Ramblings on Healthy Traveling

I probably should have taken more pictures for this post.  I’m so terrible at that, but I’m going to do better next trip – deal?  Ok moving on as I paint pictures with my words….

This week I had 2 trips – one was a driving trip and one was a flying trip.  In order for me to keep on track I have to really put in work.  The downfall of traveling is that sometimes my exercise schedule just doesn’t happen.  Not because I don’t want it to, but because of schedule, delays, or just exhaustion.  Traveling is tiring work and I’ve pretty much decided that my secret for success is being a perfect as I can be on diet while trying to workout when possible.  So let’s talk strategy, shall we?

Hit the Road!
I will preface this section by saying – when it comes to certain things I don’t mind spending money.  I will penny pinch and shop clearance for a new granny sweater, but I will pay almost full price (come on – if you are ordering online and aren’t googling “company here promo code” you are not doing the internet right.  Anyway, one of my favorite pieces of travel gear is my 6 pack bag.  I have both the 3 and 5 level bags and I LOVE them.  Anyway for a road trip no matter where I’m going, one of these is coming with me.  As this was only an overnight trip and a very short one at that, I packed up my 300.  I brought with me bottled water, Chobani, protein bars and protein powder.  The hotel did not have a refrigerator and at 6am the next morning my ice packs weren’t even completely melted.  Perfect – my Chobani was still ice cold and ready for me to eat pre-workout.  First way I stay on track.  Second, I brought my workout with me.  I actually have converted some of my DVDs to files on my computer only for the purpose of putting on a thumb drive to bring with me to travel.  I didn’t do all – that would be ridiculous!  But I do have them with me in case the hotel gym is crap (which, hello – this is so common) or I’m in the mood to have someone tell me what to do for the workout because I don’t have it inside myself to do it.  So for this trip this week, I ate my still cold Chobani then did an Insanity workout.  I took my remaining protein shake with me to my meeting and since it was over relatively early, at lunch at home after driving back, having a 2nd snack on the road instead of a meal.  I needed to beat traffic 🙂  With that – I was only gone about 20 hours but I was perfectly on track.

I also always request a refrigerator and microwave on EVERY trip.  Sometimes I get it, sometimes I don’t.  But always request it.  Always.  If I have it, then I don’t have to rely on my 6 pack bag as being my refrigerator.  And then I can shop for what I need and eat as if I’m at home.

Friendly Skies!
Flying presents a LOT of challenges for the healthy girl on the road.  Let’s start with food.  Since there are so many limits to what you can bring on the plane, it can be hard to go with the old stand bys.  With having to get to the airport so early, it’s not impossible to have to eat 2 -4 of my 6 meals a day in an airport depending on the flight.  Even a short 45 min commuter flight ends up being at least 3 hours between getting to the airport to check in, get through security, actual flight, then getting baggage.  And that assumes no delays – which you never should assume because that is how you get in trouble!  Most larger airports are easy to find a good meal in assuming you have the time to do a little recon.  It’s the baby airports that kind of suck.  Like Omaha (I love you Omaha but…) that airport has the equivalent of a concession stand – nachos, burgers, and scary old sorry looking salads with no style, totes economy class.

There are a few ways I tackle airports.  My bars and shakes are my bffs.  Protein powder in a shaker cup or in the tub have never given me a problem with TSA. And post security you just have to buy a water to mix it with.  Bars are easy and great on the plane to grab and eat.  Protein is the best for me personally because it keeps me full.  When figuring how how much to pack to eat I do think at least the day before about how my day will lay out and once I put the trip in there, see what and how many meals fall into the travel to the airport/flight time.  Also if a short delay will mean I miss another meal, I add that in as well just to be safe.  Then I pack enough supplements to cover all meals while flying.  Is this ideal?  Hell no.  I’ll be the first to say that.  But I’ve flown a heck of a lot and I’ve been in trouble before when you want to buy food and (1) oh you are in row 30 and they ran out of everything but m&ms and pringles at row 25 (2) flight was delayed and the only thing open at the airport when you landed was mcdonalds (3) concession stand aka Omaha (4) delay on first flight is so much that instead of the 1.5 hour layover you thought you had to grab food you have become a contestant on airport mad dash to get to your next flight. So on and so forth.  Bottom line – I’ve learned that I can’t assume that I will have time to eat in the airport except for the time before my first flight assuming security works with me on that.  So I’d rather bring the bars and protein and not need it than need it and not have it and be stuck buying those pringles and m&ms.  When you are hungry and desperate, that’s when you make the worst decisions in life.  Being prepared stops the walk of shame in the concourse 🙂

On this trip I was lucky to have a good sized fridge/microwave.  I did a grocery shop for almond milk (for mixing with powder), fresh fruit, microwaveable breakfast (these cedarlane all natural egg white omelettes fit the bill with fruit!), chobani, and bottled water right after I checked in.  So while this is again a short trip (literally about 48 hours), I have had a lot of my meal needs taken care of, no problem.

With both of these – flying or driving, you can always be more prepared than you think.  Like I said earlier – request the microwave and refrigerator.  Scout out the airports for possible good foods in your concourse if you are nervous.  Pack your non-perishables or perishables depending on drive vs. fly.  ALWAYS bring your exercise gear.  Always.  Make time for exercise or activity.  Beach walking burns your thighs as I learned today.  Go kayaking or hiking or some other activity that is new to you.  Or just go for a walk.  Move early and move often.  Tell your travel companions what you need.  My coworkers all know that if we are looking for a hotel and what everyone’s needs are mine are simple – gym and hopefully fridge/microwave.   I’m the only one who doesn’t say this loyalty program or that!  Lastly – get some sleep!  Is all this work?  Yes.  Is it more than you have thought about before?  Yes!  Is it going to be worth it when you end the trip not only not gaining weight, but LOSING a lb or two?  YES!!  I’m finally getting to the point where I’m starting to think about the end state, not the short term.

Side note – if you read all this – bless you, LOL!

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