Shortly after graduating high school in 2009, my best friend of 15+ years started her own theater company. I’ve never been much of a visionary, but I’ve always been kind of a worker bee…a get-it-done type of girl. You give me a task, and I’m on it! Now, I’ve always had a love for the arts, so when my friend told me what she’d set out to do, I knew I wanted to be front & center to help her bring her dream to fruition.
Around the summer of 2014, she asked me to serve as Stage Manager for her upcoming stage play. I had never stage managed before, but I quickly found out that I had a certain knack for it. If the saying goes “all the world’s a stage”, then the Stage Manager is God. Lbvs!
They are responsible for lighting & sound cues, placement of props on the set, carrying out the director’s vision, and making sure all actors are where they’re supposed to be.
Three years later, and now I’ve stage managed shows working with award winning lighting designers, and local start-up organizations.
Which brings me to say this: It is sooooo hard to eat meatless while on the move!
During the weeks leading up to opening night of a show, I will typically leave work, go straight to rehearsal, and not get home until well after 10 or 11 pm. I don’t always have the time or the energy to meal prep beforehand, and by the time I’m leaving rehearsal there’s nothing open except for fast food restaurants.
So how do I keep from giving in to a late night trip to Jack-in-the-Crack?
Here are 3 ways I’ve learned to stay Meatless while on the Move:
1) Utilize Gas Stations
QuikTrip is my absolute go-to gas station. If I’m on a road trip I refuse to stop for gas unless there’s a QuikTrip nearby, mainly because I just KNOW their bathrooms are the cleanest by far. But before I went meatless, the hot dogs alone were heaven. Now they have the nerve to launch the QT Kitchen?! Just take all my money, QuikTrip! Just take it!! Lol. But seriously, I love heading to QuikTrip after late night rehearsals because they’re always open, and they always have salads, sandwiches, wraps, and fresh fruit cups….amongst the Slurpees, ice cream, snack cakes, and other guilty pleasures. I mean, where else can you get 2/$1 bananas at 11:30 pm with no grocery store in sight? So, if you’re trying to remain meatless, it’s late at night, you’re in a bind, and you have enough self-control to bypass the donut section, by all means, please find a QuikTrip.
2) Portion Out Your Lunch
I’m very blessed to receive free lunches through my employer. The head cook knows me so well, he’s begun to bring me extra vegetables rather than throw them out. If he makes lasagna, he always has a small veggie version available for me and I love him so much for it. On rehearsal days, I’ll order a soup & a salad, but if I know I won’t have time to stop for food later, I’ll eat my soup & a piece of fruit, and save my salad for later. The same strategy can work for you though, even if you don’t get your lunch free from work, just read on to #3
3) Don’t Be A Stranger to Delivery
If you happen to have your lunch delivered to you at work, order a large enough portion that you can split it in half for later. That way when you’re leaving work and riding past your fave fast food joint, you won’t mindlessly pull into the drive through because you know you already have a meal option that you enjoyed from earlier.
I will also order my favorite meatless foods to be delivered to me at the theater during rehearsal. My absolute faves for nights like those is Jimmy John’s and Snarf’s. JJ’s has a really tasty vegetarian sandwich (#6 I believe), and they really are freaky fast! But my absolute faves from Snarf’s are the Eggplant Parmesan and Mushroom Provolone sandwiches. Both are meat free and absolutely delicious! For portion control, I’ll request that they cut my sandwich in four parts, rather than two. Doing so forces me to chew my food more, which helps me to feel fuller faster.
Of course, nothing beats a good ‘ole meal prep, but let’s be real..life happens and we don’t always have the will to do it. These 3 strategies have been my lifesavers, especially during long hours of rehearsals, and especially during tech week.
Give these 3 strategies a try during your busy days, and even on your not-so-busy ones. And if you happen to give in and go for a QT hot dog, don’t beat yourself up about it…just grab a salad on your way to the register 😉
‘Til next time guys, stay (mostly) meatless.