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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default Food, food, food.....

    Oy vey....here we are, planning our next trip (this summer, I hope), and I am thrown for a loop: doctor has ordered me onto a low-fat, low-sodium "diet". I have been declared "pre-diabetic", must lose a set amount of weight, get more exercise, etc. The latter things are not a problem when I am home. However, they are a problem when on the road. Hubby is supposed to be on a "heart-healthy" diet too, but he takes his medicine and eats what he wants.

    When in Arizona this past week, I found that restaurants are becoming more conscious about offering lower fat, lower calorie foods. You just have to be prepared to either research the nutritional guide online before going to a restaurant, or ask for one when you are there. (Not a problem in California -- all chains with a certain amount of locations MUST put caloric values on the menu itself.) However, what restaurants love to hide, and for good reason, are the sodium values. Fortunately, they are on the nutritional guides. I know, I know....salt "makes everything taste better". It also plays havoc with many people's blood pressures!

    I've started to prepare for this coming trip in several ways. First, I have created a 3-ring binder full of printouts from chain restaurants and fast food places. Of course these won't help when you get in a local situation and want to try something there!

    Second, I'm in search of foods that can be easily prepared in a motel room using an electric fry pan and a microwave oven. The former, I can carry with me. The latter is usually available in the rooms we use. Unlike an RV, that has a big refrigerator and some sort of dry storage, we won't. We may have an ice chest and a tub with the cooking/eating equipment that can also house a few bottles of herbs and spices. Otherwise, it will be "buy at the local grocery store" as you go.

    Third, we are collecting packets of catsup, mustard and mayo that we get from fast-food places and the in-store deli sandwiches.The latter will take the place of the mayo jar we toted around the country in '12 and used once. I'd like to find a source for those little packets of salad dressing that one gets from fast food places and the grocery store salads. (In '12, one of our favorite things to do was to purchase a bag of salad mix and have our salads that way. We also toted bottles of dressing with us, but one started to stink after a couple of weeks. That's why the packets may be a better solution.)

    Recipes any one wants to share? A source for those little salad dressing packets? Other ideas?


    Donna

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Albuquerque, New Mexico
    Posts
    209

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57
    A source for those little salad dressing packets?
    I did some looking around the Interweb and found these guys. I'm also wondering if you could find them at a restaurant supply store. There are some that sell to the general public.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Québec, Montreal, Arizona, California, France
    Posts
    761

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DonnaR57 View Post
    Second, I'm in search of foods that can be easily prepared in a motel room using an electric fry pan and a microwave oven. The former, I can carry with me. The latter is usually available in the rooms we use. Unlike an RV, that has a big refrigerator and some sort of dry storage, we won't. We may have an ice chest and a tub with the cooking/eating equipment that can also house a few bottles of herbs and spices. Otherwise, it will be "buy at the local grocery store" as you go.
    Hi Donna,
    It might be wise to buy a 12V cooler to carry food. I recently bought a foldable model and I'm very satisfied. It does use a lot of space when it is empty and it is a lot lighter than the hard plastic models and you can plug it in any motel room with the right adapter.

    To cook food you can either use a single electric burner or a propane/butane camping stove that you can use outside the room or, if it's cold, you can put a table in the door of the room.

    I usually make lots of pasta, as it is typically cheap and easy to make. One of my favourite meal on the go is pasta with cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, parmesan, pepper, lemon juice, garlic salt, a table spoon of olive oil (or butter) and prosciutto or ham. I also eat lots of carrots and apples with blue ranch dressing (you can buy a fat-free dressing) as carrots last long unlike other veggies. I carry my apples wrapped in napkins (to avoid bruising).

    Salad is great but it gets spoiled fastly in coolers. In order to vary your salad dressing, you can carry a small bottle of olive oil. Then you can make your own dressing, either with balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, lemon juice, parmesan, tomatoes, spices, etc. A great fat-free alternative for salad dressing is lemon juice with spices.

    Safe travels:)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Howard, thank you for the link to minimus.biz. I've bookmarked it. We're supposed to get a Smart & Final store nearby, sometime this spring, so I'll wait until they open and see if they carry it. We've already checked CostCo -- nothing.

    I wish we could run a 12v cooler. There's really no room in the cab of our pickup (where there's a couple of 12v plugs), and the back of the truck doesn't have a 12v. That would save on the cost of ice (which at $55 for 6 weeks, 2 coolers, was more than I thought it would be).

    I too love carrots and fat-free ranch dressing. Yum! I'm the one who loves fruits and vegies, though hubby *should* eat more than he does.


    Donna

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    It shouldn't be difficult to wire the back of the truck.

  6. #6

    Default

    Donna,
    A couple of things we have used to tackle the same issue;
    Electric skillets work well in motel rooms, as well as hot pots for soup.
    Restaurant meals
    - split one regular meal, usually more than enough.
    - order one regular meal and the 2nd person orders an a la carte item, then share the meal side dishes.
    Good Luck, and thanks for bringing this topic to the Forum
    -Pat

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Joplin MO
    Posts
    9,271

    Default

    Another thing to consider, which is quite easy. For breakfast and lunch, eat prepackaged "just add hot water" diet foods. For dinner, go to a restaurant and get a balanced meal. That's how my sister travels.

  8. #8

    Default

    Is weight gain as simple as calories consumed exceed calories expended?

    I have been fortunate with weight; it must be genes thing. My wife does struggle as she seems to get hungry quicker than I do.

    There are ways to estimate your daily caloric requirements that addresses your personal health needs as well as weight-loss or weight-gain goals. Then keep it simple with will power I suppose.

    Read that if you eat 500 fewer calories a day than needed you could have a 1-pound-per-week weight loss. Also I’m one for short brisk walks which I think are very beneficial.

    Hope you ladies forgive my righteous diatribe.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    9,358

    Default In 'N Out

    Quote Originally Posted by Eris
    Is weight gain as simple as calories consumed exceed calories expended?
    Pretty much. It takes about 3500 calories to equal a pound, so if you burn 3500 extra calories you should lose a pound, which means 500 calories a day for a week to equal a pound is right on. Besides controlling your intake, the only ways to lose weight are to exercise or change your basic (basal) metabolic rate. Walking and running both burn about 100 calories per mile, running just burns them faster. This will also depend a bit on your weight since it takes more energy (calories) to move more weight. Many dietary supplements will claim that they 'burn' fat. The only way to do that is to change your metabolism. Keep in mind that such supplements are NOT required to substantiate any such claims. The best way to change your metabolism (how many calories you're burning 'at rest') in my opinion - and to save money at the same time - is to lower you thermostat a few degrees and burn your own fat to keep you warm rather than fossil fuels.

    I will also note one thing that many people are not aware of. We learn in high school science that it takes one calorie to raise the temperature of one cubic centimeter of water by one degree Centigrade. That much is true. But food calories are not the same thing. They are actually kilocalories or one thousand of the calories we were taught about in school.

    AZBuck

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    4,546

    Default

    Continuing on this thread.....

    I'm down 12 lbs. I've decided that if I can get down another 12-14 before vacation, that would be wonderful. If I gain 5 or 7 lbs on the trip, I'll just make sure that I lose it after we get back.

    We decided to purchase one of those induction burners, the kind you see on the TV advertisement. It's portable, the burner does NOT get hot, it supposedly takes less power than the average electric fry pan (a good thing in SOME motels), and is very controllable. The con, you need a specific type of pan. I guess we could have taken the ones "thrown in free if you order now", but I looked at all of those pans and wondered where I'd store them, knowing I only need a fry pan and a saucepan for most everything.

    We found the pans fairly inexpensively at our newest "favorite store", Tar-jay. (Target.) Nice T-fal pans with the proper bottoms for induction burners. I like T-Fal, had them for our RV, but the old RV ones were not induction-ready. (Too old.) We bought a fry pan and a saucepan that has a proper lip and cover for pasta. We plan to try some meals at home first, to get used to the new burner and cookware.

    BTW, my doctor is "old school". Eat no more than 2000 calories per day, making sure that 30% or less are "calories from fat". No more than 2000 mg of sodium per day. Then make sure you walk every day, a lot. (She finally figured out that teachers and doctors both walk a LOT in our professions.) No fancy supplements, except a good multi-vitamin/mineral tablet, should be necessary for weight loss.


    Donna

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