As a mom, you try to feed your family healthy foods as much as possible. You understand the importance of eating lots of whole grains, fruits and veggies, and good sources of protein, and you enjoy cooking tasty meals as often as you can. Sadly, as you probably know firsthand, this commitment to eating well is tough to maintain during your frequent business trips. After a long day of traveling it is tempting to grab fast food near the hotel, and many trade shows and conferences involve banquets and spreads of catered food that are high in fat and sodium.
Fortunately, with some pre-planning combined with a side order of will power, it is definitely possible to squeeze in some healthy meals while you are away.
Bring Your Own Snacks
If you pack your own snacks and munch on healthy choices throughout your travel day, you will not be as tempted to hit the vending machine at the airport or stop at a fast food restaurant while on the road. If you are flying, tuck small packs of almonds into your purse, as well as string cheese, whole wheat crackers, and dried fruit. For long road trips, invest in some divided plates with airtight and watertight lids — Lock & Lock offers a variety of shapes and sizes. Bring along a divided plate or two filled with tasty and nutritious snacks that you can easily munch on along the way; for instance, carrot sticks, whole wheat pita bread chips and hummus, or fruit salad, yogurt and nuts. Stick the plates into a cooler in the back of your car and when hunger strikes, stop for a snack.
Additionally, use Pinterest and other food-focused sites for healthy on-the-go recipe inspiration. For example, global health and beauty leader Amway uses its Facebook page to share healthy recipes. The company’s Nutrilite recipes are easy to make and delicious — they recently posted one for roasted red pepper hummus that would travel well in a divided plate during a business trip.
If you know you have a big business banquet that evening, try to eat lightly during the day. Then, during the fancy meal, try to order extra veggies or a big salad and if you eat dessert opt for fruit. Most caterers and restaurant owners are used to people having special dietary needs, so don’t be shy about speaking up and asking to have a side salad instead of the fries or macaroni and cheese.
Hotel Tips and Ticks
When you are making reservations for your business trip, search for hotels that include a mini-fridge in your room. Once you arrive, you can stash your pre-packed snacks in the fridge and head out to a local grocery store to stock up on some more healthy options. Consider downloading a hotel booking app like Hotels.com that allows you to research the various amenities, including fridges, and then use Google Maps to see how close each hotel is to supermarkets. You can also call hotels ahead of time to see if they offer complimentary breakfasts and if so, what is usually on the menu. If they offer hard boiled eggs and/or an omelet bar you may opt to stay there instead of a hotel that puts out pastries wrapped in plastic and juice.
Do the Best You Can
While you might not eat healthy for every meal during a business trip — and please don’t get mad at yourself if you don’t — you can definitely increase the chances of getting in some good food by following these tips. Prepare beforehand and pack as much as you can, be mindful when eating out, and choose your hotels with care, and you will hopefully return home feeling more energetic than usual.