10 Tips to Stay Healthy While Traveling on Business

10 Tips to Stay Healthy While Traveling for Business

My 9-5 job requires quite a bit of travel. A lot of weeks that means leaving the house around 5 am on Monday morning and getting back late Friday night.  It can be exhausting and can quickly throw off any of my well-intentioned healthy eating and exercise goals.

In September, I spent the entire month traveling for work. Because of the long hours we spent working on a project my company catered the majority of the meals from chain restaurants in the area. I won’t deny how amazing this seemed at first, but after a couple of days I realized I had probably consumed more sodium than I normally do in an entire month.

I’m sure a lot of you can relate. Traveling for business often means eating out for breakfast, lunch and dinner and having less opportunities to squeeze in some exercise throughout the day. I’m back on the road again this week so today we’re talking about 10 ways that, with a little planning, can help you stay on track with your goals if you find yourself in a similar situation.

1. Research local restaurants

Do a little research before you leave on your business trip. Check out sites like Yelp and Urbanspoon to see what sort of restaurants are near your job site. Experiencing new food can be one of the greatest parts of traveling and healthy eating doesn’t have to mean flavorless food. Try to look for places that have more nutritious options on their menu.

I typically travel to the Washington D.C. area and there is a great place here (and up the east coast), called SweetGreen. They primarily serve salads, wraps and rice bowls, but what’s really inspiring about this place is that they partner with local organic farmers to use quality ingredients. Their menu changes regularly based on the fruits and vegetables that are in season. Finding places like this can give you the best of both worlds – great tasting and good for you.

2. Pack your running shoes

I know what you’re thinking. Running shoes can be bulky and take up prime real estate in an already packed carry on, but do your best to squeeze them in there. This way you won’t have an excuse to skip out on exercise throughout the week.

3. Bring a few healthy snacks for the airport

Airports can be very tempting places. Dunkin Donuts, McDonald’s, Five Guys – these are just a few of the establishments that are usually found in airports. It’s easy to wind up at one of them while waiting for your flight or killing time during a layover. Instead, try throwing a couple of granola bars or a pack of mixed nuts in your bag to hold you over.

4. Stop at a local grocery store

The first day I arrive I usually find a local grocery store and pick up some fresh fruit and vegetables to snack on throughout the week. Having a couple of apples, bananas or carrots on hand will help you avoid unnecessary sugary snacks and give you something to munch on while spending time in your hotel room.

5. Choose a hotel that offers an in room refrigerator

To piggy back off #4, having a refrigerator in your hotel room can give you a lot more options. You can pick up more of those food items that you normally buy at home. This can be an easy way to stick to your normal routine and stay on track if you are working hard to make healthier choices.

6. Request a room close to the hotel gym

This one might make me sound a little bit lazy, but I am much more likely to go to the hotel gym if its super close to my room. You can pop in and out for a quick workout or walk on the treadmill. Most hotels these days have gyms, and with a lot of companies you can include your travel preferences when you book your trip.  I usually stay at the same hotel every time, so I request a room on the first floor near the gym.

7. Look for gyms or workout studios that offer trial classes

For a long time I had a membership with a yoga studio in my hometown and I loved it, but when I started traveling for work I wasn’t able to go nearly enough to get my moneys worth. I decided it didn’t make financial sense to pay monthly for something I wasn’t using so I ended up canceling it. However, I know that a lot of gyms and other types of workout studios will offer free or reduced rate trial periods or classes. Do a little research about the area, and find out if there’s a place nearby that offers a fun workout class free for first timers.

8. Explore the area on foot

Instead of driving everywhere, make an effort to explore the area on foot. Head to the downtown area and check out the local shops and restaurants. Another option would be to talk to the employees at the hotel – ask them if there a safe walking trail nearby or a lake where you can get in a quick jog. Even a quick walk can be very beneficial after a long day at the office.

9. Do some basic exercises in your room

If you don’t feel like heading to the hotel gym or have time to find a local class, you can always do some basic exercises in your hotel room. This is especially true now as the weather is starting to get colder and the days are getting shorter. There are several types of exercises you can do even without a lot of space. Try doing some planks, wall sits, push ups or squats while you watch TV. A short workout is always better than no workout.

10. Make a plan and stick to it

For me, this meant deciding that I was going to make healthier choices when it came to meals and snacking and sticking to it. What’s convenient isn’t always what’s best. Continuous travel is definitely something that can challenge your dedication to a healthier lifestyle, but with a little planning and some good old fashioned will power you can still meet your goals even if your job requires you to be a road warrior.

What types of challenges do you face on the road? What techniques do you use to stay on track? Do you have any tips or tricks that help you make healthier choices away from home?

P.S. The beautiful photo above is by Sylwia Bartyzel and is posted on Unsplash.


Make This: Healthy(-ish) Cornbread

The other day we posted this chili recipe (have you tried it yet?).  It’s so good by itself, but if there’s anything that could make it better it would have to be a side of warm cornbread.  So yep, you guessed it that’s what we’re making today!

Healthy(-ish) Cornbread

For me cornbread is one of those things where you swear you’re just going to eat one slice and all of a sudden the entire pan is gone. Anyone else?


Just me?

Bueller? Bueller?

Okay, let’s move on!

So because we like to indulge in large quantities around here and because we generally try to eat healthy (that might be a slight oxymoron), we figured it was probably a good idea to substitute a couple of the standard cornbread ingredients, sugar and vegetable oil, for more nutritious options – honey and applesauce, respectively. This way you can skip out on the trans fats in the vegetable oil and the processed sugar while you eat to your heart’s content.

Healthy(-ish) Cornbread

Cornbread 2

This recipe will make approximately nine slices of cornbread.

  • 1 and 1/4 cups of flour
  • 3/4 cup of Quaker (or any brand) enriched cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 cup of applesauce
  • 1/4 cup of honey
  • 1 cup of skim milk (if you don’t eat dairy, try almond milk…just as good!)
  • 1 egg, beaten

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients first – the flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt. Add in the applesauce, honey, milk and egg. Mix until the dry ingredients are just moistened. Pour the mixture into a greased (we use coconut oil) 8 x 8 x 2 pan and bake until the edges are golden brown – about 25 minutes. Stick a tooth pick in the center to make sure it’s cooked all the way through.

Healthy(ish) Cornbread

Super easy and quick to make, you can top it off with a little butter, honey or whatever you like. We had some pumpkin butter on hand from when we went apple picking a couple of weeks ago so how could we not?

Healthy(-ish) Cornbread

 enjoy! adrienne & derek


Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

This recipe combines two of my absolute favorite foods for this time of year – sweet potatoes and chili.  We live for sweet potatoes at our house. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration but you get the point, we’re addicted 🙂  Whether your  company is having a chili cook off, you’ve got a holiday party to go to or you’re just making dinner for the family, this is a great recipe to have on hand. 

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

Let’s get started!  

Here’s what you’ll need:
  • 1 tablespoon and 2 teaspoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large sweet potato (or two small), peeled and chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons of chili powder (add a little extra if you like it spicy)
  • 4 teaspoons of ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 1/2 cups of water
  • 2 regular sized cans of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 regular sized can of diced tomatoes
  • 1-2 limes
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (dry cilantro will do the trick if you don’t have the fresh stuff on hand)

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

You’re probably thinking, wait, where’s the meat?  Just give it a chance, its delicious.  We promise.

It’s a good idea to have everything prepped before you start cooking.  At some points you’ll need to move fast.  So get your sweet potato, onion and garlic chopped first.

Here’s what you’ll do:
  • Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium to high heat
  • Once the oil is hot, dump in your chopped sweet potato and onion – stir continuously
  • After the onion has started to soften (about 4 minutes), add the garlic, chili powder, cumin and salt – stir continuously for 30 seconds
  • Next, add in the water and bring everything to a simmer
  • Cover your saucepan with a lid, reduce the heat to maintain the simmer
  • Cook for about 12 minutes, or until the sweet potato is tender
And finally:
  • Add in the cans of rinsed black beans and tomatoes.  Then squeeze in the juice from the lime(s)
  • Increase the heat and return to a simmer
  • Reduce the heat and let it simmer about for about 5 minutes until slightly reduced.
  • Remove sauce pan from heat and stir in cilantro
  • You’re done!

If you’re feeling extra motivated, cornbread would probably go perfectly on the side.  Or maybe just some tortilla chips.  Either way, it’ll be good.  We picked up some red wine to drink, but a pumpkin beer would probably be the cherry on top.

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Chili

You’ll probably need about an hour from start to finish to make this dish. It will serve four, but sometimes we’ll make it on a Sunday and double the recipe so we can have leftovers during the week.  It’s almost just as good re-heated.

We hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do! love, adrienne