Truth Time: Eating healthy is not always easy. Eating healthy while traveling is just plain hard. Eating healthy while traveling to a business conference where you are surrounded by wine and multi-course meals that always end in delicious desserts is darn near impossible.
Don’t get me wrong… I enjoy traveling. It’s nice to explore new places, try new things, and break my routine. But, breaking routine is hard when you are “in training,” as I always seem to be.
Apparently, I take my training very seriously. It takes an earth-shattering event (for example, snow and 35 mph wind gusts like we had on Sunday) for me to miss a run. And, I diligently record all my meals (to ensure that I eat enough and have the right balance of fat/carbs/protein, not to restrict calories). To me, this is just a way of life, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from coaching and talking to other runners, it is this: I am (regrettably) not normal.
So, I offer you the following PSA: To eat healthy, especially while traveling, you must plan. I’m sorry. There simply is no way around the planning.
This doesn’t mean that you have to plan every single meal in advance. If you have time to scope out a few local restaurants so that you are armed to make healthy suggestions when people are debating dinner options, you get a gold star.
If you want to do something more simple that still has a big impact, start by planning your snacks. I have a major weakness for the heavy apps passed around during happy hour. If I haven’t eaten anything since lunch, I’m guaranteed to over-indulge.
To head-off this inevitability, I made myself a care package before I left the house: a sampling of my favorite protein bars, yogurt, fruit, and granola/nut mix.
Now, I have no excuse not to eat a healthy mid-afternoon snack to tie me over until dinner. And, if all I can find for breakfast is a so-not-worth-the-calories muffin, I can always eat a breakfast bar and yogurt instead.
Try it. It only takes 5 extra minutes of packing, but, I promise, it makes a huge difference.
And, whatever you do, just don’t get so hung up on sticking to your regime that you forget to enjoy the view…