It’s taken me way longer than I intended to write this post, ironically because I have been unexpectedly busy traveling. I haven’t spent a full week at home since… I forgot, where is home again? So believe me when I say, I know the struggle. Lucky for you guys that mean I have a lot of real life tips to share with you for staying on track while traveling.
· Think Jerky Sweet Chipotle Grass-fed Beef Jerky. What I love about this brand is that it is not packed with nasty additives like MSG, nitrates, excess sugar and hydrogenated oils. It has only 2.6 g sugar per serving while boasting a whopping 10g of protein! It lasts forever without a refrigerator, plus you can order it on amazon.com and have it delivered right to your door! How easy is that!
· Apples and nut butter packets. Be careful of added sugars and hydrogenated oils in nut butters. Look for a brand like Justin’s Peanut Butter cups (or Almond Butters packets). Go for the original because the ones with added flavor like honey add to the sugar content. You can also get these on amazon.com. I’m not obsessed with Amazon or anything, it’s just that obsessive label reading is best enjoyed on your couch with a computer and a cup of coffee. When you frown at all the labels in the peanut butter aisle for 20 minutes, people in the grocery store start to stare.
· Make your own clean eating trail mix: add seeds, nuts (toasted), unsweetened dried fruit, 70% dark chocolate chunks, etc.
· Mixed nuts
· Plan ahead. Decide where you are going to eat tonight way before you are hungry for dinner. That way you don’t end up stopping at the first pizza joint that catches your eye.
· Going out with a group? Pick a surf-n-turf type restaurant. They will usually have enough options to please everybody and you can order a steak or a filet of fish with extra veggies on the side. Avoid the starchy options like potatoes and pasta.
· When everyone is ordering desert, I find a cup of coffee to be a satisfying alternative. I still have something to enjoy while I visit, without loading up on sugar and calories. Just opt for decaf if you have trouble falling asleep at night.
At the Hotel
· If your hotel offers complimentary breakfast, usually you will be able to find fresh fruit or berries and cottage cheese hidden among the toppings for the cereal bar. Skip the cereal, fruit pairs nicely with the cottage cheese all by its self.
· Don’t fall for the apparently healthy offerings like the yogurt and granola, they are going to be serving cheap brands that are loaded with sugar.
· If your room has a mini fridge, you can stop by the nearest grocery store and stock up on ready-to-eat staples like berries, plain Greek yogurt, prepared salads, pre-peeled hard boiled eggs, pre-cooked chicken breast, baby carrots, cut veggies, etc. This will also save a lot of money compared to eating out for every meal.
When you don’t eat right..
Let’s be realistic. None of us eat perfectly all of the time and travel presents us with extra challenges. We are busy and usually with other people. We don’t have control over when and where we eat 100% of the time. It is OK to cut yourself a little slack. Here is how to avoid the traps that people tend to fall into when it comes to “cheating” on your diet.
· If you eat poorly one meal, simply move on as if it didn’t happen. Don’t skip the next meal to punish yourself but don’t take it as license to eat poorly the rest of the day or week. Just resume normal operations.
· Still watch your portion size. It is perfectly fine to allow yourself the occasional indulgence. Celebrating something and really want that piece of tiramisu? Have a slice, but don’t eat the whole cake. Having a treat here and there won’t do too much damage. This is a lifestyle after all. But if you binge on an excessive amount, you might notice that you don’t meet your goals that week.
Phew! I'm glad I got this post written because my flight is about to board. I hope these tips help you have an enjoyable trip and stay on track with your goals.