How to Survive...Seeing a Show at an Indoor Venue

I've always been a huge MJ fan.  This show
was too good.  
Yesterday I went with awesome boyfriend and another couple to see Michael Jackson the Immortal World Tour by Cirque Du Soleil.  That's a mouthful.  It was amazing and if you have a chance to go you really should. We overpaid for our tickets on Stub Hub because they sold out super fast at the Baltimore arena, and it was still worth it.

Before I gush too much about the lights or the music or the dancing, let me introduce today's topic.  Survival at a concert, basketball game, ice skating, dance battle, or whatever it is that you like to go and see at a large indoor arena.  The one here in Baltimore is called 1st Mariner, but I expect that it's largely similar to indoor venues all over the country.

If you read my sample menu yesterday, you already know that awesome boyfriend and I did not plan our day very well.  We slept in even later than normal and had breakfast/lunch around 12:30.  Our friends picked us up for the show at 3:00 so we went over there on relatively empty stomachs.  By the time we got out of the show at 7:00 we were starving and stuffed our faces.  Don't make the same mistake I did!  Plan to be there longer than you originally think you will and plan to be hungry.

Snacks offered at 1st Mariner are pretty typical of what you would find at any indoor amphitheater.  You'll find popcorn, funnel cakes, french fries, pizza, nachos, and the like.  I'm sure that you already know this but NONE of these things are allowed on a low carb diet.  Never fear friends, because there is good news.  There are a few things that you can snack on at a show if you are hungry.

First choice: peanuts in the shell and a diet soda.  I love these things, for a couple of reasons.  I love salty foods.  Sometimes when I eat these I just crack the shell open and eat the peanuts.  Sometimes I put the whole thing in my mouth and suck the salt off.  The diet soda is cold and sweet and a perfect compliment to the salty peanut.  One cup of peanuts has about 7 carbs, and that's one cup of the actual peanuts, not including the shell.  You can't eat the whole bag, but you can get a couple of handfuls.

Second choice: One of my favorite low carb foods- the hot dog!  The downside is that you can't have a bun.  The upside is that you can have two or three hot dogs if you want.  A plain hot dog has anywhere from 1-3 carbs, so eat away!  If you must have ketchup go easy as one tablespoon has 3.5 carbs.  Load up on mustard, pickles, or onions.  You can also have chili as long as it does not have beans.

Something else that I noticed while we were at the venue were the plethora of alcohol vendors at every turn.  If you're in the mood for a drink, follow the same rules that I laid out in the Sports Bar survival guide.  Vodka, white rum, tequila, gin, or whiskey are all carb free.  You can mix with soda water, diet soda, or sugar free fruit juice.  The easiest thing to carry is going to be a beer, and your best choice there will be Miller Lite, which clocks in at about 3 carbs per bottle.  If you're counting be careful because those metal bottles they sell in venues may have more beer than a regular bottle.  A standard serving of beer is 12 ounces, be it in a bottle or a can.  I've said this before but it bears repeating.  If it comes from a blender don't drink it.  I'll extend this to say that if it comes frozen don't drink it.  This includes lemonades, daiquiris, milkshakes, and the like.  They are loaded with sugar.

Another snack that is great for a venue is sunflower seeds.  Sunflower seeds come in lots of delicious flavors like ranch, buffalo, pickle, and barbecue.  They take a while to eat because you have to remove the shells with your teeth and this slows down your noshing.  Now, transporting your sunflower seeds will require a small amount of rule breaking because most of these places don't allow outside snacks.  Awesome boyfriend has been known to carry a pack in his pocket or I sometimes add one to the zipper pocket of my purse.  I have also shamelessly smuggled snacks and/or airplane bottles in my bra during the winter months (I don't recommend doing this unless you are wearing something bulky).

The other never fail survival trick for any outing is to eat before you go.  Even if you're not super hungry, it's always a good idea to grab a few pieces of cheese or a flax muffin to hold you over.  If you wait too long to eat you'll be starving and end up overdoing it when you finally sit down.  Alcohol tends to make people hungry, so keep this in mind when you decide to indulge.

I hope this helps you stay on track while you're at the venue.  As always,  have fun and don't let your diet control your life.  If you do overindulge, go for a run the next day, drink plenty of water, and take your supplements.  Enjoy the show!

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