Eating Healthy While Traveling for Work

I’ve been spending a lot of time in airports and on planes lately. As I type this I’m sitting in my hotel room in Salt Lake City, UT. Needless to say, I’ve been eating out a lot.

Airports are not generally known for having the healthiest offerings. Fast food, highly processed food and calorie bomb muffins, cinnamon rolls and sweet breads. When I first started traveling for work I used the trips as a vacation from normal foods. I indulged and would get home bloated, tired and with an upset stomach. As I traveled more I learned a few tricks to help me eat as healthfully on the road as possible. In no particular order:

1. Pack snacks. I never leave the house without a few snack. Almonds, Mojo Clif Bars, slices apples and peanut butter are a few of my favorites. If I have snacks with me, I’m less likely to be looking towards the ice cream or pretzel shops. I’ve also had many a flight get delayed and my stomach rumbling. As if traveling isn’t stressful enough, being hungry too…bad plan.

2. Stay hydrated. Flying is very dehydrating. I bring a water bottle with me. As long as it is empty when you go through security, you can fill it at the gate. Sometimes I think I’m hungry, when in actuality, I’m really just thirsty.

3. Eat breakfast. Especially when I’m traveling for a trade show, I eat a big breakfast. I’ll go all out, eggs, bacon, fruit, toast, maybe a yogurt. Eat like a King for Breakfast, Prince at Lunch and a Pauper for dinner.

4. Pick an appetizer or dessert, not both. Business dinners are the most difficult time to eat healthfully. We’re at a nice restaurant, everything sounds amazing and in the group setting, it’s difficult not to indulge. After those first few trips, I decided, appetizer or dessert. I lean towards dessert because I crave sweet after salty.

5. Limit the drinks. I like a good cocktail or two with anyone. Even better than a good cocktail is a good FREE cocktail. With rare exception, I limit my drink consumption to two drinks per night. In between those two I have a glass of water as not to become dehydrated or tipsy.

6. Do a little research. Before I go on a trip, I use Yelp! to find out what food options I will have near my hotel. I look for places that offer fresh foods. Lots of fruits and salads.

7. Looks for foods with protein. Even a Egg McMuffin is a better choice than a muffin.

What are your trips for eating healthfully on the road?

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