Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Travelling During Contest Prep (Fitness Blog World post)

Today is a Fitness Blog World post. The question all of us are to answer is this:

Travelling during contest prep and or maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle. How do you pack for vacation during contest prep in order to ensure success? What food do you take, how do you make sure you stick to your diet, what are some tips or tricks you have developed?

Yuck! (picture above). That is my "2nd lunch" as my husband calls it. Doesn't look good but has what I need and so, I eat it.

We were taking a drive, leaving someone else's home and I had the chicken, the cauliflower, the black beans all in nice bags weighed out. Separately. 

I knew I would need to eat at one point on the road and since my most favorite food in the entire world is a cheeseburger, driving for a few hours without food is a very, very, very bad idea for my body and brain.

I dumped everything together into one bigger bag, splashed copious amounts of Tabasco on it and zipped it up!

In the car, as soon as I unzipped the bag my son says from the back seat very loudly "Ew, what smells?!"

Sheesh! It's just cauliflower and maybe the Tabasco that could possibly smell offensive.

It wasn't gourmet, it wasn't that great, in fact it was cold and my hand got all messy trying to scoop that itty bitty spoon in there.

But it worked. And it did what it was supposed to. Just because you forgot the travel containers, or cute lunch box doesn't mean you have a valid excuse to ditch the diet. Heck, I even know people who spend money on giant food organizers disguised as ice chests! I guess they do what they need to do, to each his own.

Me? I usually go for baggies or small glad containers but was short on space this trip and didn't want to haul back containers to wash. I would typically bring at least one container to eat from, but forgot it. 

Travelling can turn something very routine into a production though. Funny thing is I have been doing it this way year round for almost three years now, so I am used to it. They are ALL used to it!

So, as far as vacationing during prep, I have never done it and I won't. (To me, vacation is a trip to Mexico, or Europe, not a visit to the family). I don't think that is fair to me or my family and those we are spending time with. For some it isn't an option, perhaps those who compete at a higher level than I do and do not have control over their vacations as I do! I will be anxious to read how they do it and still enjoy the trip.

I eat "healthy" year round and can always find some perfectly good choices wherever I go. I honestly think that if you have the nutrition knowledge then you have no problems in this area. People who don't know what a starchy carb  is compared to a non-starchy carb will not make such good choices, but then these people are obviously not competing in a physique based sport are they? 

I will certainly take short trips though, and I am an expert at those. I do food prep whether I am at home or going away, its all the same really. First I start out by making a note as to how many meals I need. Here is a note from a recent overnight trip to visit my father-in-law. I knew I would leave my home after breakfast and we would be taking him out to dinner, then staying the night.

I start by preparing my vegetables and rice or beans and chicken. I eat a lot of vegetables!

Then into small bags it all goes. 

And those small bags go into larger bags to keep it all neat and tidy.

Then at my destination I can select what vegetables and starch I like, combine with my protein and voila! I can eat with everyone else or in between everyone else.

Now, taking Pop out for his 80th birthday really wasn't a problem. When dieting for a competition, you shouldn't eat at restaurants for about three months prior. The reason is simple - you cannot control them and may not be able to control yourself! Really, you cannot control the portions, oils, salts, flavorings, anything.

David and his Dad at dinner. Happy birthday Pop!

I ordered plain steak, their smallest 7 ounces, cooked rare. I love rare meat, I can eat it raw actually. Plain steamed broccoli and lemon wedges to squeeze all over it. Mustard on the side. I got the garlic mashed potatoes that came with it but asked for it on a separate plate and then promptly handed it to Cooper.  Water to drink.

On the way home, the boys stopped at their usual taco truck, outside of Gilroy. I think these two know every taco truck from here to Ixtapa, Mexico!

Me? I had my food in a container this time, and enjoyed the sun as I snagged some of the hot sauce from the truck!

Don't be afraid to speak up in a restaurant and state very clearly what you are expecting. If you don't get what you ordered, then send it back. At dinner last time I was with Pop at this same restaurant I ordered vegetables, steamed, no butter, no oil, no salt.

The vegetables were dripping in butter. I explained to the waitress that this is not what I ordered and I cannot eat it, I do not owe her an explanation as to why. She apologized and said the only vegetable they can give me plain is broccoli. I happen to love broccoli, and I said that was just perfect, but if you don't like broccoli then you had best get used to things like this, and perhaps start liking broccoli!

The main thing to remember is always bring more than you need, don't ever be a pain in the ass to your hosts by complaining about your diet or the lack of diet food they have and don't make a big deal at a restaurant or no one will want to spend time with you. You have made this your deal so as they say "build a bridge and get over it!"

I carry raw nuts and tuna in pouches or pull tops everywhere. In my gym bag, my purse, my car, my office. I have ready to drink meal replacements too just in case, and I always carry a gallon of water in my car.

Egg whites in a carton are great, they are the best source of protein and you can mix them with any vegetable for a scramble. 

Remember, creating a beautiful body can often be an ugly and tiring job.

But the rewards are well worth the effort!

Please take some time to visit the Fitness Blog World to see what my other fit friends have to say about this subject!

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