I must’ve written reams about my three days in Seattle and Portland (case in point: this post and this post), and I’m almost done, I promise. Just one more post, because this was a successful weekend in addition to my stair racing endeavors. Why? Largely because of snacks.
My trip fell during my final week of my month doing the Personal Trainer Food RECON program, a very high-protein, low-carb weight loss program. (You can read about my experiences so far here and here.) I wanted to stay on program, which can be hard to do while traveling.
The snacks were a huge help. I knew I’d always have something in case I found myself with no viable options. I brought along a bunch of food that fell within the guidelines – and that I enjoyed eating, too:
- Jerky (both beef and turkey)
- Pouches of tuna and salmon (which I ate as my pre-race fuel both race mornings)
- Individually wrapped pieces of sharp cheddar (which I ate first, while traveling up to Seattle, since they require refrigeration)
- Baby carrots
- Raw almonds (another pre-race food. I portioned them into 1.5 ounce baggies – and yes, I used a food scale)
I dined out a lot, too, and made good choices each and every time, never venturing from the Personal Train Food guidelines, even though I was tempted (eggs benedict, I’m looking at you). The night I arrived in Seattle, my friend Collin picked me up, and we hit up a fancy salad bar at a swanky supermarket on our way back to his place. I don’t remember the name of the establishment, nor did I photograph the salad. Oopsy.
CAT ALERT: I also got to meet Collin’s two adorable new kitties, Maude and Marla, who are about 6 months old. This is Maude:
After the Seattle race, Collin and I had breakfast at Planet Java Diner, where I had a veggie omelet, and swapped the hash browns and toast for tomatoes.
Collin and I also got our photograph with a celebrity!
Shortly after that, I was on the train headed to Portland, where I munched on jerky while enjoying the view.
I was staying at the same hotel as four stair racing friends, Dan, Juliana, Jason, and Nam, who were also on the train, so we all checked in, and then headed out to Lardo, a pork-centric sandwich place a few blocks away. Sandwiches are a no-go for me, unless I toss the bread, but it wasn’t an issue, because Lardo will turn any sandwich into a salad. I got their Philly Joe Jones, minus the cheese, as a salad.
And I couldn’t resist trying another side item on their menu: Fried Pig Ears. I used to work at a pet supply store when I was in high school, and we sold pig ears as dog treats. The server told me they were a lot like pork rinds, which I don’t eat, but I was curious and liked trying new things, so I gave it a go. The verdict? Glad I tried it, but won’t be rushing out to eat them again.
After the Portland race, I went to brunch at Gracie’s, the restaurant at the Hotel DeLuxe, with my friends John and Kali from Bowflex. Breakfast menus is the easiest for me to navigate on this program, because I love omelets, and there’s always something I can swap the toast and potatoes for. This time around, it was a crab and avocado omelet, with a side salad.
So you’d think that racing up 160 stories on Sunday (after doing the same on Saturday) would be enough exercise, Right? Wrong. The Courtyard Marriott hotel I was staying in was 16 stories, and I couldn’t resist climbing the stairs, just once, because they were open and why not. Believe me, I didn’t race up them – it was slow and steady!
Then, that evening, I met my friend Randy and his daughter Sage for dinner. The restaurant was 1.2 miles away, so I decided to walk. The walk took me over a bridge, which afforded gorgeous late-afternoon views of the Portland skyline.
Including Big Pink, the tower that I raced up earlier that day:
We went to Taqueria Neuve, one of Randy’s favorite spots, and I got their Caesar Salad, topped with Ceviche. Fantastic.
I have a lot more to say about Randy, but I’m going to save it for a future blog post.
On Monday, my friends at Bowflex were kind enough to lend me a small conference room and their wifi, so I could work. I got a lot done, and while there, got a little tour of their new innovation center, including the machines they use to test their products (like machines that walk on treadmills, endlessly, for days or weeks, to see how long the parts last). I also got to play around with their new SelectTech 560 dumbbells, which are the next evolution from the 552s that I have. The 560s count your reps for you, and sync with an app that tracks all sorts of data. They’re pretty sweet.
For lunch, I went out with Kali and Erin, to a local place called Three Sixty Kitchen and Bar. They have a lot of small plates, so I chose the Grilled Gulf Prawns…
…and their Brussels Sprouts, which had bacon and apple:
I flew back home that night, and I took one final photo on the plane. It was a small plane – just 19 rows and two seats on either side of the aisle – and this is what happened when a 6’4″ man tried to use the lavatory:
I bonked my head a few times getting in and out. I felt like a contortionist trying to fit into a suitcase – except that the contortionist really had to pee.
And there you have it, folks. I traveled to two cities in three days, and there wasn’t a single high-carb food anywhere near my mouth!
Keep it up, David!