How To Eat Healthy on the Road
Living by the principles and standards that you teach is easier at home than on the road. I travel a lot for business and find that eating right on the road is exponentially more difficult than when I am at home. Do you have any ideas or advice for travelers to eat healthy on the go?
One of my more challenging vices during trips is Coke. I find that we often have very rigorous schedules with little sleep. Oftentimes in the mornings or lunch time, I feel like I need a boost, so I drink a Coke.
What goes up must come down.
Soft drinks, like Coke, will spike your blood sugar. You may feel energized for awhile, but the crash is sure to come.
Avoid drinking Coke and eating sugary treats and bread on the road.
Many people believe that carbs give them energy but they really just throw you into a slump. Do you ever eat lunch and then about two hours later feel sleepy at your desk or in a meeting? It’s the simple carbs from lunch causing the sleepiness. Simple carbs like breads, soda, cookies, chips, white rice, white potatoes and French fries. These foods spike your blood sugar and the sleepy slump always follows.
Protein, fat and cholesterol in the diet improve your brain function.
Every day, even while traveling, make it your mission to eat three meals a day. To balance your blood sugar and give a sustained source of energy make sure to eat three meals when you can. Include animal protein, healthy fat and carbs from vegetables mostly but also from fruit, seeds, and nuts.
The goal is to keep an adequate and steady supply of nutrients going to your brain.
Wild swings in blood sugar will make you sleepy, hungry, foggy and shaky (which can bring out some of the other 7 Dwarfs like Grumpy and Dopey).
Traveling by plane and staying in hotels?
- bag of nuts and seeds
- dried coconut chips
- protein bars (see below)
- beef sticks – even left over bacon in a baggie will work
- travel packets of seed/nut butter and protein powder
- packets of tuna or can of sardines
Pack a lunch for the plane.
It can be a simple roll-up made with romaine lettuce leaves and organic lunch meat or sliced chicken. Small baggies of natural olives, cheese, nuts and seeds. Make sure to eat a big meal at home before heading to the airport. Assume you won’t have real food options until you arrive at your destination and bring enough food to carry you until that time.
At the Hotel
Get down to breakfast before your first meeting. Find eggs and eat the whole egg, not just the egg whites. Omelets stuffed with vegetables are a great option. If you do not eat eggs, opt for fruit and meat options. Some hotels will have made-to-order omelets, just ask for your omelet sans eggs! You can tell the chef you are allergic to eggs but you would love a stir-fry of all the vegetables and meat on hand.
Traveling by car?
You can carry food in a cooler, like leftover chicken and beef patties, cut up vegetables, hard boiled eggs, lettuce/lunch meat roll-ups, avocado, pop-top cans of olives, nuts, seeds, organic salami, smoothies and fruit. Small containers of guacamole, mayo and salt are usually in my cooler too.
When I am on a road trip, I bring plenty of food. If I’m staying in a hotel, I try to book a room with a refrigerator.
The exits along a highway do not usually have Real Food restaurants, but if I stop I try to find a salad or a side of vegetables with clean protein (ask for eggs in the shell to avoid getting pasteurized egg product omelets and scrambled eggs).
I have salad dressing in a small jar in my bag because I don’t like the “mystery” dressings restaurants have, usually made with GMO canola or soybean oil and spiked with chemicals and MSG.
For lunch and dinner, skip the sandwich and opt for a piece of fish, chicken or beef without the bread. Have a big salad with olive oil and vinegar dressing. Pass up the bread basket and the dessert menu. Ask for extra vegetables instead of rice or pasta.
You will be feeling great between meals, avoiding that afternoon slump that comes from eating sugar, bread and pasta carbs at lunch. If you feel a little hungry in the afternoon, eat a handful of nuts, seeds, organic jerkey (regular jerky has preservatives and MSG), a beef stick or a protein bar.
Search the internet ahead of time to find restaurants and grocery stores with real food options.
Protein Bar Options
- Primal Kitchen Coconut Cashew Bars (15g carbs, 15g protein)
- Maximized Living Essential Bar (13g carbs, 6g protein)
- RX Bar Variety of Flavors (22g carbs, 12g protein)
- NoGii Paleo Bar (22g carbs, 4g protein)
- BHU Fit Bar (15g carbs, 14g protein)
- Young Living Slique Bar (19g carbs, 3g protein)
- Exo Cricket Flour Bars (26g carbs, 10g protein)
Continue taking supplements while traveling as they will help fill the gaps.
Buy small ziplock pill baggies to portion your supplements into daily packs. Travel with
- fish oil capsules (Omega-3 every day for optimal energy and optimal health)
- probiotics (Needed for energy and gut health)
- vitamin D3/K2 (boosts energy levels from within the cell)
- Master Formula (a multi nutrient complex to help you cover your nutritional bases)
- magnesium glycinate (helps your body make ATP which boosts cellular energy)
- Acetyl-L-Carnitine (2-4 capsules per day for amazing energy)
I have prepared protein green smoothies at home, and poured them into old Synergy kombucha bottles. These bottles are thick-walled, and usually don’t break in the freezer.
When traveling by car, I freeze what I won’t consume in 2 days.
When traveling by plane, I have packed frozen smoothies in my checked bag. I wrapped them well, put them in zip lock bags and in a small insulated cooler. They did not break, but that’s always a possibility!
You will be able to mix the protein in a glass of water. Some people even carry travel blenders in their suitcase to mix up green smoothies in the hotel room.
Stay hydrated on the road
Drink water! Dehydration is a leading cause of fatigue. Work up to drinking half your body weight in ounces per day and then while you travel drink more water and avoid the soft drinks. A can of coke has about 10 tsp of sugar and caffeine.
All the fruit drinks, juice and soda have sugar! A 20 oz. mango Sobe, for example, gives you 18 tsp of sugar, well over 1/3 cup of sugar! Talk about sugar highs and afternoon sleepy slumps!
Traveling does not have to mean a deviation from otherwise good eating habits.
Often when vacation week rolls around, we eat more carbs and processed food, drink more alcohol, stress our bodies with travel and end up getting sick on the trip or when we return. Our digestion is messed up and we end up on a slippery slope of poor eating that continues well after the vacation has ended.
We can choose better for ourselves with a little planning.
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