While on the road, it’s typically quite easy to find food rich in fat and carbs – these nutrient sources seem to be everywhere you look when you’re in a place that sells snacks (think nut & dried fruit mixes, energy bars, and potato chips). Needless to say, there’s generally little need to worry about packing extra fat and carbohydrate dense foods with you. But from our experience, finding food high in protein and fibre is more of a challenge when away from home. However, consuming sufficient quantities of these all important nutrients can be accomplished with a little forecasting and meal planning.
To set yourself up for success in the macro department we encourage you to ensure that you have a few quick sources of protein on hand to reach for in times of need. You may consider bringing along some of the following to meet your protein requirements:
- Jerky (turkey, chicken, salmon, beef, or pork)
- Canned fish (such as tuna, salmon, or smoked oysters or mussels)
- High protein bars
- Hard boiled eggs
- Low fat cheese strings or individually packaged cheese
- Small containers of Greek yogurt or cottage cheese & fruit (you’ll want to pack a cooler for these last three)
Ideas to assist you in achieving your fibre intake on the road include:
- High fibre (and low sugar) dry cereal such as bran flakes
- Oatmeal-to-go (or make your own in plastic storage containers)
- Canned legumes
- Fibrous fruit and veg such as berries and cruciferous veggies
- High fibre bars
To help you get your protein in while away from home, protein powder can also come to the rescue. Making a protein shake is fast & easy, and doesn’t contribute a lot of added fat or carbs. You can also add protein powder to yogurt, hot cereals, or during baking if you often find yourself short on protein. If you opt to create your own “oatmeal-to-go” we encourage you to mix in a scoop of protein powder and some nourishing seeds to give this convenient eat a boost – just add water and it’s ready to enjoy! Achieving these tricky intake targets has never been so easy.
If you don’t have time to pack protein before embarking on your trip, don’t panic… life is full of surprises and it’s how we react to them that counts. With last minute trip plans, you’ll just need to be prepared for the challenge of finding protein on the road; keep in mind that this can be quite difficult, but it’s not impossible. We suggest looking for the aforementioned food suggestions; most convenience stores and airports now carry these, or at least a suitable substitute.
If you aren’t in a rush, you may consider searching for a nearby grocery store to stock up on travel friendly sources of lean protein. Grocery stores will typically offer much more in the way of variety to suit your personal preferences. Staying aware of the high protein and fibre, nutrient dense foods available to you in all travel situations, matched with simple planning, will keep you on track while exploring the world.
Remember, the power of macro tracking is the flexibility. After weighing out and measuring your foods for a while, you’ll become pretty good at estimating serving sizes with accuracy. Apply this serving size estimation strategy to travel and seek out the foods that you know to be good protein and fibre sources. When trying something new ensure your reading nutrition labels and ingredient lists to get the full picture.
It is undeniable that you need to be a little more creative to hit your macros when traveling. As we’ve mentioned, one thing you’ll quickly discover on the road is that most convenience store foods are mixtures of carbs and fats, with little-to-no protein and minimal fibre. Therefore, the easiest way to achieve your target macros while traveling is to plan ahead by packing some accessible protein and fibre sources. With convenient sources on hand, it’ll easy to meet all of your intake targets by incorporating the fat and carb-rich foods available to all travelers.
Implement these tips and soon hitting your macros while enjoying your life will become second nature.