I have been meaning to write this post for days now but a silly cold got me side-tracked. There are many ways we can measure the success of our travels. By all accounts, Japan was magical for me and my family, and I have shared plenty about it in previous posts. It was wonderful and I will always look back with fondness on those three weeks, my taste buds longing for all the amazing Ramen bowls we ate.
But not every trip is like this. And when we set different intentions we must take different actions. Your work may require you to travel in the middle of training for a competition, or your cousin is getting married in Mexico and as much as you are excited to go, your own wedding is also 6 weeks away and the idea of being away is making you nervous.
I get asked all the time about tips for travelling and how to do it successfully. I usually give a version of the same advice: plan ahead, do your research, pack some snacks, stay active, etc. But sometimes it is just easier if I show you how I do it and make it work when life takes me on the road and I want to balance fun and gains.
Last week I joined my husband for a mini-getaway. Sometimes as parents you just need to make it happen, so I decided to tag along on his business trip to Boise.
My husband has qualified for the Crossfit Games again as a master this year, and with a new position at work bringing on lots of travels it means he needs to be quite dialled in his travel routine to stay on track with both training and nutrition. Personally, I am back in training and have set some goals for myself this spring/summer that I want to stay focused for.
Now I have said this before, but if something is important to you, you will do it, period. This is something that is important to me and a priority in my life, and it does not stop being important when Friday night hits or when I am away. I don’t make excuses for it and I surround myself with people that will support and respect me in my goals.
Here are some ways I put this in practice on the road.
- I continued to track all my food on MyFitnessPal. I did eat out 2 meals a day and did not bring my food scale, but I still tracked everything I ate. While there was a fair amount of estimating, it did keep me in the range of my macros, making me aware when I needed to boost up my protein or lower my fat, for example.
- I controlled what I could and did my research before we left, finding the best places to eat and the nearest grocery stores. I knew The hotel was providing us with breakfast, but all the protein options were really more like fat options. Eggs soaked in oil and covered in processed cheese, breakfast sausages…While these do have protein their protein content tends to be lower than their fat content. Don’t be afraid to be that girl who peels the hard boiled eggs and only eats the whites. When we arrive at our destination we found a Whole Foods and bought snacks and food to keep us on track. For my breakfast, I bought a small bag of spinach and a couple packs of lean cold cuts. Every morning I had a mixture of egg whites, cold cuts on spinach with hot sauce and a side of english muffin with peanut butter. It wasn’t gourmet and I missed my breakfast at home, but it hit the spot and allowed me to have more flexibility later in the day. Boom! See for yourself that it actually does look decent. You will almost always find hot sauce and hard boiled eggs in breakfast buffets.
- I looked up the local food scene and found places I knew we would enjoy and could be made macros friendly. By keeping breakfast and lunch more disciplined, we had room in our macros to treat ourselves a little more. I made up a new combo at the salad bar in WholeFoods that I quickly became obsessed with! Lettuce + green cabbage + a little dressing + roast chicken or turkey + grapes + jalapeno & some quinoa. The mixture of jalapeno and red grapes was da best and, I must confess, I ate that for 3 of my 5 lunches away! Another go-to when I travel is Subway; it’s very easy to stay macros friendly there, and (confession time) it was my first job in Vancouver before I was fluent in English. ☺️ You can find all their nutritional content online and keep your meal very macro friendly. Bonus: you can also find a Subway in most airports.
- Dinner is where we had more fun. I had been seeing Blaze Pizza all over my Instagram feed touted for their made from scratch with fresh ingredients Artisanal type pizza. All their nutrition info is online and you can pretty much build your own pizza to fit your macros. We went there twice! It was so good and we each ate a whole pizza to ourselves! I also found this healthy Thai place where you build your own bowls, kind of like a Thai version of Chipotle. It was loaded with veggies and flavours and did not disappoint. I will be re-creating these Thai Bowls in my kitchen shortly. The husband also has a sweet tooth and we did enjoy a scoop of fro-yo a couple of nights. If you lay off the excessive toppings, you can do pretty well at Menchies.
- But since life is about balance and we did want to have a special night, I also researched local fine dining before we left and we did enjoy a special meal out where I did not track, I did enjoy a glass or two of Chardonnay and we shared the most delicious smoked trout board for an appetizer made with local trout.
- Lastly, we stayed on top of our training schedule. Keeping up with our daily healthy habits that make up our routine at home help us stay on track. We went to Crossfit almost daily, some days 2x a day and I ran once, pretty much keeping up with the volume we have at home. If you are a Crossfitter and have ever visited a box while on the road, you know that it is always a fun experience. I have yet to find a community that does not welcome visitors with open arms and Crossfit Fireside in Boise was no exception. It has become Scott’s gym away from home now and I can truly see why. If you are not a Crossfitter, one thing I love to do while travelling is go for long walks or runs taking in the sights and discovering new places. And now most hotels have decent gyms where you can find a way to burn a good sweat. Or do a no-equipment workout in your room; I have plenty of them in my arsenal, hit me up next time you travel!
When there is a will there is a way. If something is important to us we do it. Period. I will leave you with another favourite of my saying. Think of your nutrition and training in terms of consistency and not perfection. Consistency over a long period of time always trumps perfection over a short period of time.