Within minutes we can have a full meal, unlike the old days where everything was cooked over a wood burning stove. We live in a time in which everything is convenient. We wake up 30 minutes before we have to be at work and skip breakfast. Lunch is Lean Cuisine (crap in a box). Dinner is eating out and you skip your exercise because, lets face it, you had a really long day. A handful of excuses can be made about why things need to be convenient for you and why you can’t do this or can’t do that. At the end of the day it’s about taking control of your life, prioritizing your responsibilities, and managing your time appropriately.
For today, however, I wanted to discuss some options for my fellow followers of the paleo challenge. They are ALL going out of town during the paleo challenge! Talk about putting them to the test! Below are some helpful tips on how to get by. By the way, you are going to need baggies or plastic containers, and maybe a chilled case.
Snacks: these are your best friend when traveling. Pack some for coming, staying and going!
- baby carrots or papa carrots. You can munch on all sizes.
- celery and almond butter with raisins. You can prepare them in advance and store them in a container, or keep them separate and nibble as you wish.
- Please bake some cinnamon roasted almonds and pecans. It’s for your own good. It takes under 5 minutes to prepare and under 15 minutes to bake.
- Fruit: grapefruit, berries, apples. Yum. Don’t have TONS of fruit on the road as it might spike your cravings for more things even when you aren’t hungry.
- Small baggie of dates. We like these once in a while but they are definitely high on the glycemic load. Eat a date if you just want a small sugary thing.
- Walnut Brownies. This is a no-guilt, on the road, must have. It’s just enough chocolate, just enough sweet to last you the weekend when you just need a little nibble of something.
- Hard boiled eggs. Perfect protein on the go. Put em in cold water. Bring to a boil. Let them sit off the burner covered for 15 minutes. I’ve never made really good hard boiled eggs, but i’m getting better.
Breakfast: maybe you are a breakfast person like me, or maybe you are not. Don’t force breakfast. Eat when you are hungry.
- Staying in a hotel. Before leaving on vacation, you needed to have made a lot of walnut/pecan meal with (or without) flaxseed and cinnamon. All you need for a morning breakfast is 1/2 cup of your nut meal already prepared w/ cinnamon, 1 egg, 1/2 banana (but bring the whole thing), almond/coconut milk (maybe coffee since it’s already in your room? try it?) ITS SO EASY TO PUT IN A BAGGIE AND TAKE ON THE GO. DO IT.
- Eggs and bacon is smart. You got it everywhere. It’s ok to ask for broccoli in the morning. Just try it.
- Coffee is fine. Just don’t drink 12 cups.
Lunch: When you are on the go during lunch, don’t think you have to have a full square meal at lunchtime. I will often graze between breakfast and dinner with snacks. This is usually because I have a late breakfast, catch up on work, clean up a bit, go to the gym for a few hours, and have a late dinner around 9:00pm or later. Here are some on-the-go tips for lunch.
- before you leave, cook up some thin chicken strips. Make enough strips to last you your road trip, or even the next day’s midday lunch if you know you’ll be busy. You can have a couple strips with a handful or two of nuts and you’re good to go for quite a long time.
- You can really make any meal in advance and go to a truck stop and use the microwave. Make paleo chili the day before and put it in a couple of containers. YUM!
Dinner: I don’t know about you, but dinner always ends up at a restaurant. You may have read a previous post, but I’m going to recap what to look and ask for at a restaurant. Chances are, when you make good, confident choices, your friends are going to feel bad about theirs. And sometimes, this helps you feel good about yours. Don’t let their snickers or comments sway you from your healthy habits. Often times they are jealous because they don’t have the self control that you have.
- Look for Meat
- Steak. It will usually only include pepper and it’s no big deal, really.
- Fish. Sometimes fish comes with seasoning which is okay. You have to get the details, though. Ask for it to come without garlic butter, corn salsa, or whatever crap is on it.
- Burger! This is the option I choose most. I can load it with grilled veggies and extra bacon. Sometimes it really hits the spot. To make the meal more satisfying, order it with a salad and mix the two together.
- Chicken. I can confidently say I never get chicken from a restaurant. Most of the time it’s because I’d rather have a juicy steak or a lean fish. It’s also because the chicken is usually marinated in stuff that’s sugary and gluteny.
- Look for vegetables. You are always going to have to ask them to keep the butter off.
- Substituting. If your meal comes on a bed of rice ask your server what you can get in place of it.
- Salad. If you get a regular meal that comes with fries, upgrade to the salad. Forget the money. You know its the right choice. Eat it with oil and vinegar.
- Sides. Your going to have 1-3 sides that are typically acceptable. It’s usually a salad, broccoli, or mixed vegetables. A sweet potato is fine from time to time. You want it plain because it’s awesome the way it is. They are usually REALLY TASTEY at restaurants, moist and sweet.
Things to ask:
- How big the portions are. If you are hungry, sometimes you’ll get 5 little pieces of broccoli. If your spouse is with you, he might need two portions of broccoli. Logan’s Roadhouse will give you 2 sides with your steak. I chose a salad and 1 veggie skewer. It’s like 2 button mushrooms, 1/2 tomato diced, and 2 slivers of zucchini! Although it was tastey, I eat 5x more vegetables than what that stick had to offer.
- Does it come with butter AND can I have it plain.
- What can I get instead of….(insert fries, potato chips, rice, beans, corn, etc. here)
- create your own meal. IF you don’t see something on the menu, ask if you can can have steak and vegetables on top of romain lettuce and see what they do. They usually want to work for their money, and it should be fine.