En route from Boston to Los Angeles last night I had a great convo about eating while traveling. I was sitting in the waiting area next to a man in his late thirties/early forties reading Runner’s Digest (or something to that effect). I had packed a ton of healthy snacks for the plane and I was munching while waiting to board. On the roster was hard-boiled eggs, Greek yogurt bars from Rickland Orchards (love these!), cocoa almonds and Healthy Bites. What are Healthy Bites? I got turned onto them by Jess and Jo a few weeks ago. They are little protein bites in AMAZING flavors that keep you full for only 50 calories a pop. I ordered pineapple rum, cookie dough and toffee PB. All three were super yummy. More deets here.
So I bust out my snacks and Mister Runners Digest inquires about my choices. I explain my MO when I travel is to try to stick to what I normally eat within reason.
If I fly out in the morning, I eat something small before I fly then I have “breakfast” on the plane. A bagel slim with cream cheese or peanut butter, a banana or some other fruit and a granola bar as a snack etc.
If I fly out in the afternoon I usually try to have lunch before I go. If it’s not possible I will pack a wrap or stop someplace with wraps (au bon pain for instance) where I can also get the nutritional value.
If I fly out in the evening, like I did yesterday I will opt for a late lunch + some planned snacks. I never like having a heavy meal before flying.
So, I’m sharing my Healthy Bites and chatting about traveling and eating and Mister RD says “Oh I eat total crap when I travel” and points to a bag from au bon pain with 3 different croissants. I can’t lie – for someone in such great shape I’m pretty shocked he’s eating that kind of stuff!
But, I can totally relate. Traveling used to be a free-for-all where I would eat anything I wanted and calories didn’t count. However, when I would get dressed on day 3 or 4 of the trip and felt like a bloated mess I knew I had made bad decisions. Now, I do a LOT of planning (and contingency planning).
Flight to LA is uneventful. I avoid snacks beyond those I brought (though I will say, JetBlue has great snack offerings compared to other airlines. Especially their snack boxes. For under 500 calories you get a lot of food! Beef Up and Shape Up are my two favorites). I never drink soda in air carbonation generally does not sit well with me, add in 35,000 feet and you have the recipe for a stomach ache. Oh same goes for alcohol. I never drink and fly.
I get my luggage, get on the bus to get my rental car and suddenly I am bowled over by hunger. I do a quick tally in My Fitness Pal and I am under my goal by 400 calories. That explains the hunger pains! I get my rental car and quickly assess my options: 1. Stop someplace en route to the hotel to get a snack (though this will likely be fast food which I am very against). 2. Suck it up and drink water. 3. Wait until I reach the hotel and order room service.
I opted for door #3. I was thinking “If you’re really still hungry once we get there – then we’ll address it”.
I arrived at my favorite hotel, Hotel Palomar (its super cute inside, conveniently located to everywhere I have to be and best of all I love their restaurant!) and guess what? I’m still famished. The overnight menu is small, but has some good choices including a cheddar/egg white omelet with arugula. I opted for that, ate about 3/4 of it and promptly fell asleep. 🙂
This morning I was excited for room service (be honest, it’s the best part of traveling!) and even more excited to see they had chilaquiles (Mexican tortilla strips baked with spices and peppers, topped with an egg over easy). 450 calories and AMAZING. Not to mention “stick to your ribs” hearty. I think that’s important in a breakfast – it needs to last you until whenever you eat next because snacking may not be an option.
I’m heading onsite to see my clients now and I know we will do 1 of 4 places for lunch. Luckily all have really healthy options. After the site visit I am hitting up the hotel gym and doing a 30 min Zumba workout. Did I mention I bought this? Love it!
Then tonight I’m seeing Rachel and Kelly (two gals I used to work with, both sweethearts) for dinner at a wine/tapas place I’ve been to before with Rach. They have lots of options, some healthy and some a splurge. All in all I know I rocked today and will start preparing for tomorrow’s adventures!
What tips do you guys ave for traveling? How do you adjust to time differences and eating?
P.S. – My flight from Boston departed at 7:22 so I got to watch the sunset all the way across the country as I reached LA. Pretty freaking cool! I snuck a shot with my camera phone. Please don’t tell TSA!