Traveling while trying to be a strict Whole 30-er is almost impossible. Last week I had to attend a conference in Chapel Hill, NC during which all of my meals were included. But little did I know that I wouldn’t be able to eat anything I was served. I thought I was prepared for the trip! I gave it a lot of thought, did a lot of planning and shopping, and had an entire cooler of food (mostly snacks) and drinks that were Whole 30-approved. They came in handy during the 7-hour drive in torrential rain to get to the UNC campus, and then again when I arrived at the dinner that night where virtually everything was fried and had cheese (or was fried cheese) and there were NO VEGETABLES.
There was a caesar salad with croutons, cheese, and dressing already mixed together. But that was it. I was able to get some sliced turkey breast at the carving station, but the carver couldn’t tell me how it was prepared and cooked. I was able to fish out some shrimp from the shrimp & grits mixture, but nobody could tell me what kind of sauce was used. So I sat at a table with this plate, said hello to a few folks, decided not to eat anything, and then made my way to the closest exit to go find some food I was comfortable putting in my face.
Luckily there was a Harris Teeter grocery store down the street from our hotel & they have a salad bar, so… dinner in the hotel room!
And thank goodness I packed a ton of hard boiled eggs. The breakfast buffet had scrambled eggs, but (shocker) nobody could tell me what they were cooked in. Everything else on the buffet was bread- & grain-related except for a few fruit choices, so I grabbed a banana, ran back to the room to grab some hard boiled eggs & leftover pineapple from the night before, and headed to the conference. I was relieved to see that they had some hot tea on the coffee bar outside of the conference room, but upon further inspection I saw that there was soy lecithin in the tea. IN. THE. TEA. Why????? It’s freaking tea, people. So it was back to the hotel room during the break to grab some of my own tea bags and cinnamon sticks.
Then we broke for lunch and I was ever-hopeful! It was a barbeque buffet! And then as I crept closer, I realized that all 3 types of barbeque were already slathered in sauce. And there was a salad, but no compliant dressings (not even oil & vinegar). And then there was a huge dessert table. Ugh. So… back to the hotel room! I scarfed down some more hard boiled eggs and an apple and some baby carrots, and then ran back to the conference room. I inquired about our dinner plans (because SO HUNGRY) and was given the name of the place we were being bussed to that night. So I googled it & looked at the menu. They were doing a fixed menu for our group and there was not one thing I could eat. So, when we wrapped up for the evening, I headed back to the room, scarfed down another apple, tried a Larabar (gag) and then threw it directly in the garbage, and grabbed the car keys. There was a Five Guys about 20 minutes away! This is one of the two fast food-type places that had some Whole 30-appropriate foods. Stomach growling, I ordered my double hamburger on lettuce wraps and drooled until they called my number. Ahhhhh. Burger. Feed me.
I hit the Harris Teeter on the way back, grabbed a bag of compliant cashews (most contain peanut oil) and the biggest Starbucks Peach Tranquility tea they had in their little cafe, and headed back to the room. I hated to miss the opportunity to network with the other folks at the official dinner but I was freaking starving.
Next morning, I ate the last of my hard boileds and another apple and some grapes for breakfast, and then headed back to the conference. It was a smaller group that day, so they ordered in Jimmy John’s for lunch. Again, starving, I tried to make the best of it, so I grabbed the roast beef sandwich. I googled their meals to see what was in the roast beef and couldn’t find out much information. So, my friends, it’s entirely possible that I f’d up my “perfect” Whole 30 on Friday around 1pm. I ate the roast beef. Did I eat anything else in my little lunch container? Nope. But come on. I needed this.
After the last meeting of the day, I was back in the car & on the road to Atlanta. I had a shit-ton of grapes, an apple, and some cashews with me in the car. I tried another Larabar (gag again) and ended up tossing it in the trash. So I had fruit for dinner. And got home at 10pm.
TL;DR I ate 100 pounds of fruit in 3 days because there were virtually no other food options.
Saturday morning’s breakfast was the first real meal I had eaten in 3 days. Chad whipped up some compliant bacon and eggs with veggies and it was GOOOOOOOOD. So good that we didn’t need any lunch and figured we eat something at the party we went to that night. No dice: the only thing we could eat was… you guessed it… fruit! So we basically had fruit salad for dinner. So we ate some chicken apple sausage when we got home at 10:30pm. And I started to not feel so great.
But I was determined to have a nice Sunday breakfast, so I made some breakfast potatoes with rosemary from the garden (such as it is), and Chad heated up the leftover sausage from the night before & whipped up some eggs. Which was delicious. I promise.
And then I got sick. All freaking day. I’ll spare you the details, but I’m gonna go ahead and suggest that you refrain from eating nothing but fruit with some eggs thrown in here & there for 5 days straight. Yikes.
Moral of the story: It’s virtually impossible to do a strict Whole 30 when traveling and going to parties.
Chad can’t wait until day 31 (Wednesday, for anyone who’s counting) when he can have a drink again. I, however, have decided to do a Whole 35 that will take me through Easter Sunday since I basically lost 5 days. I’m resuming my regular planning/shopping/cooking duties today and promise to whip up something delicious with these chicken thighs we bought at Costco this weekend. Stay tuned.