Travel will be on the agenda for most of us in the coming months. As we all know traveling while prepping for a competition can be difficult.
You are away from your home, your usual gym and of course your kitchen. This can throw even the most experienced athlete off. Most places that you travel you will be able to locate a gym and at least you’ll have somewhere to sleep. However, finding a kitchen to cook your foods to stay on your diet most likely won’t. This is why you need to be prepared before you ever leave town.
FOOD PREP For TRAVELing ATHLETES
Traveling with enough food for 3-4 days is not an easy task, however I have found many ways to simplify it. Prior to leaving I cook all of my foods except my oats. I premeasure and weigh each item and put it in its own plastic bag. I like to use the snack size. I then take each meal and put it together in a sandwich or quart sized bag.
Next, I put all of the meals for a specific day into a gallon sized bag and label it whichever day of the week it will be used. I do this for each day I will be gone and I also carry an extra bag with a few items just in case. I take all of my days and freeze them. I do the same with any dry items that I may have such as oats, canned tuna, protein powder, etc. I bag those items in their own bag labeled “dry”.
Now, if you’re driving to your show then you can just put it all in a cooler in the back and head out. On the other hand, if you are flying this can be much more daunting.
As we all know, airlines have gotten pretty strict on what you can bring on the plane and let me tell you, you DO NOT want them to check your food, you want to carry it on.
We all know how we feel when our suitcases end up missing, imagine how you would feel if your food went MIA! There are a few tricks to getting your frozen asparagus and fish-cicles on board with you.
There was a reason we froze all of our cooked items. The airlines don’t allow you to use ice or ice packs so each bag acts as an ice pack for the next. This keeps all of your food frozen or at least mostly frozen until you get to the hotel. Make sure that you watch the TSA attendant scanning your collapsible cooler through the X-ray machine. The look on their face is usually priceless when they’re trying to figure out just what you have in there. Your dry items, except for the things you will be needing that day can be checked and are usually easy to replace if need be.
I like to keep my next meal out of the cooler and in my purse so that it can thaw out by the time my next meal rolls around. I also always have a few plastic utensils floating around in my purse just in case I don’t want to look like a caveman to the guy who’s sitting next to me. This doesn’t mean they’ll be happy with you though; actually, no one within five rows of you will be happy when you open that baggie of stinky tilapia and broccoli! I usually just grin and eat it. If only they knoew what the past twelve weeks were like! A few stares won’t phase you at that point.
Measure, cook, prepare and freeze all of your food before you go(except your first few meals).
Don’t forget your vitamins and supplements(I put each days supplements in a small plastic bag and put it in that day’s large bag).
Note: Always bring the basics.
• Shaker cups, plastic utensils, paper cups/plates
• Know ahead of time where the nearest grocery store is just in case of a last minute change. This will save you!
*Tip: you can ask for a cup of hot water from the flight attendant or any restaurant and make your oatmeal.
Traveling For a Competition: PACK SMART
Traveling alone for a show can be stressful, especially when you are in prep mode and traveling to the competition you’ve worked so hard for the past few months. When it comes to traveling, overthinking about how much to pack is very common. Should I check this? What should I pack in my carry on? Will my bag be overweight?
The resolution to this is to pack smart. Break everything down into priorities, what is needed most, and what you can do without.
Priorities should be packed in your CARRY ON; those are the things you ABSOLUTLY need to compete. Carrying a big “Personal item” which most airlines allow is also an idea—big yoga bags work well because they look like a big purse!
WHAT TO PACK IN CARRY-ON
• Food that will last until Finals with ICE PACKS
• Competition Suit & Jewelry (CupCase Protector)
• Competition Heels
• Two workout outfits
• B11 Make-up Kit
• False Lashes
• Black Eye Liner
• Eye Shadow
• Skin prep
• Face Powder
• Make-up Brushes
• Toilet seat covers & pillow case (Some hotels charge you EXTRA for cleaning off tanner!)
• Flat Iron OR Curling Iron (whichever you use)
• Extensions (If you wear them)
• Travel Size Hairspray
• Blow Drying Brush
EXTRA TRAVEL TIPS
Wear your sneakers on the plane! It’s something less bulky to pack, and you only need ONE pair ladies. Hoodies/sweaters are bulky and can take up a lot of space in a small carry on. Wear a hoodie or wrap it on the handlebars of your carry on.
Pack a few sandwich size Ziploc baggies in your purse. Always be prepared for the unexpected. Plane delays and missed connection flights happen all the time and there is nothing worse than to be stranded in an airport without the right supplies! If you are traveling longer than expected you will need to be able to keep your food cold. Adding some ice to the bags and putting them on top of your food is an easy way to keep your food fresh. The last thing you need is to get sick due to bad food.
Pack some protein powder. This takes up little space and will save your life should you need some extra food. All you have to do is add water.
Pack at least a couple of plastic forks and spoons. Depending on time of travel the restaurants may be closed and eating your own food may be the only option.
Look up local supermarket/store near the hotel you’re staying in ADVANCE so you can hit the ground running to buy what you need.
If self-tanning, you will have to check the tanner. If your bag gets lost or delayed there are always tanning companies at the shows that can tan you, so don’t worry.
Remember, you compete because YOU want to so no part of it should be anything you dread doing OR that you stress out about. Have Fun! It’s YOUR amazing journey.