In preparation for a video series we are releasing with Team DNA Fitness Women next week that shares workouts that can be done anytime and anywhere – I want to focus on the more impactful and frankly, more difficult aspect of health… nutrition.
Considering my last blog post was about fully enjoying myself on vacation, understand that these tips can/should be applied when you want to hold yourself accountable with the bigger picture in mind. My dedication to my diet depends on my goals. If it is all leading up to one beach trip, then I’ll obviously be sipping on my coconut cocktail while day dreaming of dessert foods. However, if I have a trip home to Houston or one in between now and bikini clad me, I aim to stay on track. Of course, there is always the chance that you are someone committed to being on point 100% of the time, in which case these tips still apply.
Question one – How are you traveling and to what degree would you like to be a bag lady (or man)?
Either by car or by plane, know that you have the option to bring your own meals. There are these super serious looking bags (6 Pack Bags) that are literally designed to take your entire fridge along. So if you’re looking to stay on track to the T, you could meal prep for the necessary number of days and be on your way. My main point is that solid foods will indeed make it through the airport. Unfortunately, peanut butter is not considered a solid and TSA will take it from you and throw it away and probably fish it out later to stick plastic spoons in and mock your naivety.
If you’re not into packing your own meals, look into companies such as My Fit Foods, Snap Kitchen and Meal Pros (local to Austin). Or if you’re feeling extra on top of things, I know some people that use Icon Meals and have meals shipped to their destination. I typically stop into Snap Kitchen or Meal Pros before the 2.5 hour drive to Houston. Mainly because I grace my parents with my presence for a few days and don’t like to force my mom to go grocery shopping for my sake. Although I usually request that she makes spaghetti because hers is the best. If I arrive empty handed to an empty fridge, I’ll go to My Fit Foods and stock up because it’s closest to my house. One time I was feeling proactive and I brought oats & protein powder to store in the pantry, which I always thank my past self for.
On trips that don’t include the luxury of having access to my parents’ fridge, I stuff my suitcase with snacks. One thing I’ve learned about being conscious about my health is that I eat wayyy more often than most people. My family likes to eat breakfast & dinner, meanwhile I’m slowly starving and constantly asking what time we’re going to eat. My solution has been to buy an assortment of protein bars. My favorites include:
I recommend choosing real protein sources over bars in your everyday life, but when hunger strikes, these are better than a snickers! I’m also the person who takes fruit from the continental breakfast to save for later. In reality, it’s all about preparedness and avoiding getting so hungry that you have no control over what you put into your body. When you’re “hangry,” you’re not likely to make the healthiest of choices.
What about eating out while traveling? It’s obviously a must and you needn’t avoid or dread it just because you’re watching what you eat. If it is going to be multiple times a day, I make sure that at least one of those meals includes the necessary veggies + protein + healthy fats. I’ll make the angelic choice with the understanding that I may make a devilish choice later. If you’re traveling with a group/family, take the lead on deciding where to eat. I’m the official Yelper of the family. It can be a stressful title, but it gives me a chance to look over the menu and ensure we don’t end up at Taco Bell. I try to keep everyone happy & make sure there are options for everyone. If it’s a bit too “Teylor” I can always ask that we try it out and suggest that someone else chooses the next meal. Worst that can happen is that whoever I’m with ends up eating a healthy meal, and I get to look forward to reconnecting with Mr. Chicken & Cheese Quesadilla.
I cannot stress enough how important moderation is. If I was a restrictive clean-eater, travel would be incredibly stressful. Hence why I choose to be what is called a “flexible dieter.” It ensures that splurging won’t literally wreak havoc on my digestive system and mental game. It also helps me stay calm around food instead of acting like a kid in a candy shop, because no specific food is ever off-limits.
During spring break I will be traveling to Sedona, Arizona with my entire family for a week. I’ve employed the above tactics before – specifically last year when I completed my first Tough Mudder at the end of the week. Performance wise, I would have liked to be in my own kitchen rather than a cabin in the canyon, but I wouldn’t trade that family time for the obstacle course being maybe .1% easier. This year I will be reverse dieting (thinking I should do a separate post on this, comment below if you agree) during the trip, which means estimating my food intake instead of knowing the exact numbers. Such is life! Instead of completely throwing in the towel or stressing myself out at the thought of not being perfect, I’m going to practice what I preach: moderation is key.
Have health, will travel. It’s a lifestyle ya’ll!