Have you ever traveled to a triathlon, pulled up to a grocery store in your rental car, fresh from the airport and starved for healthy travel food to take back to your hotel room, rented home, condo or apartment? Have you ever been on a long road trip to a triathlon and needed healthy travel food for real meals to eat on the go?
Have you ever wondered if there is a healthy travel food alternative to canned food, jerky and trail mix when you're camping on the go? Then this article was designed for you, because these are the top 13 healthy travel food items I grab at a grocery store to make quick meals while I'm traveling.
These are all perfect energy sources to fuel racing on the road, so print this list and bring it with you on your next triathlon travel trip, and you'll feel more energy, perform better and stay lean! You won't need access to a fancy specialty grocery store, and as a bonus, you can also use any of these tips for your own quick and healthy home meal preparation.
Healthy Travel Food #1: Wraps are perfect for preparing a quick snack from your hotel room, apartment or condo, and are usually found near the bread section of the grocery store. The sky is the limit when it comes to choosing what you want to use as a wrap. I prefer gluten-free, sprouted wraps when I can get them. Spinach wraps or whole grain wraps are other popular variety that I use. If you are gluten intolerant, watching your waistline or limiting carbohydrate, then get very large pieces of romaine lettuce or cabbage that you can use as a wrap.
Healthy Travel Food #2: Spinach / Mixed Greens During a week of travel, I use spinach and mixed greens for two primary recipes: salads and wraps. The darker greens are richer in iron, although some varieties like bok choy or kale can be a bit chewy and not good in a wrap. This is one ingredient of which I always buy more than I think I might need, because if it's around, I'll eat it quite often as a wrap-filler or salad-base, and thus be less likely to overeat on more calorie-dense foods.
Healthy Travel Food #3: Tomatoes. Chopped tomatoes can be thrown over a salad, and sliced tomatoes are perfect in a wrap. Because I often find myself on foot or bicycle when visiting the grocery store, I typically choose the small Romaine tomatoes, which travel better and bruise less than the juicy, plump variety.
Healthy Travel Food #4: Avocado. Full of appetite satiating fats and wrapped in a natural protective layer, avocados, like tomatoes, can be chopped and used as salad-topping, or sliced and placed into a wrap. Do not choose overly-soft avocados, which also do not travel well, and more quickly rot.
Healthy Travel Food #5: Cucumbers. "Cukes" round out the "Big Three" for salads and wraps. When included with tomatoes and avocados, along with a base of spinach and mixed greens, they add a perfect crunch and texture to the meal.
Healthy Travel Food #6: Cheese. If you are lactose intolerant, you may want to skip cheese, or double up on nuts, which can often be used in the same way as cheese. During a week of travel, I use cheese in wraps, melt cheese over an avocado for a quick snack, and top tomatoes with a slice of cheese and splash of olive oil or salad dressing. My favorite varieties are feta, Swiss and mozzarella.
Editor's Note: This is just part one of Ben's story. Be sure to come back tomorrow for the second part.
Finally, if you want more information about why you need to be careful to eat the right foods when you're fueling your body with the thousands of calories necessary for triathlon, visit: http://pacificfit.net/items/holistic-fueling-for-endurance-athletes/
Ben Greenfield is a triathlon coach and sports nutritionist at www.pacificfit.net.