Light Side of Health

How To Stay Healthy When Traveling and Dinning For Work

Between work, eating on the run, meetings with clients, and entertaining, staying healthy can get pretty difficult. Here’s a game plan on how you can still maintain your desired healthy weight, while still enjoying a good meal on the road or with a client. Remember it is never about perfection but rather about improvement.

When Dining Out With Clients on The Road

When dining with clients or traveling it is best to keep your diet high in veggies & protein and low in carbohydrates because often times when dining out we are consuming more calories and fat due to the way most restaurants cook. Ideally, your day would consist of breakfast, lunch, snack & dinner. Always make it a goal to eat a dinner high in protein and veggies and avoid the bread and chip baskets at all costs.

Below are some ideas based on items you can typically find on a hotel menu, cafe, or restaurant


Option 1: Veggie and egg omelet with a side of fruit

Option 2: Chicken sausage with a side of fruit

Options 3: Greek Yogurt with almonds and an apple

Option 4: Plain oatmeal with fruits and nuts


Option 1: BIG chicken and veggie salad

Option 2: Turkey/chicken burger with no bun and lots of veggies

Option 3: Bun-less chicken sandwich wrapped in lettuce paired with an apple and yogurt

*Oftentimes, lunches may be provided in the form of sandwiches and chips in generic lunch cartons for business meetings. In this case, remove the bread from the sandwich, eat the apple and have a mini protein bar on you that you can eat right after the meeting. Remember you are trying to close a deal so don’t make a big deal that what they are offering you is not up to par.


Option 1: Greek yogurt and almonds

Option 2: Almonds and an apple

Option 3: Not a fan of protein bars but for the on-the-road they work. Go with one that is as natural as possible and low in sugar.


Go for protein and lots of veggies. When ordering a salad hold the dressing on the side and do a thorough check of what the salad comes with. Some salads are loaded with so much fat you mind as well just get a milkshake.

 Your Morning Joe

Today it seems like every health professional is making the plea for you to switch your cup of Joe over to Green Tea. I think that’s cute. I mean, don’t you? If you are a coffee drinker like me your first inclination is to kick rocks (ok maybe that’s the Italian in me). But an early morning that follows a night of entertaining clients usually means a trip to the closest coffee shops. Here are some suggestions:

Option 1: Go Black—It really is an easy way to slash calories and sugar and still get your fix

Option 2: Coffee with some good quality creamer

Option 3: Americano—Order yourself an Americano and use just a dash of cream and cinnamon for taste

Suggestion: If you need a little flavor or sweetness in your coffee, carry some stevia on you.


Basic Guidelines for Dining Out With Clients:

  • Whenever possible order only a side of lean meats and veggies.
  • Avoid the chip and bread basket.
  • Only have 1-2 drinks with your dinner.
  • Avoid fried or flour-based meals.
  • Unless you plan on making your meal a “cheat meal,” dessert is rarely an option (this bums me out too!).
  • Eat a big healthy breakfast, good size lunch, and a protein-based afternoon snack to avoid eating a large dinner.
  • Ask for the dressing to come on the side.
  • Drink a lot of water throughout the day and be sure to get in at least 2-3 glasses of water before sitting down to dinner.
  • Do take a digestive enzyme.
  • When it comes to eating burgers,  opt to go bunless.
  • Ask for your meals to be cooked with as light of oil as possible.


Build Your Meal Off The Appetizer Section of The Menu:

  • Order a side of chicken with a side of veggies.
  • Build a salad: order a side salad, ask for lean protein to be added to it, and a side of grilled veggies. Opt for the dressing on the side.
  • Order two small chicken tacos (with a gluten-free tortilla) add a side veggie to it and avoid the chips, beans, and sour cream.


Mexican Restaurants:

  •  Try to avoid the chip basket or only take a few, I know it’s a huge challenge.
  • Fish Tacos: Go for the halibut tacos and ask them again to hold the rice. Opt out of the sour cream as well.
  • Chicken Salad: Just because it is a salad does NOT mean it is healthy! Ask for the tostada to be removed, no sour cream, & light on the cheese.
  • Fajitas without the tortilla: Ask your server to have the meat and veggies to be cooked in light oil and to hold the tortillas. Avoid the sour.
  • Ceviche: Ceviche is a delicious Latin dish that can be paired with a side of veggies of your choice.


 Italian Restaurants:

  • Limit or forgo the bread basket. Remember work travel, especially if you do it often isn’t a vacation or you built-in cheat meals so all the extras will add up quickly.
  • Here in the US, we love our pasta more than the Italians do in Italy (this coming from a gal 3 quarters Italian)! Most US restaurants go crazy with the pasta portion. Here are some tips.
  • Order meatballs and a salad. You can do this by ordering your meatballs all a carte and pairing them with a side salad
  • Chicken and soup. Order a side of grilled chicken with some veggies and Italian Wedding soup.


Asian/Sushi Restaurants:

  • Go light on the rice.
  • Ahi salads with dressing on the side are always a great go-to.
  • Any kind of sashimi paired with edamame and a seaweed salad makes for a great dinner.
  • Avoid fried, mayonnaise, or cream cheese-based rolls.
  • Salmon and grilled veggies in a light teriyaki sauce is always a good option.


Go Greek!

Greek and Mediterranean restaurants often carry some of the healthiest and best-tasting meal options in my book!

  •  Lamb, veggies, and a side of hummus make for a filling meal.
  •  A gyro minus the pita paired with a cucumber salad makes for another great meal option.
  • Greek salad with your choice of protein with light oil is a delicious option as well.


Vino and Cocktails-A Time To Wine

I love my wine but unfortunately, the amount of wine that I love to consume does not do the body good.

With that said, when dining out try to keep it to just 1 -2 small glasses. Most glasses of wine served in a restaurant come with 2-3 servings. Always stick to the reds. Only on special occasions go for the white.

Some tips for making your glass of red last:

  • Take turns sipping some water and sipping your wine.
  • Try to have it as your dessert so that way you can take your time and enjoy it.
  • If you are up to it, order a side of sparkling water and pour it into your wine. This method isn’t my favorite but it does allow you to enjoy it a little longer with some bubbles.


I’ll Take a Cocktail or Two

  • You can never go wrong with vodka or tequila with soda water/water. Ask them to garnish it with a couple of limes for extra taste. Just remember each glass is 70 calories, so they can add up.
  • If you are trying to slow your roll ask your server to bring your vodka soda in a regular size cup.
  • Order the basic mojito but ask your server to hold off on adding any kind of sugar to it
  • A Sour Apple Martini is usually under 200 calories
  • Coconut water and vodka don’t taste too shabby


Additional Tips for The Frequent Flyers and Travelers

  • Travel with a jump rope and resistance bands. This way if the hotel has no gym you can still work out!
  • Choose a room with a kitchenette, if the hotel does not have a kitchenette at least a refrigerator (if possible).
  • Stock up on meat, veggies, fruit, bottled water, cottage cheese, mixed nut, whole grain bread, peanut butter etc. to store in your room. It is also helpful to bring a travel-size George Foreman grill
  • Bring a cooler with you to store food or a portable one if you are all over the place
  • Take good food supplements to travel with when time is minimum. A good protein powder to mix with water helps too. Since it’s hard to get all your servings of veggies, it’s good to green a veggie supplement on the road especially when traveling for extended periods.


For GROWING kits, apparel, and programs that fit into today’s busy lifestyle check out our SHOP! With the purchase of our products, you receive access to premium nutrition, fitness, gardening, and GROWING content + support for the year. Our new line of GROWING kits is coming soon, so stay tuned!


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