You can’t stay home forever.
Well, maybe some people can. My life requires me to be out and about. Sometimes locally and sometimes extended business travel and in some instance, such as this wonderful week, a trip with my husband just for fun. Sometimes completely unexpectedly.
Eating on the road has to be lifestyle eating, it cannot be a splurge of calories unless I want to have tight pants.
And I do not. So, I want to be smart and proactive when I am out and about. And while I shared earlier that in a pinch I can get apples sans caramel sauce at McDonald’s, I would not want to make a meal choice there…or really most places where you can yell in the clown’s mouth to place your order.
How do you make life away from home have the same level of consistently good choices at home?
Bonus if you have knowledge ahead of time about the travel, but it’s not an excuse if you do not.
Presumably the places you are going will have grocery stores. Use them wisely.
My husband and I went on an eight-day trip, driving about 2200 miles from start to finish. We chose two nice restaurants to eat dinner at on our trip—once at the start and once towards the end—and even then we ordered items that were high protein (and yes…I did have mashed potatoes at one, but limited myself with a few bites).
We brought a rolling cooler. Icelandic Skyr, lean ham, apples, dried pineapple, a homemade pizza cut into 16 slices, half a gallon of unsweetened cashew milk, and a quart of pumpkin spice almond nog came with us. We went to the grocery store and supplemented with some additional fresh apples, two artisan cheeses and cottage cheese—which I had been craving mightily—and a jar of the Vlasic Farmers Market bread and butter pickles I love, and at night kept it all in the fridge in our hotel room; by day in the cooler in the car. Everything stayed chilled and safe, and we had options.
We kept good snacks on hand, too. My husband just loves sea salt popcorn and we brought a rather large bag of it—37 calories a cup and he can eat three cups of it at night and be just over 100 calories. You really can’t beat the satisfying salty crunch and that calorie count for an evening snack. I brought a container of dried figs and ate three each night. Sometimes with other fruit, sometimes with a bit of cheese, but it is rare for me to not enjoy three figs each day. The high fiber and rich, chewy decadence of a quality dried fig is unbeatable!
Making good choices when traveling by air
I do not always have the convenience of traveling by car. When I am on the road for work, I get there via air, no asphalt.
Regardless of hotel, I have yet to be told they cannot provide at least a mini-fridge for my room.
Ritz-Carlton to Fairfield Inn…if I pre-arrange, I can get a fridge without any issue and more and more hotels are including at least a mini-fridge free. At two of the smaller, boutique chains I have to clear the mini-bar and use that instead. But I simply take a photo of what it looked like at check in and then return the items before I checkout and use the space in the interim.
No place I’ve ever been for work did not have a grocery store or supermarket within reasonable walking or public transportation distance. Some, like SF, I can even pre-order and have groceries waiting when arrive. Be smart with the space you have. I sometimes have to shop every few days on a longer trip so that I have room for things, but there are priority items—like my cashew milk—that get space first. I also bring things such as beef jerky, Quest bars and individual use protein powder packets that require no refrigeration and are easy to carry regardless of where I am going.
By using the same philosophies of good choices with food on the road as I would at home means that travel doesn’t have to put five pounds on me.
I am walking into the daily battle of messages, ads, scents and sights that want to lure me back to the W sizes, well-armed with the healthy choices in my handbag and fridge and don’t ever HAVE to choose anything that isn’t worth the calories.
Extremely empowering, knowing that my options are choices I’ve consciously prepared for and not results betwixt and between devilish decisions.
What is your biggest issue when you are out and about? What has been your greatest AH HA moment when traveling? How do you eat smart when you are not home?
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