6 Ways to Stay Healthy While Traveling for Work

So you travel for work? So do I. In fact, I get on an airplane twice a week, every week. I know the NYC terminals like the back of my hand. I frequent so often that the barista at Starbucks is convinced that I work there. I change time zones on a weekly basis. I am a Management Consultant.

I came into consulting about a year ago as an experienced hire. As excited as I was about starting my new job, I was also completely worried about maintaining my healthy lifestyle. You eat out everyday? Networking events are key? Is there such thing as ‘The Consulting 15’? It took some trial and error, but here are 6 ways I’ve been able to maintain a healthy lifestyle while constantly traveling.

1. Be prepared. 

You know you are going to fly out Monday morning. You know the airport is lacking in healthy food options. You know the food options on the plane are even worse. So come prepared! Pack fruits, raw nuts, and even full meals (although make sure they meet the TSA liquids requirements). I always pack fruit and raw nuts with me as snacks. For fruits, I prefer apples. Apples do not require refrigeration, stay fresh in a ziplock bag (unlike bananas), and keep you full.  For nuts, I like packing raw, unsalted almonds or walnuts. Try packing a snack size of nuts in a ziplock bag to keep it to a snack portion.

If I have a long flight (which I often do), I pack a meal. I typically stop at Whole Foods or get some sort of salad to go.  I understand that not everyone has time to make a special trip to get a meal prior to flying- so don’t! You are going to go grocery shopping or going to get some kind of meal in the days prior to your travel. So why not double up? Stop by the salad bar during your grocery run at Whole Foods and save it for your flight. Add an extra bowl on your Ubereats order and bring it with you on the plane. You will be so much happier and relaxed knowing that you have healthy, delicious food with you and don’t have to stress about finding your next meal.

2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Flying is incredibly dehydrating, so make sure you not only hydrate on the flight, but before your flight as well. I bring my Swell bottle with me everywhere that way I don’t have to purchase bottles of water. Fill it up before you board, and you’ll be good to go. And don’t forget to grab an aisle seat.

3. Do your homework

When you are traveling to a new location, do your homework. I spend an hour couple days before researching healthy restaurants. I check for Whole Foods or plant-based restaurants and eat organic ingredients whenever possible. That way when I arrive, I know exactly where to plug into Google maps and can avoid the stress of worrying about where to get my next meal. I do the same thing with exercise. I personally like taking megaformer Pilates classes, so I research local studios beforehand. If they are on classpass, even better!

4. Exercise in the morning

Work days can me unpredictable. If a workday is running longer than expected, you don’t want to stress about missing your evening Pilates class. Likewise, if your team is going out to dinner or happy hour, you don’t want to worry about missing your workout. Working out in the morning eliminates the stress of trying to squeeze a workout in later in the day.

5. Get into a routine  

Often work travel can be an excuse to eat out, have an extra glass of wine, and take a week off of exercising. But of those of us who travel often (or like me, travel every week), that is not sustainable. The most important thing I like to do when I travel is pretend that I’m at home. When I go to Whole Foods or the local juice bar, I try to purchase multiple meals at once. That way I have a hotel mini fridge full of healthy meals at hand and don’t have to spend excessive amounts of time driving to get every meal every night (which could cause you to skip out on the gym!). Most hotels have mini fridges in their rooms and if not, most will bring one to your room upon request. So take advantage of this and keep meals in your mini fridge so you can avoid the added stress of fetching every meal.

6. Eat like your at home

When I first started traveling for work, I would often go to healthy, plant-based restaurants for meals, but tack on a vegan brownie or peanut butter cup to my order. (Because if it’s made out of plants it’s healthy, right?). You wouldn’t be eating this way at home, so don’t do this while out. The extra calories will add up quickly. Try to stick to eating the amounts that you would normally eat if you were at home.

Happy traveling!

Carrot Cake Smoothie Bowl 🥕

Carrot cake smoothie bowl! I think this is my new favorite smoothie bowl. Had this for lunch today and I don’t even feel guilty about eating this “treat” because it’s primarily made of veggies, but still tastes sweet.

 

Ingredients:

1 frozen banana

1 medium carrot

1/4-1/2 cup frozen riced cauliflower

almond milk to get the right consistency

handful of shredded coconut

nutmeg

cinnamon

2 tablespoons of maple syrup

spoonful of almond butter

optional: 2 fresh medoolan dates for added sweetness

 

Directions:

  1. Using a vegetable peeler, remove the outside of the carrot and discard.
  2. Peel the rest of the carrot using a vegetable peeler. This cuts the carrots into thin ribbons and helps the carrot blend in the smoothie better.
  3. Blend all ingredients accept for the almond butter.
  4. Place the smoothie in a bowl and top with a spoonful of almond butter and any other toppings.

 

 

 

Lentil Meatballs and Zoodles 🍝

 

Ingredients:

3/4 cup green lentils (dried)

1 carrot

1/2 white onion

3 cloves garlic

1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (unsalted)

handful of fresh parsley

Himalayan sea salt

ground pepper

avocado oil

1 zucchini

marinara sauce

nutritional yeast

Fresh basil

 

Directions:

1. Put lentils in a pot of boiling water cook per instructions on packaging. Once cooked, place lentils in strainer and allow to cool.

2. Cut onion and carrot- I like to cut the carrot into ribbons using a vegetable peeler. Sautee in a frying pan with avocado oil, Himalayan sea salt, and ground pepper until soft. Add garlic and allow to cook for about 30 seconds. Place pan aside to cool.

3. Set oven to 400 deg.

4. Once cooled, place lentils, onion, carrots, and garlic into blender or food processor. Add a handful of fresh parsley, 2 tablespoons of avocado oil, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. Depending on the dryness of the lentils, you may need to add a few tablespoons of water to help blend. Add pumpkin seeds and pulse to chop and mix the seeds, but not fully blend.

5. Coat a baking dish with avocado oil.

6. Form the mixture into balls and place on baking dish.

7. Place baking dish in the oven and bake for 30-40mins depending on the size of the lentil meatballs.

8. Using a spirilizer, cut the zucchini into zoodles.

9. Place the zoodles in a frying pan and cook with marinara sauce.

10. Plate the zoodles and top lentil meatballs and additional marinara sauce. Top with nutritional yeast and fresh basil

Dark Green Smoothie Bowl 🌱🍫

Back in NYC! 🤸🏻‍♀️

First move post red eye flight back is making a green smoothie bowl. After 3 weeks of straight travel, I’m so glad I came home to a freezer full of organic produce and my first move wasn’t running out to Whole Foods. This smoothie is mostly veggie based, but made with cacao powder and topped with cacao nibs to taste like a treat. I also topped it with sunflower butter vs. almond butter. I’ve been experimenting with sunflower butter this week and am a huge fan. Now have to run and get all of my errands complete and pack over the next couple of days before I fly out, this time for vacation! ✈️

 

Ingredients:

1/4 cup frozen blueberries and blackberries

1/4 cup frozen riced cauliflower

3/4 cup frozen spinach

1 spoonful cacao powder

1 scoop chocolate protein powder

almond milk to get the right consistency

Top with superfoods- I used  cacao nibs, sunflower butter, goji berries, and shredded coconut

Turkey Burgers with Sweet Potato Fries

I want these Turkey Burgers with avocado and sweet potato fries that I made the other weekend. This is the last week I’m Seattle for work and then I head back to NYC to end my 3 weeks of straight travel. I had so much fun traveling these past 2 weekends but am seriously ready to not live out of a suitcase and get back home- be in my own apartment and cook my own food.

… at for at least a couple of days until I pack up and leave again 💁‍♀️✈️ 

See recipe below!

 

Ingredients:

Ground Turkey meat

1/2 red bell pepper

1/8 onion

3 cloves garlic

1/2 lime

Cayenne pepper

Chilli powder

Paprika

Avocado oil

1 large sweet potato

Salt

Pepper

 

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 deg.

2. Using a vegetable peeler, peel the outside of the large sweet potato.

3. Place sweet potato in microwave for 1-2 minutes to slightly soften so it is easier to cut. Cut sweet potato into fries.

4. Lightly coat a baking dish with avocado oil. Place fries on a baking dish and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for for about 20 minutes. Flip the fries and place back in the oven for another 20 minutes or until crispy.

5. Cut red pepper and onion into small pieces.

6. Place ground turkey in a bowl and add red pepper and onion. Add garlic to the bowl using a garlic press. Add 1/2 juice from the lime, a drop of avocado oil, salt pepper, paprika, chilli powder and cayenne pepper to the bowl. Mix the bowl to evenly distribute.

7. Roll turkey into burgers. Place burgers on a baking dish and place in the oven with for 30- 40 minuets depending on the size of the burgers.

8. Cut avocado into slices. Plate the turkey burger with avocado slices and sweet potato fries.

 

Chicken with Squash, Spinach, and Avocado

Chicken thighs with summer squash, red onion, sautéed spinach, and avocados slices. Sautéed the summer squash with red onion and spinach in oil and garlic, because I’m a firm believer that you can sautée almost any vegetable in garlic and oil and it’s awesome 💁‍♀️

Anyone else on this one? 😬

 

Ingredients:

2 boneless, skinless chicken thighs

1 summer squash

1 zucchini

1/16 red onion

2 cloves of garlic

avocado oil

1/2 bag spinach

1/4 avocado

salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions:

1. Cut summer squash and zucchini into slices. Cut the slices into halves or fourths.  Place the zucchini in a baking dish (I use glass because it avoids the harmful interactions of nonstick baking sheets).

2. Cut red onion and place on baking dish. Mince 1 clone of garlic and mix with vegetables.

3. Place 2 chicken thighs in the baking dish on top of the vegetables. This will allow the veggies to cook in the natural oils from the chicken- no need for added oils. Season chicken and veggies with salt and pepper.

4. Bake on 400 degs for 35-45mins, depending on the size of the chicken thighs. Check the chicken periodically to avoid over cooking.

5. While this is baking, sautéed spinach with avocado oil and 1 clove of garlic in a frying pan.

6. Cut 1/4 avocado into slices.

7. Plate the chicken, vegetables, spinach, and avocado.

 

Chocolatey Berry Veggie Smoothie Bowl

Smoothie bowl kind of morning. This thick, chocolatey smoothie bowl is actually mostly made of veggies 🌱

 

Ingredients:

1/4 cup Frozen riced cauliflower

1 frozen zucchini (steamed then frozen),

1/4 cup Frozen raspberries

1-2 scoops Almond butter

1/4 Avocado

1 scoop Chocolate protein powder

Coconut milk to get the right consistency

Topped with hazelnuts and coconut flakes