There was a time in my life when I traveled extensively for business. This was while I was an Associate Creative Director with an advertising agency, which took me from San Francisco (where the agency was located) to all over the United States. While I had already lost the bulk of my 250 excess pounds at this point, I was still learning how to keep it off (and was admittedly struggling with yo-yo-ing, weight-wise).
This was why I decided to try being a vegan. This lasted for about 2 years. But during this time I was very careful about what I ate and found it did help me think more about every morsel of food I put into my mouth. Now, being a vegan in San Francisco was easy. But the rest of the country? Not so much. Thus, I found whenever I ordered food (which I often had to do since I was traveling for business), I had to be very explicit in my instructions.
I still laugh about one time I flew into Boston (where I had a client) and checked into a hotel late at night. As I hadn’t been able to eat much on the airplane, I was quite hungry and decided that, even though it was late, I was going to order dinner from room service. Yet because of the time of day (or night) even room service had a very limited menu. I quickly scanned the ten or so choices and focused in on the pasta dish. I decided I could give the room service staff enough direction to make sure that the pasta was plain and wouldn’t come with any dairy or animal product.
While ordering on the phone, I said “No cheese.” Several times. I’m sure the guy taking the order thought I was nuts. If I said it once, I said it five times. “No cheese.” I even made the guy say it back to me. I hung up the phone, got unpacked, and soon heard a knock at the door letting me know that my order had arrived.
After the room service attendant left the room, I uncovered my dish to discover… Gnocchi. That’s right. I had been so animate about getting “No cheese” in my order, that the room service staff had somehow found and cooked “Gno-chhi-s” for me — even though it was no where to be found on the room service menu. Instead of getting angry, I had to laugh. And actually I was impressed that the room service staff was so anxious to please (even so late at night).
For those of you reading this who want to know if I re-ordered or if I ate the gnocchi… I ate it. And I enjoyed it. And yeah, that was sort of the end of my years-long attempt to be vegan. I will point out that I didn’t eat the entire portion that room service had delivered. That counts for something, right?
I share this story in order to laugh at myself — and to remind us all that being on a diet or trying to eat healthy should always be done not only with flexibility, but also with a sense of humor (the most necessary ingredient of all).
Do you have any travel related dieting stories to share? I’d love to hear them. Please post below — whether the story involves “No cheese” or “Gno-chhi-s” — is totally up to you.
Photo Source: I Eat Grass