So, we travelled over to the UK for a short but sweet trip so thought it would be cool to share some ideas for travelling fit that you can apply yourselves when travelling anywhere.
We will take you through our luggage and pre-prep travel essentials, as well as advice on meal / snack options during travel (as we encounter them).
So, here we go:
First, here is our top 8 essentials that we simply cannot travel without:
1. Protein Powder
You all may be thinking, ‘are you for real?’ And yeah, yeah I am! Packing 1 or 2 scoops of protein powder into a tub or bag won’t take up much space and means that with 7 hours of travel ahead and my protein catered for, I’d just need to grab some snacks here and there to hit a balanced nutritional intake. It also means that if I’ve struggled to hit my protein at the end of the day (which tends to be the case) I can just have a pre-bed shake and I’m good to go!
I find that carbs are always easier to obtain anyway, bags of Snack-a-jacks, popcorn, fruit, porridge pots etc are all great carb sources and as a fussy eater who tends to get regular flare-ups, would much rather keep the intake simple and safe!
Tip: pack your scoops seperately in sandwich bags, shove them into an empty shaker and leave in your hand luggage. That way you don’t need to faf around to make yourself a shake during travel and if any accident happens all your protein powder will safely explode into the shaker and not into your bag.
My go to protein powder at the moment is Bulkpowders Strawberry Casein, mainly because I’m not intolerant to it (yay). But, also because I find that Vegan protein blends i need to mix with fruits, berries or nut butters to mask the ‘chalky’ taste while this one tastes great on its own which is ideal during travel.
As explained above, I am always a meal away from severe flare-ups and cramps, so I always pack some Buscopan to help with that. I also find that flights make me quite bloated and cramp-ey as it is, I would usually take one pre-flight to help ease the discomfort slightly. I also packed some Deflatine with me just incase, which i would take during flight if bloat symptoms got too bad.
3. Liquid Sweetener
Ok ok, this is not exactly an essential but having coffee just doesn’t taste the same unless I have my Vanilla Cinnamon flavour stevia, so I pack it with me for whenever coffee is calling. The small size means that I can carry it on with me and enjoy coffee just as I like it as I travel on the plane or grab a Starbucks to go.
4. Powdered greens
I have this every morning upon wake up and it really helps me regulate my digestive system so naturally I’d take my usual dose pre-flight but also take extra with me for the following few days abroad.
It will ensure that my tummy is as regulated as possible, even with all the varying factors such as different foods, travel stress, etc.
5. Protein Bars
Packing a few bars in your bag means that you don’t have to stress too much about food along the way, with a bar or protein shake (or both) tiding you over. Also, if like me, you like having a sweet treat everyday, taking your own means that… a.) you can pre-log the nutritional info into My Fitness Pal/ Fat Secret and work your remaining macros around them & b.) Not worry about hunting down a sweet treat that caters to intolerances that doesn’t have a million calories.
I find that there is no middle ground of healthy treats out there, they either cater to those wanting the high protein/low-fat/ low-carb/ macro-friendly variety or they cater to intolerances, thankfully The Muscle Bakery tries to cater to both, so would much rather go with something i trust incase winging it doesn’t really work out. (Plus, you’re not really the Muscle Baker if you don’t have any of your own treats, surely!) 😛
From the whole range of MB treats my ‘travel friendly’ suggestions would be our Nuttylicious and Lean Malts, mainly because they have the best macros but also because they are the ones which would hold better during travel and not melt fully.
6. Reading glasses
This suggestion may sound random (and if you are not blind then keep on scrolling) but, keeping healthy isn’t just about what you eat but in general doing little things that make you feel better as a whole. For me, skipping the contact lenses and travelling with my glasses on is key to that. Travelling with your contact lenses on may attribute to making your eyes look tired (and add sexy looking bags to your eyes), they would also dry out your eyes if your drift off to sleep which isn’t ideal. So, keep your contact lense carrier in your handbag and just pop them in when you arrive to your destination, your eyes will thank you.
During travel, the less make-up i wear the more comfortable i am! In and out of check in/ customs/ getting to the flight makes me hot and bothered which then affects my make-up and makes it look clammy and horrible. But, there is one item i do not go without, my trusty Mac Prep & Prime concealer! This is coming from a person who has absolutely no extensive knowledge on make-up, i just apply the basics and always opt for natural looking (not cakey) concealers or foundations and this is exactly that, except it hides my eye bags which is why i love it.
I add it on pre-flight but also top up post-flight if i need to, it helps brighten up my face a little without having to apply a full face of make up. Add a little lip gloss or lipstick if you want to glam it up a bit!
8. Travel moisturiser
Like mentioned earlier, travel in general can leave you feeling quite ‘meh’ so packing some travel size moisturiser’s can help make you feel a little less of that ‘meh.’ Pack some in your handbag (make sure they are under the 100ml allowance) and freshen up once you land. A quick face wash, moisturising cream and Prep & Prime concealer… you’ll feel (and look) like a new person!
When travelling, choices may be limited, you fancy comfort food and you just feel ‘meh’ from the flight rushing and the flight itself. (Atleast this is the case for me everytime.)
So, I thought I’d tackle it head on and try see what were the best options to choose during several occasions on my trip:
This was a simple one: 2x meat-free burgers and a side of broccoli. It doesn’t sound like the most appetising meal but it does fill up the belly just right without sitting too heavy for the flight ahead while delivering key nutrients that I would need.
I find low-carb/ higher protein breakfasts keep my hunger at bay for longer so would rather choose this over a bowl of oats which would fill me up too much and have me hungry again in no time.
I had it with my usual Amazing Grass Powdered greens and a Dandelion Citrus Tea.
I don’t usually buy anything at the airport, maybe a coffee but I prefer to buy on plane when I’m settled, but… I had a £10 Gibraltar note that needed changing into Sterling so thought I’d make use of it to check out what I could purchase.
Admittedly, the choices were limited, the usual buttery flapjacks disguised as the the healthy snack or a choice of pastries, sandwiches & donuts. Where is that Muscle Bakery when you need it huh?
After a quick scan, I did find a little gem: Sugar-Free Blackcurrant jelly at 8cals per pot… Perfect. I paired it with a bottle of water and an Americano.
The food selection on the plane wasn’t amazing but I was impressed to see decent healthy options, here is a few that I spotted:
It was awesome to see another ‘Zero’ drink option aside from Coke Zero for a change. I do fancy fizzy drinks every once in a while and would opt for a ‘Zero’ type drink as it wouldn’t be high in sugars or calories, but am intolerant to Cola nut which means Cola isn’t an option. More establishments should offer a wider ‘Zero’ variety as kids are also affected by the caffeine in Cola and would be better off having something like above.
They also had Coconut water which is another great healthy alternative, however with the uncertainty of what foods id be consuming I’d much rather stick to water (unless i am dying from a hangover and i need some extra electrolytes to save me).
If i had to choose a meal from all those available i would 100% choose the porridge, not only is it really filling (you can add a scoop of your protein powder if you want to), it also gives you some fuel for the rest of your journey, and it’s easy to log into MFP without having a wifi connection.
I was however not hungry at all and majorly bloated (probably due to disruption to my usual morning toilet visits) so opted for a Deflatine chewable and a mint tea to soothe the discomfort.
I got really hungry towards the end of the flight so whipped out one of the Muscle Bakery bars I had packed (which I kinda wanted to save for later in the day but couldn’t resist).
I had it with the hopes of just grabbing a late on-the-go lunch on the train journey. (Obviously I didn’t anticipate the madness that is rush hour on the London commute).
On my way out of departures I saw M&S food store *REJOICES* so popped in and grabbed a few simples: BBQ chicken slices, pineapple chunks, marinated olives, a bag of pea crisps and a bottle of water.
I needed some protein intake so opted for some chicken slices. I could have had a sandwich as the options provided there were great but there were no wheat-free options available so decided to get my carbs from the fresh pineapple which actually went down a treat in the excessively overpacked train heat.
Tip: Did you know that pineapple contains Bromelain which is a kind of proteolytic enzyme. Its qualities include improving protein digestion, reducing inflammation and treating indigestion.
Pineapple itself has been traditionally used to enhance digestion as well as ease inflammation. Because it is considered a proteolytic enzyme, Bromelain has the capability to fight off inflammation which may affect the tissues and organs in the body, helping the body be cleansed from harmful toxins. It also helps prevent blood clotting and improves food and nutrient digestion.*
On the second leg of the train journey I had the olives and pea crisps. Olives if eaten in moderation are a great snack, especially if you’re into salty foods. But… I don’t know this moderation thing when it comes to olives and ate the whole damn pack which seriously dented my macro allowance for later on in the day. SIGH. (Worth every salty bite though.)
Note: The reason I was trying to save as much macros as possible is because I was most likely going to dine at a restaurant (out of my choosing) so to be safe would much rather eat small meals/ snacks that provide me with nutrients I need during the course of the day which won’t affect my food choices later on for dinner. Eg. If they only sell pizzas, I don’t want to be THAT person who says no sorry because of *insert excuse here*.
(For more info on flexible dieting read this blogpost.)
The choice of restaurant was an Italian, and the menu? Filled with delicious gluten/ wheat/ dairy- laden items. *SIGH*
They did provide gluten-free pizzas bases, however I can’t have cheese either and pizza without cheese just isn’t fun at all is it? After contemplating all the different options and whether eating cheese was worth the painful bloat. I decided not to and went for the default choice: Caesar Salad, no Parmesan, no dressing with olive oil and balsamic vinegar instead. (Extra extra ok the vinegar of course.)
I capped off the day with a pre-bed protein shake and Lean Malt as I was below on my protein intake and really fancied something sweet after dinner. (Protein powder and extra bars came in handy here.)
As you can see there was quite a variety of foods, including fruit, veggies, some sweet treats as well as the ‘essentials’. Ideally I would have much preferred better meals, but i had to work with what i encountered without wanting to mess up my tummy by eating something i am intolerant to just because it was easier.
This blogpost was done based on my own experience and working within my constraints and goals, but i wrote it because i felt that just maybe it could help others who are not so inspired, who suffer from intolerances or who like sticking to their diets, so that they too can get some ideas and keep motivated!
Did you like this blogpost? Do you feel there is something you also do that helps you #TravelFit? Comment below and lets see what ideas other people have!
Any questions? Hit the comment button, i’ll be ready to answer.
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The Muscle Baker <3