Posts tagged eating
5 Tips: How to Survive Work Travel

Lately, I've been traveling a lot for work. Trying to stay healthy in airports, at client dinners, and during meeting lunches is hard. What do you do if the only option is a pasta buffet? Or if the hotel gym is just an elliptical in a closet? Or if you forgot to pack workout clothes? 

How can you keep your healthy habits when things are out of your control? 

Simple answer: plan ahead and prepare for the worst. Here are 5 things I try to do when I travel for work:

1. Identify restaurants near your hotel that have healthy options before you leave. Do some research. Check out the menu of the hotel restaurant. Determine what the best options are around you for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That way you have a go-to place and meal, so you won't be tempted in the moment to settle for something. Also, if the only meal you know you can control is breakfast, try to eat the healthiest breakfast you can before heading out that day. If the work lunch or dinner option isn't healthy at least you got some good, nutritious food in earlier. 

2. Eat good before you leave home. Try to eat a good, healthy meal before you head to the airport (or hit the road). That way you start your trip satisfied and with nourishment. If I'm leaving early in the morning, I drink a smoothie before I go - full of veggies, healthy fats, protein, and fiber. If it's later in the day, I eat a good lunch or dinner or drink a low-sugar green juice on the way out.  

3. Pack healthy snacks. Airport food is getting better but it's still not the best. Pack low-sugar protein bars, fruit, cut-up veggies, nut butter packets, and/or plant-based protein powder packets. I've experienced so many flight delays lately (almost every flight!) that I've been forced to skip meals. Having some snacks in my bag has allowed me to eat whenever there wasn't an option or a good, healthy option (pretzels and cookies don't qualify, sorry Delta!). And when meeting food is ordered and you're left wondering what to eat, you got some stuff in your bag to supplement or replace.

4. Walk as much as possible. Instead of sitting at your airport gate, walk. Walk around the terminals or in between them. I do this at the Atlanta airport all the time - especially if it's an early flight and I didn't get to exercise before I left. I also opt to walk instead of taking the train or the moving walkway. It feels nice to stretch legs before and after sitting on a plane. Also, if the area in which you are staying is safe enough, walk places instead of taking an Uber, Lyft, or taxi. It's a great way to get to know a city and your surroundings. When I travel for work, most of my days involve sitting inside in meetings. I try to walk outside as much as possible to make up for that. This tends to make me feel more energized in those meetings - without having to reach for more coffee or some sugar. 

5. Pack workout clothes and accessories. If you pack your workout clothes, you are committing to working out. It's hard to deny them when they are taking up precious space in your carryon. But also try to pack some items that take the pressure off the gym or running outside (you never know the weather). I usually pack a resistance band (I love these: and/or a simple jump rope. Also, think about what workout you want to do beforehand. Jot it down in the notes section on your phone. Walking into an unfamiliar gym early in the morning without a game plan is a sure fire way to have a frustrating, lackluster workout. 

Forgot workout clothes?: Don't underestimate the benefits of doing push ups, squats, lunges, core work etc in your room in your pjs (or underwear!). Something is sometimes better than nothing. 

Top 5: Healthy Restaurants in ATL

The Atlanta food scene gets more exciting (and interesting) every year. Healthy restaurants, though? Not really our style. Don't get me wrong - there are tons of healthy options to be found on menus (the seasonal veggie plate at Miller Union is delicious and kale salads are now everywhere), but there are only a few places that focus exclusively on healthy options. 

As someone who loves to go out to eat, I find myself limited. I'm constantly scanning menus for those one or two dishes that seem healthy. That's why I wanted to share my top 5 healthy restaurants in the city. These are my go to joints for salads, veggie burgers, and anything in between. You don't have to worry about finding the healthy option on their menus because it's pretty much all good for you. True Food Kitchen was left off the list only because it isn't local. 

1. Upbeet - A newcomer on the scene over on the Westside offers salads, grain bowls, smoothies, frescas, toasts, and yogurt bowls. The salads and grain bowls are big, hearty, and full of interesting flavors and ingredients. Tons of vegan options available (tofu, tempeh meatballs, cashew yogurt, nondairy milks, etc) with chicken, trout, shrimp, and tuna as well. This establishment is very similar to SweetGreen (if you've ever been to it in the Northeast) and comes from the people behind our beloved YeahBurger! (fast casual - order at counter/similar to YeahBurger! approach)

2. Kale Me Crazy - My love for kale salads and peanut dressing started here. Original location on Highland Ave. in Inman Park, this local franchise has taken off with locations now all around the city. More of a juice bar with a focus on smoothies, smoothie bowls, cold-pressed juices, and shots - however they do offer several salads, wraps, and rotate through different soups in the winter. The kale salad is by far the standout. Great place for post-workout smoothies/smoothie bowls or quick grab and go lunch and dinner. (order at counter)

3. Cafe Sunflower - I have only ever been to the Buckhead location (right next to Houston's on Peachtree) but have always enjoyed my meals here. They are exclusively vegan / vegetarian and have a very robust menu. I find the lunch menu to be the most appealing and brunch on Sunday to be my least favorite (and most limited). Lots of meat alternative dishes with soy chicken, tempeh, seitan etc but also fresh salads, a great veggie burger, wraps, and sandwiches. My usual is to split an order of both the supreme nachos and the quinoa avocado burrito. (sit-down restaurant)

4. Dulce Vegan Bakery and Cafe - For the longest time, I didn't even know this place existed. Tucked next to Frogs to Dogs in Kirkwood, this little restaurant serves the best vegan biscuits I've ever had. More than just baked goods and matcha lattes, they have soup, salads, sandwiches, a black bean burger, an eggplant melt, breakfast bowls and a few other savory items. Local Golda kombucha is on tap and there's plenty of dairy-free sweets. (order at counter)

5. Radial Cafe - Popular with the CrossFit crowd next door, this Candler Park restaurant has something for everyone - an extensive, seasonal menu complete with everything from vegan hash and sausage, organic cage-free eggs, Brasstown beef, "superfood salads" to traditional "American" fare. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It gets pretty busy on the weekends for brunch. (sit-down restaurant)

Workout Food: Before & After

I mainly workout in the morning. Once I shower for the day, it's hard for me to get motivated to sweat. Plus, I like getting it done before I start anything else in my day: no excuses, no obstacles. Getting up early, however, requires me to be more diligent about when and what I eat. Knowing what to eat before an early morning workout and when to eat it can be tricky. No one wants to feel burpy while doing burpees. (Ever feel that way? The worst.) I'm still trying to get the hang of it: the balance of carbs vs protein vs fats. Not to mention that what I need after heavy weight training or a run is different than gentle yoga. 

Registered dietician, Jessica Jones, explains in this Self what you should be aiming for with both pre and post workout meals. Of course, different workouts may require different fueling and recovery, so listen to your body and know that it what you need some days might be more or less than others. She also offers great recipes and ideas!