How Ryan Stays SANE on a Plane


SANE on a Plane

Here’s a lovely description of the continuing SANE adventures of Ryan Mangipano. This time, he visited Seattle on a business trip. Jonathan and I note that Ryan eats more calories than we would recommend if his goal was to lose as much fat as possible. Generally, we would recommend eating so many non-starchy vegetables and drinking so much water/green tea that a person who is doing moderate weekly eccentric exercise and interval training feels fully satisfied while eating well under 3,000 calories per day. However, Ryan managed to keep his diet SANE, and the fact that he was able to eat this many calories and continue to lose fat is a testimony to the metabolic efficacy of SANE eating. Thanks, Ryan for showing us some great tips for SANEity on the road, and illustrating how we can eat more and still burn more! – Catherine Britell, M.D., SSoS Support Group Moderator

My first Attempt at SANE air travel

by Ryan Mangipano

Day 1 Monday Morning:

I was in a rush upon waking to make sure I left for the airport early.  I ate a scoop of whey protein with flax in water for breakfast.  I left with only a case of quest bars, bottle of liver pills, and some fish oil.  It’s a good thing that I left very early because an exit was closed and we hit extensive traffic.  I ended up running to the terminal only to find out that the flight was delayed by 20 minutes (they had to switch planes for some reason).  Most of these items were packed in my luggage; however, I carried 4 quest bars onboard.  The picture shows the only foods that I brought with me.


At the airport, I grabbed a whole milk unsweetened late at Dunkin’ donuts after confirming there would be nothing added but sugar and milk.  There were no SANE options on the menu.  I considered grabbing 2 sausage & egg biscuits and discarding the biscuit; however, they were almost $7.00 each.  I figured I would starve until the time came to eat my quest bars.  Yesterday was Father’s day and my kids bought me a slice of chocolate pudding cream pie.  At first I resisted; however, they tried to talk me into it and I gave in.  So, my week is not off to a good start yet.  I also had trouble sleeping during the last two nights and I only got about 4 hours of sleep each night.

This was my first flight in a couple of years.  Once on the plane, I noticed that my hips fit in the seat much better.  However, if I would have had someone sitting next to me, my shoulders might still be a problem since they are probably wider now from the weightlifting.  the menu had no real options.  Everything had crackers, break, chips, or other inSANE garbage.  I figured I would have a coffee or water and eat the quest bars when I got hungry.  I’ll have to see how it goes once I get to Washington.  At home, I know which restaurants will work with me to offer up a mostly SANE dish.  This is my first plane trip since going SANE.  As a result, I’m going into this trip totally unprepared.  Perhaps Jonathan has converted some of the restaurants around Seattle to offering SANE options?   Wish me Luck.  It’s going to be an interesting trip.  My laptop battery is dying on my laptop; therefore, I’m going to use my Windows phone and headphones to listen to the SSOS podcast.

Learn the exact foods you must eat if you want to finally lose weight permanently. Click here to download your free Weight Loss Food List, the “Eat More, Lose More” Weight Loss Plan, and the “Slim in 6” Cheat Sheet…CLICK HERE FOR FREE “HOW TO” WEIGHT LOSS GUIDES

After I got off the plane, there was a Chili’s restaurant in the airport.  I ordered salmon, salad with no dressing, broccoli with butter, and an unsweetened tea.

Next, I decided to get a rental car since this would allow me to drive to other restaurants or maybe even a grocery store.  The hotel had a small fridge.

After this, I checked out the Microsoft Campus and then searched for Seafood or steak restaurants.  I figured a lean fish or steak with veggies would be perfect.  The one I found ended up being a fried fast-food restaurant.  After this, I took the wrong exit and stumbled alone a very nice lakeside park with a restaurant and a hillside view.  Unfortunately, it was the same chain restaurant.  So, I decided to just fast during most of the day.  After some searching, I found a restaurant named WildFin American Grill (  that served wild caught salmon.  The dish is normally served with potatoes and asparagus.  However, I found that they were willing to double the asparagus as a substitute for the potatoes.  The dish came with 2 cherry tomatoes.  As always, I ordered the unsweetened tea.  I also usually have a refill and then request a tea to-go.  I also ordered an appetizer of shrimp.  Unfortunately, the shrimp has a thick sauce that I suspect had flour in it.  I scraped most off the sauce and the meal remained sane.  This meal was a bit overboard on the protein and …  Well, so what!

I still had the challenge of eating lots of veggies while on this trip.  There was a trader Joes next to the restaurant.  Watch the associated video to find out how I picked up a bag full of the essentials to help me out during this 4 day trip.  I now have kale, broccoli, green tea, unsweetened tea, Greek yogurt, avocado, an orange, a grapefruit, raw brazil nuts, organic blueberries, spinach, real peanut butter, and celery.


For the last meal of the day, I ate in the hotel room.  I had to borrow a spoon from the diner downstairs and use coffee cups as bowls. I ate Peanut Butter, Greek yogurt, some blueberries, 2 fish oil pills, 5 liver pills, green tea, 4 stalks of celery, 1 servings of broccoli, and 1 serving of spinach.  I wish I had grabbed a case of water since I have nothing but tea here.  Ok.  I am ridiculously stuffed now and can’t possibly eat another bite.

SANE grade for day 1:  A (based on the fact that I consumed no insane meals and managed to get in a decent amount of veggies for being on the road)

o   1 x celery

o   2 x broccoli

o   1x salad (no dressing)

o   2x asparagus

o   1x spinach

o   Total veggie serving for the day =7  (no too bad for being on the road, fasting for a few hours, and taking 2 quick emergency meals like whey and quest bars)


Daily Total Estimates:

·        Calories: 2856

·        Fat: 139 grams

·        Carbs: 140 grams, Sugars: 37 grams

·        Protein: 305 grams



Day 2 Tuesday Morning:

I woke up and figured that I would start the day off right.  While getting dressed, I had 2 serving of non-starchy veggies.  I also drank an unsweetened tea.  I ate broccoli& kale.  I also had 5 liver pills (about 2 grams of protein each) and 2 fish oil pills (about 20 calories of healthy fats).  I went down to the hotel breakfast.  After speaking to the cook, I found that they have egg whites.  I asked him to mix 1 egg in with a bunch of egg whites.  When the food arrived, it looked like it was pure egg white with no yokes at all.  Anyway, I also got a side of bacon.

From the buffet, I picked out a very small serving of cottage cheese (not sure if it was lowfat—I put it in my phone app as .25 servings of 2%), cantaloupe/honeydew, and an orange.


I drank a glass of water and 2 cups of coffee.  My phone estimate shows 61.43 grams of protein, 51 grams of cabs (29 sugar), and 19 grams of fat for 630 calories.  The high sugars were mostly from the citrus and melon, so at least I got a lot of nutrition with it.  I wanted to point out that my protein intake was double the recommended serving.  Nevertheless, I think my day is off to a mostly SANE start for a travel day.

After arriving at the class, I found that there was a coffee shop in the Microsoft building.  I ordered a large late after confirming that the only ingredients were 2% milk and coffee.  After this, I drank 1 glass of water, 1 Green tea (made double strong with 2 bags), and 1 coffee.

For Lunch, I went to the café.  At the café, they have multiple lines (sort of like some school lunch cafeteria).   I got complex and went through 3 different lines to build a SANE lunch (see the picture).


I got a grilled salmon (not sure if was farm raised), but I had them skip the fries and bread.  Instead, they let me substitute 2 veggies from another line.  I waited in the other line while they cooked the salmon.  Then, I went through the salad line and made a salad with lots of SANE veggies and blueberries.  When I sat down, the people at the table commented on how much food it was.  I estimate 4 to 5 servings of veggies.  As always, I had unsweetened tea.

During class, around 3 hours after lunch, I ate some of the veggies that I had brought to class from the hotel fridge (broccoli, spinach & celery).  I also ate 2 quest bars.

For dinner, I figured the easiest way to ensure that I stayed SANE was to return to the same restaurant and order the same thing.  I can’t think of any way to stay SANEr than to eat wild caught salmon with asparagus while traveling.  This time, instead of the somewhat inSANE shrimp appetizer that had the gravy on it, I ordered a salad with no dressing (I’ll discard the croutons also is it has some).  So dinner ended up being Wild Salmon grilled with a little olive oil and seasoning on top, double the asparagus grilled (perhaps a little bit of oil or butter on the asparagus), 2 cherry tomatoes, a house salad with no dressing or croutons, and an unsweetened tea.  This is the same strategy that I use at home.  Once I find a restaurant that will work with me, I eat there over and over (until my family gets sick of it).  And I just dropped and cracked my cellphone at the restaurant (thankfully I bought the insurance).  This might make it a little harder to enter my foods into the phone!

I started to get extremely hungry before bedtime.  I am eating less calories and fat than I usually do.  This is probably because I am not working out.  I went to eat my Greek yogurt and it was frozen!  I guess I set the fridge to cold.  I microwaved it a little and stirred it and it seems fine.  I’m very hungry, so I’m going to eat the fats last.  Usually, I always eat my Greek yogurt the same way.  With Flax, Nuts, and berries all mixed in.  However, after a year and a half, I am used to the taste and can just eat it straight.  I ate some blueberries, 1.5 servings of peanut butter, 2 brazil nuts, 5 liver pills, iced tea, spinach, 2 fish oil pills, and a tiny bit of kale.

So far it appears that I am being SANEr on some days of this trip that I am on some days at home. I think it has to do with the fact that I know all you SANE people will be reading this!  Remember, I’m just a normal person just like you all who is trying to get this right.  Nonetheless, I feel like I need to set a good example of being SANE.  Also, my appetite is much smaller since I haven’t worked out any.  After a 3-6 hour gym session, I eat a lot.  There is a weight room at the hotel with some light dumbbells.  There are also some gyms around the area.  However, I have decided to give my body a rest during this trip.  I have been working out too hard and too much over the last few weeks and I felt my body could benefit from the rest.


SANE score: A+  (And this A even includes the bacon that I ate for breakfast!)

Calories: 2809

·        Fat: 120g

·        Carbs 202g

·        Sugars 78g

·        Protein  272


Veggie Count seems to be around 10 for the day.


Remember that all these numbers are estimates.  While they maybe off a bit, I certainly didn’t eat 2000 calories or 3500.  I don’t think its practical to get better estimates due to the variance in foods, dishes, etc.  It’s enough to allow me to adjust my strategy and see what effects changes have towards getting me to my goals.


Day 3 Wednesday Morning:

Woke up and ate spinach, broccoli, 3 liver pills, and 1 fish oil pill. Then I went down to the hotel breakfast and ordered egg whites with garlic, pepper, and onion.  The egg whites look a bit like they added some whole eggs.  I also got 2 strips of bacon, a bit of cottage cheese, and some cantaloupe.  I drank was coffee and water.  I brought the bag of kale to class in a bag.  When arriving at class, I ordered a 2% milk late.   Breakfast summary:  2 servings of veggies, 919 calories, 80g of protein, 61g carbs, 33g sugars, 39g fat.  In my opinion, if I wanted to be better, I would have ate half the bacon, half the fruit, skipped the milk filled late, ate another serving of veggies, and a bit less cottage cheese and eggs to lower the protein a bit.  But, good enough works!  Besides, this nutrition strategy is not about not enjoying food or depriving yourself.  In the past, when I was inSANE, I would have avoided the bacon and replaced it with whole grain bagel, whole grain cereal, sugar filled yogurt, milk, and a banana.  I know because I looked around the buffet for a while in order to see what foods I would have chosen in the past.  During class, I had a double green tea (2 bags steeped in 1 cup), a coffee, and a glass of water.

For lunch I ate Fish, broccoli, veggies, and berries at the cafe.

Well, I came to Seattle for training.  I am learning a lot since the teacher wrote some of the old AppleTalk network protocol in the 1980s.  Anyway, I can’t visit the Seattle area without stopping to say thanks to the man who showed me how to improve my health.  So, I’m off to skip an hour of class to go visit the awesome Jonathan Bailor.

When I returned to class after my amazing chat with Jonathan, there was a party that was offering cake and ice cream.  I skipped that and grabbed the blackberries and blueberries that were offered as a topping.  Then I ate the rest of the bag of kale (about2 full servings of kale) while listening to the lectures.

Ok.  I planned to hunt down a steak & veggie dinner; however, I took the easy way out instead.  I went to the same restaurant AGAIN and ordered the same thing.  3 days in a row, my dinner has been Salmon.  Just like last night, I got the double asparagus and a salad with no dressing.  I guess this is ok, since there were times in my life where I probably ate a double whopper from Burger King 3 nights in a row.  Also, wind caught salmon is a superfood!  One thing to mention is that real food is more expensive.  I have a meal allowance during this trip.  If I was on a tighter budget or was rushed for time during the trip, I would have to alter my strategy.

I stopped at the grocery to pick up 1 pack of broccoli mixed with cauliflower and 2 small containers of Greek yogurt.  I figured this would be a snack for later.  After this, I watched the play “Chicago”.

I ate my snack totally out of order (fats, then protein, then fruits, then veggies), so I ate a lot.  I was also trying to get rid of some of this food without wasting (can’t bring all the items on the plane).   I ate 1.5 servings of peanut butter, 2 fish oil pills, 4 brazil nuts, 5 liver pills, 1.5 servings of non-fat Greek Yogurt, green tea, blueberries, grapefruit.  I didn’t have a knife; I peeled the grapefruit with my fingers.  After this, I ate broccoli and celery (7 stalks).  I ate so much during this meal that I am ridiculously stuffed.  My stomach almost hurts from over eating.

Ate again just before bed.  1 scoop of peanut butter, 1 quest bar, 3 brazil nuts, 1 fish oil pill, 4 liver pills, a few blueberries, and spinach.

I counted 10-12 servings of veggies for the day

Day 3 totals

3362 calories

·        153g fat

·        230g carbs

·        292g protein

Grade: A


Day 4: Thursday

Breakfast: I didn’t eat any veggies before going down for breakfast this morning.  Breakfast consisted of: Peanut butter, 3 liver pills, 2 fish oil, 3 eggs with sweet pepper, onion, garlic, egg whites, 3 strips of bacon, melon, small serving of cottage cheese.

Lunch: Main Microsoft campus has a mini-mall with a food court.  There was a cafeteria style line that was selling items by the pound.  I got roasted turkey breast with a selection of SANE foods including 2 servings of squash, a salad, and some mixed veggies.


Dinner:  I arrived at the Seattle International Airport an hour early and ate at Anthony’s Seafood Restaurant.  There were not many SANE selections.  Everything seems to come with rice and green beans are the only vegetable available.  I decided to  ordered a dozen oysters and a salad.


I was able to get my mixed bag of broccoli and cauliflower through the TSA checkpoint.  Now on the plane, I was able to order a coffee and skip the snacks.  I was a little short on my veggy servings for the day.  As such,  I spent the first two hours of the flight eating the entire 4 serving bag of broccoli and cauliflower.  Sometime later, I ate 2 quest bars.

When I got home, I ate some baked fish, mixed nuts, and veggies

This ends my trip.  I was able to remain very SANE throughout this trip.  In fact, I feel that this trip went even better than the road trip.  However, it is noteworthy to point out that I was alone.  As such, I was able to choose restaurants without having to consider the needs of others.  I can see how this might be more challenging.  For example, if you are with a group that wants to eat Italian!  We have a vacation coming up with the entire family.  That might be more challenging

Here’s a movie I made on my trip, showing some of the things I learned:

YouTube video

Learn the exact foods you must eat if you want to finally lose weight permanently. Click here to download your free Weight Loss Food List, the “Eat More, Lose More” Weight Loss Plan, and the “Slim in 6” Cheat Sheet…CLICK HERE FOR FREE “HOW TO” WEIGHT LOSS GUIDES
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