Competing 101: Eating smart while traveling

IFBB bikini pro Amy Allen shares tips for healthy eating on the go

April 18, 2013
Competing 101: Eating smart while traveling

Are you like me, always on the go? Are you competing and just looking for better ways to travel with what you need? I hope some of these things help…

Travel does not necessarily mean you are packed to fly out of town. Traveling can also mean you will be away from home and your conveniences. The bottom line, being prepared will support smart choices…whether away for hours, a day, days, week, or etc. There are many tips that can be applied to keep the things you need at your fingertips. When you find yourself hungry, having prepped food supports a successful day whether home or away!

Getting started:
A travel food bag or cooler is a necessity. These days you can purchase one in all shapes, sizes and designs. It does not have to be elaborate or expensive. I have had a variety of bags, whether I spent $12.00 or $100.00, ultimately, I was successful by being prepared with what I needed. Currently, I keep a few varying coolers. I have two flexible coolers that vary in size, they can be flattened into the bottom of a suitcase if need be. The other is larger cooler that has wheels and a pull arm. Depending on what the travel plan will be, I chose the proper bag. To ensure fresh food, I keep a variety of ice style packs in the freezer at all times. The other things I keep on hand are a variety of plastic containers, lids and zip lock bags.

Items to keep in your bag at all time:
I was sure to purchase bags with convenient pockets for other items I travel with. I am sure that I have the following items stored in my bag at all times:

  • Stevia
  • Cinnamon
  • Favorite Ms. Dash
  • Organic mustard (small squeeze bottle)
  • Green tea bags
  • Plastic silverware/napkins
  • A days supply of routine supplements
  • Two scoops of my favorite protein
  • 1-2 packets almond butter
  • Depending on my trip and how I am packing… I will even have my small Foreman grill (36 inch)

Two ways I travel:
1. Measured, prepped, cooked and packed.
2. Measured, prepped, frozen and packed.

Although I purchased a travel pocket food scale from Amazon.com, I like ideally to weigh and pack all of my portions prior to travel. I often will use zip lock bags to ensure I can fit a lot more. You can pack portions in small individual bags, then place all of the small bags into a large labeled bag. I find using containers will minimize the space you have and limit what you can pack.

Simplify the menu:
I will also try to simplify my selections for my actual menu.
Examples:
Two great travel CARB(s) are rice cakes or rolled oats. Most hotels have small coffee pots or microwaves to boil water. I usually will select a single VEGETABLE like broccoli or asparagus. I always travel with them cooked. PROTEIN depends on how I am traveling. If possible, I prefer to measure my protein and then freeze it at home. Traveling with frozen meats ensures it stays fresh. It also helps keeping other food cold while traveling. I prefer fresh selections within minutes; thankfully, the small Foreman Grill is light and convenient. You can literally cook a chicken breast or multiple patties within minutes. I then travel with frozen chicken, small prepped turkey patties or individual frozen fish packets (can be bought almost anywhere). Fish can be cooked even in a microwave if needed. Not gourmet, but it works! Clean FATS can be mixed nuts or almond butter. Most stores sell individual packets of the nuts and/or almond butter.

By having everything in small bags, you just grab and run. You do not have to even worry about carrying containers. You can even have a small day cooler folded at the bottom of a suitcase for day trips.

While planning think ahead:
I highly suggest while booking plans you always ask or look into, whether the location has available:

  • Microwave
  • Refrigerator
  • Gym facility

Hints for carry-on:
Be sure you do not:

  • Jars of peanut, almond or cashew butter must be in check in luggage
  • No liquids beyond measured allowances
  • Ice packs that are no longer frozen on your return, stick in bags and into your check in

    Best of luck in your decision!

    Amy Allen, IFBB Bikini Pro
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    To read Part I of Amy’s Competing 101 series, click HERE!