Traveling can be tricky when trying to uphold your real food, clean, active habits. Fortunately, when airplane terminals and hotels are in your immediate future, there are some things you can do and food you can prepare to stay on track. I spent the past few days in Cleveland for a conference, and kicked some paleo ass all the way through (if I do say so myself). And it's not because I'm a rockstar paleo wizard - it just took a some incredibly easy preparation on the front end.
Food prep for me when traveling really just applies to what I eat in the airports. In terms of eating out at restaurants when traveling - it's simple. See my post here about how easy it is to "be paleo" and eat out at restaurants. But airport food game is a completely different animal. Walking around the terminal with a snackless travel bag and getting high off of Cinnabon and Wendy's fumes is just dangerous...at least for me it is. So, my tactics here include preparing some simple snacks to pack in my carry-on and guiltlessly munch while flipping off the b**** trying to sell me french fries and coke.
Here's a list of some common items I put together in my kitchen before high tailing it to the airport:
- Ants on a log, paleo style (celery sticks with sunbutter and a few dried cranberries sprinkled on top)
- Sliced bell peppers
- Carrot sticks
- Apple with a few macadamia nuts or almonds
- Hard boiled eggs - before you say "GROSS", hear me out. Hard boiled eggs do not stink up anything unless they are rotten, so let's just go ahead and flip that notion on its head. Also, hard boiled eggs can go a few hours out of the fridge and still be perfectly fine. So, right before I leave for the airport, I put 2-3 eggs in a baggie and eat them at the gate or on the plane a couple hours later. People may judge me, but they taste good and, well, I frankly don't give a shiz what people think of my delicious hard boiled egg (sometimes, when I get funny looks, I'm tempted to do that thing that kids do when they chew up a bunch of food and open their mouth at whoever is looking at them...but then I remind myself I'm an adult and that is socially unacceptable).
We don't always have time to prepare snacks ourselves (like hard boiled eggs and ants on a log). So below is an alternate list of store bought paleo friendly (or practically paleo) items that beat a cinnamon roll or happy meal.
- Trader Joe's Plantain Chips
- Almond butter squeeze packs (lots of brands make these, but Justin's is the best IMO!)
- Rx Bars
- GoMacro Bars (not paleo, but clean)
- Epic Bars
- Dang Coconut Chips
- Steve's Paleo Goods - PaleoKits, PaleoJerky, PaleoKrunch, etc.
- Quest Bars (I'm sure I'll get sneers from the paleo cops, but whatever - the protein content is high and they are relatively clean and taste f***ing amazing)
There are plenty of food options that you can arm yourself with to kick some paleo airport ass! Most of the time, to uphold the "tradition" of buying overpriced food or beverage at the airport, I make a visit to Starbucks and get myself an Americano with heavy cream. Satisfied!
My first piece of advice here is just to pack some tennis shoes and a workout outfit or two. Simply packing the workout necessities can be the motivation you need to get started. You can always squeeze exercise in if you really want to. Below are some tips for getting some activity in when you're traveling.
- Workout in the morning. For me, if I don't workout right when I wakeup when I'm out of town, I'm not working out at all. Getting your sweat on right when you wake up leaves the whole rest of the day open for whatever it is you want to do.
- Make a playlist. When I'm traveling, I like to make a brand new Spotify playlist. Finding some new tunes and putting together a rad list of jams gets me excited to move (I've got a feeling I'm not alone one who's music driven when working out).
- Don't have access to a gym? No sweat! No one ever said getting on the treadmill or lifting weights was vital to your travel.
- If you're staying in a hotel, it can be as simple as running a few flights of stairs in the stairwell.
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Complete 10 sets of 10 push ups throughout your day when you have a spare minute or two.
- Do 3 minutes abs when you wake up and before you go to bed.
- If you're not looking to get any kind of higher intensity workout in (running, push ups, etc.) - not a problem. In that case, look for restaurants in walking distance of your hotel!
This is always a good opportunity to get on your feet and moving without feeling like you have to workout when on vacation.
With all that said, I'm not saying you must workout when you're traveling. Hell - if you're on vacation, go ahead and relax! Ride the elevator, order room service, sit down and read a book until your butt gets numb! It's MOST important that you enjoy yourself - I'm just here to provide some advice if you are looking for some motivation to get active while out of the comfort of your favorite gym or home town running route.