I travel quite frequently for work (I work in sales and strategy in corporate wellness plus travel for brand partnerships at times) and always get messages about how I eat/stay healthy while I travel. So I am finally sharing my top 5 tips!
My travel outfit: shoes, joggers (called Shalane Run Pants) my favorite leather jacket, travel tote, the lightest 4 wheel suitcase (I get the 29 inch used by travel crews).
I want to note this is not the same approach I’d use for a vacation (I eat daily treats, eat out every meal, and truly aim to experience the city through food and the people I am with) but this is when I am in my regular routine and want to maintain healthy digestion and feeling great in my skin. I don’t let these tips stress me out or make me feel guilty if I don’t pack protein powder, eat my greens but these are what work for me. I know there are others that travel several times a month like myself so wanted to share!
- Bring or make your own breakfast (but don’t skip it).
My go-to breakfast while traveling is Starbucks or any coffee shop oatmeal that I can pick up with my morning decaf coffee or matcha. You can also pack your own oatmeal packets or oatmeal cups, ask for hot water and add some cinnamon they leave out.
Which leads me to tip #2:
2. Pack snacks.
I pack mix-ins for the oatmeal to increase satiety and include protein and fat. My picks: I pack a scoop or two of protein powder (depending on how many days I am traveling) in my Stasher bags and always pack nut butter packets from RX bar or Justin’s (can buy at Target or almost any grocer). I add a scoop of protein powder (Deanna saves you 15%) and a packet of nut butter while the oatmeal steeps and add fresh fruit like berries or banana or the little packet of nuts they give you if I have them too. If I don’t do oatmeal I’ll get a smoothie in the airport, eat a protein bar and piece of fruit or the Starbucks egg-white wrap!
Additional snacks I pack include packets/baggies of almonds, walnuts or cashews, protein bars, apple slices, Medjool dates, dark chocolate, tuna packets. I typically pack a gallon-size Stasher bag with snacks so that I can make a quick snack in a pinch and in case you can’t get healthy items at the local grocery store (keep reading). I hate traveling and being hungry because I always overeat if I wait until someone else is hungry or if I go to dinner overly ravenous!
3. Do a little research ahead of time.
Find a healthy bowl/salad place for lunch (or dinner) with co-workers. Check out menus before-hand and pick out something with protein, carbs, fat, and fiber! Don’t only get the salad if you haven’t snacked enough that day (which I find happens when running around traveling) so find a meal with a potato or rice or bread and some nuts/avocado too. If you are eating out at a pizza or Mexican restaurant, remember to add TO your meal (not restrict). Eat the pizza but add a salad to start. Order the fajitas (not just a salad) and eat 1-2 tortillas instead of all 5 and ask for veggies to come with the guac and chips. Adding TO your meals is a powerful change.
4. Find a grocery store near-by if possible.
If you are traveling for a few days in the same city, finding a grocery store is great if you didn’t pack snacks or want things you can’t pack on a plane (ie cucumbers with hummus). I’d recommend searching for high fiber wraps, nut butter, cut up fruit, cut up veggies, and protein sources (ie hard boiled eggs, beef jerky, deli turkey). Whenever traveling, it can be easy to over consume fat and carb sources but the key is to combat those meals with other filling meals full of protein and FIBER (veggies!). Veggies also help with dehydration that happens when flying!
You can also recommend the local Whole Foods for your meetings so you can grab a protein + 2 sides plate or brown box and also pick up a drink like Kombucha to help with digestion (which mine can be off when flying).
5. Don’t work-out unless you get enough sleep.
I only work-out if I can get in my 7-8 hours of sleep. And then this is usually a 15-20 min HIIT workout in the tiny gym but is rare 🙂 If I don’t get enough sleep, it is better for me to focus on just being overall active during the day and getting in enough steps. For me, this will look like a 20-30 minute walk around the airport or in-between meetings. Walking is your most powerful activity when traveling!
What other tips do you have to feel your best when traveling?