Living a healthy lifestyle while traveling can be an extremely difficult task. I know first hand because I drive at least 1,000 miles for work every week. I will use a portion of my recipe section to provide tips on exercising, eating/cooking while staying in hotels, and anything I have either done or will be doing myself. For those of you who are looking for a crash course, below is my to 10 things you can do to become healthier today as well as the basic things you will need to begin cooking while traveling! eneral motivation for staying healthy.
Now that I am pregnant these posts will be reduced a little, but I promise to revamp them when I am working on my after baby body!!
TOP 10 WAYS TO START BEING HEALTHIER TODAY!
- Book at Suite Hotels. My preferred hotels are Residence Inn and Extended Stay hotels. If these options are not available to you, Country Inn and Suites is also an acceptable choice. Depending on your budget, you will be able to choose between rooms that have a stove top or a full oven. Regardless, your room will have a full fridge, utensils, pots and pans, and a sink (hopefully with dish washing liquid underneath).
- Make sure your hotel is near a grocery store you like. Grocery shopping after a long day of traveling will be the last thing you want to do, but it will be much easier if your favorite grocery store is right around the corner.
- Plan Meals in Advance. Whether you have your own recipes or frequent Pinterest, plan your meals for the week the night before so that you don’t have to spend too much time at the store.
- Choose Meals with Less Ingredients. Depending on your company’s budget, planning meals that require too many ingredients can leave you in an awkward position at the cash register.
- Invest in an Insulated Lunch Bag, Ice Packs, and Zip Lock Bags. These are essential tools to utilize if you travel between hotels during the week. Zip lock bags will store any fresh ingredients that do not have resealable packaging. They will also allow you to transport your meals without having to lug around bulky Tupperware containers. Many grocery stores sell lunch bags for less than $5. They are usually large enough to fit ice packs and whatever you have prepared the night before. I purchased this one from Publix and absolutely love it.
6. Invest in Staple Seasonings, A Dish Washing Utensil, and Dish Soap. Stores like Wal-Mart and Big Lots, sell the essential seasonings you will need for any meal for $1 or less. I keep these seasonings in a grocery bag in my trunk so that I do not have to repurchase them every week. Most suite hotels provide you with some form of dish washing cloths, but not always soap or a bristled cleaner. Always have a spare bottle of soap, just in case! The Dollar Tree sells both of these items for $1. Always wash your dishes before use. If you are staying in a hotel for a few days or longer, you may want to invest in plastic utensils and plates to avoid washing dishes frequently.
7. Find a Gym Near Your Hotel. This one is all about your personal preference. You are free to utilize the gym at your hotel, but be sure to ask if they have any agreements with nearby gyms. If you have a gym of choice find one in the area and go there. I typically stay at Residence Inn and, depending on the location, the gym can be small/overcrowded or not have the equipment I need. My gym of choice in Planet Fitness. With the PF Black Card ($19.99/mo) I can go to any planet fitness in the country, including the one that is down the street from my hotel!
8. Download the FitBit App. This is something new I have been doing with my friends and family. You do nto have to have a FitBit to use the app. I have a Garmin Vivofit, but since it will not share data with FitBit I just chose the iPhone option to track my steps. For those who don’t know, this app tracks your steps, how many miles you have walked/ran, and the calories that you have burned each day. It allows you to compete in different challenges with friends to see who takes the most steps each day and/or who can reach the goal of 10,000 steps each day. It really helps you to get moving when you notice that you have walked a quarter of what everyone else has due to your extreme travel schedule. For the past two weeks I have only missed the daily goal twice.
9. If you Do Eat Out, Choose Healthier Options. Transitioning will be hard, there is no getting around it. If you do eat out because you are rushed for time or need to entertain a client, just eat better. Avoid fast food and fried foods at all costs. Try a sandwich on whole wheat bread from the Panera drive-thru or even a salad from Applebee’s. Do the best you can when you can.
10. Don’t Give Up!
COOKING ESSENTIALS FOR TRAVELING
- Seasonings: Salt, Pepper, Italian, Garlic Powder, Red Pepper
- Olive Oil
- On the Go Breakfast: Eggs & Toast w/ Peanut Butter, Veggie Omelet, Oatmeal and Fruit, or your favorite cereal. I never have time to sit for breakfast (nor I do I feel like cooking it) , so I have begun to have one of the 180 Calorie Special K Flatbread sandwiches (though I always take off the cheese).
- On the Go Lunch: Bread or Tortillas, lettuce and Sandwich Meat, Starkist Tuna (they now have flavored/prepared tuna in a pouch for $1), Chicken Salad, Homemade Salad
- Water: Bottles to Travel with and a Gallon for your room
- A Few Snacks: 100 Calorie Snacks, Chobani Greek Yogurt ( I prefer the kids yogurt, it is in a tube and easier to eat while traveling), Air-popped Popcorn, Baked Chips, Almonds
- Something Green: It is easy to forget your green vegetables at home or on the road. There are plenty of ways to add them in: Steamables without added butter or seasonings can be found in the freezer aisle of the grocery store. I tend to go for the green beans or broccoli.
- Vitamins! Whatever your vitamin of choice is, add it to your routine. It is much easier to get sick while traveling frequently.