At home your routine is solid as a rock. But travel across the country for 3 days and see how well you can stick to that routine! Whether you’re 2 hours, 2 states, or 2,000 miles from home, this post will show you how to stay on track even when you’re away from home.

Last week, one of our athletes, James, flew from Seattle, WA to Roanoke, VA to spend 3 days of his Spring Break learning and getting better. He sent me the following text a few days before his tip: “Ryan I’m pumped, but I’m a little worried about getting my meals in while I’m there. Any suggestions.”

We’ve covered this before IN THIS POST, so I told James to refresh his memory and check it out. Remember, it doesn’t have to be perfect – it just has to not suck!

Then I told him to make sure his hotel room had a mini-fridge and a microwave. His plane landed Monday night, so we went grocery shopping first Tuesday morning to stock that fridge and prep him for a week of successful eating.

The Grocery Store

Since cooking isn’t really an option in most hotel rooms, we needed to look for protein sources that don’t require an oven or a grill. Canned tuna, and pouches of meat are great options and James had several of those. But we wanted more, so we hit The Fresh Market for some pre-cooked pork tenderloin and turkey breasts. These are a bit more expensive than the buy it raw and cook it yourself option, but sometimes traveling requires sacrifices. Still, it’s a cheaper option than eating out for every meal. If you choose this route, get your meat from a store that you trust and make sure there no ingredients you don’t want – more on that trick in a moment. We also hit the dairy or refrigerated section and grabbed a bag of pre-cooked and peeled hard-boiled eggs – BOOM!

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Mouth watering…

The “Get The Ingredients For Anything” Trick

Once we had our proteins secured, it was time to find James some carbohydrate sources. Again, we needed things that don’t require much cooking. Oats and rice cakes are staples on the road, but instant rice and even pre-cooked potatoes are also doable. The secret with any pre-cooked food is to ensure the ingredients suit your liking (no canola oil, no added sugars, etc, etc.) So, we asked the dude behind the counter:

“What’s in the potatoes?”

“Just potatoes.”

“Well, my friend here is from out of town, and he has a severe lactose intolerance. Can you print the ingredients, please?”

“Sure, one sec.”

photo TFM taters
“Just” Potatoes

The fact is, every pre-cooked food is sold by weight, and they always print a label with the ingredients. By telling the person behind the counter you have an allergy or intolerance, you force them to divulge more information than they might have. Use dairy, lactose, or gluten as your way to find out what is hiding in that food case! Also be polite, and explain yourself the way we did in the example above – be sure to thank the people who help you as well!

The Rest

Unhappy with the ingredients of the mashed potatoes, we opted for some small potatoes that could be microwaved quickly. Protein and carbohydrates secured, we grabbed a bunch of water to keep James hydrated and finished up with the fat sources. We knew nuts are convenient and can be taken and eaten anywhere, so we grabbed a bag of almonds. That covered it!

Here’s the spread:



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  • Look for foods that don’t require cooking – canned tuna or chicken, nuts, oats, rice cakes, protein powders
  • If you have a fridge, you can get pre-cooked foods – meats, hard-boiled eggs, & water can be kept cold
  • Get plenty of water – it is very easy to get dehydrated when you travel. This decreases performance potential and makes you feel both hungry and fatigued.