5 day business trip to Las Vegas


Sweet Sue

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I am in day 11 of my first Whole30, feeling good, confident that I can see this through! BUT, I have a big concern. On days 19 through 23 I will be in Las Vegas on business, staying on the strip, eating out three meals a day. The closer it gets, the more stressed I get. I have worked hard and don't want to blow it! Any advice/ words of wisdom?

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I've never been to Vegas, but I'm guessing there are LOTS of dining options.

 

Some thoughts:

- places with gluten-free menus/offerings, or that cook to order are your best bet
- research menus online ahead of time, select 2-3 possible entrees, and call ahead to check W30 compliance or that they can be easily tweaked to do so
- here's a Whole30 article on this topic: http://whole9life.com/2012/11/dining-out-whole30/
- here's the Whole30 dining out guide: http://whole9life.com/book/ISWF-Dining-Guide.pdf

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legal at Chipotle: carnitas salad (no dressing) with mild salsa and guac. I haven't researched whether the spicier salsas are legal--they may be, but of course, the corn salsa is out. Carnitas are the only meat prepared without soy oil or other banned ingredients. 

 

legal at Five Guys: hamburger with any of the regular vegetables either grilled or raw. They use a flat top grill and no oil so no worries that soy oil sneaking in.  Don't eat the bun of course, and ketchup and mustard are likely both illegal but I haven't researched. 

 

I did all this research about a year ago, so I'm presuming nothing has changed, but to be really sure, you'll want to look into it yourself. I've found companies are pretty good about writing back if you can't find specific enough info on their website. 

 

There are at least two things on the Panera hidden menu that are *probably* legal--one is the power breakfast that has steak and eggs and the other is the steak wraps. However, I can't vouch for those for sure so you really would want to do your homework with those first. 

 

Hope that helps!

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legal at Chipotle: carnitas salad (no dressing) with mild salsa and guac. I haven't researched whether the spicier salsas are legal--they may be, but of course, the corn salsa is out. Carnitas are the only meat prepared without soy oil or other banned ingredients. 

 

legal at Five Guys: hamburger with any of the regular vegetables either grilled or raw. They use a flat top grill and no oil so no worries that soy oil sneaking in.  Don't eat the bun of course, and ketchup and mustard are likely both illegal but I haven't researched. 

 

I did all this research about a year ago, so I'm presuming nothing has changed, but to be really sure, you'll want to look into it yourself. I've found companies are pretty good about writing back if you can't find specific enough info on their website. 

 

There are at least two things on the Panera hidden menu that are *probably* legal--one is the power breakfast that has steak and eggs and the other is the steak wraps. However, I can't vouch for those for sure so you really would want to do your homework with those first. 

 

Hope that helps!

Unfortunately, Panera changed their hidden menu and nothing is compliant, as is, for a Whole30. 

 

For the items you mentioned, the power breakfast egg bowl with steak has wheat starch and the steak lettuce wraps would only work if you got them without the pesto (contains dairy).

 

Here is the nutrition calculator, so you can see for yourself: http://paneranutrition.com/

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And, Chipotle's carnitas now have soy or may have another non-compliant oil.  This varies by region and by store, so call ahead.

 

I'd ask very carefully at Five Guys to ensure no peanut oil contamination.

 

Sweet Sue, read the links Chris gave, plan, call, and ask tons of questions.  It feels good to master the whole eating out thing!

 

Also, beware omelets as they may have pancake batter in them.

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Good point about the carnitas, Nico. They're legal at our store, but that sure doesn't mean everywhere. Re: what you said about the hidden menu, Chris--those turkeys! Wheat starch? Really? I already knew to avoid the pesto, but glad you mentioned it. Good luck, Sweet Sue!

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Good point about the carnitas, Nico. They're legal at our store, but that sure doesn't mean everywhere. Re: what you said about the hidden menu, Chris--those turkeys! Wheat starch? Really? I already knew to avoid the pesto, but glad you mentioned it. Good luck, Sweet Sue!

 

They were legal all over when I started last February, but things changed sometime last year.  Lots of people think they are still clean, but the last time I read the website, it listed soy for all meats with a goal of transitioning to a few new oils.  One will be rice bran.  Non-GMO is awesome, but I miss that salad.  I had my own recreation at home today for lunch.

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Thanks for the advice! I may try to take some food (nut, fruits) with me. I have never tried to go to a grocery store in Vegas; I guess that could be an option....just not sure I can manage it. I will try to research some restaurants before I go.

 

Tuna packets and baby food can also help in a pinch.  (My husband travels frequently and packs breakfasts.)  Homemade jerky may also help.  I have a dehydrator but saw a friend make it in her oven recently.

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So, that link wasn't entirely accurate as of last summer.  Even though a national nutrition guide existed, there was a transition to the non-GMO oils.  During the transition, some places had soy and some had rice bran oil.

 

As of an email I got today:

 

"The carnitas no longer are prepared with any soybean oil. There is a small amount of sunflower oil used in the dry grind for the spice blend we use.


As for the rice bran oil, we will be using this in place of the soybean oil in most of our recipes that previously used soybean oil. I am sorry if this comes as bad news. The guacamole is not prepared with any oil, nor is the lettuce or any of our salsas. A carnitas salad with guacamole, salsa, and cheese may be a good bet for you."

 

Thanks James in Customer Service!

 

I double-checked and he said carnitas should be safe at all locations.

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Will you have a rental car? It might even be worth it to rent one for the day. There's a great whole foods in Las Vegas, trader joes too!! Last time I was there I was visiting a friend who was vegan...I know...It sucked!  Most hotels have fridges and microwaves in the room. You can also make hot water in a coffee pot. I've been crazy enough to bring a toaster oven with me on road trips. I assume you are flying. 

 

There are a lot of really nice restaurants that would be able to accomdate you with simple grilled meat and veg, however it will be pricey! Almost every casino has a 5 star place that will cater to what ever you need. but it comes with a price. Vegas is $$$$$$$$$$$$!!!  There will be ZERO options at the convention center. It's nasty!! There are buffets all over the strip that have salad bars, is a good option too. 

 

If it is at all possible I highly suggest hitting up the WF and TJ's when you get to town and eat your meals in your hotel room. It will be a lot cheaper and more healthy as well. Ive done a ton of trips to vegas for conventions and bike races. I hate gambling and drinking and the smell of smoke which is everywhere. I always hit up the WF and TJs and eat in my room or pack food to go with me.  If that's not your scene you will be much happier this way. 

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Owlette, I will not have a rental car, but good to know that they have a good Whole Foods and Trader Joes. I will be working at Market Center and I know the food there is not stellar. Breakfast and lunch are probably my biggest concerns, as we tend to go to nicer restaurants in the evening where I can get meat/fish, salad, and veggies. My husband and I really enjoy nice restaurants, good wine, cocktails before dinner......so this may be more of a mental challenge for me than physical! Fortunately he is on the program as well. We hate the smoking too, but do enjoy some gambling!

We are flying. Across country. Last January it took us 18 hours to get there....bad weather....delayed and canceled flights.....soooo, I will be packing some snacks for the plane!

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If you're at world market then you are within a long walk of east downtown (2 miles), so these might help.

Rachel's kitchen is nearby and will deliver if you're ordering $20 worth, so find a buddy to order lunch with and they'll bike it out to you. They are a "healthy" place and have no problem talking about ingredients. The Bronze in the LGBTQ center should have options, they also have vegan and raw options. At Eat, they are all about free range and local, and should be able to accommodate, although their menu is tiny. (Eat will be on Anthony bourdain's next Vegas special). Container park has a raw vegan place where you can get your veggies (zoodles with a compliant cashew Alfredo sauce!) and a Mexican place where you can get your meat. These are all places that advertises vegan, raw, GF , so I feel like they have no problem having those conversations about ingredients.

The nearest TJs is on Sahara and Decatur 5 miles away - it might be worth it to splurge on a taxi on your way home to stock up on food!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Unfortunately, Panera changed their hidden menu and nothing is compliant, as is, for a Whole30. 

 

For the items you mentioned, the power breakfast egg bowl with steak has wheat starch and the steak lettuce wraps would only work if you got them without the pesto (contains dairy).

 

Here is the nutrition calculator, so you can see for yourself: http://paneranutrition.com/

 

What about the Power Mediterranean Roasted Turkey on the hidden menu?  The turkey has canola oil on it, but isn't that allowed when dining out?

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What about the Power Mediterranean Roasted Turkey on the hidden menu?  The turkey has canola oil on it, but isn't that allowed when dining out?

If you had the pepperoncini with this entree, that would make it non-compliant, as those contain sodium bifsulfite. Consuming sulfites on a Whole30 unfortunately does call for a restart.

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Yes, that would work. That entree is a new addition since my post.

 

Phew!  Good to know.  Thank you.  I am on day 6 of my Whole 30 and had this salad on day 1!  We had a team meeting at work that ran through lunch so the boss bought us Panera.  I scoured the menu trying to find something that would work.  

 

That salad is tasty, but it's not very filling at all.  

 

Sweet Sue - I hope this tip my help you.  Otherwise good luck on your trip to Sin City.  It will be a challenge, but you can do it.  

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Phew!  Good to know.  Thank you.  I am on day 6 of my Whole 30 and had this salad on day 1!  We had a team meeting at work that ran through lunch so the boss bought us Panera.  I scoured the menu trying to find something that would work.  

 

That salad is tasty, but it's not very filling at all.  

 

Sweet Sue - I hope this tip my help you.  Otherwise good luck on your trip to Sin City.  It will be a challenge, but you can do it.  

Whoops, actually, I need to correct my last statement. Did you have the pepperoncini in that entree? Those contain sodium bisulfite which is a big no no on a Whole30 and would require a restart.

 

My apologies - I missed it on first glance.

 

Since you had it on your day 1, if you extend your W30 1 day, that would be the equivalent of a restart.

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