Friday, March 27, 2009

Paleo on the Plane?

By Nell Stephenson

It can't be done, can it? Is it possible to stay Paleo despite a hectic work schedule with too many business trips?
YES, IF you make it a priority and plan. No, you will not find vending machines at the airport with fresh, wild salmon and a side of steamed kale (although I suppose I can dream on! : ). If you really understand how important your nutrition is and acknowledge that it is the foundation for everything regarding your health, perhaps you'll allocate a bit more time to planning ahead.

1) If you're outbound and leaving from home, there's no reason why you can't prep a healthy meal with some healthy food to take on board. (Keep in mind that you are allowed to bring food through security, just not liquids.) Buy a small, thermal lunch box that you can keep chilled with a reusable ice pack, and you can pack anything in it that you can eat a few hours later. It may sound like a foreign concept, but it works. You know exactly what you're eating and you won't find yourself stuck with only horrible, non-food vending machine junk. Some easy choices include a mixed green lettuce salad with sliced grilled chicken, avocado and an apple, or perhaps steamed green beans with sliced turkey, a handful of raw walnuts, and an orange.

2) Once you arrive at your destination, throw the ice pack in your hotel mini bar's freezer and plan on utilizing the thermal pack again on the next leg of your journey. Order extra veggies with your meal to save, along with fish or steak (because chances are, if you're eating anywhere in America, you're going to be served more than one portion!). Keep those chilled in your hotel's minibar, grab an apple from the bowl at the concierge desk in the morning and you're set!

3) If your business trip has taken you to the middle of nowhere and the only "restaurants" around leave a lot to be desired, it's time to be creative. Scour the menu for veggies and lean protein options. If you see spinach as an add-on to an omelet, for example, try nicely asking the server if the chef might be willing to prepare a side of steamed spinach.

Yes, it does take extra planning and being creative, but you can train yourself to find Paleo options wherever you go. If you think you're going to feel silly traveling with a lunch box, I'll offer you an example to prove it works that is very close to home: my husband.
He's a well-dressed executive who travels for business, always looks fantastic and probably would not have bought himself a lunch box to bring his food with him in a million years! So I found the perfect solution: an all-black thermal lunch pack. While he may've felt funny bringing his lunch to work initially, I cannot count how many times he's come home from work and told me that another colleague commented on how great his healthy lunch looked!Be open minded to a new approach and your body will thank you for not having left the Paleo Diet to which it's grown so accustomed!

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