As you all know, exercise and healthy eating are a big part of my life, and I try to take it very seriously. However, as I am away for business around nine months of the year, it can be difficult sticking to healthy foods. It usually depends on where I am as to what is available, but I normally try to take some of my products just in case I can’t find anything healthy.
Be sure to check all your food goodies against the Prohibited Items list (TSA – USA).
When I am travelling on long international flights, I never, ever eat the plane food that they serve, even on business class. It is always so salty and starchy I cannot imagine how unhealthy it is. I have normally made myself a meal to take with me, like a cold pasta or salad. If I haven’t had time, I will buy one in the airport in one of the healthier shops.
If I can’t find anywhere healthy, I will just buy a brown bread sandwich as it is still better than the plane food. I also bring some nuts, chopped up fruit and vegetables or an energy bar for snacks if the journey is a long one. Any fruit I haven’t eaten when I get off the plane I have to throw out as it’s not usually allowed through customs.
I always drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and always stay away from alcohol whilst travelling as it always makes me feel worse. I usually have no time to be jet lagged as I normally land, go straight to my hotel to change and only have a few hours rest before I have to start my meetings.
What I Take
If I have time to organise myself before my trip, I go shopping and stock up on healthy food that I can take with me. I will take things like tinned fish, granola, soups, rice pouches and chickpeas for salads.
In addition to healthy snacks, I love to bring cut up veggies with me. The only downside to chopped vegetables is that they don’t stay fresh for a very long time. I make sure to eat them in the first day or two of my trip. After they run out, I usually make a trip to the grocery store and load up.
Helpful Tip: Chopping up vegetables is incredibly difficult if your knife isn’t sharp. Electric knife sharpeners are the easiest way to keep your knives in good working order; it’s a must-own kitchen product.
Almost every room I stay in will have a fridge, so I keep things cool. If it doesn’t have a kettle, I will ask for one so that I can make food rather than going out to eat. Granola is the best for a quick meal in the morning, with some skim milk and fresh fruit. I try to eat small meals about four times a day so that I feel satisfied all the time. It is not always possible, and it depends on what schedule I have.
If I have access to fresh fruit and vegetables, I tend to carry them around with me during the day. Then I can have a snack whilst I am travelling from meeting to meeting. Some people will look at me a bit strange, all dressed up in my designer suit munching on an apple. Others tell me I am crazy and just to enjoy myself and try all the new cuisines of every country.
Of course, I will try once or twice, but I like to stick to the foods that I know, that make me feel good and ready to go. I also don’t always know how healthy foreign foods are for me as I may not be familiar with the ingredients or cooking methods, so sticking to what I know ensures I maintain my healthy lifestyle.
Being a corporate executive, I am expected to attend fancy dinners often. Nearly half of the meetings I have all over the world are held in restaurants. A lot of other meetings are held in conference rooms where they will hand out food, but I can easily decline it without offending anyone. At elaborate dinners and meetings with clients at restaurants, however, it is rude to not eat.
If you do happen to get sucked into the fancy dinner, here is an effective way to detox your body afterwards.
I found it difficult at first, but I have found ways to manage. We normally go to high-end restaurants that, whether in Dubai or Tokyo, have a range of healthy options on the menu. From salads to grilled fish and meats, I always make sure I ask details when ordering. I must stay professional though so that I don’t get any odd looks from clients, and if I can’t find anything healthy, I have to order the best thing I can find. Now and again this is ok, as long as I am still getting my regular exercise back at the hotel.
Sometimes at large corporate dinners, there will be a set menu. It can be difficult, though I normally just stick to the vegetarian option. If it seems unhealthy, I will go for a chicken or meat dish, and only eat the vegetables and meat, leaving the carbohydrates. Alcohol is often dished out at a lot of my meetings, and if I am with a client or somebody important, it is polite to accept a glass of wine. I much prefer though, if I do have alcohol, to have a spirit like a vodka or gin and tonic.
I have always been healthy, but sticking to it whilst travelling can be tough sometimes. I have found ways to deal with it though, by taking my foods and finding grocery stores that sell fresh fruit and other fresh products which I have managed to find in most countries. I almost always find a way to keep up my daily exercise, in the gym, jogging or even in my hotel room. There is always a way to stay in shape no matter your lifestyle If you are determined to stay healthy, you will always find a way around the difficulties you can face whilst travelling.
Even though many places America now have a large range of healthy foods, I have found other countries that have healthy food as a way of living. Sometimes I even find it harder travelling domestically, as smaller places in the US don’t always have the variety of healthier foods like in big cities. I love countries that live on fresh food and not the processed foods that you find so frequently in the United States.