ROAD TRIPS, AIRPLANES, and TRAVEL: not only are you sitting for unspeakable amounts of time, but you are surrounded by really terrible food that smells quite amazing. You make a gas station stop at the local QT or you walk by the airport’s Cinnabun. You are tired, you are irritable, and your inhibitions have been let down. You see your used-to-be-favorite candy bar and you smell the looks-too-good-to-be-real iced pastry. HUNGER STRIKES. You say “It’s only this one time” or “I’m on vacation, I deserve this”…
TIMEOUT: If you are the person that can do just a bite of a cinnamon roll, or a nibble of that candy bar… By all means. Buy it. Have a treat every once in a while. I admit to you all now, I am NOT that person. One bite means the whole thing. Then it means the next stop maybe something else because I already was bad. Soon I have just become a self-loathing, stomach hurting, angry road tripper.
I know myself well enough and have taken lots of airplanes and road trips too many times to know that I have to PREPARE. I am so over being that self-loathing person. I hope these tricks and tips help you and your family or your friends on the next road trip. Happier body, happier vacation :).
Rule number one:
You MUST bring a cooler. There will never be too many bags or suitcases to not allow for a cooler to squeeze in. The night before or the morning of your departure, head to the grocery store. Most road trip/snacking foods are all carbs (surprise surprise), and although some are okay, you aren’t doing much except sitting. Extra surplus of carbohydrates = wacky energy, crash and burns, and promotes cravings for MORE carbs. The vicious cycle. If you haven’t tried my 21-Day Superhero Challenge, Sign Up Now for the next one and learn more on this, but that is why depending on FAT as fuel is the ultimate choice. Stable energy, mental alertness, and in turn, way less cravings! For your food, pick high protein and high fat, with a little carbohydrate.
Guacamole, hummus, and carrots
Summer sausage and taro chips
Beef Jerky (Wheat free is possible, sugar free is hard. Try Steve’s Paleo Kits if strict or on my Challenge)
Canned tuna and almonds
Applegate Deli Meat: turkey/roast beef with sliced avocado and cucumber slices
Butter Coffee and LaraBar (Have you tried the new PUMPKIN kind?!?)
Notice the basis of each snack/meal is something high in fat or protein, and then carbs are their sidekick.
Rule Number 2:
Sliced veggies are fine, but getting rich, dark greens on the go is very hard to do. That is why I LOVE green juice. Pick one that isn’t based on a fruit. Some fruit is fine, but we want the good stuff (kale, celery, spinach, romaine, etc..) to be the bulk. Get those vitamins and minerals THROUGH FOOD.
Rule number 3:
It is very easy to always snack. You went grocery shopping, you have all of these fun foods, and you want to try them all! I totally get it. Try to set times or at least differentiate when meals or snacks are so that it doesn’t turn into a “Half Baked” sequel.
Rule Number 4:
WATER. Who cares if you have to pee every hour. You HAVE to stay hydrated. Not only will it keep bad cravings away, it will keep your muscles from getting too stiff and keep your mood elevated. If I ever catch myself getting a little snappy or grumpy, I usually am dehydrated. I know I’m crazy, but it’s true.
Rule Number 5:
Pack a selection of teas: herbal, black, green.… My dad used to work overnights and taught me that drinking hot things would help him stay up at night. It is very easy to just load up on coffee every stop, but then you are counteracting all that water you are drinking, so mix in those teas!Hot water is found EVERYWHERE, and usually it is free unless you are flying Frontier (I kid. But for real they are ridiculous). My favorite teas: Cognitea (a peppermint/green tea mix) or a ginger tea because there really isn’t much that ginger doesn’t cure.
Rule Number 6:
Sitting equals REALLY TIGHT hip flexors. Getting pulled forward, literally, when they are too tight, will cause that back to compensate. One big recipe for low back pain or stiffness. While driving or sitting, think about squeezing your glutes. Activating them will take that pressure off the back. I promise, no one will notice. Squeezing your abs tight in the same manner will help as well. I am very lucky to have a MarcPro to travel with (a muscle stimulator where I put patches on my hips and back and it keeps blood flow happening) which helps SO much, but if you are flying solo, consciously squeeze and flex when you remember.
When you are in between flights or at the gas station, start with a few hip flexor stretches by putting your back foot on a curb and go into a half lunge. Even if you are only on break for a few minutes WALK! Move. Jump. Twist. Get the blood flow going as much as possible.
Rule Number 7:
If you have room, travel with dumbbells. (If you don’t have dumbbells, wait a few months. I have something awesome coming for you.)
A quick, fun workout?
10 min AMRAP
1-2-3-4-5-6…. alternating moves and increasing reps until time is up
No dumbbells? No problem. Bodyweight circuits like jumping lunges, burpees, pushups, and planks can all be used.
Rule Number 8:
Keep your immune system strong. I travel EVERYWHERE with a tincture of elderberry, goldenseal, and echinacea. You can put it in your hot tea or you can take it straight (I highly suggest the tea) and it keeps my immune system healthy and strong while I’m in not so healthy environments or I’m not completely in control of my food.
Happy road tripping and adventure, superheroes. Much love.