A Little More Each Day

One working mama learning to run & to maintain my 100+ pound weight loss!

Weight Loss Wednesday: Eating healthy while traveling

on October 2, 2013

This morning, I’m flying off to San Francisco for work for the next five days. I’ve traveled a lot for work and feel like I’ve gotten pretty good at preparing to eat healthy on the road. Certainly I’m much better at than I used to be. Before I started working on losing weight, work trips were a literal free for all. I’d snack my way through airports all over the country and use the excuse that I was somewhere new to justify eating extravagant meals out alone or through room service. Those days are behind me so far and I’m navigating work travel (and family travel, using a lot of these tips) a lot more successfully.

There are several things I’ve found really helpful:

– Check out the resources that are available at your hotel (if  you’re staying at one). Most hotel rooms will have a coffee pot available at minimum and you may have a refrigerator and/or microwave available. Knowing what you’ll have available helps in planning your trip.

– I bring breakfast with me. I’ve used cereal bars or Kind bars in the past if I’m not going to have access to a coffee maker or microwave. This trip, I’m going with homemade oatmeal packets: 1 serving of quick cooking oats in a Ziploc bag with Splenda and 1/2 tbsp PB2. You could also buy the prepackaged oatmeal packets, but I prefer making my own so I get an extra protein boost from a little powdered peanut butter and I get to choose the sweetener. You can use water heated in the coffee pot to make the oatmeal (thus the need for the quick cooking variety as opposed to old fashioned) or a microwave. Having one meal a day I know I don’t have to worry about makes me feel mentally stronger about the other choices I’m going to face.


– Bring snacks! I like to bring fresh fruit for the flight and something shelf stable for the rest of the trip, like FiberOne bars or Kind bars. Frequently, I’m at conferences where there are massive tables of pastries set out between the sessions. Having a snack of my own already at hand makes those temptations a lot easier to resist (because really, are mass hotel pastries ever really worth it?).  I also bring packets of sugar free hot cocoa or apple cider to have at night as a little treat (to resist the room service dessert menu) if I have a coffee maker. I also bring popcorn packets if I’m going to have a microwave.


Scope out the neighborhood to find sources for fruit and veggies. I rarely have a rental car in association with a work trip, so I look for things within walking distance of my hotel that might have fresh fruit. You can usually just google “grocery store near X hotel” and find message board entries from Trip Advisor and similar sites with information about the area. For instance, there is a Walgreens, 7-11 and a Target within 3/4 mile of my hotel this week so I plan on checking those out to find some healthy snacks. If you have a rental car, be sure to hit the grocery store before you get to your hotel so you’re prepared. Things like apples and bananas don’t require refrigeration, but you also pick up yogurt or salad supplies if you know you’ll have a fridge.

Airports are getting much better about offering healthy options, if you can walk past the McDonald’s at every other gate to find them. Many of the convenience stores have fruits, yogurts and veggie snacks. Starbucks is ubiquitous and usually has some healthy options, if you can ignore the pastries. The airport in Chicago at O’Hare actually has a hydroponic garden within the airport and a really nice farmer’s market-ish stand for snacks. Take a few minutes to look at the airport signs or online to find the best choices within your particular airport.

– I bring a sandwich and some sturdy fruit or veggies with me for a meal on the flight, in case I get delayed or don’t have time to explore the options fully at the airport on my layover. Something with deli meat and mustard will travel well at room temperature for a short time. I can then buy water or coffee or whatever else I would like to drink while I’m on the road.

– I still use the travel as an excuse to try out new restaurants. Healthy food can be very tasty and trying out new options on the road can give me ideas to try at home. I tend to focus on restaurants that specialize in local, fresh food – it tends to give me the most unique experience from the particular city I’m visiting and they’re usually healthier options. I also use travel as an excuse to eat lots of seafood. I love fresh seafood but my husband doesn’t, so it’s a great excuse for me to have fish every night. As a bonus, seafood is generally a good choice with healthy fats and high quality protein. I also look into local restaurant reviews to find an indulgence that would be truly worth it (going to be hard to narrow down in San Francisco) because you definitely do want to embrace the occasional splurge.

– Bring a bottle of water and a plan for dealing with the taste of the local tap water if you don’t like it. This could be either one of those bottles with a built in filter or Crystal Light packets or Mio or crystallized lemon. It saves you a fortune on buying bottled water or soda and makes it easier to stay hydrated.

Tomorrow, we’ll talk about staying active on the road. I’m really looking forward to going for a run in San Francisco!

Golden Gate bridge

Send my hubby good vibes as he takes on solo parenting for the next five days!

How do you stay healthy on the road? 

**As always, no sponsorship of this or any post. Any specific products mentioned are just actual products with which I’ve had experience.






8 responses to “Weight Loss Wednesday: Eating healthy while traveling

  1. Desiree' says:

    Great post and those are some wonderful suggestions!

  2. […] on the road this week for work and so far, I’m satisfied with my food and activity choices so far. As I discussed earlier in the week, I brought my homemade oatmeal […]

  3. […] on eating healthy & working out while […]

  4. […] for the holidays. First and foremost, drive safely! In the spirit of prior travel-related posts (food and workouts on the road), I thought road trips deserved their own discussion since they can be a […]

  5. […] off to the grocery store I scoped out before my trip (you know how I like to plan my access to healthy foods when I travel) before the work part of my trip starts. I’ll leave you with this lovely pic of my guy trying […]

  6. […] Check out my post on running on the road here and overall healthy tips while traveling here and here. I travel a lot for my job, so check out any travel related posts here. Thanks as always to Patty, […]

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