Although I love the fact that my business has grown to a point where I now get to travel and call it work, I do have one major complaint: It seems like it's nearly impossible to eat healthy when you're on the road.
First, while airport cuisine has improved, it's not like airports have the most healthy food options. I'm pretty sure Chik-Fil-A is the only restaurant I've seen at the Southwest Terminal at Hartford-Jackson.
Second, when you're only in town for a couple of days for a client and under a tight deadline, take-out and hotel room service automatically become your only real options for food out of convenience. And let's not even talk about stress eating.
The reality is that, while it seems difficult, frequent flyers can eat healthy even when they are always on the road. Here are some tips to help you do that.
Plan and prep.
I pack food for my flights. Yup, I'm that person.
It all started as a financial survival mechanism. I didn't want to fork over $12 for a sandwich at the airport, so I would pack food for my flight.
Now, it also has a lot to do with my health. I don't have control over what food is available at an airport, but I do have control over what I make at home.
You can take it a step further and prep as much food as you can for the entire trip. Jenn Aube, founder of Do You Bake? and Crave It, suggests buying in bulk once a week and then spending a day prepping your food.
"It takes me 2 hours to prep for 2 people that eat 5 to 6 meals a day. This includes snacks," notes Aube. From there, she throws them into reusable containers and packs them in her luggage.
Find healthy substitutes for your stress eating.
Although traveling is fun, it also takes a toll on you.
Sometimes you're tired, stressed, and cranky. All three of which are an emotional recipe for disaster when you're trying to stay healthy on the road. Let's keep it real, pastries start to look really good when you're experiencing emotional upheaval at the airport.
According to Aube, the solution to this is to find what she calls your YUMMY factor. These are healthy substitutes for your cravings.
"My healthy YUMMY includes homemade caramel baked oatmeal squares (made with protein powder) or a protein chocolate cake (with devilish black beans) or my chocolate chip peanut butter protein snack cake," says Aube.
She makes these at home and then throws them in the freezer. From there she takes a few out each week when she knows her emotions may cause her to go for foods that aren't as healthy.
In the case of traveling, you can make your healthy substitute snacks ahead of time and then pack them for your trip.
Focus on protein.
Foods with protein help keep you satisfied longer. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to get your protein while still eating healthy.
For the frequent flyer, this could look like protein bars and lots of nuts, both of which are readily available at airports. If you really want to be healthy (and financially savvy), make the protein bars at home.
"My go-to snacks include almonds, a protein shake, cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, homemade protein and energy bars," adds Aube.
With a little extra planning and prep work, you can eat healthy even if you're constantly on the road. If you're going to be traveling a lot for work, take the time to consider some of these options so you don't totally blow your diet.