Tips to Eat Well on the Go

Do you travel a lot for work? Are you going on a vacation? Do you take your kids from one sporting event to another?

If you answered yes to any of the above, today I am going to share some tips on how to eat well while doing all of those things.

Throughout my years of helping friends, family and clients improve their nutrition habits, one of the most common challenges I hear about is being away from home.

Ideally, we all want to sit at our dining table with our family surrounding us eating calmly, mindfully and slowly.

However, in most cases we lose track of time while going from one task on the to-do list to another and end up rushing out the door to take a kid to practice or go to a meeting.

Somewhere in the middle we snack on a protein bar, some nuts and possibly fruit.

The reality; life isn’t ideal. You need to eat, and you should prioritize healthy eating even though your life may seem too busy for it.

So…. Good News! I have some great tips and strategies to share with you all today!

1. Eat a Healthy Meal

If you are planning to be away from your house for several hours, make sure to eat a healthy and satisfying meal prior to leaving. This will keep you from feeling hungry and stopping at the fast food join in between errands.

2. Pack a Snack

I personally love to snack! I try to always have some type of food with me anytime I travel or run errands because I tend to binge if I go too long without eating. Below is a list of easy food items to travel with!

  • Nuts and seeds

  • Cut fresh fruit

  • Quality protein bar

  • Protein powder

  • Tuna in a pouch

  • Hard boiled eggs

  • Raw veggies and hummus

  • Quality meat jerky

3. Gas Station/ Convenience Store Tips

When a convenience store is your only option, opt for the veggies and premade salads. It is more difficult to choose a healthy meal, however try to aim for better, not perfect. Below is a great infographic from Precision Nutrition dealing with this topic.

4. On a Plane/ Train

Make the most of meal offerings and make use of your carry-ons. If a la carte is available on your plane, order it. A tapas box or a snack pack will usually include nuts, olives, cheese and meat you can pick through.

Sandwiches, whole or cut fruit and veggies, firm cheeses, meat and nuts will make it through security. Be sure to pack snacks accordingly to avoid the temptation of junk at the airport.

5. In a Hotel

Consider booking a hotel room that has a kitchenette. This will give you the opportunity to go to a local grocery store and buy fresh unprocessed foods to have. If you do not have the option for a kitchenette, be sure to make use of the mini fridge. Stock it full of healthy snacks readily available.

6. At Restaurants/Conferences

At these two events the meals can be quite heavy. However, there are many ways to work around this. The first thing you should do is pick a menu item that is best for you. Just because it is an Italian restaurant does not mean you have to order a large dish of pasta. You can also be creative and try to add items to your order. For example, you can always order double the meat to increase your protein.

When dining out, look for build-your-own meal restaurants. Many places, such as Crushed Red, allow you to build your meal from start to finish. This allows you to avoid some items that might hinder your health goals.

7. Long Vacation or Work Trip

If you are planning to travel for a long vacation or work trip, make yourself a plan.

  • Pre-order groceries from a local store

  • Research the nearest grocery store

  • Pre-order meals from a local delivery service

  • Get restaurant menus in advance to decide what you’ll order

If you are staying in a vacation rental or hotel for a while, bring what you need!

  • Groceries

  • Protein powder, shaker bottle, etc.

  • Non-perishable healthy snack items

Most importantly, check-in with yourself!

  • When you are traveling, 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.

  • Aim for ȁCbetterȁD instead of ȁCperfectȁD

  • This will help you avoid the ȁCscrew itȁD mentality we sometimes get when cheating on our ȁChealthy eatingȁD.

  • Hunger is not an emergency

  • It is OK to be hungry for a couple of hours if you don’t like your food options.

  • No matter what happens, you can always fall back on the simple stuff

  • Eat slowly and mindfully until around 80% full

jeff carr