Whether you're traveling for work or going on a fun vacation, your diet doesn't have to end up being a complete bust. In this post I'm going to show you how you can still eat well on the go and enjoy your trip (and definitely save yourself a bunch of $$$). ✈️
Here's a little backstory first: Years ago, I was a regional manager for a large retail company. I spent many long hours in the car driving to and from work 4-5 days per week. When I was first promoted into the position, I wasn't on my health and wellness journey yet. I had no idea how to eat properly or how to make up for my new, more-sedentary lifestyle. I also took full advantage of the fact that the company paid for my lunches on travel time (which was basically everyday). So I ate out. A lot. A year and +15lbs later, I knew I had to make a change. I needed to be more active and I needed to make better choices with my diet. I got to the point where I didn't recognize myself. And I didn't want to live in that puffy, bloated body forever. So I changed things up, and here's how you can too.
Always travel with snacks (and get yourself a cooler bag!). If you're like me, you can go from 0 to hangry in the matter of minutes. Traveling with your own snacks will help you avoid temptation of stopping at a drive-thru or grabbing some packaged item at a convenience store. Things I like to bring while out and about: nuts and raisins, cut up peppers, yogurt and granola, a pre-made salad w/ veggies, a little dressing and your protein of choice, tuna fish mixed with avocado and crackers, a protein shake, jerky, or a high quality protein bar (one that's not loaded with sugar and a shit ton of ingredients).
If you have to stop for convenience items, choose options with few ingredients, and that resemble real food. Unsweetened dried fruit, greek yogurt, an apple with nut butter, crackers or veggies with hummus, hardboiled eggs, and unsalted nuts/seeds are great options.
Packing your lunch is the best option when you have that luxury. If you're going to work and you know you'll have access to a microwave, you can make/bring your own full meal so you know exactly what you're eating. I learned to be the queen of this. All of my store employees knew that I wouldn't eat the lunches we ordered during meetings since they usually consisted of pizza or sandwiches, chips and soda. I brought a container with a protein, a complex carb like potatoes or rice, and a vegetable. Then snacks were usually protein shakes and nuts. Don't feel like you have to eat what is in the office. You typically always have the choice to bring your own food!
Stay in an AirBnB or hotel with a kitchen so you can cook your own food. This is key when I travel. First off, it's soooo much more expensive if you eat out for every single meal or order room service. Not to mention that you'll save yourself so much added sodium and trans fats since you'll be in control of how you prepare your food. Make a list and hit the grocery store when you first arrive so you can load up on everything you'll need for your stay. The cool thing is that AirBnB's usually have staple spices on-hand, like salt, pepper, garlic powder to season up your meals.
Don't stress out if you make the choice to go out to eat. We've all been there! It's easy and you may be low on time or energy. I get it! Here's what I recommend: When going to a restaurant, opt for somewhere with options (like grilled rather than just fried food), don't skip the veggies, and eat slowly so you can really enjoy the meal.
I hope these tips help you navigate your day-to-day errands, as well as your travels for work or fun! If you have any questions or want to dial in on your nutrition in a 1:1 setting with me, please send me an email here email@example.com
-Dana Watson, Owner of ThreeSixty Nutrition & Certified Nutrition Coach