Weekend in Chicago

Some of you might remember that last year I spent a weekend in Philadelphia at an Educator’s conference.  Well, this year, the conference was in Chicago.

For this recap, I am going to focus on what it was like to travel while trying to maintain a strict eating plan.  I am here to tell you – IT CAN BE DONE!

Friday morning a group of 10 of us left Atlanta on a plane to Chicago.  I had a nice big breakfast before I left to hopefully not get too hungry on the plane.  I also packed some snacks in my bag of almonds and fruit.

There’s one of the keys to traveling – PLANNING.

I had also emailed the concierge at the hotel asking about nearby grocery stores because I knew when I got there, I was going to need to buy some water.  I refused to pay $4.00 for a bottle of water at the hotel.  I was so thankful when he told me that there were several grocery stores close by  including a Trader Joes and Whole Foods.  Score!

So, I ate my packed snacks on the plane (NO honey roasted peanuts for me!) and had a cup of hot tea, no milk or sugar.  First challenge…success!

For dinner that night, we went by the concierge’s recommendation and ended up at a local pub, Stout Barrel House and Pub.  Luckily, there were lots of good options on the menu for someone looking to eat healthy.  I went with the chicken sandwich minus the bun and tried brussel sprouts for the first time since I was a kid.

Dinner in Chicago at Stout House Barrel and Pub

The chicken was delicious and the brussel sprouts were probably good as far as brussel sprouts go.  I’m still not sure I am a fan!  Water to drink, of course…Second challenge, Score!

On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at Whole Foods.  I ended up with a HUGE thing of water to last me through the weekend.  Oh…forgot to mention that I packed two empty water bottles in my carry on so I could take water with me to the conference.  See…it’s all about planning.

I also picked up a nice big salad and some Justin almond butters in a single serving packet (I knew I could get fruit to go with it at the breakfast buffet!).

That night, we didn’t have dinner because we had such a late lunch.  Overall, Friday was a very successful eating day for me.

Saturday was the conference.  We headed to the breakfast buffet where there were lots of good choices.

Breakfast in Chicago at Embassy Suites

I went with an omelet with peppers and bacon – light oil.  No cheese.  Yumm-o!  I also had a few pieces of sausage and bacon.  Then, I grabbed an apple and a banana to go.

For snack, I had the fruit along with the nut butter and the almonds I had packed for the weekend.  I got very hungry late afternoon and wished I had taken the salad I bought from Whole Foods the day before.  Live and learn.

For dinner, we headed to a seafood place on Foursquare that was recommended, Shaw’s Crab House.  This place was awesome.  I started by splitting a shrimp cocktail with a friend and then for dinner, I chose scallops and broccoli   Of course, water to drink.

Shaw's Crab House

It was all very good and I would recommend this restaurant to anyone!

The next morning were more eggs and sausage.  I learned from the day before and took my salad to the conference.

After the conference, we did some shopping.  Sarah and I had a blast in the Coach store.  I may or may not have ended up with these beauties:

Jen's New Coach Glasses

She may or may not have ended up with these:

Sarah's New Coach Sunglasses

I love walking through Chicago with all of the buildings.

Downtown Chicago

I just love being in the city!

After shopping, for dinner, we ended up at Rock Bottom Brewery (We tried for authentic Chicago pizza but the two hour wait deterred us).  I ordered an avocado chicken sandwich without the bun with a side of green beans.

Rock Bottom Brewery, Chicago

Another great meal, on plan!  Score again!

Monday, our last day was another yummy breakfast.  After we left the conference around 11:00 I had some grilled chicken I had bought the day before at the grocery (just in case).  Then, at the airport, I went with a mexican taco salad, no shell, chicken with veggies, lettuce, pico and guacamole.  That’s it.  Oh…and water of course!

On the way home, I finished the almonds I took and ate an apple.

Then, I breathed a sigh of relief.  Not only was I home, but I was so relieved that I had done so well staying on plan while I was gone.  All it took was a little planning ahead and making good choices.  Now, I don’t have the guilt of coming home from a trip feeling like crap.  Instead, I can rejoice and feel good about my choices.

I can’t wait to go back to Chicago with my husband.  My friend Kristen’s husband is from there so I am thinking a trip with all four of us woul be a blast!

How about you?  Are you going on a trip soon?  Spring Break maybe?!?  Do you use trips as an excuse to NOT stay on plan?

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  • Staci Moize

    I go from motivated to not caring, sadly. This past week, though, we went to Mississippi for a preaching thing of my husband’s. It was a potluck. But I stayed really focused and did good! I also came home feeling proud instead of defeated. Man that’s a good feeling! Both of you make sunglasses look gorgeous! :) Congrats on a huge victory (and cute sunglasses, lol).

  • Debra Davis

    Chicago doesn’t have potable water?

  • Jane

    Nicely done! Look at you!!!

  • lisa price

    great job!!!!

  • new in MA

    Good for you! I love Chicago….*Laliv

  • http://www.facebook.com/brooke.d.robinson.1 Brooke Dawson Robinson

    I stumbled upon you a few months ago and have been a devoted reader ever since. This is my first time commenting but I had to add another “Awesome Job staying on track!” I recently followed my hubby to a conference in San Antonio – he was speaking at it and I wanted to see his big speech! It was my first trip where I didn’t indulge and stayed on track. It made me feel so good! Also, I love Chicago! We lived there from 2001-2005 and my hubby proposed to me outside the Watertower. Love that city!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1929034 LishaMonet Brown

    Hi, you did an excellent job. Whenever I go out of town, I always act like it is an excuse to eat whatever I want. Then when I come back home I’ve gained of course. Planning is definitely key. I will going out of town 5 days in May. So I better get to planning. :)