MAR. 1, 2022
Here's a hint: It's not easy
So one of our fellow readers asked if I could blog about how to eat healthy on the road, and I thought, that would be a great idea since that is something I have to think about on a daily basis. Because well, you know. I'm human and need to eat to survive.
But first, I would like to preface that I have certain fitness goals that affect how I eat. My fitness goals are as follows:
Put on muscle (Helps you ride longer with better posture)
Gain weight (I inevitably lose weight living on the road so need to counterbalance this)
I always get the "Oh, why do you want to do either? You look fine." Sure, but I see my body as a tool to perform. I don't care about aesthetics, fitting a certain size, or wanting to be a certain weight. What is more important to me is being emergency/ disaster ready. It's just a mentality I've had for a long time. If something bad happens, I want to be able to be in shape for the situation, and that's just how I train in the gym as well. Besides, who else is going to pick up my bike for me when I drop it? Now that we've gotten that out of the way, my strategy is based on this mentality and these goals.
These are my strategies to eating healthy on the road:
1. Eat a big healthy breakfast.
It's about consistency. Breakfast for me is the only meal that is predictable and that I know I will have. Every morning I have a banana and an absolutely ridiculous amount of oatmeal (I add honey and coconut flakes for flavor). This helps keep me full for longer versus if I eat just a granola bar. So whatever you eat, make it count. Apples, bananas, cooked eggs and spinach, bread, Greek yogurt, etc. When I say breakfast is the only meal that is predictable, lunch and dinner hours vary day to day and depend on if I prepped food the night before (typically not because I don't want to carry or smush it) or if there are restaurants in the area during the time I want to stop for a meal. Sometimes I need to keep going to beat the sunlight or if I need to refill on gas)
2. Have easy prep foods that won't spoil and you can make on the road.
Sandwiches are great. Get a small amount of fresh ingredients you know you can finish in one sitting, so you don't need to carry it. Grocery shopping the night before or morning of are great for this: a loaf of bread, a handful of spinach, a few slices of cheese and meat from the deli (smaller portions prevents spoiling and unwanted stomach issues since you probably won't have a cooler). Currently I am staying in hotels, hostels or couchsurfing. I will start camping in the Spring when it gets warmer, so will revisit this blog when I figure out that change. But for now, my lunch consists of pastries from bakeries I find along the way, a high protein chocolate milk (for them gainz!), fruit (usually an apple, orange or a pear) and if there is a grocery store with a hot deli nearby, I grab ready made food.
3. Only buy and carry healthy snacks.
This is a rule that I follow 95% of the time. My mentality is if I only have fresh fruit, dried fruit and nuts to snack on, I only have that selection to choose from. You can't eat junk food if it's not available. I'll usually buy pre-made trail mix from the store and finish a small bag throughout the day. Fruits like apples, pears, oranges carry well and won't get squished in your pack.
4. When I eat at a restaurant for lunch or dinner, I always order a salad first.
I use this as a reward system. When I eat this healthy food first, then I can eat my more delicious entree. This helps a lot. I also use this strategy if I am staying in a place for a few days and have access to a kitchen. When I grocery shop, I'll buy salad, some precooked beets and a ball of mozzarella, drizzle some olive oil and some salt, and that is my easy 5 minute salad. I eat that salad first before I can eat my actual dinner. Note that some people may eat just a salad for dinner, which is why I prefaced this article with the "weight gain" blurb. I try to cook as much as I can to save money for gas. It takes a big chunk out everyday since I'm always on the move.
Whether you choose to eat out for your meals or cook as much as you can, try to incorporate or add more vegetables to your diet. Oftentimes I will add more veggies to an entree if I am eating out or make sure to add extra vegetables to a dish I am cooking. I love my carbs, but they don't give me the micronutrients I need.
Happy healthy eating ya'll! Thanks for the blog post suggestion, kind sir. If anyone has any topics they'd like me to blog about or questions, please let me know!