Out Of Town Business Trip. What Am I Going to Eat?!

By JM Davis

Food Information, Mindset


The following article is a combination of two articles published in 2016. So much has changed not only in my life, but in the world. Still, we can gain important lessons from the past.

Someplace between being excited about my business trip and realizing I was leaving, it dawned on me. I hadn’t traveled for more than a day or two since choosing an organic and natural diet. This means I eat little to no processed foods out of the house. Any food I eat in the house that is processed, I’ve made myself. I eat organic fruits, vegetables, and grains to the best of my ability. Milk, meat, and egg products come fresh from our organic homestead.

How was I going to eat away from the homestead?

The images of a gentleman from my last business trip appeared in my mind. He was studying the menu like a scholar. He read every section on the menu before returning to a select few menu items where his face showed some interest. Noticing I was staring at this marvelous accomplishment, he commented he had specific dietary needs for his health, happiness, and a balanced body. “So, what are you going to order?” I inquired.

“I have three choices,” he smiled. “I can either starve, disregard my eating choices and be sick, or choose carefully. Since the first two aren’t an option I will choose carefully.” It took him a little longer to order, and he needed to ask the waitress many questions. In the end, he chose the best meal to fit his needs. He was happy, and he was fed. If this gentleman could do it, so could I.

My preference would be to take food with me and cook in the hotel. However, this isn’t an option due to flying, one suitcase, and no cooking in the hotel. Since disregarding my dietary choices wasn’t an option, there was only one thing I could do… choose wisely.

Figuring out food for my trip.

The week before my trip, I began noticing when and what I ate throughout the day. Typically, for breakfast I have an egg, vegetables, a combo of quinoa and millet, and an herbal tea mix. I only use organic olive oil or coconut oil to cook my food. Some mornings, I mixed everything together omelet style, while other mornings I cooked it individually. I use different spice mixes to change the flavor, and sometimes I put coconut flakes or nuts into the mix.

After breakfast, I fill a 22 ounce glass water bottle with water and a tablespoon of organic apple cider vinegar. It may sound crazy, but I like the tangy taste much better than water. To add a splash of flavor, I add cut up organic lemons, limes, or cucumbers into my water. I find sipping this throughout the day keeps me from running from my office to the refrigerator when I’m not truly hungry.

Lunch typically included mixed greens with tuna, leftover meat, or fresh fish. Plus, whatever fresh fruit and vegetables I could find around the house or in the garden. I either use an organic salad dressing or just more apple cider vinegar, depending on my mood.

Dinner includes fresh meat from the homestead, vegetables, and either an organic grain mix or organic brown rice. Any snacks I have during the day or evening are organic. I also eat nuts, peanut butter, and freshly baked cookies. In less than five days, I’d be on a plane and my normal way of eating would be non-existent.

Don’t Let Food Ruin Your Vacation or Business Trip.

When making your own food becomes a hassle, or impossible, let it go with good choices. The last thing you want is your food intake to overshadow the joy of your trip.

Figure out what food you can control on your trip. For me, I could take tea bags, packages of nuts, veggies, and a canning jar with a lid to make teas. The nuts will give me a boost of protein throughout the week, while the cut veggies would give me a healthy but cheap snack at the airport.

I scanned the conference agenda, making mental notes regarding food provided during conference hours. For instance, quick lunch boxes meals were available that included a sub sandwich and chips, unless you requested a vegetarian meal. Apparently, requesting a vegetarian meal meant they took extra care to make sure you were a little healthier. I will definitely pass on the sub meal. I will ask about organic food, for I’d rather not get poisoned by pesticides and genetically modified food.

I made a good, better, best list to evaluate how I was going to eat. Best: Being at home or finding an organic restaurant, I could convince everyone else in my group to eat at. Better: Eating fresh fish, grass fed beef, and vegetables not on the dirty dozen list. I had to decide which would be worse; eating grain fed meat or possible pesticide vegetables? Hmm, tough choice. Good: Will be making the best choices from available food.

What about other stuff, like lotions and soaps?

I would need to take my own toiletries and not depend on the hotel’s selections. As I started my packing list, I realized most of my toiletries; shampoo, soap, deodorant etc. came in large containers that wouldn’t fit in my carry on. I bought small airport approved bottles to fill with my own shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, and lotion. I also bought a small container for my vinegar mix I put in my water each morning. Hey why not? They all could go on the plane with me without any concerns.

I couldn’t bring my well water, but I could bring a good attitude.

Ready or not here I to go.

I have no idea how ready I am for this trip. But I know one thing: I won’t starve because I like food way too much. I also won’t let the food situation drive me completely nuts for I can make good choices. When I return from my trip, I will let you know how everything food went.

I made it home in one piece and I didn’t starve.

I gained a tremendous amount of information about eating away from home, especially on a business trip. I realized I was not the only one who was mindful about clean eating and organic food. I discovered inquiring about food options, opened up conversations about eating and growing your own food. Plus, I was given some tips from locals where I could find food I was looking for.

When I arrived at the hotel.

The key to finding “approved food” was to scope out places before mealtime, be polite, have patience, and show gratitude. When I first arrived at the hotel, I inquired about places to eat that carried the type of food I was looking for. I was also told about a little market that carried organic fruits and vegetables. I was psyched at the possibility of eating organic food, to find out the person I talked to didn’t know the difference between fresh and organic. The little shop carried fresh vegetables and fruits. I could choose from a variety of fresh foods that were known for not having GMOs and lower amounts of pesticides.

The next thing I did was figure out where I would not eat. I didn’t want to fall into the “oh crap, there’s nothing here for me to eat” mode. This was very easy. No fast food. During my inquiries, I found others on my business trip who thought like I did and bonded to find approved food.

Hotel Food:

Since my trip was a conference, the hotel provided several meals and snacks throughout each day. I had tea bags, and the hotel used filtered water. Getting clean water for my tea was easy. Snacks, there was always an array of fruits and vegetables available. I inquired about what specialty meals and food they had available at the hotel. Among them were kosher, gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian. Some needed to be ordered in advanced such as the kosher, but the rest were always on hand.


By eating at non-chain type food establishments meant more real food, answers, and people caring about what they were serving. It took a little longer to ask the wait staff what was in the food or how it was cooked, but it was worth it. I even found a little restaurant near the hotel that had 100 percent grass fed beef grown on a family farm.

My fears of eating at the hotel and restaurant were more fear than truth. Eating at the airport was a different story.

Flying home:

I knew before I started on my trip, the airport would be the biggest issue. I don’t think real food and airports go together, but airports allow you to bring food with you on the plane. This means packaging your food to get through TSA is important as well. TSA wants to see what is in the bags and you want your food fresh and not smashed. If TSA questions you about bring food through security, which I’ve never had them do, simply say I have to bring my own food do to doctor’s orders and severe allergies. No one wants to use an EpiPen at the airport.

For my return flight, I had to get a little creative. I still had some nuts I brought with me. The night before I flew home, I ordered some cold food from the small restaurant that had grass fed beef. I had them wrap it for me in butcher paper and into plastic wrap. They also gave me a plastic sealable bag to put ice in. Since I didn’t order anything with bread, I didn’t have to worry about my food getting soggy. I kept my food in the refrigerator at the hotel. Before leaving for the airport, I put the food and some ice into the bag, closed it, and slid it into my carry on. Plus, I nabbed some fresh veggies from the hotel in the morning.

I made it home safely. Not only did I have a successful business trip, I also didn’t starve. In fact, I learned tons about food and the realities of eating off the homestead. I just wonder how much this will change as time goes on.

The next time you need to eat out or away from your home. Approach it with a positive attitude and make it your mission to find out what you can eat!

Grow Food – Eat Local – Gain Freedom even if you’re not at home.

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