Traveling Healthy in San Francisco

Last week I had to travel for work to San Francisco, CA. To help hold myself accountable and show that healthy traveling can be done I decided to document my journey for you – both what I ate along the way and all the activities I got up to.

Just as a disclaimer: I was not 100% on Ideal Protein protocol phase 1 during this trip. I tried the best I could, considering I couldn’t cook my own food while in a hotel. The point of this post is to prove that you can make the healthiest choices for yourself (whether on protocol or not) and choosing not to completely fall off the wagon while doing so. Don’t fall down the rabbit hole of bad food choices! Just make the best choice you can at the time and hop right back on whatever food plan you have. 

Ok, now that the disclaimer is out of the way, let’s get to the good stuff! First of all – San Francisco is an amazing city! This was the first time I had ever been! So while I had to spend the first part of my trip in meetings, I did extend it a couple of days to be a true tourist in the area. It was awesome and if you ever get the chance I highly recommend it!


My first food choice of my trip was at the airport on my way to San Francisco. My flight was early in the morning and I had to get some breakfast before boarding. I opted for Starbucks (even though I really wanted a Chitople breakfast burrito! Yes, they do have those in select airport locations). Anyway, I got a coffee with skim milk and Splenda and a turkey bacon breakfast sandwich – minus the English muffin.


During the flight, I had water, some Ideal Protein packs, celery, and hard-boiled eggs.  However, I should have thought this choice through because a 6ish hour flight is a long time to not have a real meal. I should have brought a salad or something more substantial…by the time the plane landed I was starving.

After getting my rental car I took a trip to my favorite place on the west coast – In N Out Burger 🙂 The protein style burger, wrapped in lettuce, was even better than I remember. Evidently, distance really does make the heart (or stomach) grow fonder!


After getting In N Out, I found my hotel, unpacked, and did some work. Then, it was time to find some dinner. I was really feeling salad so I was hoping to find a Whole Foods, but unfortunately, there wasn’t one close by. So I Googled “Salad Bars Near Me.” A lovely little place about 10 minutes away came up called Sprout’s Farmer’s Market.

I had never heard of this place before, but it’s basically an organic market with a salad bar and hot food options. Think of a smaller Whole Foods – or if you are near where I live the Common Market Co-op. It was definitely what I was looking for! I got a salad and grilled jerk chicken – all for under $10. Plus, I got a super cool bag that you can see over on my Instagram.



The next morning I had to be up and ready for a day full of meetings. Fortunately, because of the 3 hour time difference, I was up at 5:00am (ugh!) even though I didn’t need to be at the office until 8. So, I decided to get up and go to the hotel gym. I ended up doing this every morning I had to go to work.


I did about a half hour on the elliptical. Then, went and got ready for the day. As far as breakfast, I had grabbed some hard-boiled eggs at Sprout’s and I had an Ideal Protein pack. Then to top all this activity off I ended up walking to the office which was about an 8-minute walk from the hotel.

Then, there were meetings, meetings, meetings all day…with work provided lunch. Work provided lunches are the bain of my existence. For some reason, they always want to serve pizza or sandwiches. This time around it was sandwiches….and I just deconstructed them and ate all the insides 🙂


That evening we did a team building activity that included a hike and dinner. We hiked up the hill at Bernal Heights Park and got beautiful views of the city skyline. Then we went to a sushi dinner…

Again, sushi is not the best option for me, but I made it work. I decided to stick with 2 rolls with no tempura. I hadn’t had sushi in a really long time so it was quite the treat, but I made sure not to go overboard.


The next morning was exactly the same as the one before it. Elliptical, eggs, walk, and another day full of meetings.

There was another dreaded work lunch. However, this one worked out better. We had 2 types of pasta…and SALAD!!  Yay! I found the cafeteria in the office and supplemented my salad with some other vegetables and protein.


That evening we did another team building activity. This time we went to Urban Putt. This place was awesome. Basically, the owners took an old funeral home and turned it into an indoor miniature golf course. They have a bar and offer food, with a restaurant upstairs. We played a round of golf and had a buffet style dinner. There was spinach salad, empanadas (I had 1/2 of one), sliders (I ate without the bun), tacos, and pizza (which I didn’t eat.)

I had so much fun with this activity. It was probably the best game of miniature golf I have ever played! Our team came in second out of five teams.


Thursday morning looked the same as all the others. However, my meetings only ran until about 1:00. So no dreaded work provided lunch! And I got to actually start my “vacation” part of the trip.

I was headed down to San Jose so I needed to grab a quick lunch….so I visited In N Out again. I mean you really can’t beat a lettuce wrapped burger for like $4.

Then I made my way down to San Jose. I had two objectives – 1) Visit the Winchester Mystery House and 2) Go to Apple Headquarters (my techie mecca).

The Winchester Mystery House is a San Jose landmark. It is a mansion that was once owned by Sarah Winchester. She was the widow of William Winchester of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. After her daughter and husband died Sarah believed that she was haunted by those that had been killed by a Winchester firearm. To help with the supposed spirits she visited a medium who advised her to move West and continuously build a home for them – The Winchester Mystery House is the final result. It has 160 rooms, doors to the ceiling, doors to nowhere, etc.

It was a weird and eccentric little tour that I went on. Would I do it again? Probably not. But I think its something different that you can only visit while in San Jose. Also, if you are a history nerd or Travel Channel watcher you will already know about it and definitely want to experience it for yourself.

Next, I was off to Apple! I feel like you can’t drive through Silicon Valley and not stop by. I am a lover of pretty much all the Apple products and wanted to see the place where Steve Jobs used to work. The staff in the Apple Store there were awesome and willing to share lots of information and stories about Steve and the surrounding area.

Finally, that evening I made it back to Sprout’s for dinner and had the same thing I did on Monday night! It was so good…and a pretty healthy choice, so I knew I couldn’t go wrong there. Plus, I didn’t want to tempt myself with anything else.


On Friday, I was up bright and early to fit in some hiking in the Muir Woods. I had never seen Redwood trees before and I wanted to experience it. I had researched the Muirwoods prior to going and decided to do the 2-mile hiking loop.

So, with some eggs, protein pack, and water on board I went for a beautiful, peaceful morning hike.

After my hike, which took about 2 hours (after walking, taking pictures, and visiting the gift shop) I also visited the nearby Muir Woods Beach.

After the beach, I made my way over to Tiburon, CA to catch a ferry to Angel Island.

Angel Island is the much larger island that sits behind Alcatraz. It served as an army base during WWI and WWII. Also, it was an immigration post for those coming from Asia – kind of like the Ellis Island of the West Coast. I learned a lot about its history and got to see some great views of the San Francisco Bay.

After my tour of Angel Island, I was super hungry! I hadn’t had lunch because I was having so much fun. I did snack along the way on celery, tomatoes, and cucumbers – but that was it! So I made way over to Sausalito, CA to have dinner.

I had researched where to eat in Sausalito and decided on the Napa Valley Burger Company. They had a bunch of different types of burgers with the option to wrap them in lettuce and they came with a side salad – it was perfect! (Also, I realize there seems to be a lettuce wrapped burger theme to this trip haha!)

I went for the Spicy Chicken Burger and it was so good!



Saturday was another jammed packed day of fun activities – this time in the city! I  decided to do breakfast at the hotel. They offered an egg white frittata that was pretty good….and of course some coffee!


After fueling up for the day, I headed into the city. The hotel, luckily, had a shuttle right to Union Square. I did all the stereotypical San Francisco tourist things – Fisherman’s Wharf, Trans American Building, Golden Gate Bridge, Ghirardelli Square, the cable cars, etc.

The city is packed with things to do and fun things to see. Everyone I encountered was super nice. I especially liked this storefront that I had to take a picture of…because we are all a little weird 🙂


Now here is where things get a little dicey. I had been pretty good food-wise this whole week. I had skipped bread and pasta just for this moment. I was at Ghirardelli Square buying some chocolate for some friends at work. That place hands out chocolate like crazy. Every door I walked through they would hand me a piece of chocolate. However, I said no to those pieces and shared them with people when I got back. No….I went straight for the sundaes…..


Now…I am sure some of you think of this a failure, but I don’t! I consciously made the decision to eat this beautiful hunk of ice cream. I knew that I would probably never have the chance again – and this is why I had been so good the rest of the week.

To me this is the reason this isn’t a failure: Before I got on my healthy lifestyle journey I would have put anything in my stomach without thinking it about it. But this time I thought through the consequences and I accepted them.

And just to note: I wasn’t able to finish that sundae (at one point in my life I would have been able to murder that whole thing!) Also, I didn’t gain weight….or lose any weight. I was able to have fun and feel satisfied but still maintain everything.

And that is the end of my trip! Thank you for coming along with me! I hope that seeing how and why I made my decisions help you on a trip in the future!

Where are you traveling soon? How will you try to make it a healthy trip? Would love to hear from you in the comments!

2 thoughts on “Traveling Healthy in San Francisco

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