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Unread 01-14-2012, 11:58 AM   #1
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Arrow Con Diet (Horror) Stories

So, what and/or how often do you usually eat while at a con? Do you have any good/bad stories about any past experiences dealing with food?

I myself went to my first con last year (Fanime '11) and heard all of these people on forums telling me to remember to eat. I was all like 'Psh, why would you forget to eat?'

...And then I went to the con. I think the only reason I actually ate a full meal was because I was staying closeby with family. The future dietician in me sudders to think what it'll be like this year when I stay at a hotel with my friend and sister. O_O


So I was recently thinking about how a lot of people say they don't get a chance to eat while caught up in the craziness that is a con and thought to myself, "Would those meal shakes and energy bars be a good substitute for a missed meal?"

Would it? Now don't get me wrong, I don't mean a replacement for every meal for the entire weekend. I mean just to replace, like, a single meal a day you otherwise were too busy to take. I wondered if anyone had any experience with doing this since I'm thinking of buying some meal shakes for next time... >.>
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Last edited by sugarpunch18 : 03-08-2012 at 03:45 PM.
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Unread 01-14-2012, 12:47 PM   #2
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I think with some people, when you are focusing too hard on something and am having fun while focusing, definitely, you'll forget about eating. And by the time you realize you didn't have your lunch or dinner or whatever meal yet, you'll be out of energy. When I go to cons, I never forget to eat. I love food. Food is my ally and friend. Hahaha. And yes, sometimes I do get caught up with the con and everything around me that I lose a bit of time. BUT I always have time management when I go to cons. Why? Well mainly because I'm a photographer so I keep track of time for the panels and photoshoots that I really want to attend to. I hate to be late to anything so time management and always looking at the time (on your cellphone, wristwatch, whatever) helps me because I always keep a slot for my three meals and if I am still hungry, I keep a little snack in my purse. : )

But when it comes to making the cosplays (because my cosplays are usually simple, I make them all in one go in one day really), I ... actually forget to eat. Maybe because the kitchen is just right up the stairs, so I take it for granted that food is accessible to me at any time. But I seriously forget about food when I make cosplays. And that is where the 'focusing really hard' part comes in. ... Also maybe because the basement doesn't have a clock and I don't keep my cellphone with me at all times when I make my cosplays. 8 D

But I think it is most important to eat at cons since you will be using up the most energy then. : ) Anyways, can't wait to read people's stories. : D
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Unread 01-14-2012, 02:29 PM   #3
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Went all day without eating at the last con I went to, crashed when my group sat down for a bit, I was apparently asleep on the floor with a friend of mine until the cosplay contest let out, and we were apparently by one of the doors to the room. Oops.
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Unread 01-14-2012, 02:42 PM   #4
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I myself have heard A lot of people say when attending Con's remember to eat.
I have been attending Cons Regularly since 07 (PMX,ALA,AX,SDCC) and whenever attending a Con i ALWAYS forget to eat lol. Time gets away from me and i forget,i don't know how but i forget to eat. I always end up with a major head ache and usually have to miss an event or something even after eating and taking headache medicine.

when i do eat something it's mostly chips,candy bars,soft drinks. which is a no no lol
(sigh) i need to change my diet for con's and Remember to EAT!!!!
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Unread 01-14-2012, 05:25 PM   #5
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It is really easy to set up a eating plan for cons, but it's rare to actually do.
First few cons I ate nothing accept what I could scrap up on the way to or from the hotel. Then I starting rooming at the cons hotel and I ended up snacking on junk food and drink whenever I stopped by my room. I didn't feel great by doing either of those.

It's hard to have a carry on when cosplaying at a con, but it's really the best thing to do. I bought a nice little pickachu bag to carry all my money, id and snacks in so that A) I can pack carrots and grapes to eat during the con, B) so I didn't have to travel all the way to my room and back if I wanted to eat and C) I didn't throw off my cosplay too much since lots of people loved just my pikachu backpack alone. ^^

Our group normally has at least one restaurant meal on Saturday, so we have some nutrition.

My last con was Daisho Con which was at the Kalahari. We got a suite that had a kitchen. It was more then awesome to make a full breakfast and eat it, then to have a bacon filled taco dinner later that night. Aside from my horrid cosplay shoes, I had the most energy at a con then I've ever had before.

So yes, it is VERY important to make and stick to a meal plan for cons.
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Unread 01-14-2012, 07:57 PM   #6
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At our last con my friends and I brought, like, bags of food to put in the hotel room. Whether we actually went upstairs to eat was another story, but anyway...

One of my friends thought "Oh, I'll bring these cans of V8 so I can be sure to get lots of vitamins and stuff while I'm here and they'll be easy to drink." But she made a mistake of treating them like meal replacements, and that's all she had, was two cans for breakfast, two cans for lunch, and a bit of dinner and another can. All she had for like two days was V8 and munches of other food.

By day three she felt like she was about to pass out, and decided to look at the back of the can.

They were only 30 calories.

So if you do the math she was only getting about 180 calories a day, give or take any other food she munched on.

Day 3 we all went to Subway to try and get some veggies and stuff in us and she wolfed that sub down like an animal.
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Unread 01-14-2012, 09:01 PM   #7
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When I go to a con, I always make sure to bring a few protein bars and some other easy to carry nutritious snacks (maybe a baggy of triscuits or the like for fibre, and apple per-sliced, nuts, etc). I'm try to stay healthy at cons (even with fast food right beside the con) so I bring a lot of pre-packed healthy snacks.
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Unread 01-15-2012, 11:15 AM   #8
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When I do eat (once, maybe twice per day if I'm lucky lol) it's usually the cheap breakfast at the hotel and/or a trip to Denny's in the awful hours of the morning. A few days of abuse later, back to regular food habits lol.
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Unread 01-15-2012, 12:25 PM   #9
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Here's how I rate con eating experiences in general:

1. Cons held in/near malls.
Examples: Anime Boston, AWA
I stay fairly well-fed and am able to eat more or less whenever I need to. Mall food courts usually have at least one healthier option, and since food courts are usually fairly reasonably-priced, you can also convince your friends they should eat, as well. Your hotel may have free breakfast and, my favorite, complimentary coffee.

2. Cons in downtown convention centers:
Examples: Otakon, Animazement.
Usually they're close enough to food that you can walk a little bit to find something to eat. Prices are a little higher. The con centers also usually sell food, but it's pricey and usually not nutritious at all. Depending on the city, it's also safer to go in a group, and it's harder to convince friends to go get food if it will cost them more. You might be staying at a different hotel than the one attached to the con center. If so, it's possible there's free breakfast.

3. Con at hotel.
Examples: Katsucon, Yaoicon.
Hit or miss. If you're staying at the con hotel, it will be way too "nice" to have free breakfast or complimentary coffee in the lobby, but it might have a starbucks. If it's close to food, there may be good options or not. You also might have to drive somewhere. If it's in a mini-resort area (like Katsu), there may be places within easy walking distance but they also may be prohibitively expensive for you or your friends. If you're staying at a cheaper hotel further away, takeout may be a better option.

If I'm working in the AA, I don't eat that well, even if I bring healthy snacks.

Probably the worst time I can remember was ota of '10, on Friday. It was my first time non-solo back at a con since 2007, and it seemed like nobody I was with made any concrete plans for meals or asked anybody else if they wanted to go get anything...and naively, I thought that was how it worked. By midnight, I hadn't really eaten anything all day and most of the stuff was closed by then. I wound up finding an ice cream truck and getting a milkshake. Not healthy, but it was literally my only option by then.

Since then, I've learned a bit.
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Unread 01-15-2012, 01:53 PM   #10
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I'm the worst when it comes to eating at cons.

At Sakura-Con, I ate twice a day, at least, having an egg sandwich in the morning and a turkey sandwich on wheat bread in the evening. I drank lots of water, though. I always carried a water bottle with me in my bag. I was staying with five people, so it was easier to remind myself to eat when they would get hungry.

At Aki-Con, though, I think I ate, at most, six things all weekend. I ate a snack at the airport before flying in, a couple pieces of pizza, a muffin, a banana, and a fruit salad-cup-thing. Needless to say, between that and lack of sleep, I was feeling really crappy on the last day of the con. I still drank tons of water, though. I'm always afraid of dehydrating and getting overheated in my costumes, so I pack a water bottle with me at all times.

I have similar eating habits when I get deeply involved in projects, too, but that doesn't mean it's a good habit.
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Unread 01-15-2012, 03:05 PM   #11
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I almost never remember to eat while I'm at conventions, which is strange, because I'm always hungry. Usually I'll just snack on things that you can buy around the con (ice creams, candies, etc.). Sometimes I'll carry granola bars in my bag. My biggest problem the weekend of the con is eating actual MEALS. And I never drink as much water as I should.

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Unread 01-15-2012, 09:21 PM   #12
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Without me, my group would've starved last year. I actually went out and got food for everyone then texted and called everyone to meet up for food.
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Unread 01-16-2012, 08:02 AM   #13
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Made sure my group always has at least breakfast (bagel?) and dinner (pasta, grill, Chinese), lunch optional (burgers, buffet). Actually had people pack a snack at Otakon. Don't need anyone getting sick or passing out on me from dehydration and the like.
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Unread 01-16-2012, 08:51 AM   #14
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I'm pretty terrible about eating at cons. Because there's so much to do food just slips my mind and I'm not hungry all day. Otakon 2010 was probably the healthiest con I've ever done--we got subway for lunch the first day. On the other hand, I also didn't really eat breakfast or dinner that year so maybe it was my worst. Katsu last year I was a good girl and had three meals because my parents paid for my lunch.

Last Otakon was bad. I woke up, put on cosplay, ate a quick breakfast and went to the con. I don't eat at cons, so I ended up having somewhere between ten and fourteen hours in between meals. I was carrying like ten granola bars with me and ate like two. The rest went to friends who hadn't brought food.
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Unread 01-16-2012, 12:24 PM   #15
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When I first heard about stories like this about not eating my mind was blown. I usually don't even eat very much (my fitness issue is one of exercise far more than diet), and my friend and I always make sure to eat lunch and dinner at Gencon. The Circle Centre has a foodcourt with options ranging from pizza to burritos to Chinese and Japanese food, Taco Bell, Johnny Rocket's, A&W and more. Actually step outside the hamster tube along the way there and there's things like Subway, McDonald's, Noodles and Company, Steak and Shake, ect.

Then I went to a much smaller (but still fun!) con with far less convenient places to eat and no car for a weekend (AnimeCrossroads), and suddenly I understood a lot better. Gencon has spoiled us and we now realize this. A hotel *might* have a cafeteria-type joint, but they can be quite expensive, the menu is small, and they often are not open late. Bars are open later but usually only serve fried food and I am sure a lot of folks here are not old enough for those yet (and I hate smokey bars anyway, ruins the taste of my food and I can sometimes smell it on my clothes after, would drive me nuts in costume).

We ended up going to a fairly nice restaurant (Four Seasons I think the name was), next door to the hotel, but it was a sit-in place so it also was not very cheap, though reasonable with good food. We switched off between that and a Burger King/McDonald's down the road all weekend, but it's no fun walking a block or two in dress shoes and heels as Tuxedo Mask/Sailor Moon on a cold December afternoon.
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