Oh look, more lembas bread.
August 28, 2012 11:18 AM   Subscribe

Going to DragonCon. Help me feed myself with minimal fuss. Snowcones inside.

I'm doing my best to stick to a low-carb diet, one that isn't too dairy dependent, and I have a hard enough time finding quick eats in the best of circumstances. Last year's DragonCon saw me eating rubbery "chikn" filets and protein bars. Well, I've become too sensitive to the sugar alcohols to eat more than 1/3 of any protein bar that's low carb enough to be worth my while. I also don't want to get too much into the trap of paying $15 for a salad with barely two ounces of protein on it. I will have access to a fridge in my hotel room. Suggestions sought for foods that are low-carb, taste okay cold, somewhat portable and don't require plates, utensils, etc . . .
posted by Kitty Stardust to Food & Drink (21 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
posted by effigy at 11:20 AM on August 28, 2012

I always keep some sort of nut mix in my backpack when I'm eating low-carb and get hungry at school. Eat a few ounces and chug a bottle of water and you're good for a few hours.
posted by TungstenChef at 11:23 AM on August 28, 2012

Yeah, you could drop by Trader Joe's Atlanta and stock up on nuts, snack veggies, drinks, and prepared foods like wraps that are delicious and not crazy expensive. It's just a couple miles north from DCon.

931 Monroe Dr
Atlanta, GA 30308
posted by Mercaptan at 11:26 AM on August 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

I'd get on a bus or cab on Peachtree and head up to the Publix. I believe there's one on Spring Street.

Load up on lunch meat, a rotisserie chicken and some salad stuff.

Munch away!

Publix at Piedmont
(Store #00776)
595 Piedmont Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30308-2478

The Plaza Midtown
(Store #01061)
950 W Peachtree St NW
Atlanta, GA 30309-3846

Publix In Atlantic Station
(Store #01010)
1380 Atlantic Dr NW Ste 14135
Atlanta, GA 30363-1144
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 11:27 AM on August 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

Do you eat meat? Salami is good - especially if you get a whole one (small, of course) and just slice off what you want as you need. Stick the slices in a baggie and they'll be fine for much of the day. Or just take the whole thing with you and slice off it as you need, assuming you're able to bring a pocket knife.

Seconding nuts. And if "not too dairy dependent" can include some cheese, then cheese sticks, those little baby belles wrapped in wax, or a good, aged Gouda (cut up) all last fine out of refrigeration for hours.
posted by rtha at 11:27 AM on August 28, 2012

Midtown resident here. Finding food at the con will indeed likely be expensive, carby, and a bit icky. The Trader Joe's idea is a good one as well as the Publix. The Trader Joe's has a good selection of nut mixes and also usually has salamis in the cheese section (at the back right corner of the store behind the wine. Not like I buy a lot of cheese or anything. Ahem).

There is also a Whole Foods about 2 miles from con on Ponce De Leon Ave if you have a car and like WF.

When do arrive at Con and will you have a car?
posted by pointystick at 11:32 AM on August 28, 2012

I'll be coming in early Friday (probably around noon) and we will have a car. Thanks for all the great suggestions so far! Babybels are a great idea, too.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 11:35 AM on August 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

What about protein powder? Not the tastiest perhaps, but definitely convenient.
posted by beepbeepboopboop at 11:41 AM on August 28, 2012

I eat nuts, mini-cheeses, most lunch meats (read the labels), lots of chicken, and if I need something sweet, most Tj's little frozen desserts (macarons, lemon squares, and the mini-cones) are around 9 carbs each which works for me.
posted by Ideefixe at 11:43 AM on August 28, 2012

Just throwing this out there, but when I was low-carbing it at Dragoncon a few years ago, I had good luck in the food court with the Thai place's veggie soup (it's across from the Dairy Queen).

Otherwise, I'd suggest pistachios, string cheese if you can stomach it, baggies of celery/veggies with small tubs of hummus, and deli meats.
posted by zoetrope at 11:56 AM on August 28, 2012

Nuts, peanut or almond butter and celery sticks. Trader Joe's has awesome prepared salads and convenient little individually-wrapped packs of carrots and celery that already have little cups of dip (carrots have ranch, I think, and celery has peanut butter). You can also get individual packets of protein powder and mix 'em up in a water bottle.
posted by bedhead at 12:01 PM on August 28, 2012

I hope people aren't getting tired of me posting this, but ...

posted by Bruce H. at 12:35 PM on August 28, 2012

Pemmican is hard to get and awkward to transport. This is why I haven't tried it. Is there a way to get it that doesn't involving ordering like 20 pounds of it all at once from that one website?

I use sandwich meats as a quick food at home, especially grass fed beef. If you can bring a cooler with you in the car to dragoncon, you could easily take some with you. Other relatively low carb foods are things like cucumbers and broccoli. If you have access to it, Bacon Jerky is delicious but pretty expensive, and doesn't need to be refrigerated or anything. Other kinds of jerky can be ok, but most of them have some amount of carbs, and I don't know how strict you're trying to be. If your hotel room room has a coffee maker Bulletproof coffee can be a quick way to start the day without breakfast but still feel fine.

Also in regards to dairy, if you're avoiding it for lactose reasons you could try eating aged cheeses. They're more expensive but if sufficiently aged they have no or almost no lactose.

I'm also a strong proponent of having cheat times on diets, so it could just be simpler to skip dieting for the duration of Dragoncon.
posted by drethelin at 12:44 PM on August 28, 2012

I usually get a big breakfast at the Corner Bakery across from the Hyatt each morning of con, and that keeps me going until 4 PM or so. I know they do good-sized portions of eggs and breakfast meats; I usually get scrambled eggs, bacon, and cheese on a croissant. Not exactly low-cholesterol, but filling and delicious.
posted by nonasuch at 12:49 PM on August 28, 2012

I love Alaska's Best salmon jerky. I can find it at one of the slightly fancy grocery stores near me.
posted by The corpse in the library at 1:00 PM on August 28, 2012

What about packets/cans of tuna or chicken or sardines, etc? Many of the cans are now pull-top so you don't need a can opener.
posted by CathyG at 1:00 PM on August 28, 2012 [1 favorite]

If you want low carb and minimally processed then look for some spanish/portugese style chorizo at whatever decent deli you have handy. Pork, wine and paprika. You'll know you got the right kind when it's not vacuum packed and looks like an aged pepperoni link. It's similar to pepperoni but a lot less greasy and spicy. Sabra hummus has some singles packs depending on your Publix and you could use that as a veggie dip.
posted by mcrandello at 2:12 PM on August 28, 2012

I would make sure I went to Trader Joe's for two things: their pre-peeled hard boiled eggs and their seaweed snack packs. The pre-peeled hard boiled eggs come in bags of 6. Portable, easy to eat, and if you're feeling fancy, bring some mustard/mayo packets with you as well to make faux deviled eggs.

Trader Joe's also carries seaweed snacks (similar to Annie's) under their house label. Crunchy, salty, and filling.

Also bring/buy some small disposable containers (like Gladware) and plastic bags.

Other ideas:
Pork rinds
Seaweed snacks (see above)
Radish slices with good butter and sea salt
Pepperoni or salami slices
Prosciutto wrapped around raw vegetables
Cucumber rounds and guacamole
Bell pepper strips with ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing
Deli meat wrapped around a pickle slice and cream cheese
Sliced ham, beef, or turkey wrapped around string cheese
Shrimp cocktail with low carb cocktail sauce (low sugar ketchup with a little lemon/Worcestershire sauce/horseradish mixed in)
Half a ripe avocado with sea salt
Smoked salmon "sandwiches" made from cucumber rounds and cream cheese
posted by kathryn at 2:57 PM on August 28, 2012

Individual packets of nut butters with carrots or celery or apple slices. TJ's will sell packets of pre-sliced apples, which seem ridiculous until you are in exactly this situation.

I keep a giant chub of salami in my fridge at all times. If you take kind of thick slices off it -- like 1/16"-1/8" thick -- you can use them like you would crackers. I had an "on the go" lunch the other day of Laughing Cow cheese wedges smashed onto salami slices, along with baby carrots.

I recommend this a lot around here, but I have taken to marinating mixed vegetables in balsamic vinaigrette and roasting them once a week, then eating the roasted vegetables all over the place. If you get one of those fully cooked chicken sausages and slice it up over a cup or two of roasted vegetables and put it in a Gladware container, it will last at room temperature for 3-4 hours easy.

Hardboiled eggs are great. so are the packets of tuna. I like the packets under these circumstances because they don't need to be drained. Also consider olives, if you like them. Oh, and baba ghanoush.
posted by KathrynT at 3:16 PM on August 28, 2012

Great answers, all. I think a trip to Trader Joe's is in my future.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 8:02 AM on August 29, 2012

Maybe not protein powder but the smoothies that are protein based (ready made)? My Dh has been taking these trying to get some nutrition and back on track with lowering his cholesterol. We love the Bolthouse Farms brand (chocolate is the bomb!).

Have fun. God I miss Dragoncon.
posted by stormpooper at 7:40 AM on August 31, 2012

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