*Pretend it’s Tuesday when you ready this...*
Well, it’s official. I am currently on my way to Calgary where I will be working at the Stampede for the next week, followed by a trip to the Island with a side of the interior. This means for the next three weeks I will be living out of my suitcase, eating on the go and training in hotel gyms which are sometimes older than Saint Nicholas. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job and being on the road but the prep and thought that goes in to each week can be overwhelming until that last pair of underwear or chicken breast is packed and I am waving to my safari inspired luggage hoping that we will meet again at the next destination. I am not the type to pack an extra tooth brush or outfit in my carry on which I probably should do considering the amount of traveling I do.
I feel good about my Calgary trip as I know that I have packed everything I need including my infamous cooler. My friend said that she finds it bizarre and the only person she knows who packs food when they go away on a trip, especially when work foots the bill on all expenses but it’s something I have to do to give myself peace of mind and know that I will have healthy options to reach for when my stomach starts growling. I spent Sunday cook 2 flats of chicken, measuring protein powder and buying little snacks like almonds, rice cakes and peanut butter. It is really important, especially when I will be surrounded by hot dogs, beer and cotton candy to pick the healthy option because I know how those foods make me feel after eating them for a week; Not good. Now that I have left the city, my mind is already starting to think about my trip the following week and the trip after that. I need to think ahead but at the same time I need to chill-ax and not stress about things I cannot control at this point in time and just enjoy each day and do a little everyday to ensure I am prepared and get the things I need to get done in order to have a successful trip. It’s a good thing that at the end of the next three weeks I’ll be heading to Vegas with my girlfriends for some DT (downtime). I have never been to Vegas before so I am really excited and I know I have a lot to do for that trip but I can’t even put that in my head right now or it might explode. Instead of getting overwhelmed I will just jot things down on my infamous “To-Do” list so it’s on paper and off the brain.
Being on the road usually means long days especially when you are getting up an hour and half earlier than everyone else so that you can fit in a workout because if you don’t do it in the am, it won’t get done; simple as that. At the Stampede we are working from 9 am to 11 pm with a break in the afternoon so it is crucial that I get my workout in early. Even though I am in my off season and training is on the back burner right now so that I can focus on work and enjoying my summer I have a photo shoot next week that I need to bump my cardio up for. It is my first shoot and I am really excited about it. Fingers crossed that everything follows through okay because I didn’t want to jinx it. I have no idea what to expect when it comes to the shoot but hair and makeup is provided and I am soooooooo excited! I’ll be blogging about my experience next week so stay tuned for that.
If you were wondering what’s in my cooler and how I travel with it I’ll give you the DL. When I am going on a trip, I pre-cook and weigh out all my chicken into 4 ounce baggies. I usually cook enough for 2 baggies a day or 8 ounces. It is recommended, that for maintenance, you should have 1 g of protein per pound of body weight (if you are training do 1.5 g). If you’re wondering why it’s so important to pack protein just think about how hard it is to get foods that are high in protein. If you think that protein bars are a good option, check out how much sugar is in them. Snacks like “Cliff Bars” are great if your climbing a mountain but if you are sitting in a car for 4 hours driving it’s going straight to your butt. Really read the labels on snacks. Calorie intake is an important thing to monitor but so is everything else on the label. The first thing I look at is how many grams of sugar and fat are in what I’m eating.
Things like almonds are good fat but you have to watch your portion size. I like to have 10-12 almonds as a snack which is around 100 calories but covers the CFB (carb, fat, protein) and are slow digesting so they will keep you full longer. Almonds are just one option and they are unprocessed because if you stop and think about the snacks that you consumer throughout the day, they aren’t the healthiest options. If you’re in an office, a typical snack is probably something like, chips, a muffin, cookies, cake, granola bars, trail mix (which can be terrible for you depending on the brand so make your own and only have 1/3 cup at a time). Those are just some of the things that get left in the kitchen after a morning meeting or an afternoon celebration. It’s all too easy to put unhealthy things in our body but just as easy to be prepared and one more reason you should start packing a cooler and is why I pack my protein. In addition to chicken, I also pack protein powder and my shaker bottle for a fast snack option. If you are investing in protein make sure to ask them for one that is low in sugar and tell them you’d like it as a meal supplement option and for it to have over 20g of protein per scoop. I love my General Health Vegan Protein powder because it doesn’t bother my sensitive stomach.
If I’m going to be in one place for a few days, I usually go to the grocery store and pick up some fruits, rice cakes and peanut butter so that I can pack food for the whole day and since I have my cooler in the checked luggage (it’s a soft case cooler so it squishes down pretty good in my luggage but my clothes are usually half frozen from the ice when I arrive) I can use it during the day. I also travel with tupperwear so I can break up my meals and snacks. I’m a dork and fully aware of it...but it’s important to me to have little health snacks throughout the day that include the CFP (Carb, fat, protein). If you wondering what I do with all this food that brings me to my next point. If you are travelling with cooked food it is important to call the hotel ahead of time and ensure there is a fridge in your room. If there isn’t, you can usually request one which I had to do for my hotel room in Calgary. You can also get travel coolers that you can plug in at Canadian Tire which might be my next investment. I’ll keep you posted. When it comes to dinner I usually eat out when I’m on the road because I find that it is a really easy task but monitoring how much salt they use is out of my control. I will go to a chain restaurant and order a steak or salmon with steamed veggies. If the meal comes with potato’s or fries I usually ask for a small side salad or extra veggies instead of the starchy carbs which I know go straight to my love handles.
Yes, I have love handles just like everyone else. I am not perfect and have accepted my body and how it looks now and realize that I can’t maintain a buck 18 (118lbs – competition weight all the time). If I was still doing 2, 45 minute cardio sessions a day I would be “thinner” but when it came time to start prepping my body wouldn’t react the way I need it to because it will have gotten adjusted to that routine. At this point, I am around 16 weeks out for my competition I am just enjoying summer and maintaining my current weight (130lbs) and when I get back from Vegas my training will start to pick up. I am only doing cardio at my leisure and the only reason I am doing an hour a day right now if for my shoot next week.
Time to land in Cow Town! Have a great week. Questions? Don’t hesitate to ask – just write them as a comment so everyone can see!
Yours in health and fitness,