I’m leaving on a jet plane….

Sorry about the lag between posts; it’s been crazy albeit with a minimal amount of nervous eating! That’s something to celebrate.

MJ and I are heading off for twelve days! Part of that is business, while the other part is pleasure.

In terms of maintaining my regular eating habits: impossible.

In order to not completely get off track, I am not only packing clothes (including fast drying exercise clothes and good sturdy cross trainers; it’s very hilly where we’re going!), but also food.

‘You’re going on vacation!’ you might be thinking. ‘Why the heck are you packing food?’

I am packing food precisely because I am going on vacation!

One reason is that I am cheap; there is nothing worse than spending $15.00 a day on a hotel breakfast when all I’m likely to eat is a bowl of oatmeal, some fruit, and maybe some tea.

A second reason is that I like what I like for breakfast: protein shakes made with bananas and soy milk. When I have this breakfast, I can predict (at least in terms of food) what my morning is going to be like. Don’t you hate it when you eat about 500 calories worth of pancakes only to be hungry 30 minutes later? I know I do! So, by packing a blender and all my stuff (purchasing the bananas and soy milk when I arrive) I’m in better control of my day. I also save a lot of money.

A third reason is that I like to snack during the day, whether I am at home or out and about. By taking my favorite snacks with me (that is, apples, green stuff, baby carrots, pita and hummus), especially on flying days, I can assure that I have healthy options readily available. This doesn’t mean that I won’t stop at Cinnabon and scarf down close to 750 calories in four bites, but it does mean that I won’t be able to use the excuse that there was nothing else to eat!

So, with all of the issues with flying and carry-ons, how do you go about packing your own in an economical and healthy way?

If at all possible, fly Southwest! They let you take on two bags for free, whereas most of the other airlines charge you for one! I have one bag that is dedicated solely to food – natural peanut butter, Ezekial bread, Chai Latte Spirutein, cashews, Lara Bars (my favorite is pistachio, but MJ likes Apple Pie, Cinnamon Roll, and Ginger Snap!), Emerald Balance travel packets, vitamins, etc.

If you are planning on mixing anything in water – like the Emerald Green stuff – then pack an empty bottle and fill it up between flights at the water fountain. I use a Sigg bottle and it’s wonderful.

Also, if you like tea, most Starbucks will give you a venti cup of hot water for free! Carrying your own tea if a great way to save $4.00 between flights! Or every morning if you find yourself near a Starbucks!

Depending on the hotel where you’re staying, request a refrigerator in your room. It may cost you $50 for the stay, but it will save you money in the long run (especially if there’s two of you), not to mention calories.

When I am traveling, either for business or pleasure, I usually say okay to one “serious” meal a day. I try to keep it as close to normal as I can at breakfast and snack times, have a light lunch (usually a salad or something that is vegetable based) and then go out to dinner, where I usually start with a salad, go for the lightest entree I can (all sauces, etc. on the side) and skip or share a dessert.

I also try to exercise every day, even if it’s just 30 minutes. Luckily, during the business portion of the trip, there is a gym and I am committed (and committing, here, in writing) to go every day. The other days, I will do yoga or go for a walk. I also bought Jillian Michael’s Hot Bod in a Box, which I’m sure if I actually did would kick my butt! I’ll let you know!

What’s your best tip for staying healthy while traveling?

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