Eating Out of a Mini-Fridge for 10 Days

Pretty much the entire month of March has been full of business travel. Indiana and Michigan happened last week. Texas this week and next. Tennessee the week after that. Luckily I have three things on my side:

  • I love to travel, and do so frequently enough that I have some kind of “status” on airlines and hotel chains. Usually things go swimmingly in that sense.
  • I’m a master packer. My mother taught me how to pack well and how to never need to check a bag (except for certain circumstances like bringing lots of gifts for the holidays, needing to pack some kind of liquid that can’t fit in a ziplok bag, etc.). Case and point: I’m going to be in TX for a week and a half and have only one bag that has clothes, toiletries, etc. (along with a second bag that has my work things, including my laptop, notebooks, and steel-toed shoes). Be impressed. 😉
  • I have a mini-fridge and know how to stock it so I don’t spend tons of money on lunches and breakfasts during the work day.

Behold…

Cost: ~$50
Store: Central Market
Purchases: almond milk, small cartons of orange juice, spinach, mustard, sliced cheese, mini-loaf of sliced whole wheat bread, almond butter, freshly made spring rolls, mashed sweet potatoes, cheap zip-top bags ($1 for 150!!), cheap storage containers ($1 for two!!), cheap plastic utensils ($1 for a mix of 24 forks, knives, and spoons!!), three bakery-fresh cookies, and a bottle of Riesling.

I also brought some stuff from home for snacks, including: home-made energy bars, vitamins, trail mix, dried fruit, almonds, and a ton of tea bags.

What I’d normally spend in the office cafeteria here in Texas is probably around $8. Breakfast, around $5. Snacks, at least $3 per day. After 7 work days, I’d get a LOT more than $50 in per diem and meals. It’s all about saving money, and I definitely do that!

It’s really not that hard to plan meals ahead of time when traveling. What is hard is figuring out what to do during the times you want to stray from the plan. For instance, right now I know I’m going to eat some leftover tacos and some of the mashed sweet potatoes for dinner… but I want to go for a walk and get ice cream even though I have cookies and almond milk for dessert! Argh! I may be weak tonight… but that’s okay. I can splurge… we all can!

Right?

. . .

Don’t judge me.

I just love ice cream.

A lot.

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On The Road Again

Well, actually I’ll be mostly in the air again.

Business travel, business travel, business travel! It’s been taking over my life lately. I used to work in a department at work for which I never had to travel; now I travel about 80% of the time since starting to work in a new department.

My first three weeks were in Japan, and since coming back to the good ol’ U-S-of-A in early November, I’ve either been on vacation (Thanksgiving, Christmas/Chanukah) or off to Indiana, central Kentucky, or – as of tomorrow – Texas. Not long after I get back, I’m off to Kentucky again. Crazy!

But, all is not lost. I’ll be trying lots of new things in a new city: San Antonio. I’ve been to San Antonio once to see The Alamo with my parents many, many years ago, but I haven’t gone back. My brother lives in Austin, but we haven’t really ventured outside of that city (which is an awesome one, by the way!) when I’d visit.

The fun thing about going to TX is that I may be able to see my brother for the first time in far too long. I’ll be seeing the Alamo, Riverwalk, maybe the Astrodome (if only from the outside)… basically I want to cram in as much as possible during my short time there! Believe me, my camera will be in tow.

So, this is just a warning to the few of you who even know this blog exists: for the next few weeks I’ll probably primarily be posting photos with a small blurb from my phone… and that’s pretty much it! I hope it will be more than that, but we’ll see!

Sayonara

As mentioned before, I’ve been packing. A lot.

I’ll be leaving on Friday 10/21 for Japan for a 3-week-long business trip. Yup: three weeks in a country that I’ve never visited (and have always wanted to)! Sure, I’ll be doing work for at least 8 hours every weekday, but that won’t stop me from seeing the sights, experiencing the culture, and especially eating the food!

I found a list of 100 foods to try in Japan, and I intend to try as many as possible!

There are plenty on the list that I’ve eaten here in the states (natto, tofu, onigiri, tonkatsu, soba, tamago, edamame, umebochi, mochi, sashimi) I not only want to try those while in Japan so that I can have the true experience, but I want to try a ton of new things, of course! I’m especially intrigued by…

…to name a few!

My mostly-vegan eating habits are probably going to sit on the backburner for the trip, as I’ve read that vegan and vegetarian eats are hard to come by over in Japan. Even my strict vegetarian friend said he had to consume animal-based products while there. You’d think soup would be an easy thing for herbivores in Japan, but most of the soups are made with fish- or beef-based broths!

Anyway, I’m really, really excited to head to a new continent and embrace the local flair! During my time away, I probably won’t be blogging much, but I’ll try to do so once in a while.

Sayonara minasan!