I have been traveling for work lately, which is something that can easily throw one off of their diet and fitness routine. Today, I’d like to offer a few travel techniques that I have found to be helpful for successfully staying on track.
1. Be prepared. I had a late-morning flight out, I made sure to eat a hearty breakfast with a lot of protein and little sugar (ham and green pepper 3-egg omelet with black coffee). This keeps me feeling satisfied and keeps hunger at bay for a longer period of time.
I also packed a bag of cashews for eating on the road. Again, these are a nice source of protein and easy to carry and eat in transit – you’ll see that they came in handy later on… (plus $3 for a pound of cashews? booyah! thanks manager’s special!)
2. Choose wisely. I had a couple of meals out in Minneapolis and one was at a great restaurant called Restaurant Alma that focuses on local and organic food. Eating out can easily help you get off track and so I wanted to see if I could do the prix fixe menu like my other colleagues and still eat well. In addition, I have been experimenting with eating according to a Paleo lifestyle (see here and here) and so I wanted to try to do that as well. The menu is below – what do you think I ordered?
Well, I started with the Arugula and Smoked Whitefish app (avoided the bread and custard). I had the Squash and Chestnut Soup for a second course (avoided the grains). And then I had the Glazed Beef Short Ribs for a third course, which was delicious. With a nice pinot noir to wash this down, I was feeling satisfied and not too full. Unfortunately, that is not where things ended. I succumbed to the pressure of dining with others and to my own temptations, and I ordered dessert. I had the Bittersweet Chocolate Tart, which I thought was a pretty good choice, but it did also leave me feeling more full that I would have liked. I actually regret having ordered it. However, it did remind me of how your eating companions can influence your eating behaviors and how it is easier to overconsume when you are not picking up the tab.
3. Have tools on hand. On the way back home, I had a two-hour layover in Chicago, which was extended to about four hours by delayed flights as is often the case at O’Hare. The good news is that this allowed me to have a relaxed sit down meal at the Macaroni Grill between the terminals. When I sat down, I asked the waiter what he recommended and he listed three things that sounded good to me, the Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Salad, the Chicken Scaloppine, and the Grilled Chicken Rosemary Spiedini. Now, I could have guessed at the nutritional information associated with each of these options (and to be fair, I didn’t ask for it at the restaurant), but what I did instead was to quickly and discretely pull out my iphone and fire up the app below.
This quickly and easily gave me the following information:
Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Salad: 870 calories, 57g fat, 1180mg sodium, 40g carbs, 5g fiber, 48g protein
Chicken Scaloppine: 1090 calories, 59g fat, 3030mg sodium, 59g carbs, 7g fiber, 38g protein
Grilled Chicken Rosemary Spiedini: 390 calories, 9g fat, 970mg sodium, 31g carbs, 7g fiber, 48g protein
So, before the waiter had even returned to my table to take my order, I knew what I wanted (any guesses?). Having this tool right in my pocket allowed me to be a more intelligent eater and avoid the first two options. I can also say that the Grilled Chicken Rosemary Spiedini was pretty good and went down well with a Stella Artois. For dessert, I revisited my bag of cashews about 2 hours later in the airport terminal, but that is a story for another day…
So, those are a few recent adventures of mine (by the way, I weighed in at exactly the same weight as when I left – something I can’t quite say for previous business trips). So, what about you folks? What are your travel techniques for staying on track when you’re on the road?
Have a great weekend and safe travels.