Monday, January 4, 2010

Eating in a Hotel Room

I'm traveling a lot with my new job. I was in the Chicago area for two weeks, staying at the Marriott in Deerfield the first part of December. The room was great and I really enjoyed my stay, however, I got so sick of eating out for every single meal over the course of two weeks.

I'm back in the area, again for two weeks but this time I'm staying at a Marriott Residence Inn - which translates to cheaper rates (which as a good corporate citizen, I don't mind), no room service and a kitchenette. It is surprisingly well stocked in terms of kitchen equipment. Mind you - not as complete as my kitchen, but then again I'm such a Pampered Chef junkie that I'm the first to admit my kitchen is a bit of overkill. Not that I'm getting rid of anything yet though.

The other problem with eating out is that I don't make typically make the right menu choices when I eat out. In general I'm not a "salad for a meal" person, but even less so in the winter. (And it is really cold here right now.) On my last trip I gained 5 pounds and add that to the 3 pounds I put on over the holidays, I'm up a net of 8 pounds. I worked way to stinking hard and went through too much to get the by-pass surgery so I'm not blowing it by traveling and eating out all the time.

At any rate, I went to the grocery store tonight and spent $100 on groceries so that I can eat in for the duration of my stay. It was really hard because I don't typically eat food that can be cooked on a two burner cook-top and not in an oven or toaster oven. Fortunately Alex had some good ideas for me from their days living in a similar hotel when they first moved to Clarksville while they were waiting for housing to become available.

I ended up buying several mixes that you stir-fry on the stove or heat in the microwave. I also bought salad ingredients and some dressing, fruit, and pre-cut veggies ready for microwaving/steaming.

Tonight I had a Bertolli Oven Roasted pasta dish ($4.99). It was 4 Cheese Ravioli with Parmesan Cheese Sauce. It was pretty good. About 15 minutes in the microwave. That with a salad on the side and a cup of green tea I feel pretty good. There is enough left-over to have lunch tomorrow and maybe enough for a snack later in the day as well. Not that the cafeteria at work is bad, just not great and again, I'm totally challenged making the healthy choice. (Although today, I did have salad with a hard-boiled egg on it for protein she says patting herself on the back.)

Now - I will say that pre-surgery, it would have been only one meal for me. I'm always surprised when they say 2, but then it was eat or be eaten. Tomorrow for lunch I will take the left-overs along with some grapes and a salad for an overall meal cost of about $4.00 or so compared to the $8 or $9 for lunch and $20 or so for dinner. Plus I get to sleep with a self-satisfied smirk for being a good corporate citizen and saving the company a lot of money on my meals, I don't have to eat out and I get to write a blog post all about my dinner. It's a win-win.

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