So I just got back from a conference in California. And this means flights, hotel stays and long days of sitting in on presentations. For most this is a prescription to derail one’s fitness and performance efforts. But not me.
No sir! I feel like Superman when I travel. What do I mean by that?
Well basically it’s that I have strategies in place that allow me not lose any of the forward momentum I’ve achieved with my training. And since we’re into spring break here and many of you may be hitting the road for vacations this is a great time to share these tips with you.
Here are my Top 10 Strategies for Staying Healthy on Vacation.
Tip #1 – Bring a shaker cup
The thing with flights is that you get dehyrated. And with security rules limiting the volume of liquid to 100 ml you can’t bring carry a drink with you. And once you’re on the flight you get a serving of water as if you were rinsing your mouth at the dentist’s office.
To get around this invest in a shaker cup. They cost less than $10 and often are included at supplement stores when you purchase a bulk order. Don’t bring a coffee cup or water bottle. The next points explain why.
Tip #2 – Bring dried veggies
Have you ever noticed how great the salad bars are in airports? And how fresh everything is? And of course the variety rivals that of a Las Vegas casino. But the best part is how reasonable everything is. I’m surprised more people don’t drive out to airports for their evening meals.
Obviously I’m not serious about the points above. Therefore it is that much more important to bring a number of dried veggies in envelopes. I use Prograde Genesis because I get 5-6 servings per packet and the taste is pretty good. And individual envelopes are easier to pack and less messy than packing a bottle.
Tip#3 – Bring protein powder
I won’t go into all the same comparisons regarding finding quality food in an airport but let’s just say you do have to seek it out. But even if you do find a healthy option your connection might be so quick you don’t have time to place an order. Having a few envelopes of protein powder can quickly make for a quick meal in-flight.
Tip#4 – Buy for the room
As soon as I arrive in California one of the first things I do is hit Costco. I’ll buy a case of water, some shakes, bars, a tub of nuts and anything else that helps me stay on track with my eating while away.
Next I’ll find a grocery store to get some fruit and smaller volume items. I found these delicious Kind bars on a previous trip that were delicious.
When I head to the conference each day I’ll take water, nuts, fruit, protein shakes and bars. I pretty much snack on protein and fat during the presentations.
Tip #5 – Don’t get too hungry
Because I’m eating quality calories during the day I don’t feel huge hunger pangs when the lunch and dinner breaks come around. And so I usually seek out a salad or soup with some type of animal protein. At Wahoo Tacos for example I just told the guy I wanted a bowl of veggies with chicken. It’s not on the menu but most places will make this for you.
Tip #6 – Go cold turkey on sugar
With trips like these I know I’ll be sitting for upto 10-12 hours a day. And I won’t be getting the exercise I normally do. So my only option is to really control the insulin levels in my blood.
The best way for me to do this is to cut off as much sugar as possible. No juice on the flights. No croutons with the salad. No cereal in the morning. No bagels or muffins during the coffee breaks between presentations.
Tip #7 – Start off with protein
After coming off a night’s sleep your insulin levels are fairly low. There have been a number of hours that you haven’t had a meal.
Your goal is to sustain this low level of insulin as long as possible. What I was doing was having a protein shake immediately upon waking. The lower I kept my insulin the better chance I gave my body to stay in fat burning mode.
Tip #8 – The company you keep
On this trip my brother Matt came along which was awesome. But it helped to have someone come along who seeks the ultimate in health and fitness as well. When he would ask if I wanted a salad during the lunch break it made it seem very natural and not a challenge to follow along.
Tip #9 – Plan ahead
Before a trip I look to see if the places I like to eat are near the conference. Specifically I’m looking for Whole Foods, Trader Joes, Wahoos and many other fresh casual type of restaurants. And I normally rent a car when I go away which some don’t understand. But to me it’s worth it to be able to stay on track with my program.
Tip #10 – Have fun
On this trip I ate 4 double-double burgers at In N Out burger. Yes you read that correctly. But here’s the thing. I pass on the fries and I order them protein style which means wrapped in lettuce and no bun.
***just as an aside…I’ve want to know about the off-the-menu items at In N Out…anybody know about this?***
Print these tips and have them ready to take with you on your next trip. I hope they help you as much as they do me.