Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Healthy lifestyle while traveling? Totally!

Sometimes traveling while trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle is challenging...but you can do it!

I went to a local Pittsburgh chain tonight for dinner, right next to my hotel because I hadn't tried it before and I figured there was probably at least ONE decent option for me there. I can pretty much make any restaurant work for my lifestyle.

Yeah....this restaurant is now on my "avoid like the plague" list that includes ALL fast food restaurants (I don't count Subway as fast food), any buffet restaurants, and pizza joints. The one thing I could make work- a chicken salad. First, I had to pay extra to have grilled chicken breast instead of fried and then I had to say remove the french fries (yes french fries- who puts french fries on a SALAD?!?!), cheese, and eggs (these aren't bad, I just don't like hard boiled eggs). Apparently because they couldn't believe that I could just want a small amount of ranch as I asked for, they brought me a BOWL overflowing. Really?!?! I actually started laughing when she put it in front of me. Could there possibly be a person that would use all this ranch? The sad answer- there probably is, which is why she brought it out like that. Gross.

In the present state of our country, with continued attention given to the obesity crisis, I'm surprised and disappointed to see that such a place still exists in such a blatant form. Almost all restaurants- even McDonald's (shudder) has a "healthy options" menu. I tried to modify a different meal- but they didn't serve non-breaded fish and all their vegetables are cooked in butter and they wouldn't cook it without. Really?! I should have walked out at that point, but I was determined to prove the point I have made to several friends and family members that you can create a healthy option at any restaurant, even if you have to modify it a bit.

Well, thank goodness this isn't a common problem I have! While on the road especially, I avoid my trigger restaurants and foods. Between Panera Bread (O how I love you, Panera), Subway, Applebee's (holy weight watchers menu, batman!), Ruby Tuesday's, and some others- I have plenty of yummy options to chose from. What helps me is planning and knowing exactly what is a true healthy option for me and then sticking to it. Also, I refuse to stay at a hotel that doesn't have a gym, even if it's just for one night. Luckily, my company is able to accommodate this request- which is awesome! A nice bonus- the RVP (boss of the Northeast region) is a big gym rat along with me, so we always workout next to each other during regional meetings. Basically the entire high teer of management in my company consist of big fitness nuts which is a great continual motivation when the CEO of your company is working out in the gym with you at national meetings. I love my job!

Bottom line is, if you want it bad enough, you can keep losing weight while traveling. My coworkers especially seem to be in disbelief of my continual weight loss. My job has me on the road driving at least 1.5 hours each day, 4 days a week. It means a lot from them because they truly understand the demands of the job- which are often exhausting and stress filled. Often times I am gone from my house 3-5 days in a row at least 1 week a month, often 2 weeks a month. Sounds like fun, huh? You try it and tell me what you think ;)


  1. Great post! Truly inspiring. I don't do much traveling but have been challenging myself to bring lots of healthy snacks in the car when I run errands, otherwise I am tempted to grab fast food (especially at McDonald's because I can let the kids loose on the play place while I enjoy my fries in peace!)

    I am really, REALLY worried about eating healthy over the holidays and would love if you would do a post on that. I am staying with relatives for nearly three weeks, and they always keep their kitchen stocked with tempting holiday foods everywhere you look. So...how do you get through the holidays without going overboard?

  2. I only get to travel during the playoffs, and just last night I had to type and send my story from a McDonalds because it's the only place open 24/7 that offers free wifi. I banished that horrible chain from my diet three years ago, and it's all I can do to not stroll in there with the birds flipped at full attention!

  3. Great post Colleen. Traveling can definitely be an obstacle, but as you have proven, you can make it work. At a conference in Toronto last year, I remember having to sweet talk my way into modifying a dish so it was healthier. As I'm sure you know, it can be particularly difficult in establishments that have chefs who stand by their dishes, and changing them is a personal insult, even if it was a terribly unhealthy dish in the first place. Keep up the great work Colleen!

  4. thanks guys! Lauren- great suggestion, I will definetely be doing a couple posts about the holidays- they can be particularly brutal!

  5. I have a really difficult time eating healthy when I travel...but you're right, it doesn't have to be hard to do. great post.