By Lauren Denos: 2/16/2015 (Nutrition)

Sticking with a health food routine can be hard even under perfect circumstances. There are always the temptations to eat foods that are less than optimal for us. But if you travel for a living and do not have access to the "right food” and do not have regular hours, these challenges can be magnified. This is a different way of life that is many time associated with not being able to follow as healthy of a diet, but there are some things you can do to help yourself along this healthy eating path. So what can you do to make sure you stay with your healthy eating routine? I am glad you asked. Here are a few tricks you can incorporate to help you on your way:

  1. Many people who are on the road a lot for work reasons wind up having a lot of dinners out with clients or potential clients. If you are having to eat out with clients often then you may want to look and see what restaurants are available ahead of time. Find at least 2 or 3 restaurants if possible that have a variety of food that your clients will like, but that also have healthy options on the menu. This way you are equiped with some suggestions.

  2. Drink plenty of water before and between your meals. Fill up with water so you do not eat as much of the bad stuff. This will help if you are in a situation of not being able to choose the restaurant or not having any good options on the menu. You may not always have the best options, but do the best with what you have and just eat smaller portions.

  3. Eat something before client dinners. If going out to dinner with others is a regular occurrence for you, and you already know you are going to be going to a restaurant with poor food choices, then have a snack or meal before you go out. You can still get something small to snack on while you are there if you feel the need to, but you will not be ravenous for a huge plate full of food you typically would not eat.

  4. Substitute vegetables for bread or pastas in meals. When you are out at restaurants, ask for steamed vegetables in the place of a side of pasta, loaded mashed potatoes or greasy garlic bread, etc. That is one quick and easy way to make your meal a bit better and lower on the calories.

  5. Have some meal replacement shakes on hand. Meal replacement shakes should not generally be the first option for someone. A real meal with lean proteins, vegetables, healthy carbs and healthy fats would be ideal. But, if you are someone who is traveling or so busy that you will just not eat at all, then meal replacement shakes may be the way to go. Just make sure you are getting a good quality protein in the meal replacement. Aim for some of the vegetable (non soy) proteins like pea protein, rice protein or amaranth. Or go for a lean non veggies option like egg white protein or some whey. When you choose your protein, make sure there are not a lot of fake additives and sugars in it. You’re better off going for something simplistic and you can mix a little whole fruit in it. Different people find that different protein powders work best for them, so you may need to look around to find what works best for you. A few good looking clean brands are Vega, Garden of Life Raw Meal, MRM veggie protein, and Now Foods Tru-Food Vegan meal replacement.

  6. If there are specific cities you travel to often, then start yourself a list of all the places for you to eat in that city. Eventually, you will have a great list for whenever you travel, and you will know exactly where to go. There are also usually chain restaurants that have healthy choices that will be many places you travel. A deli can be a good quick choice since they usually have a variety of salads, vegetables, and lean protein without the wait, some grocery stores have all of this and a salad bar.

  7. If you are traveling in an airplane, then you will probably not be able to get much food through airport security. You may be fine with sealed protein powders packets, just get the individual serving sizes for this. If the airport will let you, another good idea is to take some snacks with you, like some raw nuts. This will give you what you need to snack on and will help you resist the foods in the food court. Call before you take stuff, since what it allowed is changing constantly.

  8. Do not let yourself get too hungry. When you are traveling, you can have a much easier time of telling yourself it is okay to eat something that would normally be horrible for you, and this temptation only doubles or triples when you let yourself get hungry. If you keep yourself at least reasonably satiated you will be far less tempted to grab junk food, and when you do sit down for meals with clients you will make better choices. Along with this is to remember to eat breakfast. When you are traveling and going to plenty of meetings, you have no idea what time you next meal will come. So make sure you eat your breakfast and take snacks with you. This could be as simple as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on some whole grain bread or some oatmeal. If you can get your hands on some boiled eggs that would be a great protein source. Yes, a balanced meal would be best whenever possible, but do what you can. If peanut butter and jelly is what you have then it is better than nothing!

Traveling can be a challenging time to stick with your health goals, but if you can do it during this time you can stick with it through all the other times with ease! Safe travels!



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