I travel every week . . . usually for work and sometimes for fun. All the travel makes living a healthy lifestyle a challenge. Some weeks I’m more successful at this than others, but I always try! Here are my 5 tips for how to stay healthy while traveling.
#1 – Plan Ahead
I always plan what I’ll eat on a trip before I go. Lately my favorite is a salad with grilled chicken. I often stop by Panera on my way to the train station or the airport because they have an awesome Strawberry Poppyseed Salad with grilled chicken. Love, love, love it! And it makes me feel very healthy when I choose it over some fast-food hamburger.
#2 – Shop at Grocery Stores for Meals and Snacks
I also eat a lot of salads from grocery store’s salad bars (like HyVee). If I can find a grocery store with a salad bar I can choose all the grilled chicken, fruit, fresh spinach and leaf lettuce I want and spend less money than buying a restaurant salad. (Keep in mind that if you plan to carry a salad through airport security any salad dressing must be screened along with your other liquids. I recently found a little travel container for salad dressing that I love. It’s leak proof and easy to clean.)
Besides salad bars, grocery stores have lots of other choices for eating healthy over fast-food restaurants. I like hummas with vegetables, fresh fruit or even low-fat string cheese with whole wheat crackers.
#3 – Simply your life and your meals as much as possible
When I travel for work I’m mostly focused on work . . . I don’t have the time or interest to think about what I’m going to eat. I rarely even leave work at lunchtime unless I have a lunch meeting. Because of my schedule I have been really happy to have simplified my breakfast and lunch plans recently. I have replaced searching for something healthy to eat near my office with having a meal shake instead. I have been buying the Complete Shake Mix from Juice Plus+. The convenience is terrific and I really like the taste. Luckily I am able to keep a blender at work, as well as almond milk in the refrigerator. My favorite is the chocolate shake mix with 8 oz. of almond milk and a banana. (I freeze banana slices so I always have them available.) The shake keeps me full for hours and allows me to stay focused on work. The simplicity of it makes it work for me.
#4 – Drink lots of water
Diet Coke used to be my drink of choice but I’ve given it up and now I’ve adjusted to just drinking water. It wasn’t the easiest transition I’ve ever made, but it was definitely the right choice. I always travel with a refillable water bottle so I never worry about having something to drink. The amount of water you are “supposed” to drink varies by your overall health and activity level, but you can read up on the Mayo Clinic’s recommendation for more information.
#5 – Plan to exercise
I get really involved when I’m working and it is often hard to stop for the day. However, I do try to plan to work out after work whenever I can. I know lots of people that like to work out first thing in the morning, but I prefer to go straight from work before I do anything else at night.
That’s it . . . that’s my life on the road. I pack a salad for the train or plane. I drink meal shakes for breakfast and lunch at work, drink water and work out as often as I can manage. Nothing hard or complicated. It just takes some planning and discipline. Having said all of this I have to add . . . I love margaritas and chicken nachos more than anything! I just try not to eat them everyday.
Do you have any other ideas to make my life on the road healthier?