Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Conference Conundrums

So, I'm getting ready to attend my first conference since I was diagnosed with Diabetes.  I'm an organizer for this one, so I have a lot of duties to attend to throughout.  As I've been planning, I've been thinking about when/what I'm going to eat during our long 14 hour days.

The good news is, there are scheduled meal breaks!  You can't change the time on a meal that the hotel is providing.  So, meal times are set.  So is the schedule for the entire conference.  I've just spent some time going over when we are scheduled to eat.  It looks like the biggest gaps are 5 hours and the shortest gap is 2.5.  Given I need to eat every 3-5 hours, then this should work out well for me.

Here are a couple potential challenges that I'm looking at what I'm going to do to prevent/cope with them.

Challenge #1 - Activity
I will likely be moving around the conference venue a lot.  I'm in charge of making sure the Emcee has everything she needs, plus making sure signage is visible and everything looks good for our guests.  This means a lot of walking and possibly a little running.  I have no idea how much of this I'll do, but it could be quite a bit.

Concern - The last thing I want is to have a low.  Those 5 hour breaks could be a bit too long.  I may need an extra carb or two to keep that from happening.

Solution - Eat!  I plan to eat bigger meals (3 carb servings) before the longer breaks.  That way I have plenty of fuel.  I'll also eat at every opportunity there is to eat.  Two meals and one snack are provided for us each day.  So, I will definitely eat at all of them.  I've budgeted out 9 carb servings (I'm allowed 11) for the day.  Then there's room for 1 or 2 snacks if I get hungry during one of those long breaks.  Now, I can just count carbs per meal and know I'm on track.

Challenge #2 - Food Options
As an organizer, I have access to the person who ordered the food.  I was most concerned about the one snack we get in the day.

Concern - I can't live on bagels and muffins (which is usually what conference snacks are).

Solution - I asked about the snacks. Thankfully, we have a large Gluten Free and Vegan contingent, so the snacks are built around them. Nuts, popcorn, fruit, cheese and veggies will be available.  Yay!!  I'm SO glad I asked.  Now I know that it won't be a problem to get a carb and non-carb at snack time.

So, I just need to make sure I bring a carb snack to prevent lows. What?!  Usually I have to bring veggies and protein for trips.  For once, I'm actually going to need carb.  Easy!  Some diabetic snack bars should do just the trick.  If I get hungry 2.5 hours in, I can eat.

I thought this was going to be a bigger deal than it is.  It would have been, had I waited until I got there.  I find that planning in advance when travelling and/or doing long days, works very well.  Ok. Now that I've figured out the food, I can go back to conference planning activities.

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