Probably one of my most controversial blog posts was a post a wrote about eating healthy on the road. At the time what was working for me was using a regimen of non-perishable foods that included protein powder, and a lot of my readers that have a background in nutrition pointed out that large doses of protein powder isn’t a very good option for a full-time diet. They’re right, of course. But faced with the options of grabbing a McDonald’s french fries and burger at 2 AM or getting protein powder, the decision seems pretty obvious.
I’d kind of been stuck for awhile on how to improve my diet on the road until I met Eric. Eric’s the bass player in the Brett Stewart Band, and I picked up a gig this last weekend with them for some shows in the midwest.
Eric has figured out eating healthy. He travels constantly for music, but manages to maintain a great physique, boasting a six pack with great muscle definition, high energy levels, and great focus. Watching how he eats during travel has been revolutionary to me. Here’s what he’s doing to eat well on the road, keep in great shape, and not go broke doing it:
1. Go fresh.
Eric showed up on the first day with a big Kroger bag full of kale, carrots, blueberries, and other vegetables. Since fresh vegetables and fruit are the hardest thing to find on the road, this simple step of bringing vegetables along had instantly pushed Eric’s diet in a more healthy direction.
Eric never made a big deal about food- he ate wherever we decided to eat. But there was subtle difference- Eric always ate the healthiest option on the menu, even if that option wasn’t enough for a full meal. He’d then snack in the hotel or van on the healthy stuff to make sure he got enough calories, and still kept on track with his food philosophy.
3. Drink only water.
I never saw Eric drink anything but water and beer, and it kept him from retaining salt and making his system work at top efficiency. In the long run he was so much more alert than other musicians I’ve seen chugging 4 hour energies non-stop.
4. Snack on the right stuff.
Everyone gets the munchies, and Eric always turned to healthy, low-calorie foods to when the urge to snack hit. By snacking on bulky items like kale, carrots, and other low calorie options, Eric didn’t have to worry about consuming too many calories before he filled up.
5. Portion size.
By having snacks back at the house, Eric’s developed the ability to say no to big portion sizes. There’s never the threat of going hungry, sincea great food choice is just an arm’s length away.