For 3 years I traveled for work, initially a few days every couple weeks and then in the last year or two, 1-2 days every single week. I was traveling to a resort town, which also meant expensive. If eating healthy wasn’t already difficult enough, right? Wrong! Eating healthy and staying on track with your lifestyle doesn’t have to be a job in itself if you have the right tools. So today I’ve put together a few tips to help you through your travels! Obviously these tips are great when it comes to any travel, vacations included.
First things first, how do you get your workout in?
While a lot of hotels have gyms, I never choose to rely on that. With a computer and your favorite home workout program in hand, it is very easy to squeeze a workout in, even when away. Computer doesn’t play DVD’s? That’s ok! I always brought along a compact DVD player to plug into the tv. When your workout is done, catch up on a new movie as well ;)
Ok, so what about nutrition?
The first thing I did when I knew I would be consistently traveling was purchase a cheap single serve blender. My first one was about $11 at Walmart, though now I love my Magic Bullet. No matter if I’m driving or flying, this is one thing I always pack. That way, I can blend up shakeology for a quick meal. You can bring almond milk from a carton (the kind that doesn’t have to be refrigerated) or even grab a banana and milk from the continental breakfast at your hotel. Either way, shakeology is the perfect go-to quick meal when traveling.
Airport tip: If you ask nicely, some coffee shops will blend it up for you so you can enjoy while waiting for your flight – you didn’t think that was Starbucks in my hand, did you? ;)
What are good easy snacks to throw in your bag?
Here are the items I almost always have on hand, even just for day trips or busy days out with friends!
- Raw almonds
- Homemade protein bars/bites
- Lara bars or Kind bars
- Low sodium tuna (great for throwing on salads)
- Single serve nut butter packets
- Apples, clementines, banana
- Dried fruit
- Whole grain rice cakes
- Oatmeal, portioned out in ziplock bags with a little cinnamon and stevia
- Unsweetened coconut (perfect to mix with nuts, dried fruit & chocolate for a homemade trail mix!)
- Dark chocolate
What about other foods, and things that should be refrigerated?
It may seem strange at first, but pack a cooler if you can! Check before you go, but there are actually a lot of things you can take through security if you’re flying (see here). Providing your body with proper nutrients during travel is extra important so you don’t get sick or face having to buy foods you really don’t want to. Here are some great options to include:
- Sliced veggies: bell peppers, cucumber, carrots, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, snap peas, celery, etc.
- Greek yogurt
- Hard boiled eggs
- Hummus (would probably need to be under 3.4 oz if going through security)
- Applesauce (single serve packages or under 3.4 oz if going through security)
- Pitas/whole grain tortilla wraps
And if I can’t bring a cooler?
Before you book your hotel, do a little research and find one within walking distance to a store. That way, when you get into town you can easily stop by the store to grab a few necessities. Also make sure your room is furnished with a fridge. Most are, but I once stayed in a hotel where it had to be requested up front. Better to be safe than sorry!
What about eating out?
While eating out is sometimes inevitable while traveling, it doesn’t have to leave you feeling bloated and off track with your goals. Here are some good tricks for eating out:
- Try to stick with water or unsweetened tea for a beverage
- Order a salad first, loaded with veggies; this will help you feel satisfied sooner
- Always ask for salad dressing on the side, that way you can control how much you use
- For an entree, stick with grilled, steamed or broiled dishes; if it’s rather large? Ask to box up half as soon as it arrives or share with a friend – try to lose the “finish your plate” mentality
- Substitute sides for steamed veggies
- Choose grilled chicken or turkey on sandwiches
- Choose whole grain bread or a wrap if possible
- Load up on the veggies – in salads, on sandwiches, etc.
- Choose a plate without extra sauces and gravies
If you don’t already have one, purchase a refillable water bottle. You should be drinking half your body weight in ounces of water each day and that can be a lot more difficult when you’re not in your normal routine. Don’t let it be an issue by always carrying a water bottle that can be refilled at a passing water fountain.
And your number one tip for travel?
Preparation is key! You will only be as successful as you set yourself up to be. Use these tips, do a little research, a little shopping, and you will have no problem staying on track. But it truly comes down to how well you prepare.