Hey guys, I found this great article from a fellow P90Xers for all of your travelers! Check it out!!
I’ve been getting a lot of emails from P90xers lately regarding this site and their specific nutritional challenges. A common theme is that many of you are trying to figure out how to manage P90x while you are traveling and staying in hotels. This is especially challenging for folks who are home on the weekends but gone during the week. Here are a few ideas I’ve pulled together for those of you who are trying to manage P90x nutrition while away from home.
I’ve made two assumptions: 1) that you can take an ice chest with you and 2) you have access to a microwave in your hotel (either in the room, or in a common-use room. If you’re not sure, ask at your hotel. Many will have a microwave they’ll let you use if you ask nicely!).
The key here is keeping track of your portions and planning ahead. Sit down before you leave and plan out what you are going to eat each day you’re gone to make sure you have the supplies you need.
- Ice chest
- Tupperware/lunch bag to pack lunch items in (if necessary)
- Magic Bullet (if you want to invest in one of these, it would be handy to have so that you could make protein shakes in your hotel room. Not critical, though, if you don’t want to spend the $$)
- Whole wheat tortillas
- Protein bars (I use Atkins Advantage bars)
- Protein powder (to help you get in enough protein servings. I use GNC 100% Whey protein)
- Recovery powder (I use Accelerade)
- Nuts (for snack)
- Canned olives (for your fat serving – if you like them. Or you can use avocado)
In your ice chest:
- Condiments: fat-free salad dressing, salsa, BBQ sauce, ketchup and mustard
- Bag of low-fat already-shredded cheddar cheese (I get the bagged cheese made with 2% milk)
- Bag of pre-washed lettuce or spinach (bag salad mix)
- Your fruit of choice (apples and pears keep well – you can also get some others at supermarkets on the road for variety)
- I’d do Green Giant vegetables. Do the no-sauce ones listed on this page: http://www.bettycrocker.com/Products/Green-Giant/Products.aspx. You can steam them right in your hotel microwave, and 1 cup of cooked vegis is one vegi serving.
- Pre-cooked items that you can heat up in the microwave. (See list of ideas below.)
I’d freeze them all so that they start out the week frozen, then if they thaw some during the week you won’t be concerned. I’ve done some research on how long non-frozen prepared foods keep at refrigerated temperatures, and everyone says 72 hours max. So if you made food on Sunday without freezing it, it’d last you till Wednesday. I’m thinking that means that if you froze it overnight and then packed it in your ice chest, and renewed the ice every other day, it’d probably last you all week. You’ll have to use your judgment regarding how long you can keep each type of food.
Take-along lunches you can pack in the hotel room:
- Already-cooked deli ham and turkey. Either slices, or chunk ham or turkey. I buy the chunk turkey ham and smoked turkey and then cut it into thicker strips to put in my hubby’s lunches. 3 oz. is one protein serving, so if necessary you can get your protein from this without heating anything up.
- V-8 – My hubby doesn’t care for vegis, so this has been a lifesaver for him. He’ll pound 1 low-sodium V-8 to get in one of his daily vegi servings. Try not to do this for more than 1 vegi serving, as part of the point of the vegis are the fiber and filling you up, and you want to switch things up so that your body is confused.
- Salad. Buy bag salad at the store and then you can pack a salad to take with you. The handy thing about this is it doesn’t require refrigeration, and you can put cut up ham, turkey, egg whites, cheese, olives on it.
- Already sliced vegis (you can buy them pre-sliced) or just buy baby carrots, broccoli, cherry tomatoes. Then take along dressing for dipping.
- Pre-packaged low-fat string cheese
My hubby usually has a protein bar and a V-8 for his morning snack, and 50 calories worth of nuts for his second snack.
Here are some things you can cook before you go and take with you in your ice chest.
- Hard boiled eggs.
- Easy BBQ Chicken. Make a huge batch of this and freeze it, then reheat in the microwave for a protein serving.
- Burnt Green Beans My mother-in-law cooks a big batch of these and then eats on them for days at a time. My hubby doesn’t like vegis, but he loves these.
- Ground Beef for tacos. You’ll use your shredded cheddar cheese, tortillas and salsa for this.
- Cook turkey bacon. This can be eaten straight, added to your salad (handy, as 2 slices is a whole protein serving) or used as an ingredient to breakfast burritos.
- Eggs – just scramble them and then freeze them. Then you can combine with your cheddar cheese, tortilla, turkey bacon, and perhaps salsa for breakfast burritos. Or combine without the tortilla if you’re going to use your carb serving later in the day.
- Hamburger/Turkey patties – Assemble and cook them ahead of time, then freeze.
- BBQ Meatballs – Cook and freeze.
In a pinch:
- Walk into a supermarket and get a frozen dinner based on the list at the back of the nutrition guide. This should be a last resort as it’s rather hard to estimate how these fit into the portion approach.
- In a restaurant order grilled chicken or fish and ask them what they put on it (no butter). Eat steamed vegis on the side.
- Walk into a Denny’s and ask for an egg white omelet. Have them add any vegis that you don’t mind – spinach, mushrooms, peppers. You can bring your own low-fat cheese and sprinkle it over the top.
- Fast foods – I’d stick with the salads in Phase 1. Use the back of the nutrition guide to determine which you choose, and bring your own dressing.
The hardest part is determining when you want to use that precious carb serving during the day! Do you prefer it as a tortilla for breakfast? Two slices of bread for a sandwich for lunch? Tortillas for tacos at dinner? The key is just keeping track and making sure that you don’t go overboard on the carbs, which is easy to do when away from home.
I have to say it again – keep track of what you’re eating, and make sure you are sticking to your portions. It is very easy to get very off the recommended diet if you aren’t paying attention not only to the healthiness of what you eat, but the number and size of portions.
Anyway, I hope these ideas are helpful to you, and give you a starting point! – CJ =)