Road Rules to Eating Clean While Traveling

As I kick off the new year with my 3 new challenge groups I am excited to share all of my knowledge about eating clean and making exercise a part of your daily routine.  One of the things that my challengers have been consistently bringing to my attention is eating healthy while traveling for work or pleasure.  Since we all have a life filled with work, kids and many other numerous obligations its important to make eating healthy and exercise fit into your lifestyle.  Being busy and having no time is not an acceptable excuse.  I have 2 kids, a husband, house, dog and responsibilities that I must take care of each day.  Now, this is where my organization comes into play. I have priorities and my number 1 priority in May of 2011 was to get myself in shape so that I felt better about myself and so that I could keep up with my kids!  I made it a priority to workout 6 days a week and complete Insanity.  I then made it a priority to eat clean no matter what.  So I learned how to prioritize my goals through keeping detailed and organized lists, pre planning meals and packing snacks for my family when we went to the pool or on family trips.  I was always one step ahead.  In my mind I always planned everything out and prepared for the unexpected so I was never left scavenging for food!  This is definitely key to your success!  So I am super excited to share some of my tips with you so that you can make healthy eating as easy as possible.  Eating Clean doesn't have to be about spending hours in the kitchen making food with ingredients that you have never heard of before.  It's about taking the time to pair the right foods together and read the labels!

When I went to DC for a wedding this past fall here is what I did to stay on track and it worked!  I wasn't able to exercise because it was vacation and we were jam packed with activities but I didn't gain any weight and I got my exercise by walking through DC!

1.  Oatmeal:  Oatmeal is super easy to pre pack and put in your suitcase.  I portioned out 1/2 cup oatmeal into 3 baggies (because we were gone for 3 days) with 1/2 cup raisins, 1 tbsp flaxseed and wheat germ.  Every hotel has hot water or a continental breakfast that you can get hot water from.  I just poured in the hot water over my oatmeal and covered with a napkin for a few minutes and voila, breakfast is served!  The best part is that it is totally clean!  Since oatmeal is only the complex carb portion of your breakfast I went to the continental breakfast at the hotel and got 3 egg whites to go with my oatmeal!  If you don't have a restaurant at your hotel then pack a baggie of nuts and eat that with your oatmeal or throw in a scoop of protein powder with your oatmeal.
Packed some raisins, nuts, apples and
cheese sticks in my cooler for quick
snacks in the car or hotel.
2.  Nuts:  Before I left for my trip I spent some time measuring out a small handful of nuts into bags such as unsalted almonds, cashews and peanuts.  I also packed a few apples and oranges because they travel well!  Then, while driving when  I was starving I reached in my bag and grabbed a bag of nuts and my apple and I was satisfied! 

Refillable water bottle is
key to keeping yourself hydrated
and keeping full.
3.  Refillable water bottle:  I filled up my water bottle before I left the house and then every time we stopped I went in to the rest stop and filled it up again.  Especially when you are driving you tend to get bored and mindlessly snack on junk.  But when you continually drink your water your body stays full and you only get hungry when you are actually hungry!  Oh and the refillable water bottle is good for the environment.

4.  Granola:  I made homemade granola before I left the house because the commercial stuff has all kinds of processed junk in it and then put it in a baggie.  When I got to the hotel I hit up the continental breakfast and grabbed a few non fat plain yogurts and stored them in my hotel room.  When I need a snack I threw  a handful of granola in my yogurt for a healthy alternative!

5.  Exercising:  If you are the type of person who travels frequently but still need to get some exercise then I recommend taking your laptop with you.  At home, before we had a TV in our basement I would take the laptop down every day and play Insanity right from my computer.  When you are committed to a program you must make do with what you have!  No EXCUSES!  With the technology these days there is no reason why you can't workout!

6.  Alcohol:  A huge part of eating out especially with clients is drinking!  It's so hard not to enjoy wine, beer and mixed drinks with your co workers and customers.  I'm not saying that you should never drink but you should decide if that dinner is going to be your cheat meal for the week.  Alcohol has a lot of excess sugar and empty calories.  So for starters limit your alcohol and for every drink that you have you are required to drink 1 full glass of water!  DEAL?!
Pre packaged grapes & strawberries
for the hotel
7.  Don't be afraid to speak up:  When eating out restaurants always cook with high fat ingredients because it gives the food additional flavor.  But that always equals more calories!  So don't be afraid to ask for you veggies steamed without butter or your chicken sauteed or grilled naked!  Always ask for your salad dressing on the side and stay away from anything that is fried or cream based!  Don't be afraid to ask for your food to be prepared the way you want it!  I had a Waiter at Monterrey Bay tell me that he wouldn't prepare my food without the butter because that is the way the chef recommended it and my fish wouldn't taste good without it.  But I was adament and he did prepare it the way I wanted and it was delicious.

8.  Last but not least!  If you are going to an event like a wedding or fundraiser.  My top tips are to pre eat!  If you know that there are not going to be healthy options at the event then make sure you have a well balanced breakfast and eat your healthy snacks every 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  Then when you get to the event munch on fruit and veggies and keep a glass of sparkling water in hand.  Mingle and make the event a social hour that doesn't revolve around food! If you keep yourself busy talking then no one will even notice that you didn't pig out on the cookie table!  In your mind you have to decide what is more important, the cookie table or that amazing body you have been working so hard to get!  In my mind, it was totally the amazing body that I wanted and that trumped any cookie or cake that you could put in front of me!

I'm not going to lie and tell you that it wasn't tough but I'm going to tell you that it is worth it!  I can sit here today and speak from experience!  Each day was a learning experience for me and I pushed myself through the birthday parties with my favorite cake and the summer time with Dairy Queen at the end of the street but now I feel stronger, leaner and more confident about the skin I am in!  You can do it too!  Be strong and lean on me for your support!

I'd love to hear your ideas about how you keep it clean while traveling!  Feel free to post in the comments section with your awesome tips!

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