Wait! I Can’t Eat Cheeseburgers in New Jersey Either?

Adventures in Travel Eating

Photo by  Dayne Topkin  on  Unsplash

Photo by Dayne Topkin on Unsplash

There are a lot of things that are tough about business travel. Sleep Deprivation. Uncomfortable airplane seats. Baggage fees. Carting a small army of devices and cables across the country so that you can actually be useful to clients for the 37 hours you’ll be their timezone. 

However, expense accounts can sometimes be a worthwhile trade-off. As I’m traveling at my client’s request, I’m entitled to bill them for the cost of my travel, lodging and, most importantly, meals. Which means, within reason, I can eat wherever and whatever I want to when I travel. 

Cute little Italian restaurant? Sure, I’ll try the cannoli. 

A new bistro that was recommended by a local co-worker? The cheesecake is delicious.

My breakfast choices are either a muffin or the Denver omelet with bacon and home fries? Well, it is going to be a busy day, and I need the protein. 

Never get to eat cheeseburgers at home? I’ll have the Beyond Burger (because I’m trying not to eat too much meat) but, why yes, I’ll have the extra fries. 

Why should have a salad? I think. I can expense my meal and my family isn’t here to complain about the extra pepperoni, so, I better make the best of this large pizza. 

Do you see the problem yet? 

When I’m at home with my family I try to eat smartly.  Usually, I try to pick vegetarian dishes or salads. I’m 46 yrs old and I really don’t want the extra weight that comes from poor eating choices. Also, I live in California and everyone is trying for a beach body, regardless of their age. 

But, when I’m traveling, part of my brain keeps thinking that I’m on vacation. 

I’m on vacation, my brain says. What’s another cookie offered by the hotel guest services? 

I’m on vacation, my brain says. This glass of wine will take the edge off all that traveling. Also, you’re waiting at an airport during a layover. What else are you going to do with yourself? 

There is only one person I know who seems to be adept at staying thin while traveling. Hisham is trim, fit and easily travels 200 days a year. Once, his nearly-completely booked schedule was open enough for us to get together for lunch. He suggested Outback Steakhouse. I started salivating at the incredible collection of high-caloric foods that we could have. However, that wasn’t why he chose it. He liked eating there, he said, because they had a really good salad bar. And, that’s what he had for lunch. He even went back for seconds to get more peas.  

I know I should eat better. Tonight, I will have the salmon with the steamed broccoli and the dinner salad. 

But, first, the hotel concierge is offering me another cookie. 

...and, it would be rude to say no.