No Food Prep, Eating Healthy Travel Guide
Maintaining a well-balanced and healthy diet is never an easy task. Not because it’s difficult to prepare food properly in the appropriate macronutrient ratios, but because…
It takes TIME! It takes EFFORT! And it requires PREPARATION!
The task of constantly adhering to a proper diet becomes all the more challenging when you are away from home and do not have access to a kitchen or kitchenette.
Whether it’s for work or for vacation, the temptation to dive into easily accessible food that is free and sitting right in front of your face can be daunting. BUT have no fear! With a little bit of willpower and a bit of creativity you can still hit all of your macronutrient goals without it costing you a lot of time.
If at all possible, I would recommend attempting to find a hotel with a kitchen, or at the very least a mini-fridge with microwave. However, I realize that this is not always entirely possible due to financial constraints or simply a lack of hotel choices in a given area.
Now let’s say you are stuck at some small motel in the countryside and have no access to a refrigerator, a microwave, or any other sort of cooking devices. The following is a comprehensive list of items that will aide you in maintaining your gains on the road by utilizing this full list of non-perishable food items. Don’t forget to bring your can opener!
5 Top Proteins Choices
Canned chicken (90 calories, 20g of protein per can): Canned chicken is inexpensive and can be mixed with anything from salads, to beans, to canned veggies for a quick balanced meal.
Canned tuna (90 calories, 20g of protein per can): Tuna is a classic bodybuilding staple that is great as a quick protein source. Slap it on a sandwich or eat it straight from the can, it’s great for protein in a pinch.
Whey protein (150 calories, 25g of protein per scoop): Get a Zip Lock bag and fill it up with your favorite whey protein. Whey is versatile as it can be mixed with a number of food items or made into sludge for a satiable treat on the road.
Beef jerky or turkey Jerky (90 calories, 20g of protein per serving): While jerky is generally not thought of as a strong protein source, it is readily available at any convenience store and great when you are in a rush.
Quest bars (~160 calories, 20g of protein per serving): Protein bars have come a long way in recent years. Quest bars are macronutrient balanced and come in a variety of great flavors that will not only provide you quick protein but also satisfy a sweet cravings in a hurry.
5 Top Carbohydrate Sources
Canned beans (110 calories, 19 carbs, 7 protein): Beans are high in fiber and can be popped right open and quickly consumed. They provide not only a great complex carb source but also a decent amount of protein as well.
Canned veggies (calories vary): Canned veggies are extremely inexpensive and can generally be had for around $.50 per can. Grab some green beans, peas, or tomatoes and add these to any dish for some healthy variety.
Sliced bread (~120 calories, 20g carbs): Try to choose a bread variety high in whole grains for additional fibrous benefit. A whole loaf of bread can be had for a dollar or less depending upon the brand. Inexpensive and gets the job done!
Dry cereal (120 calories, 30g carbs): Cereal can be stored for prolonged periods of time and milk is not needed to enjoy it. Try mixing one serving of Kellogg’s Special K cereal with 1 scoop of MTS Red Velvet sludge and you will not regret it (this was a staple in my hotel diet for several weeks at a time).
Bananas (100 calories, 25g carbs): Bananas generally will stay edible for a week at a time and are a great source of quick post-workout carbohydrates. Be sure to pick up a few of these for your long trip.
4 Top Fat Sources
Peanut butter (190 calories, 16g fat): As versatile as it is great tasting, you can put it on a sandwich or eat it straight out of the jar. I mean really who doesn’t like peanut butter?
Almonds (or other nut variety) (180 calories, 15g fat): Almonds are a great source of healthy fats that should be part of your diet regardless of whether you are on the road or not. Nowadays, there are several varieties of flavors to choose from. I generally opt for the Wasabi flavored ones. Simply amazing.
Canned salmon (180 calories, 8g fat): I realize salmon can just as well belong in the protein category. However, due to its high omega 3 fat content I decided to include it in the healthy fats section. Canned salmon can be purchased in bulk at your local neighborhood Costco or equivalent store.
Sunflower seeds (180 calories, 15g fat): Not just for the ball game anymore. Sunflower seeds are packed with omega 3’s and are a quick inexpensive way to get your daily necessary healthy fat intake met.
It is not ideal to be without a kitchen and appropriate food preparation materials for a prolonged period of time. The truth of the matter is that due to other outstanding life obligations, we will all likely be forced at one time or another to live out of a hotel without optimal cooking space.
Sometimes we have to make do with the limited resources made available to us. Just don’t be one of those people that say they fell off their diet because they were living in a hotel and had to eat out for all of their meals (unless you are on vacation and really want to enjoy yourself).
I say this is nothing but an excuse! If you want to maintain a proper diet there are measures to take. Do whatever it takes. DON’T BE A PU$$Y!