I leave on Tuesday morning for New Orleans and I’m determined that this trip is going to go better than the last one! That means lots of planning. I’ve recovered from going off track in Memphis and my weight is going back down, so I don’t want to lose this momentum!
- I went shopping for snacks, not just for my flights but also to get through the meeting days themselves. At these all day conferences, there are frequently lots of pastries out with the coffee at breaks. Hopefully there will be fruit or yogurt too, but if there isn’t, having a healthy snack bar option in my bag will be helpful.
- Get breakfast at the hotel to start the day on the right foot. I’ve never been to this particular conference before, so I’m not sure if breakfast will be provided. Just in case there isn’t a non-bagel or pastry option, I’m planning on eating breakfast in my hotel, which has both a breakfast buffet down in the restaurant and room service. Starting the day with a healthy breakfast a) means at least some of my food choices are good ones for the day and b) in my experience, sets me up for success in food choices for the rest of the day. Somehow, starting a day with a bagel and cream cheese, even though they’re within my calorie boundaries, makes me feel like I might as well let the rest of the day slide too.
- Find times and places in the schedule to get my workouts done. Running is a great way to see a city and I’m looking forward to getting some runs in while I’m in New Orleans. It’s one of my favorite cities to wander around, but I’ve never been there as a runner. Anybody have any suggestions for routes? I’ll be staying around Canal Street in the Quarter. Sticking to my workout schedule gives me a bit of a release from the networking that stresses me out at these meetings and helps me stay in the right mindset.
- Plan for those worth-it indulgences. Beignets at Cafe Du Monde are a must for me, because that is such a New Orleans feeling for me. Once while eating beignets on that patio, Carol Channing (THE Hello Dolly) stopped by to sing Hello Dolly with the band set up outside the cafe. It was such a surreal, New Orleans kind of moment. 🙂 I love the food and the people watching here. Similarly, there’s a place with fantastic po boys and gumbo on Jackson Square that I’ve eaten at and loved every single visit to New Orleans. Ironically, while I love that place and will definitely go there, I have no idea what the name is. Other than those two must-dos, I’ll try to keep my choices as healthy as possible. Having a couple of indulgences to look forward to makes it easier to say no to the other little things along the way.
- Be careful about alcohol. When I have to socialize, I tend to drink more than usual to get over the introverted-edge. Not only are those calories I don’t need, the lack of inhibition can lead to other poor choices and all of it makes it harder to wake up early for workouts and a healthy breakfast. No more than one drink in a sitting! Also, I’m going to stick to wine or beer rather than mixed drinks. I love a hurricane as much as the next person, but I don’t really need one.
- Track, even if it isn’t pretty. I’ll also be tracking with photos in Instagram, like I did in Italy. It really helps to keep me honest to know anyone can see what I’m eating.
I’m looking forward to this trip. I haven’t been to New Orleans in 6-7 years and I miss the people and the people-watching. Any suggestions for must-do things that are new in the last few years? Where should I run?