Derby season is in full swing, and you all know what that means – Road trips! Tournaments! No spare time!
We’ve covered pre and post practice (and game) eating tips, and what to eat when you’re at the arena (during practice or throughout a tournament weekend), but how about after you leave the confines of the track? How can you maintain a healthy eating plan with so many tempting options and after-party buffets?
Here are some tips that help keep me on the path to healthy eating when I’m on the road:
Before you leave:
- Research where you’re going, read the hospitality packages that are provided to you – there are often some great restaurant options in there, see where the local markets are, talk to local skaters to see where they shop for food.
- Pack a cooler, a can opener, and a mid-sized piece of tupperware. You never know if your hotel will have a mini-fridge, so better to be prepared.
For the drive there:
- If you’re leaving on a Saturday, and you don’t have to get up crazy early in time to make you game, stop at your local farmer’s market to buy car snacks – veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds. That way you’ll be far less inclined to make questionable road stop choices. If you’re leaving on a non-market day, pick up some smart snacks from the supermarket – get your whole carpool in on it!
- Stay hydrated! For every caffeinated beverage (and I know there can be lots on those marathon trips), try to match with a bottle of water. Dehydration can negatively impact performance, so make sure you’re looking after yourself on your way to the bout.
Once you get to your destination:
- Remember to eat like an athlete. Cool new cities have lots of cool restaurants – do your research in advance. Read menus online, make choices that will fuel the next day’s activity, and try not to eat anything too unusual to your routine – when it comes to sports nutrition, familiar foods are your friend. If you’re eating out, choose a meal that provides you with lean protein, high quality carbs, fruits and veggies, and healthy fats. Try to avoid anything overly processed.
- ALWAYS go to the grocery store! My first stop in any new city is the local market where I can pick up meals to eat at the hotel, meals for the venue, and snacks to keep me going. When you’re shopping, think about ingredients you can make multiple meals with and ingredients that can also serve as snacks.
What can you even cook in a hotel?
Well, if you get put up in a swanky suite with a full kitchen, you can cook whatever you’d like, but since most of us travelling for derby are trying to keep it frugal, there’s lots you can do with just a microwave and minifridge (or even no microwave and a cooler with ice from the machine).
Wrap It Up! – Ingredients – tortilla (or lettuce leaf), can of tuna, spinach, (peppers, scallions, cucumbers if you’d like). Drain tuna, chop up all the things, wrap them in your leaf or wrap, enjoy! If you want to make this a salad instead, omit the wrap and maybe toss some cottage cheese on top too!
Micro-Eggs – Ingredients – 2 eggs, spinach, peppers, scallions, mushrooms. Crack two eggs into your packed tupperware container, add chopped peppers, spinach, scallions, mushrooms. Mix and microwave for 30 seconds. Fluff, and continue cooking for 10 second blasts until cooked.
Travelling needn’t be a reason to go off the rails with your meal planning. Put a little bit of time in before you hit the road and your body will thank you!
What are some of your favourite on-the-road meals?