I recently attended the CD/NLA Executive Retreat in Nashville. This was one of the best events that I have been to in my 23 years in business, but when I got back from Nashville I had put on eight pounds. The all-you-can-eat ribs at Kid Rock’s were off the hook as well as breakfast buffets, large dinners, and drinks at the hotel.
While it’s generally OK to enjoy those unhealthy treats on occasion, I overindulged and paid the consequences for days upon returning home. Our bodies like consistency, and when we are uniform with our eating, sleeping, and exercise programs, our bodies just run better.
I know I’m not alone and that many of you have experienced the same thing when you’re away from the office/home and your usual routine. With shows being a regular part of our calendar, I’ve compiled a list of eight ways to prevent derailing your nutrition and health goals while traveling.
1. Planning Is a Recipe for Success: When it comes to healthy eating on the go, a little planning goes a long way. Before embarking on your journey, take a moment to map out some meals and snacks. Research restaurants or grocery stores near your destination that offer nutritious options. Having a game plan in place will help you make healthier choices and avoid succumbing to impulsive food decisions, especially at the often overpriced and mostly unhealthy grab-and-go places.
2. Whole Foods Are the Building Blocks of Nutrition: While traveling, it’s crucial to prioritize whole foods that provide essential nutrients. Choose meals and snacks that consist of lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats. These nutritional powerhouses will keep you energized and focused throughout your workday. Seek out salad bars, sandwich shops with whole grain options, or local eateries that focus on fresh, unprocessed ingredients as much as possible.
3. Mastering the Art of Moderation With Portion Control: When dining out, portion sizes are often larger than what our bodies actually need. Be mindful of your real hunger and listen to your body’s fullness cues. Consider sharing meals or packing up leftovers for later. By practicing portion control, you can enjoy the flavors without overindulging.
4. Quench Your Thirst for Success by Staying Hydrated: Keeping hydrated is vital, especially when traveling. Carry a reusable water bottle with you and make it a habit to drink water throughout the day. Hydration not only supports your overall well-being but also helps curb unnecessary snacking. Opt for water instead of sugary beverages or excessive caffeine, as they can lead to crashes and even dehydration.
5. Nourish With On-the-Go Snacks: Having a stash of ready-to-eat snacks is a travel companion’s best friend. Pack a variety of nutritious snacks to satisfy your hunger between meals. Think portable options like fresh fruits, pre-cut vegetables, trail mix, yogurt cups, granola bars, protein bar, and shakes. The non-perishable items are easy to throw into your suitcase and will keep your energy levels stable so you’re not tempted to grab a candy bar or chips.
6. Savor the Flavor: In the midst of busy work travels, it’s easy to eat mindlessly or rush through meals. Practice conscious eating by slowing down and savoring each bite wherever possible. Engage your senses, appreciate the flavors, and be present in the moment. By practicing mindfulness, you’ll develop a deeper connection with your food and enhance your overall dining experience.
7. It’s Last Call: Drinks are always flowing at these events, and it’s easy to have a good time when you’re with friends and colleagues. I find that it’s best to strive for a 1:1 ratio of alcoholic drink to water.
8. Make Your Own Meal: Today, there are a variety of portable blenders that you can use to make a smoothie or a quick blended meal on the go. I recommend the BlendJet2 because it’s easy to pack and clean on the road, but there are a number of affordable and powerful alternatives on the market, including some that double as a to-go cup.
As you embark on your work travels, remember that maintaining a healthy diet is within your reach. By prioritizing planning, choosing whole foods, practicing portion control, staying hydrated, and incorporating smart snacks, you can fuel your body and perform at your best. Embrace mindful eating, savor the culinary experiences, and let your commitment to healthy nutrition be your secret weapon on the road. Safe travels and bon appétit, your body will thank you! [CD0823]
Mark Kini is the President & CEO of Boston Chauffeur. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Eliza Nelson is a personal trainer and owner of Breakthru Fitness. She can be reached at email@example.com