself.

                If you drink starbucks more than 5 times a year (if you travel, you almost certainly do), get a starbucks card and register it - you get a free drink on your birthday, free drink every 12 drinks, and any milk changes (like heavy cream instead of milk) are free.

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                • #9
                  Right now I'm 4 days into a 7-day trip, but haven't posted because it's been a huge failure. I can't really identify exactly where I went wrong, but I've been non-primal way beyond my 20% and feel like crap- sluggish, over-tired, moody, and got itchy scaly sores all over my arms and back. I think they are from eating gluten but can't be sure. I guess if they go away on their own once it's out of my system and I'm back to primal, then I'll know!

                  Not getting into the past few days, but starting today I was back on track. Breakfast was scrambled eggs, a few pieces of melon, bacon, and coffee with cream in the hotel restaurant. More coffee at the office, just black. Lunch was Jimmy Johns catered in, so I just ate the pickle out of my boxed meal and pretended to eat some of the gross vegetables in the sandwich just to be polite. Actual lunch was tons of water and a Larabar I brought from home.

                  Dinner was here: The White Chocolate Grill - highly recommended if you're in the area, and worth a drive if you're anywhere around Chicago! They have a pretty good sized gluten free menu, and are really great about working with you on allergens and dietary preferences. I had the tomato gin soup (DELICIOUS and made with homemade broth although gin isn't primal), and grilled salmon with steamed broccoli on the side. Got back to the hotel, and went for a nice treadmill run which felt FANTASTIC, but still felt like I wanted to crawl out of my skin so I sat in the sauna for a while, then took a long hot shower and scrubbed a lot. I feel a little better overall but still kind of miserable.

                  Good news is that over the weekend I'm staying with family, in a home where they eat pretty similarly to me! One of them is on GAPS, so that will make it easier. The last challenge will be the drive home, not giving into boredom and pulling over for food! My goal will be to drive when it's light out and take breaks to walk around rest stops or parking lots instead of eating. Then after I get home I'll probably do a week or so of extra low carb (under 50) and lots of extra bone broth.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Goldie View Post
                    Kim, I have the app "White Noise" on my smartphone, and I use it when I go on business trips. I think it cost me all of $1.99.

                    I also travel fairly often, usually for either a week, or two weeks, at a time. I try to stay in hotels that have kitchenettes in the rooms. A couple times when I've had a full stove (cooktop + oven), I'll put a roast in the oven and have my fellow travelers come to my "house" for dinner, instead of eating out.

                    My travel always involves flying there, so I IF the duration of my flight. That way, if someone wants to eat out someplace where primal is difficult to get, I don't feel guilty and I put the non-primal in my 20%.
                    I love the idea of getting a kitchenette! I'll definitely look into that for next time, although we're required to stay under a certain amount per night and use hotels where we have a corporate rate. I did find out that my favorite hotel in the Chicago area will bring a mini refrigerator to your room for free if asked, so that is an option for next time. There is a Whole Foods about 10 minutes away, so that could work out really well as long as I have a car available- unfortunately walking isn't really an option where I'm staying.

                    I did get the white noise app too, and it definitely came in handy having a room right near the ice machine! The heater here also provides some white noise, but cycles off and on. The traffic/siren noise wasn't an issue this time because I stayed outside the city and took the train downtown, which turned out to be much better for me. I don't like big cities much and crowds make me anxious, so it was much better for my stress level!

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                    • #11
                      Got back today, and I was so ready for this trip to be done!

                      Friday:
                      -Breakfast at the hotel, scrambled eggs (which I didn't finish because I was sick of them), bacon, some cantaloupe, and guzzled 2+ bottles of water.
                      -Group lunch at Red Robin- they were surprisingly good about letting me customize my order, although I'm not sure if they are all like that. Ordered a Guacamole Bacon Burger without the bun, cheese, and mayo which ended up as a 4-oz beef patty, bacon, guacamole, onions, lettuce, and tomato. Got a side salad with no croutons or dressing, which was just a basic iceberg lettuce mix I dressed with olive oil from home. I got a couple of weird looks but no one really said anything!
                      -A few pistachios and some dried pineapple in the afternoon, and 3 bottles of water throughout the day. Trying to purge the crap from my system!
                      -Late small dinner of plain fruit salad from the little snack shop in the hotel lobby, an 8-oz carton of whole milk, and more water.
                      -Went out with non-work friends later that night, but just had water and ate the little pile of lettuce and tomatoes that came with their happy hour quesadillas. My primal-ness is new to them but they'd noticed my weight loss and were supportive.

                      Saturday:
                      -Breakfast was the last of my pistachios from home, plain coffee, and an apple. Officially done with business and went to meet up with family in the area.
                      -IF for lunch. We were in downtown Chicago at the German Christmas market and everything looked delicious but was fried in who knows what oil or covered in bread so I abstained.
                      -Dinner at a hole in the wall Mexican restaurant, also good at customizing my order but it only worked because I could explain my needs in Spanish. Chiles rellenos without the breading they usually use, stuffed with ground beef and covered in a spicy red sauce, and asked them to skip the beans and rice. Delicious!
                      -After dinner, smoked a bowl and really REALLY REALLY enjoyed some organic 90% dark chocolate. Oops.

                      Today:
                      -Mostly on the road. Had an awesome breakfast of lox, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers, and cantaloupe before starting the drive.
                      -On the road, had a Starbucks unsweetened passion fruit tea and the rest of the dark chocolate bar from the night before. I had to stop 3 times in 5 hours because my legs were cramping up from sitting so long, so just went to walk around at rest stops.
                      -I didn't have anything readily available at home, so stopped and got a rotisserie chicken and some lettuce and avocados. Had chicken, lettuce with vinegar/olive oil, and avocado for dinner and will probably take the same for a lazy lunch tomorrow!

                      So the end of the trip went well after starting out really poorly! Another positive I forgot was that I under-packed and ended up needing to buy pants, which were a whole size smaller than the last pair I bought! I don't know the "official" weight loss number because I'm trying to avoid the scale, but my shape is definitely changing.

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