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How To Eat Healthy While Traveling for Business

By May 3, 2017Be Fit, Travel Tips

Divas you asked for it, so we prepared tips on how to eat healthy while traveling!  We are going to break this down into a series of posts:

  1. How to eat healthy while traveling on business.
  2. How to eat healthy while on vacation.
  3. How to eat healthy when you are out and about and didn’t prep your meals.

Today we are going to cover the 1st topic in our series!  I hope you find this post helpful! Here we go sisters….

While far more of us are traveling today, trying to eat healthy while doing so can often times become one of life’s biggest challenges. Whatever the endeavor, whether it’s traveling for work, visiting friends or family, or just taking a vacation the trial to stay on task with eating healthfully can be more than mildly perplexing.

And although your eating won’t be perfect, there are a number of strategies you can put into play that will certainly help.

Because travel looks different depending on the type and destination, today we will focus on business / conference travel.

Planning Ahead

Before you leave, I encourage you to already have the decision made about what foods you need to stay away from and what foods you’re willing to let slide in certain situations. When you do that, you’ll spare yourself the stressful mental thinking when opportunities arise. This will lessen your chances of experiencing any painful discomfort from eating a so called “forbidden food” the next day. You will also be able to plan ahead better about what kind of foods to bring with you and how much you’ll need.

The Hotel Options

  1. Book a Hotel that has a microwave and refrigerator within your per diem (if possible).
  2. Contact the Hotel to see what kind of Grocery stores are in the area, or use Google, by typing “Grocery Stores near {inset hotel name and zip code]”. If you have control over which hotel you choose, pick the hotel that is closer to a grocery store. (if possible)
  3. I highly recommend using review sites to search the city you’re visiting for healthier food choices in restaurants, cafés and other eating establishments using key words like healthy, natural, organic or grass fed. This will quickly give you an idea of where to eat along with reviews on how their food and service is.  You can also Contact the Hotel or Google “Clean Eating” restaurants in the area
  4. Although typically not the best quality food, it’s good to check out hotel breakfast options ahead of time, as well, to see what foods might be available to you. Stocking up on hard-boiled eggs or fruit from the breakfast buffet can serve as breakfast or snacks during your stay.
  5. If you have the luxury of ordering room service or eating dinner at the hotel restaurant, don’t be afraid to ask how meals are prepared, and ask for dressings or sauces to be removed to put on the side

The Airport Options

  1. Technology is your friend. There are some great apps out there that can help you scout your options and make informed decisions.GateGuru is a great app created specifically for airports, with information on thousands worldwide including maps, tips for navigating, and a full listing of food and amenity information (complete with user rankings and reviews) searchable by terminal and gate. Scope out all of your options before making a decision.
  2. I also love Yelp, for the airport and beyond. GateGuru makes it easier to see all the options and search by location within the airport, but, at least currently, Yelp seems to house more detailed information and reviews for many of the restaurants. I frequently use both in tandem. (see pic above)
  3. Be prepared to mix and match smaller items to piece together snacks or meals. There are times and places that healthy airport options are bleak, so you may have to get creative.
  4. Buffets get a bad rep, but don’t turn away so quickly. You may be able to find items like steamed vegetables, brown rice, salad, oatmeal, etc. Even if it’s just one thing, grab a small to-go container and pair it with another find from elsewhere.
  5. Coffee shops are another venue where you’ll often find quality items to piece into a meal. It’s no surprise to me that Starbucks has in recent years consistently been the most expensed restaurant among business travelers; when there’s nothing else around, or I simply don’t have time to check out all the options, there is always a cup of oatmeal and a banana waiting for me there. In a pinch, grab a skim latte for a quick dose of protein. Essentially, be ready to abandon your idea of a traditional meal and focus instead on collecting an assortment of healthy items.
  6. You shouldn’t be shy about asking for modifications. At airports, you’ll tend to find an abundance of pre-made items, many that contain heavy amounts of things like cheese, mayonnaise, salad dressing, or added sugars that you’ll want to try to avoid. However, there are almost always opportunities to have it made your way, as long as you’re not afraid to ask.

What To Pack?

  1. There are a lot of great products available in handy travel-size packets that you can constantly keep stowed in your carry-on as well. (see pic above)
  2. You can easily take a variety of perishable and nonperishable items with you depending on the length of your trip, and how much room you have to pack food.
  3. For perishable foods, depending on your type of travel, you can use a cooler or a shoulder strap cooler bag along with gel ice packs to keep foods cold during your travel time. If flying and you’re unsure if your ice source is security-friendly, take a large Ziploc bag and get ice from a drink shop once you’re inside the terminal.Perishable friendly travel foods:
    • Raw vegetables like carrots, broccoli and cauliflower tossed in extra virgin olive oil.
    • Hard boiled eggs
    • Pre-cooked sweet potatoes
    • Meats like shrimp or chicken and beef pre-cut into strips
    • Single serving packs of guacamole or hummus
  4. For flights that may include long layovers or in-flight meal services, it’s best to prepare your own to-go meal before leaving the house. Dry foods are perfectly acceptable to take in carry-ons, so take as much as you need!!
    • Protein bars – but watch the sugar content
    • Raw nuts and seeds
    • Individual packets of peanut butter, almond butter and other nut butters
    • Canned (or packaged) salmon, tuna, sardines or other fish (not on the plane though diva)
    • Fruits like apples, bananas, avocados and orangesPackaged foods or foods that don’t need immediate refrigeration are a great resource for emergency meals and snacks, especially when spending long hours away from the hotel due to work or other obligations. In those instances you can pack large stashes of these foods in your suitcase, and take what you’d like in your carry-on for immediate use.Non-perishable friendly travel foods:
  5. A few accessories that may come in handy are reusable eating utensils, plates and napkins will help as you prepare and eat your food throughout your stay.
  6. Don’t be shy about taking any other small conveniences that make you feel comfy. This includes supplements you might be taking like protein powder, fish oil or probiotics, or bags of your favorite tea you like to drink in the morning. Especially when traveling frequently for work, keeping a somewhat normal routine is pretty critical to staying in control.

Alright now divas those are our best tips on how to eat healthy while traveling for business!  We would absolutely love to hear from you if you have additional tips or even if you found this post helpful!

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  • Lakeisha Walker says:

    Great advice! I plan on implementing them on my upcoming trip. I’ll keep you posted on how well I did. Planning is the key to success. Thanks Coach Twy!

  • Garnett says:

    Great tips. I will make sure to utilize them next time I travel whether for business or pleasure.

  • Michele dean says:

    It’s very challenging at times to stay committed while traveling since I travel a lot . A lot of these suggestions I will be implementing into my daily routine and I feel like it can be done . Thank you !!!

  • Joy says:

    Proper planning prevents poor food choices. I especially like scoping out the hotels and surroundings BEFORE arrival.

  • Celestine Jackson says:

    Great tips!! I’ve also got to change my mindset. I equate traveling as vacation …which means it’s time to let your hair down and enjoy yourself..including food!! I’m going to make a conscious effort to implement the above suggestions when traveling! Thanks!!!

  • Amy Burrell says:

    Great tips! You covered all traveling basics & provided pics of examples. I find it very helpful for anyone on the go & still want healthy food options.

  • Wanda says:

    Right on time for our staycation! This is perfect

  • Danielle Irving says:

    These tips are really helpful and have worked for me when I had to travel. Planning ahead and using the apps above are truly a difference maker. I also love the idea of piecing meals together.

  • Zakia Anderson says:

    Very good tips for staying the course while traveling for business.

  • Damita Drayton Green says:

    Innovative, workable, option filled solutions to traveling and watching what I eat. Just what I needed. Thanks Coach Twy!

  • Valerie McKenzey says:

    This is great and right on time. It is always a struggle when traveling to stay on track. This information is so helpful.

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