47 year old male who travels way too much for work but wants to have a healthy clean lifestyle from 35000 feet in the air and overnights in boutique hotels. Working full-time, traveling 75% of the time, and trying to maintain some semblance of a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge. But it’s the best way for me to remain happy, healthy, and fit… along with maintaining my ability to wear size 32 jeans. So how do I do healthy travel?
DON’T LET A FEW MILES TRAVELED STAND BETWEEN YOU AND THE 30 CLEAN™
Add to all the turmoil that comes with travel and PLANNING and PREPARING become more essential than ever. No wonder fitness plans unravel on the road. I’m tempted by fast food, can get caught up in pre-packaged meals, and Starbucks Frappucinos. Here’s a few ways I manage to handle clean eating while traveling 150,000 miles a year:
ON THE ROAD RULES
PACK SMART – There are three little things I always bring with me just in case. All can be easily stowed away in my carry-on bag.
BACON AND EGGS – The Zip-lock bag holds more than my toiletries. I pack a few strips of bacon and hard boiled eggs with me. I keep this incredible protein source at the ready for a cross country trip. It’s better to bring along the right choice of healthy travel food than have to resort to scarfing down something unnecessarily unhealthy.
ALMOND BUTTER/ALMONDS – Super heart healthy, I carry packets of Artisana Almond Butter with me. Quick, portable and pre-measured to avoid splurging. There is a thing such as too much almond butter. Pack a source of healthy fats so you know exactly where yours come from. I also carry whole raw walnuts too for an extra healthy travel snack, or mini-meal.
**Mini-Meal side note**
SAYING NO TO LARABARS – I think Larabars are candy in disguise. I also stow away an apple and banana for when I’m pressed for something healthy to eat.
Before my trip, I source the closest Whole Foods or similar grocery store to pick up essentials while I’m in a city for a few days along with dinner options other than room service. I have found cooked & peeled shrimp, (without the sauce obviously), guacamole with raw veggies, prosciutto and melon, fresh berries and bottles of spring water or kombucha.
WHILE IN THE HOTEL
Customize the hotel room service menu to meet your needs. Most hotels have a restaurant, and you should be able to order a la carte items. My go-to breakfast at the hotel is an egg and veggie omelet with sides of bacon and berries. I order salads for dinner with a protein (salmon, chicken, shrimp) with no dressing. I rely on lemon, oil, vinegar and hot sauce for seasoning.
OK, so you’re not going to make fast food healthy, but you can make healthier menu choices. Grilled chicken breast or hamburger patties sans any toppings can help out in a pinch. Garden salads with zero dressing can also work. Think Chipotle, Panera Bread, El Pollo Loco & In N Out (or other quick, healthy serve restaurants!)
AT A BUSINESS DINNER
Worried about fitting in while everyone else is drinking an adult beverage? Make a B-line to the bar before you meet up with your colleagues and order a sparkling soda water with a twist of lime. You don’t have to say a thing and just holding a glass during conversation will make you feel a little more comfortable and keep others from asking any questions you don’t want to answer. At dinner simply order the freshest protein on the menu with a double serving of steamed or sautéed veggies and skip the bread-basket and dessert! It may seem challenging at first, but after one or two dinners you will start to realize it is worth it to feel so refreshed the next morning!
Stay hydrated, and make sure you take in enough fluids. The air circulating in airports and airplanes make me super dehydrated, so I always bring an empty water bottle with me through security to fill up at the drinking fountain before boarding my flight. I pack all my travel day meals in my carry-on so I’m set in case of any delays.
PREPARE AND PLAN IN ADVANCE
I can’t stress this enough: Plan in advance. Think about your trip, anticipate your environment, plan your healthy travel ideas in advance and bring what you need… so you’re not stuck without any healthy options.
Remember the saying: If you fail to prepare, prepare to fail.