As a firm believer in a Primal approach to eating and someone who has seen the incredible benefits as well as hundreds of transformations because of it, I know it works.
I also understand that it's not always the easiest thing to stick to, especially for people who travel a lot. But that doesn't mean it can't be done and in fact, if you plan a little, it's pretty simple.
I spend a good bit of time traveling to gyms, my clients homes, and occasionally, the Auntie Anne's Pretzel kiosk at the mall..
But I've figured how to eat a solid Primal diet whilst on the road and I'm going to share some of what I've learned with you right now.
So here are 5 simple tips for eating primal on the road and not blowing your diet to shit:
1. Be prepared
This should be obvious but it's easily overlooked (or skipped because of laziness). You know you have to travel and you know you want to eat Primal, so it only makes sense to prepare yourself for it, right?
If you don't like cooking, start liking it because it's going to save your ass a ton of time and money if you plan on eating Primal. Use an Instant Pot for quick and east meals that you can pack in Tupperware containers and carry with you.
Have plenty of water, fruits and veggies on hand at all times and never allow yourself to get ravenously hungry. That's when bad things start happening....
And for those bread and grain lovers, here are some great Primal alternatives to grains and breads.
2. Use convenience stores wisely
For people on the road a lot or who have long commutes, sometimes you're forced to stop at a gas station or convenience store and most of the food there is pretty shitty.
But there are quality foods to be found believe me, but you'll have to look hard to locate them.
For example, there is a Royal Farms convenience store by my house and they have a deli, which is pretty popular and most people end up there when hungry. Unfortunately, 99% of the food there is crap, including fried chicken, deli sandwiches, hot dogs, french fries, and mashed potatoes.
But if you skip the deli and search mindfully throughout the store, you'll find grass fed beef jerky, hard boiled eggs, fresh (sort of) fruit, and unsalted nuts (no peanuts); enough food to fill you up at least in the short-term.
Most gas stops and the like have at least a few things you can eat, so don't just grab that Twix bar until you've searched thoroughly.
Also, there are Walmart's everywhere and as much as I hate them, they are usually easily found from the road and have some hot food options inside, like rotisserie chicken.
3. Choose Primal friendly restaurants
Pretty much all restaurants can be Primal friendly (except Krispy Kreme), given that you know exactly what to eat and where to find them. And these two iOS apps are really handy when trying to locate your favorite restaurants so use them often, iExit and Waze.
From my experience, here are a few good places to stop for a decent Primal meal:
- Chipotle: Get the burrito bowl with (double) meat, peppers and onions, salsa, lettuce, and guac. Remember, no beans or rice...
- Panera: I love me some Panera and it's a carb lovers paradise, but most of the food here is definitely off limits for the Primal enthusiast. Any salad will do however, just get extra meat and use an oil based dressing.
- Subway: Obviously no breads here and deli meats are just ok because of the high sodium and nitrate content, but there are a few decent options. Order a salad and stick with spinach instead of iceberg lettuce as it's FAR more nutritious. Add tons of veggies especially tomatoes, cucumbers, and olives. Your best choice for meat is oven roasted or rotisserie chicken and then carved turkey. They also have a great breakfast option with eggs (or egg whites) with bacon and ham.
- Any burger joint: Burger meat is ok, although the quality at places like Burger King and McDonald's is highly suspect. Just skip the bread/buns and the ketchup and mayo (mustard is fine).
- Starbucks: Try the protein Bistro Box which has a hard boiled egg, apples, grapes, peanut butter and multi-grain bread (not Primal) and of course, coffee. Just skip all the added sugars and crap. Below are some other options but be wary as some of the foods aren't Primal.
4. Travel with snacks
Having some handy snacks can mean the difference between sticking to Primal and stuffing your face with three Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos and getting a mega dose of sodium, fat, and carbs.
And feeling like death the next day.
Instead, take 10 minutes to plan ahead when you know you have a long commute. Bring a small cooler as well for things like cheese sticks, berries, yogurt, cottage cheese, or carrots.
Also, tuna pouches are really handy and offer a great source of protein. And here are 10 Primal snacks that are easy to take on the go.
5. Don't let one meal ruin your diet
We all fuck up. We all get weak. We all want a Big Mac, fries, and Coke. And sometimes we cave and eat it. But guess what? It doesn't really matter as long as you shake it off, realize it was just a single meal, and eat better your next meal.
One of the biggest problems I see is when someone has a "cheat" meal and then assumes their entire diet is blown to Hell and pigs out for a week.
Instead, just chalk it up to a bad decision. That's it. One meal, regardless if it's an entire cheese stuffed crust pizza from Pizza Hut or a box of Entenmann's chocolate donuts, is just one meal.
And one meal has never made anyone fat.
Eating Primal on the road isn't complicated or even difficult, provided you do your homework and plan a little. Know what you can and can't have and do your best to follow it.
Travel isn't an excuse to eat crap so don't let it derail your efforts and hard work.