Sticking to a diet when traveling can be particularly difficult – and it seems to me to be all the more important. How I eat affects my mood and my sleep and traveling tends to aggravate both of those issues for me, so being able to eat well is a worthwhile endeavour for me.

Michael and I made a weekend trip to attend the wedding of a friend of his, and I was anxious about it beforehand. Why so anxious? Because weddings mean champagne toasts and cake. And cake is my kryptonite. I knew the best way for me to refuse the cake was to have tasty things back in our hotel room.

So what did I bring?

Goodies to pack

1. Salty snacks (to ensure we got sufficient sodium; iodine and fat): Annie Chun’s seaweed snacks (sesame oil flavor); pre-packaged individual cups of green olives with pimentos (3 servings in one cup); Jack Link’s Beef and Cheese sticks; Roasted Macadamia Nuts

2. Atkins Shakes and Bars: for protein and fat. I criticize Atkins products for what I believe to be messed up net carbohydrate counts on their products (since they subtract all sugar alcohols from that figure). That being said, with the information Atkins provides on their labels, we can generally reverse engineer a more accurate figure for the net carbohydrate count. The nice things about the Atkins products: lots of fat; a reasonable quantity of protein (many protein shakes provide way more protein than I need); the meal and snack items are fortified with vitamins (but not the Endulge line); they’re convenient and portable. And Atkins Endulge has a Chocolate Coconut Bar which is so good that I pretty much eat one a day.

3. Chocolate. Because I figured if we resisted cake and champagne, we would deserve some chocolate. It was Lily’s original chocolate.

4. Rye Whiskey – not pictured. Because everyone deserves some whiskey and I figured it would be easier for us to find no calorie mixers in the hotel that would go with whiskey than it would be to find the same for gin. It was – I mixed my rye with coke zero, Michael mixed his with ice.

5. Electrolyte mix (Alacer brand – mix one packet with a liter of water) – not pictured. This product provides much more magnesium, potassium and calcium than most readily available products like Powerade Zero which has almost no potassium, magnesium or calcium in it although somehow they still get to advertise those nutrients prominently on the label – thank you, US labelling laws…

We didn’t just eat those snacks for the weekend, we also hit a couple low-carb friendly places to eat meals while we were on the road: Buffalo Wild Wings (traditional wings with garlic parmesan sauce); Red Robin (lettuce-wrapped burgers + bottomless broccoli) and Qdoba (Mexican Gumbo minus rice, tortilla strips and beans).  We also had a hot breakfast included with our hotel stay – which meant omelets and coffee for breakfast. On the one day we weren’t in the car for hours, we visited a zoo, which made for at least 2.5 hours of walking.

Neither of us tracked what we ate, but when I came home I found that I had kept losing weight. Maybe the bigger emotional win: neither of us felt particularly compelled to “cheat” while at the wedding. For me, at least, that win was due partially to the knowledge that I had a Chocolate Coconut Bar saved for when we got back to the hotel that night.