Why you’re here…

I have a trip coming up and I’m not sure how to navigate all the food hurdles!
I’m travelling for work, and might not have any control over what’s on offer to eat.
I’m heading to a restaurant with some friends/colleagues and I’m not sure how to navigate the menu!

Whether it’s for work or for pleasure, eating while travelling can seem like a daunting endeavour, but with a little pre-planning, and a “roll with it” attitude, it’s actually pretty easy to navigate. 

Common Questions:

OK, so Plan ahead!!

Make sure your room has a fridge and source out a grocery store nearby. (also ask the hotel what is available for breakfast, it usually turns out to be quite good or at least adaptable!)

Tip for traveling and sticking to the MFA nutritional guidelines:

“I hit a store upon arrival at my destination and grab a couple of containers of plain greek yogurt, some berries, nuts/seeds, and a couple of packets of honey from Starbucks 😉 I ask the hotel if they have hard boiled eggs at breakfast (if yours doesn’t, hit the grocery store and buy the peeled and packed 2 packs if those are available) and fruit. This way I’m set for snacks/breakfast time. I travel with nuts and packets of organic raw nut butter as well, and pre-measured overnight oats in a container that I just have to add almond milk to. I always have a tetra pack of tuna or salmon in my bag, so I can add protein to any salad”

Navigating restaurants is super easy. Grilled meats, steamed veggies. If you order a couple of sides, you get a portion controlled “meal”.

Follow the “plate” rules for dinner! Palm of protein, fist of carb, thumb of fat, fill the rest of the plate with veg! Beware sauces and dressings!

Plan for some treats/micro cheats (cause shit happens!) and don’t stress! You’ve got this!

“I also google restaurants prior to travelling and check out their menus online. That way I already have a list of options at the ready, and have mentally chosen items and know what substitutions I’m going to request. (you can even contact restaurants in advance, let them know when you’re planning on coming, and request substitute options! I’ve done that thru Open Table and arrived to restaurants to find the chef has gone over the menu and notated what I could/couldn’t eat, and what to ask for!)”

If you’re travelling for work and you’re in a convention hall situation where you are being fed, don’t assume you have no control over what’s available. Get a contact name for the Catering supervisor from the convenor of your conference, or have them act on your behalf, and ask them what is on the menu for the time you’re there, explain that you have some dietary restrictions, and would like to know in advance so you can supplement if need be.

Any hotel/catering company worth their salt should be able to accommodate special requests. NEVER feel bad about asking. The worst they can say is no, and in that case, you just inform them that you will be bringing your own food. (sometimes that’s all that’s needed to get them to act)

BEFORE THE RESTAURANT:

*Look at the menu online before you leave home and choose the items you want
*First priority is finding the vegetables and trying to fill half your plate with vegetables. Sometimes that means ordering a few ‘sides’ instead of an entree.
*Then look for quality lean protein (avoid anything breaded or covered in sugary sauce)
*Look or ask if a ‘gluten-free’ menu is available. You’ll usually get something more slow-carb.
*Drink 8oz of water before you leave home
*Eat something light before you go (apple + almonds). This’ll help you ward off the chip/bread bowl.

AT THE RESTAURANT:

*Always order sauce on the side
*Choose a protein with 2 vegetables and a healthy fat (avocado)
*Order your burger with no bun or on a salad
*Change it up – if meat over pasta, ask for the same but over salad instead.
*Make sure not to order anything fried
*Pay attention to your portion sizes. A steak and a side salad is not a good choice if the steak is twice the size of the salad.
*Ask for no added salt
*Add extra vegetables
*Ask for a double order of mixed vegetables instead of pasta or rice
*For breakfast, instead of potatoes, ask for sliced tomatoes or a side of fruit

ITEMS NOT ON THE MENU:

*You can ask for steamed vegetables as a side (add real butter or olive oil)
*You can order a grilled protein (chicken, salmon, etc.) with just salt and pepper
*Ask for a lettuce wrap instead of bread or a bun

Always Remember…

If you aren’t in a situation where swaps are appropriate, just remember your portion sizes:
Protein is the size of your palm
Starchy carbs are the size of your fist
Healthy fat the size of your thumb
The rest of the plate should be vegetables.

Anything that is not that – leave it on the plate.

Faced with a fast food restaurant? Looking for advice on what to order?
Check out Oonagh’s Nutrition 911 blog post!

  1. Ok – so buffets always start with the salad. Fill half of your plate with leaves. Add whatever other veggies they’ve got. Easy tiger on the cheese and avocado and shit. If they have an oil and vinegar option go for that over the sugary dressing.
  2. Moving on grab the rice or potatoes or quinoa or whatever and fill about 1/4 of your plate with that – total. If they have multiple options that is approximately a few tablespoons of each.
  3. Fill the remaining portion with a protein option
    So right now your plate should look full, have tons of colours on it and not be too heavy because it’s mostly leaves (tip- if the food feels heavy on your plate, it will feel heavy in your tum).
  4. Eat slowly and mindfully. Put your fork down between bites. Drink some water.
  5. Wait 20 mins before doing a drive-by of that dessert table. I get that it might look super tempting but remember that dessert deliciousness is about quality, not quantity. You aren’t going to get real cream at most buffets, dudes- that’s Cool Whip/“edible oil product” right there. Go for a yummy tea instead- or, even better, a walk.

Buffet mindset thoughts:

Don’t worry about getting value for your money. The value is in feeling good. Eating more food than you can digest easily just because you paid for it is like wearing clothes that don’t fit you just because you bought them. Both habits make you feel fat and send you the message that your money is more important than you feeling good.

Also- just because it’s there, doesn’t mean you have to eat it. This won’t be the one and only chance in your life to eat a profiterole that was probably commercially produced and frozen.

Life is long -and so are buffets – but you don’t have to fit everything in. (

Resources:

Here are some suggested workouts that are perfect for travelling whether you’re in a hotel room or at the cottage!

7 mins. EVERYONE has 7 mins! You don’t need any special equipment or even a lot of space. Just 7 mins and a LET’S DO THIS! attitude!

There is even an app/timer that will count it all down for you! No excuses! CLICK FOR THE LINK! 

*Click the pic to open & download* 

You know how you are always devastated that you can’t join my 6 am Bootcamp classes? This will give you a taste of how much fun it is to let ‘er rip in a great big open space. Don’t even be shy about exercising in public. Chances are you are the least freaky person in that park. And anyway, who cares? You are fitter than them anyway.  It’s written as a 45 min workout but it can be easily adapted to a 20 min sweat fest.

You know when you are at the cottage, and you are sitting on the dock and looking at the beautiful water and taking some deep breaths of the country air and you are thinking “I wish Oonagh was here to give me a workout”?
Well – now I am.
The Cottage Workout is a full body circuit you can do using only the equipment you’d find at most cottages.
You’re welcome. x

When just one Cottage Workout just won’t do

Don’t worry – we’ve got two.
Don’t sit there like a piece of poo-

Do this and crack open a Labatt Blue.

Click here for an epic blog post with demo videos! 

or just download the workout below!

Leave your band at home!
All you need is space, a bench and some monkey bars

You know the Jock Rock they play at stadiums to get the crowd all testosteroned up?

This running workout will give you that belligerent frat boy swagger you long for.

Do this and then go crush a beer on your forehead:

Here are a couple of guides to get you through! Click the picture to download!