Weekly traveler.... What and where to eat?

Hello all, this is my first post on this site. I was recently diagnosed T1D this past Christmas Eve after months of losing weight and uncontrollable thirst. My wife was extremely concerned so she advised me to go in there for a check up. Sure enough, I won the jackpot :) The way how I looked at it was that it could have been worse. This is something I can control and manage. I will be alright. I have been reading a lot of useful blogs and I am proud to be a part of this strong family.

I have been on MDI since day one but I recently got on Dexcom (fantastic device BTW). Currently I am testing out Omnipod and Tslim.

Got a question for you. I am a frequent traveler for work. When I'm at home I am fortunate to have a wife that cares about what I eat. Needless to say I always eat out when I'm out on the road. I am getting to a frustrating point that I can never find some healthier/low carb food to eat in restaurants and etc.

For those of you that are familiar with my situation, what do you recommend?

I don't travel that much but, if I eat out and want to eat healthy, I pretty much aim at salads/ grilled fish/ chicken/ beef and that's about it. Occasionally there are appetizers that can squeeze in but, if I toss in an app and chicken and a salad, I might as well eat a bacon cheeseburger...

I find eating out eating low-carb relatively easy. The other day at a restaurant I had a patty melt burger with melted cheese and red onions without the bun. I swapped out the fries for a dish of grilled vegetables. It also came with a green salad. It was easy to dose for and my post meal BGs were stable. This was an All American Food kind of place.

I can order low carb meals in most restaurants. When I eat Mexican food, I limit the tortillas (1 six inch corn tortilla) and beans (1/2 cup max) but eat all the meat, cheese, guacamole, and sour cream, and salad. I like huevos rancheros but don't eat all of the tortilla.

I don't eat pizza, bread, potatoes, noodles or rice. I eat a low carb, high fat diet. Eggs are on my eating plan. I like scrambled eggs with bacon or sausage. That's a pretty easy dish to find eating out. You can add avocados, tomatoes, and onions to most egg dishes.

You can find fish at many restaurants. Fish is very easy on post meal BGs. Most salads are very kind to BGs. You can beef up a salad with steak, chicken, or pork. I like to eat hard boiled eggs with salads. Just stay away from the bread and salads can be quite satisfying.

I like to order steak or pork dishes with about a 6 ounce serving of meat. Eat it with grilled vegetables. Broccoli, bell peppers, and cauliflower are better than carrots.

If you just avoid the white stuff, eating out is not so hard for people with diabetes. Oh, yeah, skip the dessert and go for a walk!

It's worth noting that restaurant food can hide a surprisingly high amount of carb in unexpected places, like salad dressings, marinades for meat, etc. This isn't just sugar, also starch used to thicken sauces, for example. Less than a plate full of pasta of course, but easily much more than single-digit carbs.

i agree with terrie and acid rock. i dont travel much for work but eat out quite a bit. i love a massive salad in the warmer months and fish and meat are great options that wont kil your bg. i also find that a glass of wine(or 3) keeps my bg lower-seems the liver is a male organ and can only do one thing at a time. ;)

and also true what niccolo says, sauces can ruin everything.

I travel a lot and can eat almost anywhere. Sure there are low carb friendly places like Cracker Barrel, but I've also found most restaurants are very accommodating. I consider a menu a license to kill. I'll choose an entree and then look through it to see what I want to ask to be substituted. I've even been successful getting hibachi places to replace rice with grilled veggies and italian places to serve me my marinara over veggies at no extra cost. You just have to ask.

ps. And as other have noted restaurants are legendary for adding sugar. I always get blue cheese dressing, generally order spicy dishes (sugar isn't in these) and often will ask for sauces on the side.

pps. I also carry emergency rations like nuts and jerky.

I usually stick to salads with some protein, or a big piece of grilled meat/poultry/fish with veggies on the side. Sauces are killer, so try to stay away from heavy sauces and dressings. And some meals are just going to be high carb and there's nothing you can do about it, so enjoy them!

Hi Terry, thank you so much for your feedback. Very helpful. I have always been a red meat eater. Since I've been diagnosed, I have been trying my best to cut down on red meat. I think I will stick with salads and fish when eating out. Thank you!

Thank you acidrock23!

Thank you!

Many thanks to all of your replies. I travel to San Diego, Arizona, and Las Vegas. Any good low carb food or restaurants you'd recommend?

I often order some kind of sandwich (burger or chicken, for instance) and eat little or none of the bread. Most restaurants will have some kind of substitution for fries (small salad, veggies, fruit). I find I can't eat anything breaded and fried and successfully bolus. I like soup, but often it's hard to estimate carbs.

Many restaurants can provide carb information on line.I carry a carb count book so I know nutritional information before I eat. Nancy

Chipotle is pretty easy to judge the carbs for and its semi healthy.

For healthier low carb meals in restaurants I go for the meat plus veggies/salads usually substituting when necessary and I usually only eat about half of what I'm given if it's a large portion restaurant. For things like sauces you have to guess since most places have no idea of the carb content, or ask to have them on the side and have a tiny bit, or just skip them and ask for mayo/mustard etc.

The Chipotle calculator is fantastic, though obviously the portions can vary a fair bit, I'm guessing I usually get more than a textbook serving of most of the ingredients. The calculator also makes clear just how many carbs, and calories, a loaded burrito or even a burrito bowl entails; the salad is, or at least can be, lots lower, of course.


I just forgo the tortillas and get a bowl, with only a small amount of rice and lots of beans.

Pretty much exactly 45 carbs every time and filling.

That's a handy tool to use. I spec'ed out a burrito bowl with 4 ounces of steak, 4 ounces black beans, fajita veggies, sour cream, guacamole, cheese and tomato salsa and it came to 23 net carbs, a little over my carb budget, but a reasonable meal out.

For this meal I would dose 3.3 units immediately to cover the carbs and then 4.2 units extended over 3.5 hours for the fat and protein. Not a bad meal for 7.5 units total insulin.

I think I'll visit a Chipotle this week.

Interesting. Fat doesn't convert into carbs, it just delays the digestion of whatever carbs you consume with it, right? And protein both delays the digestion of carbs a little and, more importantly, can turn into carbs if consumed with minimal other carbs. At what carb amounts do you stop giving extended boluses for protein?

I'm a big Chipotle fan. Although I forgo the tortillas, I like the salsas, and those can add a lot of carbs.

I only eat about 30 carbs per day, so this meal is a little on the high carb side but I'm confident that my extended bolus would work well. I don't ever eat so many carbs that I would not use an extended protein/fat bolus.

I've read conflicting info of fat's effect on insulin dosing. My experience supports counting 10% of fat grams as carb equivalent. I also count 50% of protein grams as equivalent carbs and that works for me.

For dessert I'll sometimes pour 4 ounces of heavy cream over 100 grams of raspberries. This is 4.6 grams of net carbs, 44.1 grams of fat and only 2.4 grams of protein. My insulin dose for this dessert relies heavily on the fat portion and works out consistently well.