Category Archives: Eating In While Traveling

How to travel and avoid restaurants.

Eating In At Seminary

My biggest concern when we agreed to not go out to eat for a year was what Matt would do on seminary weekends.  He is attending Asbury Theological Seminary, and does most of his classwork online.  He does have to go to the campus one weekend per month to do intensive coursework.  His schedule is packed, and I thought eating in would be impossible.  In fact, we decided to start this challenge later than we had planned in order to avoid one of these seminary weekends.

When he goes, he leaves at 3:30am Friday morning, and has a 3 1/2 hour drive to Kentucky.  He sits in class from 8:00am-5:00pm, and then goes back to the dorm to work on homework for the other classes he is taking.  Class on Saturday lasts from 8am-12pm.  He gets back in the car and drives home another 3 1/2 hours.  Usually, there is something going on Saturday afternoon or evening that we have to do, so he is totally wasted by Saturday night.

I, being the obsessive compulsive planner that I am, spent a lot of time trying to decide how we were going to do one of these weekends.  Do I buy a cooler and prepare meals ahead of time that could keep without a refrigerator?  Does he only eat peanut butter sandwiches for five meals?  I even told him at one point to make sure to stay somewhere where they had a kitchen, and he could cook meals for himself (like he’s not busy enough…see above paragraph).  How nice of me.  We briefly entertained the idea of giving him a pass for seminary weekends, but we didn’t want to give in since we have been doing so well.

Our solution turned out to be much more simple than anything I agonized over.  Thank goodness for already prepared food at grocery stores.  Duh…  He loves Brown Sugar Cinnamon Pop Tarts, so that takes care of breakfast.  During the break for lunch, he went to Wal-Mart and got a few things from their deli, and a salad for dinner.  Now before you get all legalistic and say that this is cheating, keep in mind that we decided to not spend money eating in restaurants.  I consider him picking up a salad from the deli the same as buying a Lean Cuisine.  On his drive home, instead of driving through somewhere, he usually gets through lunchtime with Combos, and eats something real when he gets home.

I’m so proud of the work he is doing and how he manages all he has to do in order to be successful in Seminary.  I’m so blessed that he also cares so much about our goals as a family even when he is taking on so much in his own life.


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Still on Track!

It’s been a while since my last post.  We have had some major family events in the last two weeks.  I am just now feeling like I have recovered from them.  I’ll tell you about the first event today, and the second event in my next post.  Both were highly emotional in very different ways, and each offered its own unique challenges to eating in.

In my last post, I showed you how we were able to fly during dinner and still eat in.  We flew to Florida for my grandfather’s funeral.  We spent a week there having the funeral and getting his house ready for sale.  We had a wonderful time, despite the circumstances, spending time with family, reminiscing, and doing some relaxing.  Eating in while we were out-of-town was surprisingly easy.  Our first day there, we took a trip to the store, and bought food for the week.  We spent a little time at the beach on a few of the days, and packed a lunch to bring with us.  Matt thought it would be fun to feed the birds, and I was able to get some fun shots of them all diving for the pieces of crust.


We ate sandwiches...Ryman ate sand.




Bird announcing that food was near.




Diving for the crumbs!



The evening after the funeral, my mom said that grandpa wanted to take us all out to dinner.  Since we would not be spending any money, we knew we had to respect his wishes and go out to eat.  We went to Sharkey’s on the Pier, a place where my grandpa had taken us when we would visit.  We would go to the pier and fish, and would sometimes get to go to Sharkey’s to eat.  Matt was excited because he always loves getting “real” seafood when we’re in Florida.  He got a boatload of shrimp, and I got shrimp and grouper.  It was amazing.  You really can’t compare anything we get here in Nashville to what they have in the Gulf.  Since grandpa was paying, and we knew this was a rare opportunity, we ended the night with the best key lime pie we had ever eaten!

When we arrived back in Nashville last Saturday, we dropped our bags, and immediately drove to Murfreesboro to see the Lake County basketball team win their State Championship game!  I was reluctant to go since we had just stepped off a plane, but I’m so glad we did!  The game was amazing, and we got to see a lot of people from Matt’s hometown.  Their coach is the first female to coach a boy’s team and win the State Championship.  This was also her first year at Lake County High School.

We had a good, but exhausting week, and we stayed on track always eating in!

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Eating In Jet Setter Style

Up until a few days ago, avoiding restaurants had been easy.  I committed to cooking every night with the help of E-Mealz, and we made lunches to bring to work every day.  Busy weekend days, when we would have normally gone out to eat, were slightly altered with meals at home.  We hadn’t encountered anything too complicated.

On Sunday, we faced our biggest challenge yet, and conquered it mightily!  (If I do say so myself.)  We flew at dinner-time, with a 13 month old, and still ate in!  Our flight to Tampa left at 6:20pm.  We knew we would be getting to the airport around 4:20pm, and not arriving to our final destination until close to 11:00pm.  Eating dinner before or after the flight was not an option.  Normally, if we were eating at the airport, we would probably get something from one of the fast food options.  Instead, I packed orange slices, strawberry feta salad, and peppercorn turkey sandwiches on sourdough.  Here’s what it looked like.

I wanted to make sure our meal would be good enough that we wouldn’t even want the options at the airport.  I stepped up the sandwich a few notches from our normal lunch meat on double-fiber bread.  We bought “real” deli meat that was sliced at the deli counter.  I also bought some “special bread.”  Wal-Mart actually has some nice specialty bread in their bakery section.  We went for the sourdough loaf.  For another special touch, I packed them in parchment paper as if my kitchen were a real deli; I like to pretend.  The other part of our dinner was an attempt to clean out the refrigerator before going out-of-town.  We had some lettuce and strawberries that needed to go, so they made the salad.  Oranges almost always make it into any packed meal I make, and I cut them into disks because it’s fun.  

We had to take turns eating because Ryman was flying in our lap.  She did awesome, though.  She slept for about 30 minutes on me, got up and ate her dinner, and then slept for 30 minutes on Matt.  

If you can, try to look beyond the adorable baby at the sun setting through the clouds. It was a beautiful sight.

The only hitch in the plan was eating the salads.  We weren’t able to eat them because I forgot forks, and the plane didn’t have any.  That didn’t matter because the sandwiches ended up being so huge, we were full after half.  We ate the other half on our ride from the airport to the house.   

One last thing…a confession.  We purchased our drinks.  In our defense, we would have violated federal law smuggling drinks through security, and probably would have been subjected to one of those full body scans.  However, we did have some money my parents gave us to retrieve my grandpa’s car from long-term parking.  When my dad gave it to us, he said he threw in a little extra “for incidentals.”  This…was an incidental.  So technically speaking, we did not spend our own money, even on our drinks.

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