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I do a good job eating great food and staying fit even with a busy workload through techniques I've developed over many years, but when I travel on business I still struggle with staying fit and eating great healthy food.
For me this is one of the hardest things to do well as you aren’t cooking for yourself, you're not in your normal exercise environment, and with (good) distractions such as work friends and customers, it is easy to eat and drink too much while getting by on little sleep and skipping exercise. Still, I do have some pointers for making it work - one's I am using as I am traveling as I write this. Some tips?
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Great Food While Traveling
First let’s start with the fun part – great food! While traveling I try to avoid the chains, explore and try some new foods. What did I find in the last couple weeks while traveling on business?

- I found a cold watermelon soup, a lean bison steak, great Italian lamb chops at the fantastic Italian restaurant Circo, a nice different olive salad dressing, and a new great Italian wine from Tuscany as a few examples…

- Whenever I am in Chicago I try to visit my favorite restaurant there, Rick Bayless’ Frontera Grill for some of the best gourmet Mexican food you will find anywhere. But even this week while traveling on a connection through O’hare airport I found he had opened up a Mexican street-food shop there serving simple torta sandwiches. I had a pork Cubana torta that was great. It was probably too fatty with the cheese and the pork versus the far healthier tortas I cook at home with lean chicken and guacamole (with good Omega 3 fats) but still it was great to try some new flavors and explore some new food.

- Before traveling I keep my eyes out for new hot restaurants in Bon Appetit or other sources on the web and I keep a note on my iPhone called "Restaurants to Try".  My Yelp app is also a good source to do some investigating of local restaurants nearby while on the go.

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At the Airport or Hotel - some tips ...
- On the plane drink water or club soda and avoid the soda and avoid most of the high sodium meal packs they sell.

- Watch the breakfast: For years I arrived for a 6AM flight at my local airport, got the croissant ham, egg, and cheese sandwich knowing the protein and carbs would keep me going. Problem is it was loaded with fat and sodium too. Now before leaving home I try to have a scoop of protein powder and a banana or bowl of oatmeal first.

- When I get to the airport and if I know I have connections ahead, I try to look for a healthy lean protein with a carb to carry on. That might be a salad with some protein like chicken (with a non ranch/non Caesar dressing) or as I found today, a chicken sandwich with low fat pesto, with lettuce and tomato. And I removed the cheese. Super healthy.

- On the plane I often carry in my briefcase a Clif bar. A Black Cherry Almond Clif bar for example has 240 calories, contains 10g of protein, 8% of your fat, and 44g of carbs. But the fats are “good” fats from nuts which lower bad cholesterol. Good ingredients and balanced energy. Watch out and read the labels though as many “granola” bars are loaded with fat. A much better alternative to the fatty, sugary muffins and cookies at the airport Starbucks.

- Don’t forget to bring your vitamins and anti-oxidant supplements. I bring both when traveling and toss in an Omega 3 fish oil tablet everyday too.

- I also bring along a relatively expense but amazingly healthy drink called Shakeology which is loaded with vitamins, minerals, super-fruit blends (camu-camu, pomegranate, acai, blueberry, acerola, citrus bioflavonoids, maitake, bilberry), herbal supplements (maca, astragalus, ashwagandha, suma, ginko), green phytonutrients (from wheat grass, spinach, blue green algae, spirulina, hydrilla, chlorella). Great way to add nutrition, and eliminate fat and calories.

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So what's my overall take on eating great food and staying fit on business travel? It takes super-discipline and I give myself an "A" for seeking out great food but a "B" on the fitness scale as it is hard! But by having some targets and guidelines it only gets easier.

But I am glad it is Friday and I am back home in my kitchen and ready for my normal cooking and workout routine...I will be a bit healthier.

 


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    A high tech marketing guy with no time who loves gourmet food from around the world, eats it every day, and cares about staying fit and healthy.