Category: Travel

Life Strategies: How to Survive an Airplane Flight full of food!

Life Strategies: How to Survive a Long Airplane Flight Full of Food

Short flights are Easy….they don’t even offer much more than drinks and maybe a tiny, easy to resist snack bag of salty trail mix…but a long flight is a different story!

Now, let me share what I ate after takeoff on a 5 hour flight to Las Vegas from NJ…and this flight was through dinner time so I planned to have a ‘snack dinner’.

😊I started to eat the snacks I brought from home (SmartPoints listed in parentheses):
✔️Homemade Kodiak Banana Chocolate Chip muffin (4)
✔️Big Bag of sliced Green peppers (0)
✔️Homemade bag of air fryer wrap chips (2)
✔️1 Laughing Cow Wedge (1)
✔️Clementine (1)
Current On-The-Plane total at this point is 8sp.
And at this point, I had approximately 3 hours of plane time left…⏰✈️

📲I brought plenty to do, but was bored…our takeoff was delayed an hour, so that was an extra hour on the plane…then, my TV thing didn’t work….but that was ok as I had many non-tv things to do: New Book to read, 2 magazines, I downloaded 2 magazines on my iPad, I had a small notebook for ideas, to do lists, doodles, etc. I had a variety of posts to work on for my blog. I had PLENTY to do that didn’t involve the internet…but eating can be so comforting in some ways when you are a bit bored…

😜Then, the Flight Attendants started to serve the food selections…and this airplane went from a transportation vehicle to a food court!
My resolve momentarily weakened…
With eager anticipation, I realized I could buy myself:
🍔a hot cheeseburger on a pretzel bun!
🌯tiny chicken wrap!
🍭a candy pack of sweets!
🍴chips!
🍫chocolate!
🍝a warm pasta and meatball plate!
🧀an artesian cheese and 🥜 nut assortment!

🤔But would I actually buy food on the plane when I brought a big bag of carefully planned snacks from home??

I would say a majority of the people on the flight were eating at this point and about half purchsed food or ate the food they brought with them. Imagine hearing the popping sound of many soda cans….the rousing rustling of food bags opening…the sounds of people chatting about food…the smells of all kinds of food filled the plane instantly! No more ‘plane smell’, just a menagerie of food sounds.

💥💥It was honestly, a FOOD and DRINK FEST! 💥💥

😩Everywhere I looked, there was food! 😳

>Some had brought yummy fast food on the plane…
>I saw a FAMILY-sized bag of Peanut M & M’s being passed around a group of 6 people. (I actually had to stare at this bag my entired flight as I was on the aisle and it was just 2 rows up!)
>Colas and Alcoholic drinks were being poured for almost every passenger.
>Bad coffee being served. (If I wanted coffee, I would have whipped out one of my Starbucks Via Packets or the Trader Joe’s 3sp Coffee with Sugar and Creamer added instant packets and asked for hot water)…but I didn’t want coffee at this moment.
>This one couple directly in front of me had seemingly endless bags of chips and snacks and food they brought onto the plane…I think they ate for most of the 5 hours of plane time.
>Across the aisle from me were 3 men…probably a bachelor party (this was a plane to Vegas)…who had many drinks and many cans of soda and lots of snacks. They never got rowdy, but boy, were they hungry and thirsty.
>Every TV screen that wasn’t on a movie was showing commercials (It is Direct TV on the plane) and I felt that there was FOOD everywhere I looked!

💫Luckily, as I was ‘weighing’ my options, I asked myself a few questions:

❓Did I really want a hamburger from a PLANE menu? No.
❓If I was home right now, would I be eating snacks every 20 minutes? No. It would be close to 8pm and I’d be closing down the kitchen.
❓Was I actually hungry at this exact moment? No.
❓Was I feeling full? Actually, yes. Very full.
❓Was I thirsty? No, but I had a bottle of water 💦 if I needed it.
❓Did I just want something to munch on? No, but I still had a Bag-O-Snack choices I brought from home.
❓Did I just need chocolate at this exact moment? Well, I always need chocolate, but at this moment, no, I did not…and I had some with me if I absolutely wanted some.

So…..
NO! I did NOT buy anything from the lovely friendly flight attendants pushing convenient 🛒 carts of convenience food & drink around the aircraft.
THIS story is part of the reason travel days can be SO hard…

I did NOT need to overstuff myself.
I stopped myself before I made a decision I would totally regret.

FYI: I always travel with a small toothbrush and tooth paste and floss. I figured that another deterrent would be to go brush my teeth (although not ideal in a plane bathroom!…..I also had mint gum 🌱, so that was a better option, but I didn’t end up needing it.)

🎰I was on my way to Las Vegas for gosh sakes!
Plenty of wonderful food to be had there! I just needed to get there.
I planned. I had plenty to do and EAT…
I could resist the smells of fast food & coffee
I could resist the temptations of watching others in close proximity ingest chocolate covered pretzels, cookies, candy, hot chocolate, and more. I just had to stick to my plan…but it was NOT easy!

👍So, I stayed strong, paced myself, and ate the following snacks for the remainder of the 3 hours on the plane (SmartPoints listed in Parentheses):
✔️A Jayone Crunchy Rice Log (1)
✔️My single serving of Harvest Snaps (1)
✔️1 Cheese Stick (2)
✔️1 baggie of baby carrots (0)
✔️1 Laughing Cow Wedge (1)
✔️1 Clementine (0)
✔️Half bottle of water (0) – don’t want to drink too much on a flight😉
So, 5 SmartPoints for this half of the flight PLUS 8 from earlier made this a 13 SmartPoint flight…not too shabby, if I say so myself!!!

🌈On a brighter note, In our row of 3, I really did luck out a bit…the 3rd passenger in our row was obviously health conscious and brought her own bag-o-snacks from home, too….all healthy options. She had a bag of veggies like me. She ordered herself black coffee only. She brought an avocado on the plane. She rocked! I didn’t really get to chat with her much, but we both eyed each other’s snack haul with a pleasant, non-verbal seal of approval on both of our personal snack selections.

I kept reminding myself that this time will pass.
I would be on vacation for a few days soon enough
and this long flight would be a memory.
I could turn this very stressful food situation into a win instead of a defeat.
Yes. I. Could. Do. That.
I could and I did.

🏆Yay, Me! 🏆 Victory was mine!

*I thought this might be good to share because it is so easy to quickly forget what it is like to be on a plane for hours. It is easy to forget how frustrating it can be to be watching what you eat while many around are overindulging.  I wanted to write about my experience because I see that other people have challenges on travel days, too…Hope you found my experience useful. I fly a few times a year (or whenever I can) and I enjoy flying….and it’s much easier without extra pounds….no seatbelt extender…easier to get through the narrow aisles to use the tiny bathroom…fitting better in the tiny airplane seat….oh, yes…plenty of motivational reasons to not go hog wild on the airplane were all around me…✈️

Right next to the Peanut M & M’s. 😎

💥💥It was honestly, a FOOD and DRINK FEST! 💥💥

💥💥It was honestly, a FOOD and DRINK FEST! 💥💥

Walt Disney World Visual Snack Guide

Disney World Visual Snack Guide

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Or a thousand calories.

Or a thousand SmartPoints!

I am a visual person, so having pictures saved in the photos app on my phone helps me quickly see and access a snack I might come across.  Also, things change all the time in the wild world of packaged foods, so always double check the current point value and portions of whatever snack you pick up while in ‘the World’.

This post focuses exclusively on Weight Watchers SmartPoints Values for snacks and foods found in Disney World gift shops that contain nutrition information on the packaging.  When I am in Disney, I am always on a never-ending treasure hunt for the latest and greatest Disney treats. Knowing your options is key to managing your weight & data is power, so the more I know, the better I can plan around my preferred indulgence.  Disney does not publish too much about the exact caloric content of their restaurants, so I usually guesstimate those like I would at any restaurant.  I will cover other food on Disney properties in other posts.

I will do additional snack guide posts as I analyze other snacks found on my annual trip.

Click on an image below to see it in a larger format, and if that isn’t big enough, just click on the text in the lower right hand corner that says, “View Full Size”.  You can usually save any photo by right clicking on your mouse or using ‘buttons’ on your mobile device (you can always goggle how to save a picture for your specific device).

Continue reading “Disney World Visual Snack Guide”

How to navigate a cruise ship or any buffet

Tips for the Cruise Ship or any Buffet Meal

There are many strategies for buffets & having a plan can give you a wonderful tool to navigate. Cruise ships are a little different because unlike a restaurant at home, this one is readily available almost all day long!

⭐️⭐️Remind yourself that just like at home, PORTION control is key to success!⭐️⭐️

⚓️🍴1.  Consider how many days you are onboard the ship. Why?  So you can take a moment to consider how many times you may eat in the buffet area vs. the main dining room or other places onboard the ship. Then, you can pace yourself & remind yourself that you’ll have ample opportunity to try the various offerings over the course of your cruise. Many items are repeated daily. Simply ask someone who works in that restaurant what food is served when. The first day, when you board is a good time to do this.

⚓️🍴2.  Bring some fruit back to your room from the buffet. There are usually whole fruits like apples & bananas that you could keep for a quick snack.

⚓️🍴3.  Earn some steps while you eat by only getting one course at a time. Start with your salad & then go back for your main course, then a piece of bread, then dessert, etc. Remind yourself that you do not need everything at one time.

⚓️🍴4.  Pretend it is a wedding buffet and just take a spoonful of everything. You can track those blt’s (bite, taste, licks).

⚓️🍴5.  Start with a small portion of the item you are trying. You can always go back to get more if you think it is really worth it. This is especially true with the beautifully presented desserts (which are always as good they look).

⚓️🍴6.  I like to utilize my two-bite policy while onboard. Why?  Because two bites might be all you really need.

⚓️🍴7.  Take a quick photo of your plate so you can track it later with your best guestimate.

⚓️🍴8.  Try to make a balanced plate!  A bit of salad, a bit of protein, some veggies or fruit. It is nice & easy because you didn’t have to shop for it or prepare it!

⚓️🍴9.  If there is a particular food you need or have a dietary concern, talk to the buffet manager (or dining manager) on day 1 when you board to see what special arrangements can be made. The cruiseships can accommodate many requests, but not everything. It also means that you may just need to wait or be patient or come at an off-time depending on what your requests are.

⚓️🍴10.  Generally, it is more relaxing to eat in a restaurant onboard like the main dining room or a specialty restaurant or even order room service. Also, letting someone else get your food helps with portion control (although the waiters will bring you as much as you want).

🛳⚓️⭐️Extra tips:⭐️⚓️🛳

Wash your hands after getting your food & touching all the tongs.  They’ll offer you antibacterial when you enter, but a quick wash (or more purell) post-food gathering is a good idea

If you are traveling with others, alternate having one person go get the table, especially at peak times when tables are at a premium

Be mindful & take it your beautiful views while you eat. Savor the moment, not just the food

😊Hope some of this helps out when you are faced with several days of knowing the buffet is just a few steps away! 🍎🍴

👉👉Please share some of your best cruise buffet or buffet tips in the comments below. 👈👈👈

Beat The Post Vacation Blahs by Reliving your Vacation after you are home

Beat the Post-Vacation Blahs

Let’s talk about beating the post-vacation blahs……or rather, this is about the ‘post-event’ blues or ‘post-vacation’ blues…or post wedding blues…could even be the post ‘new years’ blues because when there is so much excitement around an event, there is bound to be a let-down period. Going away in February is, of course, a great way to beat the Winter Blahs, but I think having an overall How-To-Beat-the-Blahs strategy is a great idea in general….any time of year!  I am all about having strategies for dealing with my life mindfully vs. using food to handle things mindlessly.

I just got back from a week in Disney World and I am sharing what I do to get over my Disney / Vacation blues. Please share how you get yourself back up after a trip or a big event.

So, I get back from Disney or a Cruise or any vacation at all…..

…what do I do to Beat the Blahs?  Here’s a short list:

  1. 📆I try to pick a date for the next vacation…immediately. Why? Because that way, I immediately have something to look forward to!
  2. 📸I download the photos and try to use them for fun…maybe I email them to family or plan for a holiday card or make them a screensaver or order a mug with a photo on them, or (gasp) have 1 printed from Shutterfly so I can actually frame it and enjoy the real deal!
  3. 🎁I figure out how I will use any souvenirs I have brought back with me. Maybe it is a pad of paper with the logo of somewhere? I will start using it right away. Maybe it is a pen? I might put it near the phone where I know I will use it or put it in my purse. Maybe it is a snack or some coffee beans? I will make sure I eat / drink the item sometime within the first week back home.
  4. ⏰I give myself a week to acclimate to life post-vacation. This way, I do not feel too rushed to unpack and run back into my routines. I try to start with the laundry and go from there. It feels less overwhelming that way. I used to try to get it all away within a day, but it would exhaust me and ruin that post-vacation happy feeling.
  5. ☎️☕️Relive the vacation by sharing the experience with friends over coffee or by working on a digital photo album or calling someone who would share my glee over my travels.
  6. 😎When I plan a vacation, I try to build in 1-2 days of recovery time…as in, if we have a whole week, I will not be away the entire 9 days, I will make sure we are back on a Friday, so we have the weekend to recover….or if it is a shorter time span, I would rather come back after 3 days and know that everyone has at least one full day to sleep in and ease back into life than spend every last moment at my destination and then head back to work or school. It is too much and that doesn’t help the vacation blues at all.

  7.  🤗Be grateful. Whenever I take the time to focus on the fact that we can get away at all, I feel nothing by thankful and grateful. It is hard to be too mopey, when you are counting your blessings. I try to drill this home to the kids as much as I can.

Having a plan to beat the Blahs is key to not letting yourself get swept up into emotions or get too mopey. I eat more when I am mopey, so I have to be super-mindful post-vacations.

But I went away during this hard month of February, so no Blahs in Disney World. I will float on the memories as much as I can. The sunshine was wonderful! Wearing short sleeves was great, too!  We do what we can to fight the mopey feelings…instead of eating the emotions.

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