Looking for a gym on the road? Check out Part 1 here!
No Kitchen… No Bitchin’
This can be a toughie… It makes sense. The more prepared you are, the easier it is to make healthier choices – especially when it comes to food. Not having a kitchen or even a fridge can make food prep tough, but it doesn’t give you a license to drive thru. There is always a better choice, even when you are eating out. These days most restaurants are very accommodating for healthier patrons. You just have to ask nicely when ordering. Double meat a salad, go with oil and vinegar dressing, sub fruit/veggies for french fries, get your burger without the bun, or in a worst case scenario just skip a meal – but try to make up those calories when you get a chance.
Now here I want to reemphasize that going on vacation and/or celebrating out of town is very different than being on a business trip for a few days.
If you are in a cultural/culinary epicenter you SHOULD enjoy yourself! Obviously within reason, but we’ll never tell you not to eat cake on your birthday – that is, unless you have any specific goals or food sensitivities… Regardless, DO NOT beat yourself up if you slip off the wagon. Keep in mind, poor food choices do not equal poor morals. God won’t love you more simply because you’re gluten free. Think about your food choices as different grades of fuel. You are a high performance machine so try to minimize the amount of low quality unleaded you put in your tank.
Here are a few hacks to help navigate food choices during your hotel stay:
- Stock up on room temperature safe produce. Items you buy NOT being kept in a fridge or freezer isle. You will be largely relegated to fruits, but this can be a great snack in a pinch.
- Can goods/squeezable purees. Although not as vitamin packed as fresh foods, a couple of cans of green beans, a squeezable sweet potato and a pack of Steve’s Originals make a heck of a better option than that slice of pizza. Most of these are cheap, easy to stack and most don’t even require a can opener or scissors any more. Just be sure to check the labels.
- Don’t just eat it because it’s there. Don’t let those day old cookies at your corporate retreat deter you from your goals. If it’s not worth it pass.
- Poor-man’s cooler. If you do want anything perishable or requires that it be kept cold, try using your ice bucket as a make shift cooler. This way you can keep an entire rotisserie chicken chilled. Here’s how. Shred the chicken meat into a few small ziplock baggies. Fill up about half of the bucket with ice – in the bag or not. Then throw in your ziplock bags. As long as you have a lid you should be able to keep your food cold for at least at least 4-8 hours maybe even a full day depending on the season. Replace the ice when you can to keep everything cold and use your best judgment before consuming. If the ice in the bottom is still mostly frozen then you should be good to go!
- Sink = drink cooler. Same goes for the sink. If you want a cold bottle of water or kombucha when you get back to your room, load up the sink with ice and little bit of water. Sinks I’d only recommend for drinks not food.
- Peer Pressure. All the cool kids are doing it… Although peer pressure (AKA healthy shaming for adults) should be a topic you left back in high school, certain social situations do make saying “no” difficult. Doing my stent in the corporate world and going to college in New Orleans, I’ve found a few things that help avoid some of these uncomfortable moments. Don’t feel you need to explain your lifestyle or dietary choices. Just say you aren’t hungry and leave it at that. Don’t feel like drinking? Order seltzer, ice, and a lime. No one will be any wiser. From what I gathered, I believe that no one likes to be reminded that they aren’t making good choices… hence why a co-worker might start bullying when you order a side of grilled veggies or pass on beers. Eating un-healthy foods does not make you cool. Use your spider sense in these circumstances, if you can’t always just skip a meal if there aren’t any better options.
Final section still to come… Part 3. Prioritizing sleep while on the road.