Now that you've worked your way through understanding your ultimate nutritional needs, the next piece of feeding your body is doing so consistently. It's easy to do this when you're at home because you can plan for your meals and ensure they are balanced and timely (more on planning in another post). When you're traveling, it's an entirely new ballgame. And one that isn't easy, to say the least.
I travel a lot and have found that it is nearly impossible to be as healthy on the road as it is to be when I'm at home. So I have to make proper accommodations to be as healthy as possible on the road. Here are a few tips that have helped me in the last few years during my travels (especially in airports):
- Pack as much home-cooked food as you can. Airplane food could not be more unhealthy. It's loaded with salt and with 'bad carbs' and overall, just isn't nutritionally good for you. (Did I mention it's pretty bland, too?) Packing an easy snack (e.g., Justin's almond butter packs and an apple) or packing a pre-made dish will go much further for your nutrition and your waistline than opting for airplane or -- or airport food, for that matter.
- Scope out menus beforehand. Are you taking clients to dinner? Are you going out socially with friends or clients? Are you eating on your own? It's so easy to find menus online for most restaurants and it is even easier to take a look at that menu to decide upon options that could be healthy choices before you set foot in the restaurant. If you're not meeting anyone, I find it's easiest to head to the salad bar at Whole Foods to load up on veggies and healthy protein options.
- Minimize alcohol consumption. Alcohol is such a nutrition-killer. And, if you're on a diet, it's even worse. It's hard to minimize alcohol consumption when you're taking clients out for drinks, but try to drink one drink, then during the second round, order a sparkling water, then if you're still in the mood, order your second drink. If nothing else, try to keep your night to two drinks, max. Alcohol can make you eat more and impair your nutritional choices throughout the night, meaning you likely won't get the ideal combination of carbs, proteins and fats anyway.
- Move it! Sitting on a plane for hours on end is tough on the body. Sitting in meetings all day is pretty hard on the body, too. Make some time for yourself to exercise! Exercise doesn't have to be strenuous, but can just be movement - a brisk ten minute walk, taking the stairs instead of an elevator, even parking further away from your destination and walking the distance. Movement is so important to get the blood flowing and does wonders for the psyche, too.
- Hydrate. It is recommended that you drink eight glasses of water a day, but I know I need even more water when I travel, especially when I'm traveling by air. Every hour, make it a point to drink eight ounces of water. Most airports have those environmentally-friendly water fountains these days and I carry a glass water bottle with me through security and make it a point to fill my water bottle before I board the plane. If you don't have a water bottle, try to buy a large bottle of water (24 oz. works well) and try to reuse it a few times before discarding it. Water is so important.
Have I missed anything? What recommendations do you have for healthy travel?