Friday, December 14, 2012

The way I stay healthy on the road

I do a lot of traveling.

Before getting healthy, my traveling was an excuse to eat more and exercise even less. MMM. Traveling meant fast food, room service, indulgent dinners, drinking too much and Cinnabon for the plane. I pulled all kinds of food crap that I would never pull at home. Inevitably, vacation mode would kick into high gear the minute I stepped foot in lovely Newark airport, suitcase in hand.

This is not a good plan if you are trying to lose or maintain your weight. Especially if, like me, you travel often.

This year I was on the road no less than 50 days! I visited California 4 times? (maybe more), Kentucky twice, Maine, CT, Florida, Oklahoma, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio, Kansas, hell I even spent a night in NYC when we were making Linda over for her Huffington Post piece! Whether traveling a lot or a little - traveling does not mean you should or have to undo all of your healthy living.

Sure, being on the road makes things a little tougher. I still battle that "woo hoo, I'm on vacation thing." I also tend to really miss my family so comforting myself with food can be a temptation.

But, with all that practice with traveling, I have come up with a few ways that I keep on a track. I am proud to say that despite all of the traveling I did this past year, I'm just about upon my two year anniversary firmly at my weight loss goal!

So here are a few tips I do when I travel:

1. BYOF. Bring your own food. Yeah. It's a bit of a pain and takes a little planning. I don't necessarily pack a suitcase full of stuff but I have at least enough things in my bag to carry me through my flight. In my bag I'll have an apple, banana, pistachios, and something like a gluten-free snack bar. I might also have a packet of Justin's peanut butter or some baby carrots.

2. Grocery shopping. If you can, try to call your hotel ahead and see if they can book you into a room with a fridge and microwave. If you can score that, then that's great! My business partner and I will hit up a local grocery store and stock our room with essentials - water, veggies, fruits, yogurts, PB, rice cakes, frozen organic meals (I like Amy's) etc. Having stuff to eat on hand will help you to plan your day out.

hotel dinner - Amy's organic enchilada's
and salad with baby carrots

3.  Food on the run.  Sometimes it's unavoidable. You have to eat out. Well, first of all I am no saint. One meal (sometimes two!) per trip is typically a little splurgy. On my last trip to Ohio, I had a steak/potato and martini dinner! But, the rest of my meals, I do try to do the best I can with. I almost always start my day with oatmeal and fruit. Breakfast (for me) is the easiest meal to control and keep in check. It also makes me feel good and fueled for the day ahead and mentally ready to tackle the day.
Chipotle bowl
4.  Fast Food go-to's. I am not an advocate of fast food but if it's something that you're going to turn to when stuck at the airport or on the road, at least go in with a plan. I love Starbucks, for example. I like their oatmeal for breakfast in a pinch or hummus/grilled chicken and raw veggie thing for a snack or lunch. I also will go out of my way to find a Chipotle. I like their burrito bowl. I get mine with lettuce, brown rice, black beans, veggies, tomatoes and guacamole. I skip the meat, sour cream and cheese. This bowl is hearty, healthy, and gluten-dairy free. Au Bon Pan has some good options too. On a delayed layover thru Philly a few weeks ago, I was able to score some hardboiled eggs and a dairy-free/gluten free veggie soup. Paired with a giant bottle of water, I was set.
Starbucks hummus thing - I'm gluten free so
I skip the pita.
5.  Work out. Whether you take a local class, take a run around the neighborhood to check out the place or simple hit the hotel gym, make a little time to get a little sweat in. It really does make a difference. This year while on the road, I did Cross Fit in Northern CA, Barry's Boot Camp in Los Angeles, Yoga in WI, Running in MI - ME - CA - NYC - FL, Kosama in KS, Zumba in OK and hit up a gym in KY. Not only was it fun but it allowed me not to have that "out of my routine" feeling when I got home.

Working out like a celebrity in Los Angeles
So those are some of the things I do when I travel - I'm not always perfect but I do the best I can.

What are your tricks of travel?



Anonymous said...

Great post! I don't have to travel a lot for work but when I do I am always struggling to not come undone. These tips will be invaluable! Thanks :)

Scott said...

Great ideas..too bad I can't follow most of them...especially on road trips where somehow I have to have red twizzlers, mountain due, dolly madison chocolate pies and smartfood white cheddar popcorn.. Stuff I would never eat anywhere but the road. I am going on vaca in a week and plan on hitting the local gyms..

Meister, Running While Smiling said...

Great advice all; I am forever bringing my own food on work trips, and agree with you on breakfast. It's the easiest thing to control, especially since while traveling it's often the one meal I get to eat alone. (So don't have to worry about peer pressure or joining a group to a restaurant that's all meat, all cheese.)

Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

I don't travel very much at all, but when I was in NYC with you and Angela, your good eating habits helped keep me in check (with the exception of my M&M's!). I am so thankful that you came back from the hotel gym unsatisfied and decided to run in Central Park! It was on my bucket list!

Our FL trip will be such a whirlwind, being so active with a sleepless night thrown in, we'll probably have no choice but to stay on track. Of course, we'll have to watch the alcohol intake afterwards!

Z@KickingKilos said...

Love this post Jen!
I hope I could do all of this in my next trip.

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Unknown said...

These are great ideas!! I always bring my own food too in a little cooler. it keeps me from making a mistake when I'm hungry!

@tracystevenson said...

Hello great ideas. I just found your blog from Holly's. I look forward to reading more of your posts. Come on over and see my blog. I blog about how I am maintaining my weight loss longterm. Healthy food. Exercise. Repeat!! I loved this post. Thanks.