Both were business trips with plenty of fun & play too 🙂 the last one to Orlando, FL and this one to Raleigh, NC.
I mentioned in my last low carb road trip post that I prefer to eat healthy and stay low carb when I’m traveling, because that’s when I MOST want to look and feel my best. 😉
I’m an international speaker, professional blogger and business/marketing consultant. I’ve been in business just over 20 years, and work from home – or wherever I happen to be traveling, whether it be for work or fun. 🙂
I decided to do a road trip for this second conference too, because I really LOVE a good road trip. Plus it meant I could stop in the Smoky Mountains for some fun hiking detours on the way there and back!
Here’s a fun photo tour of my entire trip to Raleigh, NC and back…
My hope is that these photo tours of my daily life at home and my trips & travels inspire you with ideas for living a healthy, active low carb lifestyle!
Preparing for this full day of driving plus a hotel stay, not knowing when I’d be able to stop or what easy breakfast & snack options there would be at the hotel or event venue, we baked two kinds of healthy low carb cookies for the trip:
I also took a coffee pot, plus a cooler – packing things like: cheese, cream cheese, peanut butter, fresh strawberries, water, nuts, coffee creamer, etc.
I had my coffee & breakfast on the road, enjoying one of the Snickerdoodle Pecan Bars we made – plus raw almonds:
We decided to get out and take a break in the Smoky Mountains, which was the perfect spot to get off the road between middle Tennessee and Raleigh, NC. 🙂
It was a gorgeous day for a drive! 🙂
Our next stop was a cool little spot called Meigs Creek Trail where we got out and stretched our legs for a bit with some rock climbing & exploring…
This is a popular stop on this drive through Smoky Mountains, and such a fun place to play for a bit! 🙂
If you’re wondering about my use of the words “we” and “our”… Aaron went on this trip with me. 🙂 We originally met through a local hiking group last November, but just started dating seriously in April.
He’s also a business owner, so we headed to the conference together.
He’s also a hiker and a serious “nature lover” like me too, so we made plenty of fun stops along the way, as you can see. 😉
After having an early breakfast on the road, and working up an appetite playing at the river, we stopped at the McDonald’s in Gatlinburg for a fast lunch of sausage & eggs – and just eggs for Aaron, because he doesn’t eat red meat. 😉
We were actually stopping for a fresh coffee, but realized we were hungry – so we just grabbed a bite to eat there real quick & got back on the road.
I brought along my Coffee-Mate sugar free hazelnut powdered creamer (as usual).
The powdered has less carbs than the liquid, and takes less in your coffee too – it’s so much creamier than the liquid! Plus it travels well. 🙂
While we were in the Smokies, we decided to find a quiet spot to get off the road and take a rest. We pulled off in a beautiful area, threw down a blanket, and then…
LOL bears everywhere! 😯 Eek! haha
So much for a nap. 😛 😉
We continued on, caught a quick rest later in the trip, and then grabbed a fresh salad from Wendy’s for dinner when we pulled off to fuel up.
I got the Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad at Wendy’s, but asked for plain grilled chicken instead. It was super fresh and totally hit the spot!
We got into Raleigh late, checked in & crashed.
The conference began bright & early the next morning, so we made some coffee and enjoyed the cookies we brought for breakfast:
This was me on the first of the 2-day conference, all dressed up in my favorite black & white retro number. 🙂
I got this dress on Amazon, and it’s a GREAT dress – but unfortunately they’re no longer available. I’m glad I snagged one while they had them, because it’s super comfortable and seriously cute!
You’ll notice my Fitbit is dressed up too. 🙂 That’s a replacement band I got on Amazon super cheap: http://amzn.to/2rs61fw I love it!
It was a full day of work and socializing with old friends that also came in from around the world, so we had lunch right in the hotel restaurant.
We both had the caesar salad with grilled salmon (“no croutons, please”):
I decided to have dinner in my room that night, for some quiet time to unwind after a long trip and a full day.
My “low carb room service” was a delicious (mouth watering!) bacon cheeseburger with green beans and cucumber salad (a simple mix of cucumbers, olives & tomatoes in a vinaigrette).
They were kind enough to leave the bun off as requested, and put the condiments on the side:
Aaron also eats healthy and mostly vegetarian, but he does eat eggs and seafood and some chicken (now). He had the same thing I had, with smothered grilled chicken instead. We’re very food compatible. 😉
After the event social, complete with DJ and lots of fun dancing 🙂 and a couple of Michelob Ultra (low carb) beers… I topped off the night with a yummy treat made in my room with the foods I brought with me:
I love cream cheese & peanut butter together. It tastes like peanut butter pie. 🙂 Add fresh strawberries, and it’s more like “heaven in your mouth!”
I had breakfast in my room again the next morning, and ate the Adapt Meal Cookies and fresh strawberries – with plenty of coffee and plenty of water. 🙂
On day two I wore a pretty pink dress, which I also ordered on Amazon. Or wait, I think I got this one (AND the shoes) on 6pm.com – one of my favorite sites to shop online. 🙂
Now you see why I stayed on track: to fit into my dresses! 🙂 haha
Aaron and I both enjoyed the conference, made some good contacts and learned some interesting things, and of course I had a really great time catching up with all of my friends there.
The only thing that feels better than a great dress… is being on the arm of a great man. 😉
I enjoyed my low carb dinner the night before SO much, that I got it again for lunch in the hotel restaurant.
And then had it AGAIN for dinner, as room service – this time with steamed broccoli instead of green beans. 🙂 You might call me “boring” but I like what I like!
With the 2-day conference over, and lots of happy goodbyes with friends I hadn’t seen in awhile, we got back on the road the next morning to head home.
Our first stop: IHOP! 🙂
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You may wonder WHY IN THE WORLD someone that eats low carb would stop at an iHop?! I’ll tell you why: because they have the freshest eggs, avocado & berries of any restaurant I know! 🙂
I ordered 3 fried eggs (over medium) topped with cheddar plus bacon, avocado and fresh strawberry slices. I just ordered “a la carte” which was no problem.
TIP: Always ordered fried eggs when eating out – no omelets or scrambles! They tend to add things to those like milk or pancake batter or other high carb ingredients to make them fluffy.
I enjoyed my strawberries with real whipped butter as dessert. 🙂
Our next stop was the busy little Well Bred Bakery in Ashville, NC near the Biltmore.
We originally just stopped for a fresh coffee…
… but we got inside and the overwhelmingly delicious smell and display of beautiful foods won us over! 🙂 Fortunately they had gluten free options too (which were low carb), including crustless quiche and broccoli salad:
I picked the dried cranberries (high carb) out of my broccoli salad (a bit sadly, lol) but the pecans were just raw pecans – not candied – and the dressing was just mayo, so it was otherwise PERFECT.
It started raining on us in Asheville, and all the way into the Smoky Mountains, and we were discussing whether we still wanted to stop for a hike on the way home – or not…
A wet, drizzy, muddy hike won over. 🙂
We detoured a bit to the Trillium Gap Trail in the Smoky Mountains to hike up and see Grotto Falls.
It was great exercise, and a much needed break to stretch our legs on the trip. Plus a BEAUTIFUL hike!
I managed to reach my 10,000 Steps Fitbit Goal on the hike too. 🙂
Grotto Falls was beautiful, even if a little bit wet of a hike to see it, and perked us both up after HOURS on the road. 🙂
I climbed up on this rock to snag you a quick video of Grotto Falls, because photos just were NOT doing it justice!
Grotto Falls in the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee:
We worked up a great appetite on our hike, and both wanted to sit down for a nice meal after that, so we stopped at The Peddlar Steakhouse in Gatlinburg for dinner.
My meal came with their amazing salad bar – which was HUGE! – but I wasn’t really in the mood for salad, so I just made a plate of yummy low carb foods off the bar (without any lettuce). 🙂
I ordered grilled shrimp and green beans as my main entree:
It was a great trip, full of beautiful low carb foods and plenty of exercise. And of course fun with friends, and productive for work & business. 🙂
I hope you enjoyed this fun photo tour of my trip… and it gave you some ideas & inspiration for your own trips & even everyday low carb meals.
How are things going with you?
I would love to hear how you’re doing, and how things are going on your end. Are you staying on track as we head into the FUN summer months??
p.s. When I got home from Raleigh, I found a fun delivery from the Smart Baking Company. Perfect timing for my birthday week 🙂
…because I LOVE their CAKE – it’s zero net carbs!!
This is my blog post where I shared ALL the details about each flavor, and WHY coconut is my favorite – when I’m not even a really big coconut fan.
The coconut and cinnamon cakes are both FABULOUS!!! The coconut being my absolute favorite of all three flavors.;)
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