Of course I have to start out my Sonoma recap with the food I ate – hard not to, right? Well, luckily I went prepared, which I have to do now-a-days to make sure there are enough healthy snacks around that won’t make me feel sick after eating them. However, it’s always good to have a back-up plan just in case you need more fuel – luckily a brand new Whole Foods was one mile away. I only went there for some chocolate-covered dried bananas one afternoon but it was nice to know if I needed something else it was there for me!
I am a breakfast person, no doubt about it. I go to bed thinking of breakfast and can’t wait to dig in after a morning workout and shower. I knew the conference I was working at was going to offer breakfast, but just fruit and toast or bagels. Fruit good, toast and bagels bad. So what did I do? Well, I researched the hotel and found out they had a mini-fridge in the rooms. Score! 4 days = 2 cups of oats + one container of unsweetened vanilla almond milk + 4T chia seeds. Overnight Oats in a hotel room! Especially delicious and special with a topping of Justin’s nut butters and bananas from a fruit bowl that happened to be delivered to our ‘working office” aka smaller conference room. I packed a pint jar and a spoon/fork/knife utensil I got as well.
I also indulged every single morning in coffee – Starbucks bold style. Nothing added, and I surprised myself by absolutely loving it that way. I’ve come so far from my soy milk + sugar free flavored syrup days.
Lunches were a little more up in the air. The first day I packed something to eat on the plane before we landed and then late afternoon I had a really delicious salad at the resort restaurant. It was greens with roasted strawberries and caramelized shallot vinaigrette (I got it without cheese). They actually cooked the strawberries in a pizza oven and they were surprisingly delicious (I didn’t know how I felt about warm strawberries on a salad before this). I had this salad again one other time but with a side of frites – which were absolutely delicious. Another lunch I got one day was an omelette (I ordered before 11:30 so they were still serving it!). I had peppers, onions and salsa on the omelette (and they cooked it in oil and not butter) with a side of potatoes (cooked in oil) and a side of fruit (instead of the toast). It was really good and a nice change-up from a salad! One other lunch I ended up with just lettuce with oil + vinegar. I then politely asked someone for a side of pb&j and brought it up to my room for on top of some rice cakes – delicious! Love pb&j.
Dinners included a taco bar (just beans + salsa + guacamole). I was disappointed they didn’t have rice and just flour tortillas. The next night my co-worker and I escaped and ended up at Mary’s Pizza Shack. I ran by it the morning before and noticed they had gluten free pizza on the menu! I had mine sans cheese and with pineapple and olives. So good – and filling! I couldn’t even eat it all. The last night I had the regular meal they were serving which was Salmon with potatoes and veggies (that turned out to be asparagus!). I also tested the gluten sensitivity by eating a piece of their chocolate-hazelnut torte for dessert. It was so good and I am happy to report that I had no ill side-effects. Unless the nausea on the plane from sitting by the smelly guy was more to do with that than his odor… but I’m thinking not. Definitely not going to make it a habit right now to have gluten filled goodies, but this was definitely too good to pass up and I am happy it did not make me sick!
Other than the regular meals, I had clif bars + lärabars as well as rice cakes and almonds + raisins. I also ate all the apples and two of the peaches from the fruit tray along with all of the bananas :). I also made sure to get plenty of water + pellegrino (and managed to stay away from the soda)! It definitely is a struggle eating good, healthy, and allergen-conscious meals when you are not in complete control of the offerings, but I think I did a good job. And I know I was definitely healthier than the rest of the conference-goers by avoiding the fresh-baked cookies, breads, as well as the various other foods laid out. I was worried before I left how I was going to make everything work out but it ended up being perfectly fine! Definitely ready for the next one! Although I’m happy I have a few months because it was tiring!