queenoftheskies: queenoftheskies (Queen of the Skies)
[personal profile] queenoftheskies
For a writing workshop or retreat...there are some simple and subtle changes I'd make.

Disclaimer: This is for Type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetics take insulin and can adjust their insulin dosages so they can eat things I cannot. I already have insulin, but my body can't use it, so I take meds and change my diet to make it easier for my body to process that insulin.

If I was providing a Continental breakfast, I'd include boiled eggs and regular/steel cut oatmeal. Nothing in it. I'd make available butter and/or milk to accompany it. Many Continental breakfasts do include fruit already, but too much fruit is bad for me, too. (Some fruit is okay. Also, some fruit, I have to avoid totally.)

For snacks, I'd make sure there was some fruit and some nuts and some cheese. Not all sweets and junk.

For lunches and dinners, I'd make sure there were options that included wheat/rye bread if sandwiches were provided. I'd make sure there was salad as an option instead of chips/fries.

For restaurant meals, if each individual orders and pays for their own, there is generally NO problem. I can exchange a potato for additional veggies most places.

If there's pasta of any sort, I can't eat it unless it's wheat. I'd never ask someone to make that kind of change, but it would be nice if there's at least salad included in a pasta meal. That, I can eat.

I just avoid deserts altogether. When I'm home, I provide for sugar free/no sugar added items if I want them, but when I'm out, I just avoid altogether. It doesn't bother me until people start questioning me about why I'm not having desert. :)

PLEASE NOTE: I am not suggesting that writing workshops or retreats should actually do the above. I'm just speculating about what I'd do if I was in charge of something like that...just so folks can see that it's NOT a huge deal accommodating diabetics. Most people just don't think about it, I guess.

If I'm able to prepare food and have easy access to a grocery store, I can prepare my own. Easy is the key word. Many workshops and retreats are in off season and are some distance from stores and restaurants.

I will definitely pack nuts for the upcoming writing retreat, but I can't pack anything that would spoil and I'm not going to have the ability to prepare my own food.

It's just something I think about when I travel. Not to be a pain in the ass, but because I have to.

EDITED TO ADD: I do realize that many hotels have a set catering menu for breakfasts and lunches provided for a group. In that case (and I realize organizers most likely can't do anything about this), it would be nice if the hotels didn't ban outside food from being brought into their venue.

Date: 2015-01-29 02:47 pm (UTC)
ext_959848: FeatherFlow (Default)
From: [identity profile] blairmacg.livejournal.com
That's excellent! I would LOVE for it to get some play. Would you consider unlocking it so others could see it and event organizers could be pointed to it? If not, might you permit me to post it on my blog?

It's important. Really, really important. And it is not that difficult for organizers.

Date: 2015-01-29 05:29 pm (UTC)
ext_959848: FeatherFlow (Default)
From: [identity profile] blairmacg.livejournal.com
Some years ago, I ran human resources for a hotel with convention and catering services. I quickly learned the catering department would do just about anything to avoid altering the "usual" continental breakfast. Why? Because they made good money by providing the bare minimum AND putting the their lowest-tier workers on the early morning shift. (In other words, the supervisors really didn't want to the early hours.)

HOWEVER!! Conference coordinators who stuck by their requirements got them because the reasons the catering staff put forth for not meeting them were, most often, simple bullshit. But it does sometimes take a firm hand during the negotiations.

And sometimes it takes a mere request! Because no one has thought of it before! :)

Rainforest has a full restaurant on-site. It shouldn't be excessively difficult to a half-dozen eggs the night before, and have them ready to eat in the morning. (Not that you'll eat half a dozen eggs for breakfast. There'll likely be other folk who want them, though. :)))

Date: 2015-01-29 05:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] queenoftheskies.livejournal.com
I have seen catering menus for hotels and I do realize they have set options available.

If they can't change their options, it would also be nice if they would NOT ban outside food in their venues. Some do.

Date: 2015-01-29 05:59 pm (UTC)
ext_959848: FeatherFlow (Default)
From: [identity profile] blairmacg.livejournal.com
"Set options" aren't the same as "available options," though. :) And hotels/catering services who are truly customer-oriented will welcome this sort of input because it makes them a more desirable company for their clients.

Date: 2015-01-29 06:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] queenoftheskies.livejournal.com
That's good to know. Thank you.

Date: 2015-01-29 05:51 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-01-29 05:33 pm (UTC)
ext_959848: FeatherFlow (Default)
From: [identity profile] blairmacg.livejournal.com
If you prefer, I can put up the information without pointing back to you as well. I can simply say, "This awesome writer I know said this!" :)

Date: 2015-01-29 05:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] queenoftheskies.livejournal.com
I guess the question is, would people take offense?

I don't mind unlocking it, but what do you think?

Date: 2015-01-29 06:00 pm (UTC)
ext_959848: FeatherFlow (Default)
From: [identity profile] blairmacg.livejournal.com
Some people might, but I think that's all right. The rest of the folk will appreciate the shared knowledge and understand. :)

It's totally up to you, though. I'll do what you'd like!
Edited Date: 2015-01-29 06:00 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-01-29 06:04 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] queenoftheskies.livejournal.com
Entry is now unlocked. Thank you so much for taking an interest in this.

The best travel experience I had was rooming with you at Wiscon and having so many healthy snacks available. I appreciated that SO MUCH!

Date: 2015-01-29 06:20 pm (UTC)
ext_959848: FeatherFlow (Default)
From: [identity profile] blairmacg.livejournal.com
Cool!

I loved us rooming together at Wiscon. :)

Date: 2015-02-04 05:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] queenoftheskies.livejournal.com
I loved talking stories and writing and just generally enjoying life, and the convention.

Date: 2015-01-29 05:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] queenoftheskies.livejournal.com
I am happy to unlock it, but I think there's something I'm going to add to it first, because it has affected me several places I've traveled for writing activities.

This is such a broad post. Do you think it actually has enough real info to make a difference?

Date: 2015-01-29 06:02 pm (UTC)
ext_959848: FeatherFlow (Default)
From: [identity profile] blairmacg.livejournal.com
Yep, I do. Maybe not in time to change things at Rainforest, but enough to open the conversation.

Also: I think some of the Rainforest cabins have kitchenettes? Maybe see if you have one, or if not, if someone would let you come over and boil up some eggs, put stuff in the fridge, etc.

(And oh, man, I wish I was going!!!!!)

Date: 2015-01-29 06:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] queenoftheskies.livejournal.com
I wish you were going to!!!

It sounds like the room Steph and I have doesn't have a kitchenette, but I can check with others to see if they would mind if I prepared a couple of easy items.

I'm also going to check and see if I have the option to simply purchase a breakfast (though I'm not sure the restaurant is full service for all meals since it's off season).

Date: 2015-01-29 06:32 pm (UTC)
ext_959848: FeatherFlow (Default)
From: [identity profile] blairmacg.livejournal.com
I'll come sleep on your floor! And bring all the snacks!

(Man, I wish! :)

Date: 2015-02-04 05:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] queenoftheskies.livejournal.com
Oooooh, I so wish you could!

Date: 2015-01-30 12:48 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aamcnamara.livejournal.com
You probably know this already, but I will mention it anyway--I know nothing about the place where Rainforest is held, but it's often possible to get a minifridge added to a hotel room if you ask! Even if you didn't specifically request one when booking the room. I have used this trick many times for conventions and have almost always gotten a minifridge, or if they don't have any, they're apologetic about it. So, maybe worth asking. :)

Date: 2015-02-04 05:09 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] queenoftheskies.livejournal.com
I got lucky. Someone thinks they have a fridge in their room and said we can put stuff in it. YAY!

Date: 2015-01-29 03:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] j-cheney.livejournal.com
I think those are EXCELLENT choices!

Date: 2015-01-29 05:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] queenoftheskies.livejournal.com
And simple, don't you think?

Date: 2015-01-29 06:27 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-01-29 08:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] asakiyume.livejournal.com
Even people without *any* dietary restrictions would like and value these options. I think they make tremendous good sense. I hope a lot of people see [livejournal.com profile] blairmacg's tweet of your post!
Edited Date: 2015-01-29 08:19 pm (UTC)

Date: 2015-01-29 08:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] asakiyume.livejournal.com
Wow three times to get Blair's LJ handle right. Sorry about that!

Date: 2015-02-04 05:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] queenoftheskies.livejournal.com
Sadly, people seem totally disinterested.

And, the contacts I've made in order to try to assure myself of something to eat (contacts with people in charge of events) has generally bombed.

People just don't get it.

Date: 2015-01-29 10:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] maryjdal.livejournal.com
Fine choices and I don't think it would put anyone off.

Date: 2015-02-04 05:11 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] queenoftheskies.livejournal.com
Mostly, it seems, people just think it's not their problem.

Date: 2015-01-30 12:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greatsword.livejournal.com
My wife has enough food allergies that she has little business-card sized printouts of the foods she has to avoid. No restaurant or hotel has complained when she asked what on the menu she can eat - many go out of their way to help.

You should ask about what they have that is diabetic friendly. You have a serious medical condition and are treating it appropriately. Even if they can't do much, they'll probably try to do *something*. At least they should.

Date: 2015-02-04 05:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] queenoftheskies.livejournal.com
Sadly, I was told to eat what I could that they offered and/or bring my own food.

Date: 2015-02-04 08:44 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] greatsword.livejournal.com
Do you have enough transport in the area to get to a decent supermarket? There are enough of us local that I'm sure we can make it happen if not.

Date: 2015-01-30 12:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] writerjenn.livejournal.com
I'm glad you posted this, because it raises awareness of what's possible. And specific information is helpful for people who really do want to provide options but don't know how to go about it.

Date: 2015-01-30 12:45 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] aamcnamara.livejournal.com
This is an excellent post. Thank you for making it.

It's interesting to me where our food needs overlap (oatmeal! Have some fruit and salad and veggies! Having lots of sweet baked goods is not helpful!) and where we don't (eggs are bad for me, sandwiches are nigh impossible since I can't have gluten).

Which suggests to me that a lot of places try to make things too special/nice/"treats" and in doing so, make the food inedible for many people. Plain foods pretty simply prepared with some options (like you say--oatmeal, with toppings--for you milk and butter, for me brown sugar and raisins) goes a long, long way toward making everyone feel welcome and included (and able to, y'know, eat breakfast).

Date: 2015-02-04 05:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] queenoftheskies.livejournal.com
Yes, that's a great way to put it. Plain foods. Simple foods. Easy for the body to digest and doesn't upset the balance, you know?

Lots of times, it takes only minor modifications to change a food from something inedible to something incredible.

Wow, it's been too long!

Date: 2016-03-06 08:06 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] eclectic-writer.livejournal.com
Hey Janice! I hope you might remember me, we were kind of close in the past. :) I was thinking about you lately, wondering where life was taking you. It doesn't seem like you're updating your blog here much anymore, but I hope things are well for you and your family, and that your writing is flourishing! Did you ever get anything published? I hope so, you had such wonderful ideas for stories (and "Trolls In The Hood" is still one of my favorite titles!). ;-)

***HUGS*** Hope everything is going well for you, just wanted to check in.

Re: Wow, it's been too long!

Date: 2016-03-06 03:43 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] queenoftheskies.livejournal.com
Hi! Great to hear from you.

I actually do update here fairly regularly, but since I hadn't heard from you and you hadn't posted in four years, I guess I'd unfriended you in a journal cleaning purge.

I've friended you back so you can see what's going on. If you're interested. Life is a little difficult right now. But, this too, shall pass.

Real life interferes with writing, but I still write. Am torn between submitting and self-publishing.

Have nothing published traditionally except for the one short many years ago.

Have self-published some short erotica, though. Have more to self-publish, but once, again, the real life drama has slowed me for a bit.

How are things with you?
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