As mentioned in my previous posts, I have been traveling A LOT lately! First, for Gastroparesis advocacy & then for business. This had me away from home for 8 days. Being away from home this long is difficult for anyone, but it is particularly challenging for someone with Gastroparesis.
If you are able to eat “normally” and are reading this post, THANK YOU LUCKY STARS!! Gastroparesis is difficult enough to manage at home, so you can only imagine how difficult it becomes when you are away from all of your necessities and normal food. However, I was determined to do this. I was determined to travel back to back for both GP advocacy and for business. This led me to start to devise a plan for how I could achieve this and minimize the chance of a flair.
Naturally, the main item on my list was FOOD. I live off 2 smoothies per day, greek yogurt, & 1 solid meal at night usually consisting of some type of chicken dish. I knew that I would be busy so I knew I would need to keep my protein intake high. I also knew that if I strayed from my “normal” eating plan, that I was going to get deathly ill. So the main thing I had to figure out was: how to have my smoothies on the road.
Step 1 to Smoothies on the Road: Pack a Blender.
It was a pretty simple decision to pack a blender. Although, I was hoping it would make it’s way through the 4 airports I was about to travel through. It was also worth every penny of the $25 checked bag fee. So I packed my blender & checked my bag.
Step 2 to Smoothies on the Road: Pack Dry Goods, Measuring Cups, Plastic Spoons, Smoothie Bottles.
Just as important as the blender are all of the other necessary items to make smoothies with. Your measuring cups, your smoothie containers, and dry goods. For me the dry goods are particularly interesting. As mentioned, I knew I would have to keep a large amount of protein intake in order to have enough energy to attempt to burn during the days. This meant that taken my protein powder was an absolute must. Whey protein powder tried to kill me and almost sent me to the ER on a couple of occasions, so at the suggestion of my nutritionist, I use Hemp Protein Powder. It is purchased from the Vitamin Shoppe, but I was not sure how well this would go over with TSA & their hounds. This led me to Step 3.
Step 3 to Smoothies on the Road: Get to the Airport Insanely Early
Considering all of the random items that were in my checked bag, I wanted to make sure I gave TSA plenty of time to ohhh & ahhh over the contents. I doubt they get to see blenders, hemp protein powder, measuring cups, bottles, rolled oats, all wedged into a bag with a business suit, dress slacks, and sweaters. Oddly, my bag was only opened once by TSA. It was on my way home, so I guess the third time through security was the charm.
Step 4 to Smoothies on the Road: Make Sure Your Hotel puts a Fridge in Your Room
Considering, Step 5 is to have groceries delivered to your room, you’ll probably want to make sure you have a refrigerator to store them in.
Step 5 to Smoothies on the Road: Find a Grocery Delivery Service
Grocery Delivery Services are my new favorite thing in the world. They have also been a complete & total life saver for this journey. I did not want to have to rent a car, find a grocery store, shop, return the car, etc. I also did not want to walk for blocks and then carry a ton of groceries back to the hotels. (Shocker: Carrying heavy objects for long periods of time will tank a GPer faster than putting on cement shoes & jumping in a river.) Here is the best part of the grocery delivery service, the fee was only $10! Again, not even a question in my mind that the $10 was worth it.
Step 6 to Smoothies on the Road: Who Cares if You Run a Blender at 6 AM, It Is an Opportunity to Educate
Making these smoothies is a medical necessity, so I did not care one bit about running the blender at 6 AM. Sure, it might have annoyed the people in the rooms next to me, I have no idea if it did or not. However, if I would have received a complaint, I had planned to explain Gastroparesis to the hotel staff and keep running the blender anyway. (I am a rather courteous person, but when it comes to my health I put me first and don’t apologize. I educate on what I have to go through and people usually have a hard time saying no to you needing to do something.)
Step 7 to Smoothies on the Road: Carry Your Smoothie Wherever You Go
Be proud of your smoothie. Sip on it throughout the day, no matter where you are. You will be amazed at how no one seems to notice or care. When I first started carrying smoothies around at work, I was worried that people would ask a lot of questions. I was absolutely amazed at how few questions are asked. In this health conscious world, people don’t find carrying a bottle around all that odd.
Step 8 to Smoothies on the Road: Keep Your Hotel Room Clean and Place Your Smoothie Supply Garbage in Plastic Bags
The hotel staff isn’t expecting a plethora of empty yogurt containers, empty tofu containers, empty ginger ale cans, empty frozen fruit bags. Be polite and place everything neatly in a garbage can so that it is easy for them to dispose of your garbage.
All in all, I would say that my attempt at smoothies on the road was a huge success! Now if I could only find a way to have TSA allow me to take a smoothie through security so that I can sip it on the plane!