I’ve always loved eating out. I have such fond memories devouring meatballs and spaghetti off the children’s menu at east coast diners. As I grew older, my family celebrated honorable report cards, choir concerts, dance recitals and mini-milestones at what I thought were fine-dining establishments: Mandarin Yen or Shakey’s Pizza. Even in high school, after football games, we congregated at Davanni’s, Carbonni’s, Perkins or my all-time favorite, Taco Bell. Whatever happy (often made up) non-traditional holiday we celebrated was at a restaurant. Truth be told, my mom was a fine cook, we just enjoyed the hassle free, family or friend focused meal. My mother also cooked healthy dinners, so dining out included gorging on cheesy pizzas, fried rice dishes and creamy pastas. I know better now that eating out doesn’t mean I have to let go of all inhibitions and start “my diet tomorrow.” While it’s tempting to overdo it, I’ve learned a few tips to keep my diet clean while enjoying a night out for travel, on business or just for fun.
For over 17-years of my corporate career, I was far from active. I joked around that I became a workaholic early on in my career because I procrastinated working out. My day looked something like this:
5:00 a.m. Alarm buzzed and I snoozed for another hour convincing myself I would workout over lunch.
I remember pulling overnighters in high school, wired with energy after drinking an entire two-liter bottle of Diet Mountain Dew. Study sessions both in high school and college entailed a cornucopia of sweets from gummy cola bottles to bags of sugary Dubble Bubble gum. Once I joined the workforce, these studying conditions transitioned into bad workplace habits. I walked into conference rooms double-fisted with my Diet Dr. Peppers. I often lost track of time due to a ferocious back-to-back meeting schedule. Naturally, I then ran to the vending machine to grab two bags of the least fattening carb-y snack. I assumed the mid-day anxiousness was from stress, not my overly caffeinated state and lack of nutrients. But what was a busy girl to do? I didn’t really think my “sorta bad habits” were harming me. Plus, I had conference calls to make, presentations to create and deadlines that I couldn’t shake. This pattern went on for many years. Now, I’ve tweaked my habits. The intensity of owning my own business, managing my cancer and balancing life rivals the stress (albeit differently, but still stress) from my corporate days, so I share my thoughts on how to eat clean at work.