Let me lay this out up front: If you are keeping Kosher and you are sticking to a diet program (WeightWatchers, for example) and you are on the road away from home, you may as well eat your carry-on bag and snack on luggage tags.
I might be exaggerating (it’s been known to happen), but not by much.
For the last year, my job has included travel. Not long distances nor for weeks on end, mind you. But far enough and long enough that I can’t come home each night. Which means I have to work out the whole “food on the road” thing.
My wife and I have been following WeightWatchers for the last 4 years. It’s been very successful for us, mostly because my wife is a genius both in the kitchen and out, and can calculate all those “points” things for both herself and me on the fly. Then we started keeping Kosher a year ago, and that turned up the difficulty a little. Everything was still reasonably do-able though.
Then I got laid off from my previous job, and landed a consulting position for a company 500 miles away. The money was too good to pass up, and they were willing to let me telecommute SOME of the time. For one week a month, however, I travel to the home office, stay in their company-owned housing, and get in the requisite “face time”.
I’m not complaining. Given this economy I know I’ve got a sweet deal. But the food situation is a real thorn in my side.
Where I happen to be, there are (apparently NO Jews). How do I know this? I called the local Chabad (LINK) to ask what time their morning services started. They never called back. You know it has to be sparse if the CHABAD – of whom it is said (only half-jokingly) that we know there isn’t life on Mars because if there were, they (the Chabad) would already have presence there. And when I asked about kosher food, I was told they go out once a week, driving an hour one way, to pick up kosher food and bring it back. They would pick me up some stuff if I gave them a list.
That’s ok. The local supermarket carries kosher-labeled products. That, plus some paper plates, plasticware, and foil pans and I’m all set.
Except for the fact that I don’t cook very well (read: the only people who eat my cooking are me and… well, it’s pretty much just me).
Then there’s the business meetings. Regardless of how open I am about at work about my Judaism, with the absolute absence of kosher restaurants I have limited options when it comes to face to face discussions over food.
I find myself trying to do my best, but eating poorly the entire week. I arrive home with either my scale or my conscience (or both!) shining a light on my faux pas.
So this is an open-ended blog post. If there are any road warriors out there with kosher clues, I’m all ears and empty stomach.