Living Healthy Through Hectic Days

At home, living healthy is so much easier. On the road, it feels like another job. When will that stop? I honestly think it won’t and can’t. As a road warrior, you have to carve out your own plan and be religious about it – even on the most hectic days.

My day started with a 6:30a prep call for a meeting next week with some of my company’s best clients. After that, I had an hour to get showered, dressed, and downstairs to the dining area for breakfast. A workout was not going to happen and the best I could do is be mindful of my breakfast choices at the breakfast buffet.

Did I mention how much I am loving Marriott’s breakfast options? Yes, yes I have. Pineapple, strawberries, scrambled egg whites, slice of whole wheat toast and chicken sausage left me full and not feeling deprived of a great breakfast. At about 340 calories, it wasn’t the lowest calorie breakfast, but a day packed with client meetings I wasn’t going to risk getting the hangries and loosing patience with my techie types. High in protein and fiber, I was quite prepared.

Coffee with its caffeine certainly adds another jolt of energy and I powered through my morning meetings. By the time lunch came, I was hungry, but not dying. This made menu madness as the Mexican restaurant bearable. Picking grilled tuna lettuce cups that were surrounded by carrot sticks, jicama sticks and celery sticks was exactly what I needed. Topped off with three glasses of water and an iced tea, heading to a two hour client meeting was a piece of cake. The only issue was making sure I hit the bathroom!

Finished, all I wanted to do was crash when I got to the hotel. My caffeine fix was wearing off. The combination of a  40 minute Uber to get my car from my first meeting location and then driving 30 minutes through traffic to the hotel was enough to allow fatigue to set in.  As I trudged up the stairs to my room, I fully intended to grab a Guinness out of the fridge and settle into the sofa to watch CNN.

Well, at some point between opening my hotel door and dropping my key, I threw off my heels and rummaged through my clothes to pull out my workout clothes. My goal was to close my Apple rings while watching The Daily Show on the elliptical. In the end, I stayed on more than the 20 or so minutes my rings closed and pushed through to 45 minutes by switching over to the treadmill.

With my workout complete and a quick hop on the scale that I know under weighed me (but I’ll still bask in the glory of a smaller number), I threw together a shrimp marsala to Billy Holiday singing from my iPhone.

Sitting at the kitchen table in my room, my belly full on half my meal, and done catching up on my emails, I’m relaxed and satisfied that I made it through a day that would normally have defeated me. I made the right menu choices.  I fit in a workout. I have room for that dark chocolate pudding in the fridge as a reward.

What did I learn? My way of making it through the road warrior lifestyle is to work in as much normal living as possible. Staying at a hotel that has apartment style rooms makes the experience more homelike, encouraging me to be in an “at home” mindset. My day wasn’t that different overall to what I experience when I do work at home or in the office. While I gravitate toward a Residence Inn, other extended stay options are out there, check them out.

So, to my fellow travelers, create a temporary nest if you are staying somewhere for two nights or more. It has been my biggest success factor. I head home tomorrow, getting in at 12:30a. I’m preparing myself for my real weigh in to see if I was actually able to take off another pound. Crossing finger – chubby girl shrinking out.

When The Healthy Plan Hits a Snag

I had such great plans going into this trip.  Pack my bag with workout stuff. Throw in some food take alongs. And then life got in the way.

I’ve gotten so used to living out of a suitcase with a packing approach that revolves more around throwing in uniforms rather than outfits and having the basics of toiletries always set to go, my Valentines Date glow got in the way. I packed quickly and at least got my running shoes and workout clothes in. Missed my bathing suit. In the morning I was tired from going to bed late and realized on my way to the airport I forgot my nuts, veggies, and sweets. So I reverted to my old self and grabbed a Starbucks – at least I got an Americano and not my stand-by latte.

I had no time to stop at the healthy food store in the airport as I squeaked through pre-check just in time to get to my gate. I boarded the plane with stomach growling.

Choices for the meals were disappointing and I picked the least unhealthy thing  – thai chicken curry – and only ate half the chicken, the bok choy, and avoided the rice. I wolfed down the salad with only a drizzle of dressing, but I couldn’t avoid having a quarter of the pretzel roll. I ordered a cranberry juice and realized my poor choice after that beautiful red elixir was delivered. Three sips and the guilt about drinking my calories sank in. The killer was that the snack basket never came around and dessert was sorbet or a cooking.  I pulled on my noise cancelling headphones and threw myself into a movie to clear my head of a crappy lunch.

There was a silver lining to the day…

Still guilty about a lunch covered in sauce and knowing I was meeting a friend for dinner, I hit the gym for an hour right after I checked-in.  It completely cleared my head. The added benefit was that I hadn’t really looked at myself in a massive mirror since my chubby girl journey started. What a difference!

My stomach is flattening out and my mid section no longer looks like a ball. My thighs have slimmed down and I also realized they don’t rub the way they did (you know, when the thigh flab flaps against each other). No one would ever think I wasn’t overweight, but I can definitely start seeing myself getting to my old body again. It is now making sense that I was able to buy two pairs of size 8 jeans last week (down from a 12!!!!) and my belt has gone down 2 notches.

Anyway, diner was good – a couple whiskeys, chickpea cakes, and an apple crisp and I stayed within my points for the day as well as my calories (and that doesn’t include the calories burned in my workout. And, I got to meet up with a friend I hadn’t seen in a number of months.

Closed my Apple rings and then some.  So, the day was bad because I wasn’t as prepared as I planned. But, with a workout to reset my head and a sneak peak of what I am hoping to look like by end of year, I’m at least prepared to tackle day 2.  Wish me luck!

Mastering Lunch On The Go

It’s not unusual for me to be running from one meeting to the next with no time to eat a proper lunch. In the past, I’d pull up to a drive-thru and order a burger and fries. Nice way to throw all my daily calories into a single meal, right?

I need a strategy.

Checking out the North Shore and skimming through open houses with my husband today was a perfect test run. We had a limited amount of time and needed to get back in time for my son’s hockey game (they won 6-0 btw, nice shut out shout out to Matt!). No time for lunch.

First rule – eat a hearty breakfast. 8:30a: My typical light breakfast wasn’t going to hold me over. However, the weekend big breakfast is out of the question. What’s a chubby girl to do? Make a breakfast burrito of course. I threw in a bunch of peppers, onions, cilantro and spinach with scrambled eggs. I threw that into a tortilla with a slice of lean ham and low fat slice of Colby jack cheese. 8 points and 228 calories.  The best thing is that this is something I could probably eat at a hotel or something similar to fill me up.

Now comes lunch – fiber and protein. 12:30p:  I’ll be honest, this isn’t  much of a lunch, but it did hold me over and staved off the h-angries. My husband appreciated it. Anyway, lunch consisted of an orange I split with Tom and half a peanut butter and chocolate protein bar.  I know this is crazy because it only comes in at 3 points and 160 calories. But, when nutritionists talk about fiber and protein filling you up, it is true.

Second rule – prepare for late afternoon snack. 4:00p: How I wasn’t hungrier is beyond me. Only a third into my points and calories for the day I should have been about ready to rip the heads off anyone that came near me. Instead, I only felt a little pang. Unable to eat until at least 7:00p, after the hockey game, I pulled out carrots and spinach kale corn chips with hummus. What’s nice about this is that it is exactly the type thing I could grab at a market while traveling. 5 points and 245 calories

Third rule – hydrate with tea. All day: Water is necessary. I’ve been drinking a lot of water. I’m getting very sick of water.  Adding in flavors tastes like I’m drinking sugar water. I started switching to tea.  Hot tea in the morning, hot tea at night.  Iced tea during the day. The trick is to keep to the herbal teas as much as possible to lower the caffeine intake. I am a tea freak anyway, having a cupboard full of teas from David’s, Teavana, and the Chinese market. Peach teas, berry teas, lemon ginger, mint, green tea, earl grey, it goes on and on. What is great is that tea seems to hold back my hunger better than plain water and I can make different flavors without getting bored.  Drink tea!

Wrap up – exercise and dinner. PM: Getting home from hockey I threw on my running shoes and mixed it up between the treadmill and elliptical for intervals and muscle work. After 40 minutes I trekked upstairs and scarfed down a chef salad with lean meat, low fat closed-ringscheese, and tons of veggies.

It’s about 9:30p as I write this and I am not hungry. Nutritionists may not be happy with me as I only ate about 900 calories. I still can grabby that Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich or Skinny Girl Popcorn. We’ll see if I’m hungry enough to do so in a bit.

By the way – I closed all my Apple Watch Rings today!