Staying on plan when visiting London

As many of you know, I travel a lot with my work.  This can bring its own challenges when it comes to trying to stay on plan.  It would be so easy to go for quick and easy fixes without thinking of the consequences!

Like many towns and cities London has thousands of takeaway places, from simple coffee shops to the new modern health cafes.   There is so much choice around.  I have learnt a few simple tricks over the time I have been with Slimming World to help me overcome the assault course of eating healthily whilst out and about.

The first thing I am going say is not going to be a surprise!  Its planning!  I have just spent the last 2 days travelling to and from London for work.  Tuesday I didn’t need to catch my train until 9.00 am to be at a meeting for 12 noon.  I decided that it would be much easier and safer if I had a good breakfast at home before I left.  I wanted to make sure my options for lunch were as open as possible so chose something that didn’t use any of my Healthy Extra’s.  I opted for a 3 egg omelette, with spinach, ham and cherry tomatoes.  By filling up on speed and protein, this would keep me going until lunch.  I also filled my bottle from Hydrate8 with a sugar free juice.  Sometimes hunger can be because you are thirsty, so having this with me is a real bonus.  A banana for the train journey was also a must.  They are sweet and filling.

As my meeting was at 12 noon, I knew if I didn’t eat beforehand I might be tempted to go for the biscuits served with the tea and coffee.  I know from previous meetings in this location there are a number of takeaway coffee shops and cafe’s.  There is also a M&S at Marylebone.  I avoid the takeaways as they are full of high calorie cakes, muffins, wraps etc.  Its also too cold and wet this time of year to sit on a bench even if I did get something from M&S!

Just before the offices though there is a Waitrose store.  If anyone has been to Waitrose they will know they offer free tea and coffee to customers.  Whilst I don’t have this the seating area is a godsend.  This is my go to place for this location.  I find that a lot of the ready meal salads have hidden syns because of the sauces or oils they may have used, so I play safe.  I pop round to the salad and vegetable area and find a lovely Rainbow Salad. Then its off to the meat and fish counter for some crayfish.  I also add a pot of boiled eggs  with spinach, a pot of chopped mango and pineapple and a diet coke.  This is all syn free and I can sit and eat it in store!

I go to my meeting and am able to be fully satisfied that I don’t need to even look at the selection of biscuits.  Its weigh in night tonight too so I am not even tempted to eat anything further until my evening meal!

Today though I have an earlier start.  I need to leave home by 6.40 am.  I’m not good at eating too early, so I made myself overnight oats to take for the train.  The little pot doesn’t take up too much room in my bag and it also means I am not tempted by the danish pastries at the cafe at the station!  Another banana to finish it off leaves me very happy! I have another Hydrate8 filled with juice to keep me from getting thirsty and thinking I’m hungry!

My meeting today is 10 am.  I am still making sure I don’t need those biscuits.  Because of the train times I am an hour early for my meeting, so I decide to find a coffee shop to sit and work for 50 minutes.  As I walked down the street adjacent to where my meeting was being held there were what seemed like hundred of places to go.  It is amazing how when you start looking at places you start feeling peckish!  I decided to avoid anywhere where I might be tempted.  In the end I opted for a place called Leon.  Have you ever been in one?  This was my first time and I have to say I was extremely impressed.

There breakfast menu looked super healthy!  A word of warning though, don’t just look at the menu and order the first thing you see!  Some things look and sound healthy but are not.  Everything needs to be syned but you can get some low syn options.  The first thing that struck me were their poached egg and bake bean pots.  What a great idea.  I have never seen this before.  Their poached egg and saucy bean pots are 1.5 syns a pot.  The full english one is 5 syns!  Greek yohurt pot with blueberries, pomegranate seeds and honey is 4 syns a pot.  How about salmon and avocado super pot for 3 syns.

Here is my word of caution though, the porridge of the gods is 23 syns a pot !  Even the blueberries & seeds porridge is 19.5 syns and banana and cinnamon porridge 18.5 syns.

As I had eaten on the train I was ok food wise but did order a peppermint tea!  I was happily surprised when it came.  It wasn’t the usual teabag, but a large handful of fresh mint.  It was absolutely gorgeous and I will certainly be going back.  They also have free water which has fresh mint in the jugs for customers!

I happily arrive at my meeting refreshed.

The meeting finished just after lunch.  I know that there is no way I am going to wait another 2.5 hours until I am home before I eat again.  I considered all the options around by the offices but decided to give them a miss.  Even Leon’s super salad was 21 syns.  There were lower syn options such as their Chargrilled Superfood Salad with Chimichurri for 8 syns but I wanted to save my syns for a glass of wine or a hifi bar later!

Remember I mentioned M&S at Marylebone?  Well this is my go to place for times like this.  I can grab my lunch just before getting on the train and eat it on the way home!

Today I opt for  a ham and egg salad.  It comes with a sachet of salad cream so I bin that to keep it syn free.  To it I add a packet of turkey breasts, mixed fruit and a diet coke.  Its a high protein and ‘speed food’ meal.  This will keep me going until dinner tonight!

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What I have just said above isn’t rocket science.  I now find it quite easy to food optimise on the go,  but it took me time not to fall into simple traps.  Just because its made with healthy ingredients, doesn’t mean its free.

Not going to the first place you come to is key.  Have a look around and see what your options are.  Google the area the day before you go so you sort of have a plan for when you arrive if its your first time.

Carry a spare plastic fork in your bag just in case you need it.  This is handy if you are buying from a supermarket prepacked food that isn’t really for takeaway, such as my salads and meats.

Never go to a meeting hungry either.  Even if you only fill up on fruit, it will stop you stacking on the biscuits or cakes that may be on offer.

Plan, plan and plan and you will see the reward on the scales!

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