A few weeks ago, a team of my clients were headed to a week long conference where they had no control over who served what food. They were working long hours throughout the day and didn't have much time to dedicate to finding the right, real, good, nutrient dense food. Their team leader asked if I could slap some guidlines together for them to to remember and stick to while running around making sure the conference ran as planned.
Everyone was pleased with the document I put together for them and found remembering these things very simple. I mean the last thing they needed was to remember something over the top... as if they didn't have enough going on.
They suggested I add the document to the blog here everyone could make use of it.
It's hard to stay on your eating path when you move outside of your personal zone. You can't find the foods you normally eat; your regular eating schedule changes; the unhealthy food is easily available and "free" (like that big basket of junk food the convention center sends to the OSA staff office). We also tend to overindulge when we travel and munch on food we don't have in our kitchen at home, or try foods that aren’t typically available (depending on what part of the world your visiting).
Here are a few tips to follow so you’ll feel healthy through-out the trip:
1. Complete protein at every meal A few examples are eggs, chicken, greek yogurt, turkey, fish, beef jerky, etc. Vegetarians: soy, quinoa –but hard to find, so combine foods to make a complete protein. (pairing beans with brown rice or corn, beans/raw seeds, beans/raw nuts, beans/grains. Examples are humus with whole wheat pita bread, veggie burgers/whole wheat bread.)
2. If it's white, it's dead Stay away from anything bleached; bagels, pasta, muffins. These are wasted calories and provide zero nutrients. Sugar is not a nutrient. And just because it's a “blueberry” muffin, doesn't mean you’re getting the benefits of eating fresh fruit.
3. Eat breakfast!! Your body needs fuel before you try to make it work. When you sleep it uses or stores the fuel from yesterday; it needs to be refilled before you ask it to work. Plus, doing this creates a speedy metabolism and more energy :) For example, eggs and oatmeal make a great complete high octane fill.
4. Pair carbohydrates with protein / pair fat with protein / DO NOT pair fat with carbohydrates. This will sustain your hunger, keep your body from storing fat. Both good things. For example, meats/cheese is a much better choice than bread/crackers/cheese.
5. Carbohydrates = energy. The more fibrous, the more filling. Brown rice, oatmeal, sweet potato, vegetables, oranges, etc.
Stay the path and be sure to get adequate sleep (hard to do I know) and drink lots of water. Make good food choices and have more energy to last through tough, long work days.
Last but not least, my favorite “go to” while in the airport: raw walnuts and beef jerky. The fat and protein combo provides great energy and good calories.
Protein bars? Just a polished version of candy bars..but you probably know that already.