Chegan While Living in Hotels

While enjoying the Benefits of Living the Hotel Lifestyle, eating healthy can be challenging.

Last year, after educating myself about nutrition and the food industry. I became a strict Vegan (I ate no animals or animal by-products, like dairy and eggs), and I was able to make the majority of my meals from scratch with no salt or oil. I lost 50 pounds in 7 months, and my passion for thoughtful eating emerged.

Jerod Leto tweets about being chegan as he's eating cake.
Actor Jared Leto is a #chegan!

This year, I am back to living in hotels full-time. The smell of bacon wakes me up, and as a Hilton Hhonors diamond member, I receive a daily complimentary breakfast buffet! I also no longer have access to a kitchen or food preparation supplies.

How do I maintain a healthy eating lifestyle while living in hotels?!? Well, I make some reasonable adjustments and call myself a CHEGAN*.

Chegan is slang for cheating Vegan. It describes someone who eats vegan nearly all the time, but deliberately slips up—probably most often in the presence of pizza or ice cream (see: Bill Clinton).

Chef Manuel makes delicious homemade salsa at the Hilton
This Hilton chef makes amazing omelets and fresh salsa

In my current hotel, the breakfast chef makes amazing omelets and delicious, fresh salsa.  He adds avocados, herbs, or spicy peppers just to change up the salsa sometimes.

I enjoy his salsa on breakfast potatoes, and a couple of times a week I happily consume his salsa on an omelet (CHEGAN!). The chef uses minimal oil and loads the omelet with my favorite veggies, including asparagus, spinach, tomatoes and onions. Yummy!

I also enjoy hot tea and some fresh fruit every morning.  I grab an orange, apple, and/or banana to have as (free) snacks throughout the day.

Omelet, salsa, fruit, and tea
Veggie omelet with a bowl of grilled onions, peppers, and homemade salsa
Plibby and Starbucks
Plibby excited about her Chai tea latte and muffin

Sometimes, instead of eating breakfast in the restaurant, I fill a to-go container with fruit (such as grapefruit and strawberries) or some oatmeal with blueberries and raspberries.

On a morning like today, I can instead choose to enjoy a free Starbucks Chai Tea Latte (with soy or coconut milk) and a muffin (CHEGAN!) from my hotel’s coffee place.

For lunch and dinner, I usually have salads and other healthy meals in my hotel room.  Most hotels provide a complimentary small refrigerator in the room, so a weekly trip to the grocery store works well.

Whole Foods Receipt
My Whole Foods receipt: $70 for at least 7 days worth of food

My current hotel is near a Whole Foods Market. It can be expensive, but I love the convenience of their large organic hot and cold salad bars. Last night’s trip provides the following meals:

  • Hot Salad Bar: 2 meals
  • Cold Salad Bar with quinoa and hummus: 3 meals
  • Burritos with black beans and salsa: 3+ meals
  • Cereal with almond milk and raisins: 3+ meals
  • Soup: 3+ meals

Total: 14+ meals

I already have a stash of nutritional yeast and flax seed to add to my salads and burritos to help ensure I am getting the nutrients I need.  I will also probably pick up an avocado and some fruit at the farmer’s market.

For snacks, I bought chips (to enjoy with salsa or hummus), carrots, raw pumpkin seeds, and, of course, chocolate! Although I like dark chocolate, I love milk chocolate, so again… CHEGAN.

Since I receive breakfast for free, a week’s worth of food is 14 meals (7 lunches + 7 dinners). Therefore my $70 worth of groceries covers my meals for the week, plus at least 7 more meals that can carry over to next week.

Whole Foods groceries, carrots, raisins, Ezekiel cereal, tortillas, chocolate, almond milk, bean and rice chips, miso soup, salsa, black beans, salads
My Whole Foods groceries for the week

So there you have it.  While living in hotels, I eat mostly organic, mostly Vegan, and generally nutritious food.  I don’t cook or do dishes; I rarely go out to eat; and I spend less than $250 per month on food that keeps me healthy and happy.

  • P.S. Confession: CHEGAN also applies in the case of my husband killing spiders or cockroaches as deemed necessary by me.  I’m working on being more enlightened, but I’m just not there yet with certain species.

One comment

  1. You continue to amaze me, beautiful woman. The information you provide is so honest, clear, easy to understand and encouraging for people to see how eating healthy is easy and economical no matter what your living circumstances are. I am proud of you and the way you are on track with your “assignment” here on planet earth! Love xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo Mom Whitehawk

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