Before we get started, here are 10 quick notes about my personal nutritional philosophy to give you some context
Booking. Like anyone who travels for business, I get to use the company credit card. Which means I stay at only 5 star resorts, order room service daily, and go out for steak dinners and cigars every night. Just kidding. I try to do everything I can to reduce costs – because the more I can save, the better it is for the bottom line of the company. I’m already a pain in the you-know-what for being a remote employee (We’re headquartered in Birmingham AL and I live outside of Boston MA), so I need to help make every dollar count. When I’m traveling by myself, I try to stay at an efficiency or long- term stay lodging. Why? Because of the kitchenette. If I can offset going out for every meal with “homemade” breakfast and lunch on multiple occasions through the week, I can save money AND have better control of what I eat. So if you’re content without the frills of a normal hotel (like daily room cleaning and towels folded up like swans on the bed), you can get a room with a small kitchen for the same or less money. This will pay off later.
I fly out the following morning. The actual travel itself can be a stressful time for eating. For one, I’ll be up at 4:30am to shower, pack up any remaining items, and hit the road for a 40 minute drive to the airport. By the time I touch down in Nashville and get a rental car, it will be almost 8 hours later. Airport food is notoriously bad and limited as far as healthy options, so I need to be prepared. I can’t take tubs of protein and supplements in my suitcase, because I only pack a carry-on (a great travel tip learned from Robert De Niro in Meet the Parents).
Airport food is notoriously bad and limited as far as healthy options, so I need to be prepared.
So on Sunday I do a few things. I run to the store and get some protein bars that can help in a pinch. These are something I would consider “the lesser of two evils.” Not the #1 option, but something that can bridge the gap if I’m in a pinch. I also buy some small Ziploc bags that I fill with pre-set amounts of different powders. Some casein protein (I like it as a snack before bed) and some whey protein and simple sugars that I can take before, during, and after workouts. If I remember to keep it stocked, I really like protein from Stronger Faster Healthier (SFH). They make some of the best tasting and quality protein and fish oil on the market (learn more about Iron Tribe’s awesome partnership with SFH here). I get by with Optimum Nutrition brand sometimes too. Their Gold Standard Naturally Flavored Whey and Casein are good substitutes for the premium stuff, in my opinion. I like to bring fish oil in capsule form for travel. Have you ever spilled liquid fish oil in a bag or on your clothes? You might as well throw it away. I like Nordic Naturals Ultimate Omega capsules for my trips. I load the bottom compartment of my shaker cup with enough pre-workout powder to get me through the workouts that I’ve already planned for the week and scheduled in my Iron Tribe Fitness app. The shaker cup is key for the week. Not only in the event I want to mix a quick protein shake, but also as a reminder that I need to stay hydrated for the week. I tend to drink more coffee than normal when I’m on the road, so I keep the shaker filled with water when it’s not in use. It’s also good for preventing the inevitable funky shaker smell if you let your protein residue hang around (I’m looking at you, Tra Griffin). I use one of those weekly pill organizers to separate out the fish oil capsules that I need and some other supplements I like to take. Reading the book The Paleo Project by Dr. Marc Bubbs turned me on to some supplements that can help with digestion, inflammation, and overall health. That’s another blog though. I eat a big dinner (too big) and try to get to bed at a reasonable hour. A lot of recent research indicates that lack of sleep causes poor decisions with food.