The majority of the questions I received were about eating healthy on the road. It is definitely true that finding healthy meal options is a problem, not only in airports, but even on the road. Take just about any off ramp and you will be bombarded with countless varieties of fast food chains or grab-and-go convenience stores with very few-to-no healthy choices available. Here’s a few things that I do to avoid those extra traveling calories.
Being a good scheduler helps anyone who is an avid traveler. Airport security will allow you to bring food through security just so long as it is wrapped so preparing and packing a healthy meal is always an option. It’s even easier to do the same when on a road trip, as you’ve probably got room for a cooler, so an entire day’s meals can be planned out and stored.
Know Where You are Going / Remember Where You’ve Been
“What’s the name of that place that we went to last time with the really healthy lunch?” is something that is often said when people don’t properly document their travels. In any case, whether you’ve been there before or it’s your first trip to the area, technology is your friend. Just about everyone has a smartphone these days and a quick yelp search for “healthy restaurants in [next place of interest]” and you’ll often find a ton of great options nearby that are suggested by people who were looking for the same thing that you were. Another great trick I use is to remember great places I’ve been by taking a photo of the restaurant’s sign. Most smartphones will track the location of where the photo was taken so all I have to do is look at my photo map when I’m in a familiar area to see what places I enjoyed there.
Small Meals Often
Sometimes you have breakfast before traveling by air or car and then you have to wait until your next layover or exit to “refill your tank.” Problem is that there are always weather delays, long taxis before takeoff, waits on the tarmac, traffic jams, or that guy who just sits in the left hand lane and WON’T GET OVER!! What results is insatiable and immediate hunger that won’t wait for you to search out a healthy option, and whenever fast food options outnumber healthy 3-to-1 the chances are that your resolve will cave for quick and easy. The solution is to eat smaller meals more often so that you aren’t allowing your metabolism to enter panic mode. Healthy snacks and protein bars (hint, hint, Chef Robert Irvine Fit Crunch Bars) are always a great way to keep you going until the next “fillin’ station.”
Healthy is Worth the Wait
Healthy food is not often just off the exit to your right, and chances are you may have to drive a little further and wait a little longer to find a fresh and healthy option. Plus, there are not a lot of healthy drive thrus so your travel time may be hampered by having to have a sit-down meal somewhere. I know that “making good time” is a key priority but not for the sake of your health. Just consider the time it takes to make the right choice as an investment in your overall longevity. You’ll make that time up at the “end of the road” with better health from eating properly.
Quick Bonus Questions!!
Q: What are your suggestions to get sleep on long plane rides? Also, how do you deal with noisy babies on planes?
A: Earbuds!! Plus, If you are leading an active and healthy lifestyle, then sleep will come easily. You’re typically healthier with 6-8 hours of sleep, but I feel that I’m okay with less and that I don’t have to always have it consecutively. Power naps are your friend.
Q: When Fitness is a major priority in your life, how do you find a gym in every town you go to before you get there?
A: I stay in a lot of hotels and most major chains now include a fitness center. Even the most rudimentary equipment is enough to get a decent workout. Plus, most national chains like Gold’s Gym will allow you to use your membership in other locations with a travel pass. Check and see if your favorite fitness chain does the same. Also, day passes are available at just about every gym I’ve ever attended. To me it is worth $10-$20 bucks for an hour of exercise guaranteed to get me physically and mentally prepared for a challenging day. Lastly, opportunities for fitness are EVERYWHERE!! As you can see in this video below.