Conference life: How to load your brain and not your waist (Part 2)

This is Part 2 of my series for a healthy conference life and how to avoid the perils of professional travel; all inspired by my recent attendance at the Canadian Obesity Summit 2017. 

6. Remember that the baked goods are likely low grade quality pastries (depending on venue of course).  When they’re presented in a wide assortment in bulk, I imagine them being unpackaged from one of the unattractive clear plastic boxes they sell in grocery stores, and much less likely to be baked in-house. When I really feel like a treat is in order,  my rule is that I have to go out of the way to a cafe to buy an individual, freshly baked cookie instead. This is rare. I often imagine how silly I look doing the head bob while dozing off in a lecture (my general experience with sugar crashes during a class), and this thought alone is usually enough to keep me on track.

7. If you’re heading out for restaurant dinners order smart. I always order two appetizers as a meal and don’t even bother looking at the main courses! A single main dish tends to bore me, making the variety that comes along with the appetizer rule all the more appealing. I generally order a salad to start and a protein based appetizer to follow. I paired the above plate of seared scallops on spaetzle with an arugula salad from The Bison Restaurant.

Alternatively, I’ll have a protein based snack prior to my arrival to restaurant such as a handful of nuts or a bar, and I’ll order light for dinns. Here we have a bowl of soup and a side of lemony potatoes at Balkan Restaurant.

8. Regulate your sleep patterns. Rather than view a conference as vacation view it as being in undergrad all over again. 8 hour learning days can be rough on a brain that is sleep deprived. Lack of sleep can also be a trigger for impulsive eating and drinking which, at a conference setting, is easily accessible.

9. When the opportunity arises to have vegan opt for that. Vegan cuisine intrigues me – it requires a lot of creativity  to produce a dish that’s palatable (since there’s no relying on animal fats for flavour). Here we have a pumpkin coconut soup paired with a super food kale salad rich with nuts.


10. Get outside when you can. It’s easy to get sucked into spending all your time indoors at a conference especially if you’re boarding on site. Make a point to get take in some fresh air! Studies show that being amongst nature can stimulate an endorphin rush which is a healthy high I can happily endorse.

11. Plan your indulgences. I can’t count on how many fingers I wanted to order a plate of french fries at all of my meal outings. To circumvent that I order a healthier substitute whether it’s roasted potatoes or a soup. For this week in particular, I was able to get by planning for my last meal of the week to include a celebratory fries order.  I always say that “not every day can be treated like a birthday” but when you give yourself the leeway to plan celebratory meals in advance, it makes accepting that fact a bit more tolerable!

12. This one is easy – STAY HYDRATED! It keeps you awake and you’re less likely to misinterpret thirst for hunger. I tend to sip on water and herbal tea. If I’m itching for something sweet I’ll go for a zero-cal vitamin water or add lemon to water if it’s available. A good way of knowing if you’r well hydrated is by examining your urine – if it’s a pale yellow then you’re doing yourself good.