Traveling through life with a timer and sneakers

Posts tagged “dining out

Dirty Chai Latte – An HMR Diet Recipe

Holy moly folks! Starbucks has an iced coffee (unsweetened) that you can buy in stores! I went to my local Safeway last night and found a carafe of coffee in with the milks and juices after hearing about it from a friend. It was much cheaper than buying it at the cafe (although you could probably make your own cold brew at home for cheaper – I will try that someday). I had also picked up some sugar free chai syrup from DaVinci this last week, so an idea was brewing (haha get it? BREWING! okay sorry…) to try to make one of my favorite pre-HMR beverages.

A dirty chai is a chai latte with a shot of espresso. It is delicious and a total pick me up. But chai syrup and milk are both really high in calories, making this drink a TOTAL calorie bomb! Instead I made a super filling blended shake that was totally satisfying for only 170 calories!

Dirty Chai HMR Style

  • 8 ounces cold brew coffee
  • 8 pumps sugar free chai syrup (about 2 ounces)
  • 1 HMR 800 Vanilla shake packet
  • 8 to 10 ice cubes

Blend everything but the ice first then add the ice and blend to desired consistency. SO GOOD! And when it gets colder I will be attempting a hot version that won’t have as much volume without the ice but should still be a fabulous morning treat!

 


HMR Mocha: On the Go and In the Box!

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If you haven’t read my blog before, you may be unaware that I am always on the go. Which means I don’t always have the luxury to make shakes in the comfort of my kitchen.

That said, I love fancy coffees and giving up those special treats was difficult. Luckily, with the help of my travel milk frother, I have been coming up with some on-the-go specialties!

This one is the easiest and is a favorite staple in my current rotation. Order a medium black coffee in a large coffee cup (in Sbux speak that’s a grande in an venti cup!). That gives you room to add an HMR chocolate shake packet and optional sweetener (none for me). Then froth that baby up! The travel milk frother breaks down the shake powder and blends inside the coffee cup while adding a light froth on top. Enjoy!


Traveling on the HMR Diet

I have been on the HMR Decision Free Diet for almost 16 full weeks. During those 16 weeks, I have flown away for weekend work (and one personal trip) for 8 weekends and spent another 4 weekends at regional competitions. With 12 weekends away from the comfort and safety of my home environment, I have quickly learned some skills for traveling on the HMR DF Diet and I am looking forward to sharing some of them now!

First, let’s dispel some rumors. I have carried entrees and shakes through airport security every trip and have never been stopped. However, I would always recommend carrying some documentation of your medically supervised diet just in case you get a TSA agent with his britches in a bunch claiming HMR chili is a liquid.

Second, the majority of hotels I have encountered have been amenable to placing a mini-fridge and in most cases a microwave in my hotel room free of charge provided I show the medical necessity (same documentation). Many never needed to see it, I just needed to ask and explain.

Third, if you haven’t already figured it out, many of the entrees can be eaten cold. I will be honest… I am NOT a fan of most of them at room temperature. My stand-by is Five Bean Casserole (add a packet of salt and a packet of pepper and maybe a squeeze of mustard from an airport food court and you’re golden). I will also do the chicken parm and the ravioli and the lasagna. It’s up to personal preference.

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Two great on-the-go shaker bottles… liquid included!

When I am checking a bag for a longer trip, I like to travel light with the carry-on. This means packing as compactly as possible. First, I fold up two of the 800 packets and one 70 packet into my standard Blender Bottle along with a plastic spoon. This prevents the wire ball from bouncing around, saves space, and gives me an easy pudding and two shakes!

I also pack at least one Mio or Crystal Light squeeze bottle for easy to-go flavoring in my liquids bag. Great for making shakes different flavors and perfect to add to a club soda on a plane for a “fancy” drink!

However, I hate cleaning when traveling and thus when I get through airport security, I am often on the hunt for one of the stand-by beverages pictured above. It makes a perfect disposable shake container. Just swirl your shake powder before shaking or the powder may all end up in the lid!

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This was my HMR meal at the San Diego Zoo. Just drink half the bottle, add shake mix, swirl and shake to your desired consistency! Mmmmm Chocolate Lemon Goodness!

I am also a big fan of mixing up the flavors of my entrees and having other savory options available to me is a big way I have managed to stay “In the Box” while “On the Road.” I always have a couple of bouillon cubes in a snack bag (to keep the smell contained) as well as a couple of tea bags for on-the-go hot beverage choices. I also carry a travel milk frother (mine has a cute carrying case!) which I use to whisk hot liquids for soup and hot chocolate shakes.

Additionally, I carry a menagerie of seasonings in a travel pill case (pictured below) which I place in a sandwich bag (because I am paranoid about spills but haven’t had one yet!). You can put all of your favorites in here! These are just some of my standards.

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Turn your pill case into a travel condiment container!

Another way to make travel easier and make you feel included when others are eating carby goodness, is to make some HMR muffins (I make these without the frosting) ahead of time. I don’t do this often because I want to avoid over-relying on low-volume foods. However I have found packing these can save me in a pinch when everyone else is noshing on trigger foods plus these don’t require preparation. This is one I save for super high stress weekends (I also make these using a mini-donut pan that fits in my toaster oven which makes them smaller – I get more and they are easier to pack!).

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Make muffins ahead of time for packable meals.

Traveling can be difficult on the HMR diet, or any diet, because of the temptations that lie in the Gap and all of the fabulous looking foods that abound. It is much harder to control your environment and at some point in the future I will talk more about how I prepare mentally for travel. However in the meantime, I hope these travel tips are helpful for those who have travel in their future!


Juggling Jealousy – Dealing with those who can’t deal

“I need to eat now. I’m starving and all I have had is a coffee and banana today,” she said.

“Let’s wait until we get back to the hotel and have our picnic & chill by the pool time as planned,” I responded.

“I haven’t gotten to eat recently. I’m starving. You wouldn’t understand because you ate one of your meal things and had a shake,” she snapped back. “I want pizza now!”

“Your fancy coffee and banana had more calories than everything I consumed today. I know you are hungry, as am I, but the pizza will take awhile to make, time we could have spent getting back to the hotel so let’s all be happy and have what we planned.” I replied, my nerves near breaking point.

Everyone has at least one. The friend who can’t handle their own appetite and food choices and thus probably also can’t handle when you are finally in control of your health. Whether it’s ignorance or jealousy that inspires their actions, one may never know. However on my ninth week of the HMR Diet, I have been tested to extreme levels. And now I let it all out in hopes it helps someone else relate.

“I’m on a special diet. I’m gluten-free,” she tells the waiter. Then asks him twenty questions. Then once he leaves proceeds to tell me everything I already knew.

“I know. I have known you for many years. I have lived with people who have an even stricter allergy. I understand,” I assure her.

I do understand. And having had serious food reactions over the years, I can relate to the anxiety when ordering. However, once you explain you understand and you sympathize, you expect this will be the end of the conversation. Yet for her it continues. It manifests her every conversation. Did you know she couldn’t have gluten? Did you know other people don’t know what gluten is? 

I wonder if I was like this. If I annoyed people to no end talking about my food allergies and intolerances? I would hope it didn’t consume my life the way it had obviously consumed hers. 

Now that I am on HMR, I don’t talk about my food unless asked. I realize that there isn’t a reason to remind people I can’t have what they are having. I don’t need to make someone else feel guilty for the choices I am making to be healthy. What others choose to eat should not make me angry at the world. And I recognize that for her, it does. She is angry. She wants people to know she is special. She needs the attention that comes with the special need. And I resent her for it because in the constant nasal whine about her special needs, she has forgotten those who are with her may also have their own struggles.

Rather than assert myself at first, I let her make jokes at my expense:

“You can watch me eat and drool over it all,” she grins.

“I’ll drink and you can watch,” she reminds me.

“I’m so hungry I could eat just about anything on this menu,” she pronounces at lunch. “Too bad you can’t.”

Roles reversed and she would never let her audience hear the end of it. She has special needs and how dare you remind her she can’t have something. However, she sees nothing wrong with taunting me.

Why is it okay for her to do it?

It’s not. And eventually, I can’t take it anymore. In my head I talk openly how cruel it is that people would taunt people with things they cannot have. But in reality, I just use logic to prevail. We don’t end up at a pizza joint this time, however I suspect she will push again. And indeed the next day the passive aggressiveness begins:

“Well I guess pizza is out since someone here can’t handle being around it,” she huffs.

If the crust wasn’t gluten-free, the pot would meet the kettle. Instead I firmly assert myself. Saying that I wouldn’t go, suggesting alternatives to the sweet smelling pizza parlor, and finally suggesting she could go alone and the rest of us could go else where. With an eye roll and heavy sigh, she accepts one of the many alternatives proposed.

I am told by others that her behaviors reek of jealousy. And perhaps they do. She doesn’t have someone to be gluttonous with. To stuff face until our stomaches spill over our shorts. Instead she has someone who is working against those habits. Who is fighting for her own health rather than focusing all of the attention on the special one’s needs.

Her diet may define her. Mine does not define me. Food is not longer my whole life. And while I will continue to defend my needs, I will not defend to the point of it consuming my life. There is so much in the world besides food. And I am determined to experience it.