20-Somethings - What do you eat when traveling for work?

05-12-2008, 04:38 AM
I am going to Denver for 5 days later this week and will be staying in a hotel downtown. I'm traveling on my own dime for a work related meeting, so this isn't exactly a "yay vacation relax the eating rules a bit" trip and there is no expense account to charge a $28 grilled salmon salad. I'm looking for healthy ideas to feed myself that don't involve walking into a restaurant for greasy platters or eating bad convention center food with questionable calories. When I traveled for almost 2 weeks on another trip, I took a hot water pot with me and used the hot water to make instant rice noodle & soup packets I found at a health food store. I also used the pot to boil angel hair pasta seasoned with some salt and olive oil I had brought, and to cook portions of the Lipton Chicken Broccoli and Stroganoff pastas, although the Lipton made cleaning the pot messy. I would make a lunch meal in the morning and bring it with me, and then make a dinner meal when I got back to get around the fact that the hotel room didn't have a fridge.

I'll be bringing the hot water pot, the pasta/noodles and olive oil and garlic salt with me again. I'm thinking about bringing some small cans of vegetables to be able to mix in with the pasta. I should be able to buy some bananas, fruit, and yogurt at convenience stores I hope. I'm packing granola bars for those long convention days.

Any other ideas of easy & healthy non-perishable travel food to bring with me? I don't see supermarkets too close to the Denver Convention Center, so I don't want to get stuck with the chicken nuggets and french fries trying to tempt me. :mcd:

05-12-2008, 05:02 AM
- Peanut butter and whole wheat bread
- tuna (now you can get pre-flavored tuna, like BumbleBee Tuna Sensations) and salmon (I like the flavored salmon that is in pouches the better than canned)
- energy bars (look for ones that are high in fiber and protein, low in fat and sugar) instead of granola bars (which tend to be all sugar)
- low sugar cereal, like Fiber One
- Oatmeal would be easy to make in a hot pot
- Beef jerky
- Nuts
- vacuum sealed Indian entrees with vacuum sealed brown rice (pre-cooked)
- apples travel well and I've also had a fair amount of success with bananas. You can also usually find bananas at most airports (certainly at the Denver airport)

I've also scouted out the nutritional info online for several national fast food chains and noted that the menu items that are reasonable nutrition-wise in my Palm. With this information, in a pinch, I can find a meals at McD's, Wendy's, Burger King, Au Bon Pain, Subway, and PF Chang's that fit in my calorie plan. If there is a Subway nearby, that can be a great choice for lunch or dinner.

05-12-2008, 09:33 AM
Thank for the suggestions! I'm aware of better food choices for me at many of the fast food places (I've got the calorie info for the good and bad stuff memorized!). But I think I'll only be forced to socialize with the group only once or twice at restaurants (the kind that don't have calorie info posted), so I could handle the calories from that as long as I eat on my own the rest of the time.

Never been a big fan of oatmeal, but I do like instant grits and cream of wheat. I can bring packets of both, thanks for reminding me! And I'll look into the vacuum sealed Indian entrees at Whole Foods tonight although they're hard to eat when you know what the real thing is supposed to taste like. :T

05-13-2008, 12:26 AM
This might be a kindof weird suggestion but when you get there can you find a store and get some lunch meat and sides like fruit and baked chips to eat. Most hotels provide fridge and microwave so you can store cold stuff like lunch meat. Also if the hotel provides a free breakfast then you could probable swipe some low fat yogurt to take to your room, some fruit, some oatmeal packets and bread to make your sandwiches with.

Also I am travelling on a trip for my intership for 9 days and plan on swiping fruit from breakfast and bring a bunch of 100 calorie packets so I can avoid eating junk food (that they provide).

05-13-2008, 12:33 AM
Most hotels have breakfasts served these days..even if continental style. I usually go and smuggle some fruit, lf milk, juice and cereal and bring them back to my room. I never had to buy fruit while traveling because I'd get them from the hotel. Since you're in downtown, they usually have some sort of farmers markets in the downtown area. Maybe you can do some online sleuthing to find one in the local area.

05-13-2008, 02:03 AM
I've found the more you pay for a hotel, the less practical the hotel is. Breakfast isn't included at many of the higher end hotels, but you're welcome to dine at the hotel's restaurant. :?: If the hotel had a microwave and fridge in the room, I'd be all set on every trip I took, I'm a whiz with the microwave! But I don't think it does. One of the nights I'm staying at Hampton Inn and I know they have a breakfast and usually a microwave in the lobby. But for the other nights at the other hotel, I can't do the swipe some yogurt-and-a-banana-for-later routine.

So I will be getting creative with my hot water pot. I went through Whole Foods today and bought some vacuum sealed Indian meals and the Annie Chun noodles. Those should make some tasty dinners. They are pricey to buy but not as pricey as eating out. They are also high in sodium, but I'll survive for a few days. Angel hair pasta boils really fast in the hot pot and can be mixed with a packet of Lipton Cup-o-Soup and a can of veggies. I'm sure I will find a convenience store where I could buy some fruit and yogurt but google maps isn't showing much else nearby the convention center. I can have a salad or turkey sandwich for lunch a few of the days.

Anyone from Denver able to give a clue what to expect by the convention center?

05-13-2008, 02:34 AM
Orthodiva, here's a few healthy options in the area: http://www.denver.org/dining-nightlife/search?wc=Din|Bar&s=1&k=&l=140&c=119&gf=

05-13-2008, 03:15 AM
is there a supermarket or garage close to the hotel....
they normally have heating up facilities and tend to sell healthy food....
all be it VERY expensively....

05-13-2008, 09:04 AM
frozen grapes a a wonderful snack. Trust me they taste a lot better than they sound. Popcorn is fun and easy,,,Just remember your dirt devil for those pesky peices. Package some of you fave (good for you) ceral in single serve baggies. Remember too much fruit on a trip can cause tummy trouble too. Progressive soups are not too bad. As long as you rinse out the cooker soon after. Also if you have time find out if there is a gym or pool?! Sorry just got back from a long trip with family I could go on forever.

05-13-2008, 09:50 AM
Someone on here posted a really yummy idea once. Take a lower cal whole wheat tortilla, spread w/ peanut butter and stick in a banana. Then, wrap up the banana and enjoy! I love the idea. I know you have to take it easy on the peanut butter and make sure you stay in your calorie range. I also like corn cakes. THey're like rice cakes made w/ corn and two are only 45 calories (I have them at the healthfood market). I like to top them w/ turkey cold cuts. You can also ask the hotel to make you some soft boiled eggs and that shouldn't cost much at all (you can suggest that you take them to go and eat them in your room to avoid tipping).

05-13-2008, 12:59 PM
Hi! Do you know what area you will be in downtown? I live downtown and know where the grocery stores are (and aren't!). Denver is also a relatively health conscious city and there are many affordable options that may be a quick walk or lightrail or (free) shuttle ride away. Please PM me if you have any questions.

EDIT: That's a GREAT hotel (I take it you are staying at the convention center). I don't think you will have much luck with super healthy options, but we go for drinks at the Peak lounge (on the 27th floor) all the time. You must venture up there. I was just there last night!

There is a cafe/store in the lobby and while it can't be terribly cheap, you will be able to get some healthy options.

A block away is the 16th St. Mall. There is a free shuttle that runs up and down it allllll day long. On the mall, and not too far from the Convention Center is Mad Greens (one of my favorites) where you can get a customized salad for under $10. (www.madgreens.com). There is also a Jamba Juice, various coffee shops, Subway, Chipotle, Jason's Deli, and lots of other soup/salad/sandwich type places.

As for grocery stores, there is a Safeway at 20th and Washington St, which would be a $5-$7 cab ride from where you are.

05-13-2008, 01:02 PM
One more thing. The fitness center there is AMAZING.

05-13-2008, 10:54 PM
Thanks junebug for all the info! Right near the convention center, I will be staying at the Crowne Plaza two nights and Hampton Inn one night. The last two nights will be at Red Lion Quebec St., 5 miles away. (This is what happens when you are a female traveling with a mostly-male department and trying to find roommates from other places). Peak Lounge sounds neat, we'll check it out.

Thank you everyone for your tips!