This blog has MOVED!

Please visit for the most updated content. All these posts and more can be found over at the new URL.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Southern Eats

Tamera's Night Farm blog, The Barb Wire, is currently discussing a very thought-provoking series on fitness and nutrition, with the endurance rider in mind. While fitness and nutrition can be challenging enough at home, travelling can be very very tough.

As I sit in my hotel room, I thought I would share some tips I've learned while travelling to Demopolis, Alabama for work.

Tip 1 - Eat well and clean when you can. Most of the options here in the south are fried, and you may not have total control over which restaurants the work-meetings are in. So, if the hotel offers food such as instant oatmeal, fresh fruit, and milk, for breakfast, eat that and avoid the Belgian waffle machine. You may have to eat deep-fried catfish with a side of fries and sweet tea for lunch.

Tip 2 & 3- Make a snack run and make sure you consume plenty of water. It's too hard to pack food and drink for a week when flying from CA to AL. It might be possible for you, the reader, but it's completely unrealistic in my life. When I arrive at my destination I go to the nearest food center (in this case its a Walmart) and buy fresh fruit (bananas are my choice) and something in a water bottle, preferably carbonated water (no flavor). I hate buying something I can get out of the tap, but I don't want something sweet and chemically. Carbonated water is my compromise. After drinking the beverage I use the bottles as water bottles for my stay. I don't usually like reusing plastic bottles, but when travelling I make compromises to make sure I consume enough water.

Tip 4 - Seek out a buffet. Against all odds I found a coffee shop (not an easy feat) and had an excellent salad for lunch, complete with grapes, strawberries, almonds, cucumbers etc. While that was fine for a lunch, I can't have the same salad for lunch and dinner for a week. For the rest of my lunch and dinner meals, I've been going to a local, small buffet, which is my preferred way of eating out while travelling, if you can find an appropriate buffet. This is not your average California buffet. Think about your mom cooking dinner or lunch. Now imagine your family is 50 people. That's the atmosphere. There's a huge salad buffet, one or two main dishes, and sides. I don't feel any pressure to eat all I can. Instead I serve myself like I was at home, sit down and eat amongst very friendly people and leave when I'm done, letting them know I'll be back later for my next meal. Perfect.

Tip 4b - How to eat at a buffet: Find a good buffet! "My" buffet in Demopolis has a family-like atmosphere. The food is fresh and the food is eaten and replaced frequently. It's like walking into my kitchen and serving myself. It's clean and the shields are IMPOSSIBLE to get under (yeah!). So how do you keep from over indulging? First I grab the salad bowl. I build a huge salad, complete with fresh tomatoes, grapes, cucumbers, sunflower seeds, hard boiled eggs etc. Then I move to the main dish/sides. I like to sample the regional specialities, so I usually deviate from my normal eating habits and try food like the fried corn (look like hush puppies, but I can't remember the name), some sort of boiled pork steak, the cornbread, etc. That's the nice thing about a buffet - a little of this, a little of that, with no obligation to eat a whole serving. Once at the table I eat the salad first, and then eat the sides/main dishes. I stop when I'm not hungry any more. What about dessert? My favorite southern dessert is banana pudding with Nilla wafers. Since I'm controlling the portion, no problem! A little scoop and then I'm done.

Tip 5 - Adapt your exercise. It takes a bit of creativity to keep up the routine. This week, I've run outside once on some local walking trails (heat + humidity = Tevis heat training). Today I missed the critical window in the South between the oppressive heat of the day and total darkness so I came up with an alternative. I walked at 4mph on the treadmill for 30 minutes at the hotel. Here's where it gets good. At 12% INCLINE. I hate running on treadmills, but walking is acceptable. I still managed to still get an excellent workout on a "hill" (great Tevis training) after missing my preferred workout (outdoor running).

Thought of the Day
Anyone have their own tips?

1 comment:

  1. yup.. it's always harder when you're on the road... As a fairly persnickety eater myself.. I have found that wherever I go there's something you can make work



Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.