Five Ways to Keep it Healthy While Traveling

Greetings from Jonesboro, Arkansas!

Remember when I was here back in August? (See “Arkansas:  Day 1” and “When I Get Hungry I Get Weird”).  Well, here I am, back again for work.  Yesterday was a travel day.  In honor of that, I’d like to share five tips for making healthy decisions on the road:

1.  Get to the airport early.  Instead of rushing through security and grabbing not so great “to go” snacks, take the time to check out what food options your terminal has.  There is no need to get bags of chips, order fried options, or snag sodas just because you are short on time.  Yesterday I looked in three different stores before stocking up on snacks from a place called “Gourmet on the Fly.”  I’m thankful that I had the time to make smart choices!

2.  Stock up on extra healthy snacks.  In my bag yesterday?  1 bottle water, 1 bottle Pomegranate seltzer water, 1 Clif bar, 1 banana, 1 red pear, 1 green apple, and raw almonds.  Who cares if the cashier lady looks at you weird because she thinks you just bought a ton of food?  I think it’s important to have some “extras” on hand in case the hotel market isn’t so great, if you get hungry while working, or if you feel like munching on something in your hotel room.

3.  Stick with a healthy friend!  If someone you are traveling with is health conscious, try to follow their lead and don’t be swayed by the peer pressure of everyone else.  Traveling with Colleen makes my decision-making a lot easier!

4.  Check out the restaurants in the area ahead of time.  And read the menu too.  I know some people think this takes the fun out of going out to eat, but if you go out to eat often on the road, it’s probably not that novel.  Pick and suggest places that you know offer some healthy choices and stick to what you picked out ahead of time once you get there.  Don’t order the chocolate sundae or the loaded nachos just cause everyone else is doing it.

On my menu yesterday?

  • Lunch at T.G.I Friday’s in Memphis where I got their deconstructed version of the classic Cobb Salad with balsamic-marinated chicken breast fire-grilled and drizzled with balsamic glaze and served alongside sliced avocado, fresh grape tomatoes, hard-boiled egg, bacon, crumbled Bleu cheese, and chopped romaine lettuce with fat-free balsamic vinaigrette.
  • Dinner at The Brickhouse Grill in downtown Jonesboro where I ordered an 8 oz. filet with steamed vegetables and a side salad.  Oh!  And I tried ALLIGATOR too.  Tasted like chicken.  Cool, huh?

And in case you were wondering, I ate a Chobani yogurt for breakfast at my apartment before I got to the airport, my Clif bar before I boarded the plane, my pear after the flight, and a banana before my workout as my other snacks throughout the day.

5.  Familiarize yourself with what fitness options your hotel has.  Some places don’t offer much as part of their hotel fitness rooms but several do offer guest passes to the nearby gym.  Ask at the front desk!  This is how Colleen and I discovered the Trim Gym.

If you are short on time, maximize the time you do have to workout by combining upper and lower body moves, or perhaps opting for some sprint intervals on a machine instead of running at a steady pace for an hour.  Or maybe you just aren’t motivated to use machines but love classes.  Get a guest pass and try a new class!  If you feel excited about your workout and where you are working out, you’ll definitely get more out of it.

My workout yesterday?

  • Elliptical:  2 minute warmup, 2 minute front jog, 2 minute back jog, 4 minutes of Tabata intervals, 2 minute front jog, 2 minute back jog, 4 minutes of Tabata intervals, one minute front jog, one minute cooldown.
  • Legs:  Forward lunge, side squat, back lunge combo all on the same leg.  Repeat through that series 15 times.  Finish with 10 pulses in the front lunge, 10 pulses in the squat, and 10 pulses in the back lunge.
  • Cardio Interval:  30 seconds single hop, 30 seconds jacks
  • Repeat legs on other side.
  • Cardio Interval:  30 seconds single hop, 30 seconds jacks
  • Legs + Obliques:  Side leg lift combined with an oblique drop.  20 reps, followed by 10 leg pulses only.
  • Obliques:  CBC Ab Routine for one minute.  Lean left, right, front, back.
  • Repeat leg lift combo on other side.
  • Obliques:  Twist side to side for one minute, adding knees at 30 seconds.
  • Abs:  Lower & Lifts for 30 seconds, followed by 15 seconds of scissor kicks, and 15 seconds of a 6 inch hold.
  • Cooldown/Stretch.

We weren’t at the gym for very long, but I snuck in a pretty decent (and sweaty) workout for only being there for about 40 minutes!

Question(s) of the Day: 

  • What are your biggest challenges/successes when it comes to healthy travel?!
  • Any specific questions/topics relating to healthy living on the road you’d like me to address in future posts?

Don’t forget to enter my free giveaway – I’m extending the deadline until Friday to enter!

Arkansas: Day 1

This week I am in Jonesboro, Arkansas.  It’s no Boulder.

Everything is flat and closes at 9pm.  We lucked out with a direct flight this morning to Memphis and then drove an hour through trailor parks and flat fields until we got to Jonesboro.  The flight and drive itself were fine, but I did have a pretty frantic morning.  My cab was ten minutes late, we hit a crapload of traffic on the pike, and then the security line took me almost 45 minutes to get through.  Stupid Delta.  I thought I was going to miss my flight, even though I was more concerned that I wouldn’t have any time to get any snacks for the plane.  Also, the flight was overbooked and if not for some kind person that was willing to switch their flight, I would have gotten left behind.

I calmed down once I was in the air and reading my new book, a loaner from Katrina.  “I Was Told There’d Be Cake” by Sloane Crosley is hysterical.  It’s a collection of short essays about random snippets from the author’s everyday life.  It’s full of sarcasm, wit, and definitely awkward moments – so clearly I’m into it.  I was actually almost mad when the plane landed because I was this close to finishing it.  But not really.

As I was plowing through the airport this morning, I stopped at this little gourmet express store.  I was seriously on auto-pilot as I grabbed a mango flavored Chobani (delicious but 2%, whoops), a pear, and a container of raw unsalted almonds for the plane and to have for the week.  I ate the yogurt and some of the almonds.  For lunch we stopped at this restaurant called Shorty Small’s.  Seriously that was the name of it.  Seemed like the only healthy thing on the menu was this grilled shrimp salad that I got.  Even the other salads were topped with all sorts of fried options.  The salad wasn’t too bad:  shrimp, pineapple, mandarin oranges, tomatoes, bell peppers, cucumbers, and parmesan cheese.  I had to laugh though because the menu description literally said “Grilled Shrimp and Healthy Things Such As….” and then went on to name all the vegetables.  Apparently people in Arkansas aren’t aware that bell peppers are considered a healthy thing!

We were checked into the hotel by 4pm so I had an hour to get settled and catch up on some things.  Then it was workout time.  Colleen and I did our research beforehand and found a local gym called The Trim Gym.  Isn’t that the greatest name?  We also researched the aerobic calendar and found a 5:30 Spin class.  So we went.  Not gonna lie, I was a little nervous because sometimes I can be a fitness snob when I try other instructor’s classes just because I want class to kick my ass.   But my GOD did that instructor kill us!  He taught a completely different style of spin from what I teach and am used to, which is a good thing to switch it up for my muscles.  The bikes were different too because they actually had the RPM and wattage information right on the screen in front of you.  And we did a TON of sprint intervals.  I had a puddle of sweat on the floor under my bike when class was done.  Since class was only 45 minutes, Colleen and I did some abs to finish up:

  • Abs #1:  Sitting up, heels on the floor in front of you.  Lean back until your stomach feels like it’s going to give (don’t go all the way down) and then sit back up.  Do 2 sets of 8.  Then hold the last one back, lift your feet off the floor and balance.  Then do 10 side to side twists, right / left counting as 1, for the obliques.
  • Abs #2:  Lying flat on the floor, arms by side and legs extended in front of you, sit up and bring arms up to reach toward the legs (they lift off the floor).  Do 10 of those.  Then 10 of right arm to left leg, and 10 of left arm to right leg.
  • Abs #3:  1 minute of plank.  At 20 seconds, add a rolling to the front and back.  At 40 seconds, lift each leg for 5 seconds.  Hold the last 10 seconds.

It’s really nice to travel with someone who is just as obsessed with healthy living as you are.

For dinner, we went to a Japanese Steakhouse called Hiro.  Seemed like the only non-chain option around here.  We got edamame as an appetizer for the table.  I ordered the Hibachi steak and scallops.  My meal came with a salad, Hiro soup, vegetables, and fried rice.  It was all really good except for the fried rice because it was slabbed with butter and disgusting.  I guess that’s the southern way of things.

Like really?  Look at that huge scoop of buttery disgustingess.  Meh.  I picked at it but definitely did not eat the whole thing.

Tomorrow is going to be an early workout sesh back at The Trim Gym, then a long day ahead at St. Bernard’s Medical Center.  At least I’m home Wednesday this week though – right in time to sub for spin and teach on Thursday morning.

Where I really want to be though, is back down the Cape.  It was such a fun and relaxing weekend.  Aside from all the food I already described in “Sunday Morning Breakfast,”  we also ate clam chowder and steamers at Osterville Fish Too, this little seafood joint next to Mill Way Beach where Tim and I spent a few hours yesterday afternoon.  Kathy also made us some more chicken sandwiches and these little pizza things – french bread with tomato, brie cheese, and fresh basil on them!  Delicious.  Seriously she was an amazing host and we had a great time.  I certainly did NOT go hungry!