You’ve started on a healthy lifestyle and have figured out a way to stay on track at home. All of a sudden you find yourself on the road for business or pleasure. The question now becomes: “how am I going to be successful while traveling ?”
I am currently away teaching Motivational Interviewing to the Navajo Diabetes Educators in Farmington, New Mexico. I’ve had to adapt to my temporary situation and surroundings with the challenging food choices so I thought to myself today “why not bring you on this journey with me?”
So HOW do you stay on track and deal with food challenges while traveling?
Answer: Plan, Plan, Plan. Let’s break it down…
It is optimal to do some preliminary research. Where are you going, what local resources are available, and how can you make sure your new Life Style Solutions stay on track?
Where are you staying? Does the hotel offer a small refrigerator in the room? Normally with requests this is not a problem and a very important part of staying on track. When I travel this is my main secret along with the below ideas:
- Bring small items with you: bags of mixed nuts/seeds, packets of ground flax seeds, small bags for your supplements (I like pill pouches – 1 per day), bags of tea for the hotel room (and hopefully your hotel had a Keurig or similar setup).
- Find a small grocery store that you can purchase yogurt, cottage cheese, hard boiled eggs, nuts/seeds (unless you’ve brought enough), sparking waters, carrots, celery, avocados, and natural almond/peanut butter to have on hand for breakfast, snacks, etc.
- If short on time order these items via Instacart, which is a great time saver and wonderful for those business travelers. Instacart offers professional grocery shoppers who shop for your items, will text you during the process to ask for substitutions if your items are not available, and deliver to your hotel or location at a convenient time window. I’m always surprised how precise these shoppers are with what I want. As a bonus they keep your shopping list for future orders.
- Stay at a hotel that offers healthy meals or find nearby places that offer salads, omelets, etc. for a quick meal before or after your day.
- Don’t forget things like disposable utensils, little plastic bags and napkins, foldable grocery sack, etc.
- Many hotels that offer breakfast buffets only offer fruited yogurts. Though I’m not a proponent of these , if you have even 1 plain yogurt or cottage cheese with you, you can mix it together for more protein and less carbs than what is offered. Having an avocado to slice up with a hard-boiled egg or two will help with satiation and avoiding the cereals, waffles and plethora of bread options.
A little planning and prevention goes a long way to change your only option does not have to be this carb fest. Although I love coming to Farmington to train the food choices are extremely limited. Fortunately, they have a Natural foods grocery store and a few other nice grocery stores that have all the items I need. I brought mixed bags of pecans/walnuts/cashews/sunflower seeds/pumpkin seeds with me, packets of ground flax seed for my morning breakfast and bags of my favorite tea so I’m set for the week.
I would hate to think what would have happened if I relied on restaurants or opportunistic eating since the lifestyle would have gone out the window. Healthy eating is doable with traveling but requires planning and forethought, and that is what Life Style Solutions is all about.