One of the biggest challenges we hear from Elite Road Warrior Group research is how hard or challenging or impossible it is to eat healthy on the road.
A theme quote from my book: If you want to do something you’ll find a way – if you don’t you’ll find an excuse. – Jim Rohn
My self-identified role is to push you, challenge you, and hopefully motivate you to move beyond the average. From the existing or exhausted road warrior to an elite road warrior. This is my Master Evil Plan.
One of the biggest challenges on the road – eating healthy.
How you eat affects so many aspects of your road life:
- How you feel about yourself – confidence, disappointment or even shame in how you look (I remember those days trying to escape that overweight guy who kept following me to each hotel bathroom mirror – hated that guy)
- Your energy levels – Food is Fuel and Fuel is Energy
I’ve always been a bigger guy since my college days of lifting and eating a ton.
In college, there’s the freshman 15 and
For the business traveler, there’s the Travel 20. And I was such an over-achiever I hit 40 pounds overweight to prove it.
If you want to see that picture, check out eliteroadwarrior.com and watch the video on the top header.
I loved eating the best of the king’s food and drinking the best of the king’s wine and have more than enough opportunity on the road.
Here’s one sad, revealing true story: I was at a large dinner party of 12 and someone after dinner challenged to pay money to anyone who would finish the table’s dessert.
Now, this wasn’t some dainty-cute dessert. This was one pound of brownie and a gallon of ice cream. Topped with a mountain of whipped cream.
Once they started throwing out large bills, I was in. I milked the experience acting like I was done so they would throw more money down.
I finished every last bite and did my “victory lick” with my finger of the last piece of chocolate.
Or so I thought.
I didn’t sleep for one second that night. I could not digest what I had just eaten mind you after appetizers, a Porterhouse Steak, and serious Vino.
I couldn’t even lay down. I was miserable for 72 hours.
Once I dropped the weight, I would add 10 then lose it. Add 15 then lose it.
I didn’t look bad. I just didn’t feel my best. I felt it the most around my stomach.
Many of you can relate.
Then my wife got involved – that always changes, well, about everything!
She wanted to lose the weight from the last child. But although she’s in good shape, she just struggled to lose that last 15-20 pounds.
I’ve found myself there again minus giving birth. My wife’s friends had been doing Keto but we were a little concerned about the quality of food they were eating, getting the Keto flu, with symptoms such as low energy/ nausea, hunger cravings, brain fog, constipation, bad breath, difficulty sleeping, etc.
My wife was wanting the same weight loss results they had, but we just left the whole Keto-thing alone for awhile.
We’ve been following Dr. Axe for awhile now and you can at DrAxe.com
He has his own practice and started seeing a number of patients doing Keto but had a similar experience as my wife’s friends. But it got personal when his own mother became very sick with cancer and he encouraged her to go on a certain type of Keto Diet which he tweaked with his paleo spin.
The results were amazing. Her cancer was gone and her health bounced back incredibly.
Dr. Axe saw similar results with a ton of his patients and ended up writing a book, ironically called Keto Diet by Dr. Josh Axe.
Since we follow and trust him, we picked up the book and the audiobook versions.
I listened to the audiobook on the road during a ton of drive time visiting California in early May. My wife listened to it on her commute to and from her elementary school as a 2nd grade teacher.
We were hooked on his style of Keto and were willing to try it.
But.. here’s the catch:
My wife didn’t want to start the Keto30 without a long ramp-up plan.
So, we used May to integrate the full-on Keto30 on June 1st.
Keto30 is a 30-day focus to jumpstart the Keto program.
Now, I’ll get into the weeds of how we’re doing it and how it’s going but I wanted to give you the backstory up front.
The first thought that came to my mind when my wife wanted/demanded I do this with her was:
“I can’t possibly do this on the road. Eating healthy is already hard enough but going Keto style is just not possible.”
Couldn’t or wouldn’t?
That was my first reaction and I do this for a living! The reality is if you want to do something you’ll find a way and I wanted to find a way.
And the 1st level of being an Elite Road Warrior is becoming an Experimental Road Warrior.
You’ll go back to Experimental Road Warrior time and time again, to try new things and this is exactly what I needed to do.
Our family is primarily Paleo which means we seek to eat foods that are Whole Foods.
Megan Blacksmith defines a whole food as “something that eats a plant, grows on a plant, but is never manufactured in a plant.”
In short: No label and/or fewer ingredients the better
Here’s the Keto Way
1. Limit the Carbs (focus on getting your carbs through vegetables and certain fruits)
2. Organic Protein (grass-fed meat and wild-caught fish)
3. Increase the Healthy Fats (avocados / nuts / coconut, MCT oil, Ghee butter, raw cheese, healthy oils, even dark chocolate, etc)
4. Quality Supplements (collagen / bone broth protein)
Ironically, grass-fed meat and wild-caught fish are high-fat as well.
The overall point of Keto is most of your food intake is high quality fats and proteins and selective, quality carbs that are at a minimum.
Now, at the time of this recording, at halfway through the Keto30 and our May ramp-up time, I’m down 17 pounds.
My wife doesn’t know that and she doesn’t want to ask since she’s not seeing it on the scale as much but I can sure tell.
You can see it all over on her and especially with her clothes. I’m so proud of her! We’re both having success. And the 1st week of June I wasn’t traveling which helped. The 2nd week was two days of travel and this past week was the entire week.
Here are the five challenging ways I’m Learning to do Keto on the Road
1. Hotels with Kitchens
My success starts with where I stay – normally my hotels have at least have a mini-fridge which is the bare minimum but when trying to do Keto I look for:
- A large fridge
I want to prepare and cook my own meals
A question came to me from a Road Warrior: what if you can’t find a hotel with a kitchen that is near you?
Answer: leverage every square inch of your mini fridge and see if you can find a Whole Foods near you to eat their hot dinner
I’m willing to do the extra driving if a hotel with a kitchen is in striking distance. If I can pull it off on the Las Vegas strip finding a full kitchen, I can most places.
2. Grocery Stores
This is an absolute must – but my 1st day I BRING my own food depending how busy my 1st day would look like especially if I couldn’t get to the grocery store until Day Two of my business trip. I usually do this anyway on my 1st day of my trip but especially doing Keto and 100% of the time on Keto30.
Make sure you set up your business trip for the highest chance of success but ESPECIALLY on Keto30.
Another question that came in was: What do you purchase at the grocery store?
I try to shop at Whole Foods and/or Trader Joe’s every chance I get, even an Aldi which is owned by TJs has enough for me for a business trip. A regional chain grocery store will do if needed but read the label and ask questions, especially on the meat!
1st of all, I shop the perimeter which means the fresh stuff not the box stuff (remember the definition of a whole food – doesn’t have a box)
- Greens – spinach / kale / Swiss chard / cilantro
- Meat – beef / chicken / fish
- Veggies – organic broccoli / cauliflower / green beans
- Berries – blueberries / strawberries / blackberries / raspberries
- Grass-fed butter to cook with
- Mixed nuts
- Avocados and olives
- Almond Milk for smoothies
- Grass-fed Yogurt
- Matcha Tea
I know, it sounds like a week’s worth of groceries but I buy ONLY for my trip and IF there are any leftovers, I bring them home and if non-perishable, I’ll save them for my next trip.
Note: I cook most of meat at one time if possible: I’ll bake all three chicken breasts at the same time or all three pieces of salmon so I have it ready in case the next night I’m not in a hotel or it’s my last day of the trip
3. Add the Highest Quality Supplements
Dr. Axe teamed up with one of my all-time favorites Dr. Jordan Rubin to create an incredible supplement line: Ancient Nutrition.
- Bone Broth Protein
- Digestive Enzymes
- MCT Oil
I interview Dr. Jordan Rubin on Keto, supplements, etc. on my ERW podcast episode 032 for those of you who want the science behind Keto and the supplements.
4. Intermittent Fasting
This is not required but definitely a kickstarter to Keto.
Intermittent Fasting (IF) – eating within tighter windows within your day to give your digestive system a break and allow your body to burn more fat for longer periods of time.
Dr. Axe suggests 8 hour / 7 hour / or 6 hour fasting options.
My road experience when I don’t have control of my time as much. I’ll eat hotel hard-boiled eggs or make a smoothie in the morning to eat later, or whatever is easiest between meetings to try and keep on schedule.
5. Stop Drinking on the Road
To some of you, this is the easiest one of all because you’re not a drinker of the alcohol-variety.
But most road warriors are drinkers in some form. Statistically, road warriors drink over 30% more on business trips and too many are functioning alcoholics. Don’t believe me? Stop for 30 days on the road or how about just one business trip. Or just one night? See how THAT goes and let me know.
But what if you’re at at social event or client dinner?
This is for 30 days – it revealed to me my habit of how often, not necessarily how much I drink on the road.
Flights / evening after a long day / nice restaurant with a great wine list / corporate credit card where the shelf of the liquor is easily upgraded or doubled for that matter.
It’s been a challenge but good for me to take a 30-day break from any and all alcohol
If you’re going to do Keto30 and really see results, alcohol must go. It has so much sugar which Keto30 avoids except a limited amount of allowed berries.
1. My Life Saver Item – Lunch Box to Carry a Controlled Substance – I bought good quality Tupperware in different sizes that fit exactly in my travel snack box to maximize space along with a Spoon/Knife/Fork All-in-One.
2. BYOB – bring your own blender
This content is not for the faint of heart. You have to want to it to do it otherwise you’ll find an excuse, a whole bunch of people to side with you (who are most likely overweight and not self-disciplined).
I wanted to do something difficult, under he Energy Habit: FUEL, and that’s doing not only Keto Diet but Keto30.
If you are serious about dropping some weight and getting control of your food and alcohol intake, hopefully I’ve proven this is a viable and possible option even on the road.
So, wherever you are on the road, do something, anything, just not nothing to master the business travel life.
Go and get your girlish figure back and leverage the road to get it.
You Got This!