One of the biggest problems when we are away is what to eat when “there is nothing to eat”. Restaurants we don’t know and no opportunity to prepare own meals or just lack of time because of business conferences full of sweets and snacks during coffee breaks.
One concept that will really help you is that you don’t need full meal to be placed on your plate. Eating single products in right configuration will give you nutrients you need without guessing what they just served you in this strange sounds name restaurant.
Keep eye on those 3 main ingredients and if possible add 4th. Those ingredients (nutrients) are well known protein, fats and carbohydrates + vegetables as 4th element.
Nuts are king when it comes to travel. Easy to store, easy to buy, packed with good nutrients literally travel food. Treat them as a source of fats. They have big amount of protein as well but you need to know that they are hard to digest, especially almonds, so this protein is not biologically available and absorbed 100%. Mix of walnuts, few macadamias, Brazilian nuts and almonds together will do the work. Best are natural or roasted with no salt. Don’t over eat. 100 g can have 500-600 cal.
Protein is the hardest substance to find. Yes, you can snack single package of smoked salmon (I did it few times but I wouldn’t say it is super convenient) but you need to watch out to not get dirty. It is good fat but won’t look as good on your white shirt. Beef jerky is good option too but usually has quite a bit of sugar. Have a look at nutrition info at the package and you will be surprised.
I am a big fan of protein supplements. They do the work. Protein bar will be best choice if we can’t reach grilled chicken breast. If you have your whey protein shake with you, it’s great. Honestly snacking 75 g of nuts with protein shake that contains 25-30 g of protein + apple (will make you full better) will be a great meal! I don’t recommend low carbs protein bars. They are packed with sugar alcohols which can make you bloated, heavy and not comfortable in gut. My personal best is “Quest”. If you read it in Australia you know this one. Avoid maltitol as a sweetener. There are cases showing that it can be bad for you (maltitol is lethal for dogs).
Carbohydrates are next important part. During business meetings, negotiations, events your brain need to work on high speed. Too much carbs will make you sleepy so full bowl of Thai rice before conference will give you bad fame as a less interested in the room. Portions around 50 g together with protein and fats will work great. I like rice crackers because they are convenient, you can buy them everywhere and take with you on trip. They have medium to high glycemic index but with companion of protein and fats the total GI of meal will be medium so it is a good choice (they won’t spike your glucose level in blood which means carbohydrates are absorbed slower and won’t be stored as a fat. This happens when we eat sugar but we are not active so body store it instead of burning it).
Apple is great addition to the meals. Bit of fast sugars but consumed with water, vitamins, fiber. I’m fan of fruits and I know it is the best source of vitamins, enzymes and antioxidants just like vegetables.
As you can see you don’t need to stress about vegetables if it is impossible to add them. Add apple or handful of blueberries or grapefruit. Easiest and most convenient vegetables would be cocktail tomatoes that you can just snack with the meal.
Summarizing our convenient, no meal-prep, fast and healthy meal when we travel: good fats from 50-75 g of mix of nuts, 25-30 g of protein from protein bar or protein shake, carbohydrates from rice cakes (50-75 g) and apple as well. Tomatoes if you have them.
Complicated? Hard to prepare? Hard to find? Expensive? No.
Take a photo with your phone of last paragraph before business travel.
Wish you all active and good mood Friday.