Traveling Nutrition IV

I’m always amazed – and sincerely touched – by the support of social networks from like-minded but total strangers.  We all have different goals, needs, and circumstances…but it’s neat to see the general camaraderie surrounding the broader aim to stay healthy, and make good choices for ourselves.  I posted a few photos from a recent trip and was touched by how many folks even cared.

I’ve enumerated at length how utterly terrifying traveling used to be for me – the eating disorders that accompanied my PTSD made leaving my parents’ home, at the time, nigh impossible – forget getting in a car for hours, or – god forbid – getting on a plane.

I worried about what I would eat, if I could eat, who would be eating what types a foods around me. . . The prospect was enough to launch a generally debilitating panic attack, so to be able to travel at all now…and with some ease…is a gift I never take for granted.

What makes it a TON easier is to have the support of those closest to me – I’m not sure where I’d be without it, to be honest.

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The most recent – a rather last-minute – trip was to a car show out in California.  Long flight, several hours in the car on both sides, and lots of fast food (that my stomach couldn’t handle if I wanted it to!) When I travel I always pack a plethora of snacks, but in this case, I brought extra.

The great news beyond that, though, is that SO many places have options – they may not be main menu options, but they do exist, you need only ask. Yes, even on the plane!

Protein can be a little tricky to travel with but there are packaged options that don’t need a refrigerator, such as turkey and chicken jerky, nuts, and tuna, chicken, or salmon packs. I get a few looks sometimes but I feel my best when I eat as close to my “usual” as possible so it’s all good. 🙂 

Whole fruits like apples and freeze dried version are a sweet option to tote along, as are pre-portioned snacks like peanut butter crackers. When out to dinner, fish and chicken prepared as simply as possible are great choices, along with veggies to fill you up.  One of the restaurants had a “salsa” as cocktail sauce with their shrimp and I actually used it as a salad dressing because it was so good, and had very little in it (versus a heavier dressing whose ingredients I’d be unable to decipher.) 

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As for airports there are lots of options hiding out – turkey slices or chicken breasts are generally available where sandwiches are made, salads are always available, fruit cups are offered at coffee bars and meal establishments…even boiled eggs can be found in some places as well (sometimes they are even in pre-packaged salads too!) It may be a mix and match but you can definitely find options that work.

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So don’t lose heart if you have to be on the road or away from your usual meals at home.  It is definitely doable to eat clean and to be satisfied – a few snacks in your bag can help when cravings hit, and most of the time a restaurant is MORE than happy to prepare something more simple.  Don’t be afraid to ask!

More Deliciousness

Yes, Even At Airports You Can Eat Clean…

It isn’t always a total cinch to find healthier options at some airports, but it is NOT impossible by any means.  Sometimes you just need to be a little creative – there really aren’t any excuses.  (Nice try, though.)

There’s ALWAYS fruit salad to be found – fresh, cut up fruit is far better for you than a candy bar, or the multitude of other not-so-great-for-you food options at the gate!  I haven’t found a single gate at any single airport that doesn’t have fruit salad or at least apples and bananas.

And generally speaking…SOMEone sells sandwiches!  I may have paid a sandwich price for my turkey, but they gave me a double helping and, trust me, it was ENORMOUS.  

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Serious protein, no junk added = happy and healthy (non-hungry!) girl.

If your goal is to stay clean and healthy, you really don’t have an excuse these days – there is always a way to make it work, no matter where you go.

Traveling Nutrition Part II

I had to take a trip to Denver with my father last week for some hot rod related work…and as soon as we landed, we had to be in a car for another three hours…for an hour-long top in Nebraska.  We started traveling at 5:30 a.m., and basically continued our “en route” for a good 14 or 15 hours out of the entire 30 or less that we were in (or around) Colorado, which always makes healthy eating a necessary forethought (at least for moi!)

Gorgeous '32!

Gorgeous ’32!

I packed a whole bunch of snacks in my bag (an Oakley backpack carry-on) so I’d say 50% of it was food.  Important stuff!  I brought extra so we could both have something on the journey – apples, snap peas, baby carrots, tuna packs, 100 calorie packs of almonds, some almond butter packs and a few sugar-free chocolates.  All that didn’t stop me from getting MORE food at the airport for the plane, though!  4.5 hours in a seat meant I’d be hungry so I snagged a gluten-free high protein wrap (which I shared with my father), a coffee (necessary!), and two hard-boiled eggs.  Protein is a perfect go-to because it is filling for the longer-term, and none of it was particularly caloric (which I personally consider because I am inactive and sitting for so long!)

From the airport for the flight to Denver

From the airport for the flight to Denver

When we were ON the road, a lot of people think finding healthy options is impossible…  Well, if I can find something, I can assure you it is NOT impossible! *lol*  I am not only incredibly picky and “clean,” but we also had very limited, and only “fast food” choices!  After snagging the rental car, we hopped off for some lunch.  Subway was our best bet.  I was THRILLED to see they had baby spinach – much more packed with nutrients than iceberg!  I’d like to avoid deli meats because of nitrates (when I buy them for myself, I opt for brands free of gluten, nitrates, and other added “junk.”  But, at Subway, I knew I didn’t have a choice in the matter.  So…I ordered baby spinach, two chicken breasts and sliced turkey…a few tomatoes and cucumbers, and had them chop it up.  It didn’t LOOK incredibly appetizing but it was perfect – loaded with protein and vitamins, it kept me full for a long while, and I knew I was at least having something reasonably healthy (no dressing, by the way, just salt and pepper for me.)

Subway spinach, turkey and "double chicken"

Subway spinach, turkey and “double chicken”

The hotel later in the even was great – I ordered more spinach, grilled and seasoned chicken, and a ton of steamed carrots (the veggie they had for the day.)  They brought me an ample amount of all those things and most certainly didn’t mind me asking for something “modified” off the menu – nothing complicated here!

Dinner at the hotel!

Dinner at the hotel!

Dinner at the hotel!

Dinner at the hotel!

The next morning I had poached eggs (I always ask for medium boiled, eat one or two and have the remaining whites) and took some fruit salad and an apple for the road – delicious, and filling because of the protein, fiber and water content.

Hotel breakfast take out...for the car rides!

Hotel breakfast take out…for the car rides!

At the airport on the way back, I busted out my tuna and crackers (I only ate one cracker!) and I got a spinach and chicken salad with cucumbers at the Wolfgang Puck at the food court.  It was actually SUCH a large portion, I didn’t eat it all!  I did manage to polish off my snap peas with my father though!

Brought along for the airport...

Brought along for the airport…

Wolfgang Puck's at the airport

Wolfgang Puck’s at the airport

Plane snack!

Plane snack!

So it is actually not impossible to eat well…or reasonably so…when on the go.  Just ASK.  Don’t be embarrassed, and don’t worry about modifying or explaining.  If you want plain and simple, just say so! 😀