Travelling for work?
Going on holiday?
Running your children to and from their football match?
Being away from home is one of the most common nutrition challenges I hear about.
So here are some tips and tricks you can use to eat well on the go.
Below, 20 ways to stick to your plan, no matter where life takes you.
The ideal: You sit at the dining table and calmly, slowly, peacefully enjoy your food.
What really happens: You lose track of time while finishing up one last work email, forget to eat, and then rush out the door to pick your son up from school so you can take him to rugby and then drive your daughter home after swim practice.
Somewhere in between: A half-eaten cereal bar, a Granny Smith apple, and some cashews.
The truth is, life isn’t ideal for anyone. But you still have to eat. And you’re allowed to prioritise healthy eating even if you’re extremely busy.
There are strategies for eating well even when you’re busy.
And, in this blog, I’ll share some great suggestions that’ll help you stick to your plan, no matter where life takes you.
AT HOME BEFORE YOU GO
1. Eat a healthy meal
If you're planning to be on the go for several hours then eat something satisfying first so you don't find yourself hungry and reaching for junk in the first couple of hours at least!
2. Pack a snack (or several) in a cool bag.
3. Bring salad with you
In a Tupperware container with a tight fitting lid:
AT THE PETROL STATION / AIRPORT
Sometimes a convenience shop is your only option. Not to worry. My advice:
Go for veggies like carrot sticks and pre-made salads first.
4. Aim for better, not perfect.
Plain Greek yoghurt
Bought protein drinks
Dried fruit, unsweetened
Plain or seeded crackers
Whole grain breads
Granola or cereal bars
Fizzy drinks and fruit juices
How to make a decent petrol/convenience store meal:
1-2 proteins + 1-2 carbs + 1-2 fats (Veggies bonus)
ON A PLANE OR TRAIN
5. Try and take food with you from home. Here is what will make it through airport security:
IN A HOTEL
6. Consider booking a room with a kitchenette.
7. Head to the nearest supermarket and stock up on boxed salad, baby salad and veg, hummus, chicken and fruit.
If you don't have a kitchen:
8. Ask the hotel to empty the mini bar fridge so you can use it for healthy snacks.
9. Make a coffee maker porridge:
Pour dry oats in the paper cup, add hot water, let it sit and stir in some protein powder if you like.
AT RESTAURANTS / CONFERENCES
These meals can be heavy, but there's usually a workaround.
10. Don't aim for perfection, just pick the best choices of what is available.
11. Get creative e.g. ask them to double the grilled chicken in your pasta or sandwich.
12. Ask or use more garnishes such as lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, orange slices ('free foods') etc
ON LONGER STAYS
13. Make your plan
14. Take or get equipment to your destination
Staying in a hotel for a while? Mail yourself a box of cheap gadgets and snacks so you're set for the duration
CHECK YOUR HEAD
Have some conversations with yourself about your journey.
15. Decide whether you'll stick to your healthy habits or take a temporary break. Either way is good as long as it's a conscious choice.
16. Aim for 'better' instead of 'perfect'. This helps you avoid the f*ck it mentality.
17. Hunger is not an emergency. It's not the end of the world to be hungry for a couple of hours if you don't like your food options and know you will have access to a better option soon.
18. What are your minimums? E.g. at least 1 serving of greens a day, 2 workouts a week, 1 glass of wine per day etc
19. No matter what happens you can always fall back on the simple stuff: Eat slowly and mindfully until satisfied (80% full).
20. If you know you're going to be eating more calories than you should, compensate a little by doing some simple HIIT workouts 10-20 minutes each day (No equipment required, other than an interval timer which you can on your phone).
Do each exercise as quick as you can for 20-30 seconds, resting 5-15 secs between each.
Do 1-3 rounds of this circuit resting a couple of minutes between rounds.