Cross-Country Travel: What I Ate In A Day (& Why)

Greetings from sunny California!

I’m here for a blog conference on behalf of Overstock.com, who I learned has WAY MORE to offer than just furniture and home goods, BUT I am loving this adorable hideaway dog (or cat) bed ottoman that I might purchase for my office for Murphy, so he doesn’t need to sit on my lap while I work. Thirty pound dog + hours of sitting at computer + a bad back = no bueno.

So, I had quite the full day of travel from Boston to Santa Barbara on Tuesday (I set my alarm for 3:31 AM), so I wanted to share my eats from the day. Traveling cross-country always makes me super hungry. Maybe it’s because I’m sitting on a plane with nothing else to do? Or maybe there’s just so many options TO EAT while waiting at the airport/during layovers? Or maybe because I gain an extra 3 hours flying westward, so I just need more food to fuel my day? It’s probably a combination of all these things, but, ultimately, I’m just HUNGRY. With that, here’s what I ate in a day (and why!) traveling cross-country!

What I Ate In A Day Cross-Country Travel

On the drive to the airport: Iced coffee with cream and collagen for a little extra protein boost. (FYI: 2 tbsp has 12g protein. FYI #2: I mix the collagen with a little bit of warm water first and THEN mix it into my iced coffee, so it doesn’t clump together.) It was 4:00 AM when I left my house, so… coffee.

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At the airport: Iced Americano from Starbucks with one pump of pumpkin spice syrup and milk. It was still a total sugar bomb, but less so than a regular PSL.

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Breakfast from home: Scrambled eggs with breakfast potatoes and roasted zucchini. I made the eggs and put everything together in Tupperware the night before, so I ate it cold the next day, which surprisingly wasn’t terrible. I usually try to pack my own breakfasts when I travel because I feel like finding a healthy and satisfying one at the airport is usually a little tough. If I don’t pack breakfast from home, I will usually get the oatmeal from Starbucks and add a packet of nut butter, collagen, and/or protein powder from home for some staying power.

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On the plane: Two hard-boiled eggs (purchased from ABP at the airport), Coconut Chocolate Rx Bar (from home), and a Granny Smith apple (from home). I have no idea why I didn’t think to hard-boil eggs at home, but I totally could have saved $4. Whomp whomp. I packed a bunch of snacks from home for “lunch” because I wasn’t sure if I’d have time to grab a real meal during my layover. I’m glad I had a few things on hand because I barely made my connecting flight to Santa Barbara!

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On my second flight: Biscoff Cookies! I totally didn’t “need” these cookies, but, OMG, they’re so good. I couldn’t resist!

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At the conference: Snack-size salad. When I arrived, lunch was being served and it was 3:30 pm EST, so I was definitely ready for a snack. I kept it semi-light with lots of greens, roasted potatoes, and a small serving of both chicken breast and steak.

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Afternoon snack after meetings and a workoutCookies & Cream Quest Bar. After a bunch of afternoon meetings, I hit the hotel gym for a super sweaty, 45-minute workout, so I refueled with a Quest Bar.

Oreo Quest Bar

At the hotel bar: Wine time! A glass of Sauvignon Blanc because… wine.

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Dinner started with: A piece of freshly baked Focaccia bread that I dipped into balsamic vinegar.

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Dinner is served: Tuna tartare! So yum. I hardly ever eat fish at home, so I often order it when I’m dining out.

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Overall, it wasn’t a terrible day of eating, especially since I was traveling and didn’t always have the best options available to me. I ate more sugar and relied on protein bars more than I usually do, but, like I mentioned above, I’m always more hungry when I travel, so I definitely could have made worse choices.

Question of the Day

How do your eating habits change when you travel? What are your strategies/tips/trick for sticking to a mostly healthy diet? 

P.S. Be sure to enter the giveaways on CNC this week: Win a sports bra from the Moving Comfort Collection at Brooks Running and win a prize pack from CocoaVia. I will pick two winners early next week!

27 Comments

  1. Looks like a yummy day of eats! I definitely get more hungry when I travel and I am sure part of it is the early wake up and the time change. I just be sure to bring lots of snacks on planes especially water-dense veggies! A nice way to stay hydrated, in addition to plenty of water.

  2. When I travel I always bring instant oatmeal packs *love the trader joe berries one. I bring 2 packs for myself and then just grab hot water and a cup from flight attendant. They have the hot water and cups for coffee on the plane. Just don’t forget your spoon! Much cheaper than oatmeal from Starbucks! We bring them for our 5 and 3 year old boys too!

  3. I used to travel weekly as a consultant and traveling healthy is easier to do thank most think. I always pack hard boiled eggs and fruit to take with me on the outgoing flight and packed protein bars and other snacks to bring with me and I learned to just say no to all the airport/airplane treats otherwise is would have added up quickly!

  4. I also love a Quest Bar…..any thoughts on how IMO affects our health? I normally like to keep things pretty clean but they are so good! Especially with coffee!

  5. I love collagen in my morning coffee, especially after my 5am workout for that extra protein!

    When I travel my eating habits aren’t the best but at the same time I don’t go out on a full out binge and totally through my healthy habits out the door. I do like the idea of bringing hard boiled eggs and some other items as snacks, definitely something I’ll remember next time we travel.

  6. When I travel I tend to give myself a free pass (since I fly maybe 4 times a year at most). I don’t go completely overboard, and I’ll stick to healthier meals like salads or plates with lean protein, but I give myself the freedom to have candy that I normally wouldn’t at home. Last week when I had to fly from Seattle to Chicago to Raleigh, I had a bagel with PB for breakfast (hubs pointed out it’d be best to eat most of our Calories up front since we wouldn’t have a ton of time later) and a salad for dinner. We were rushing through our travel plans, so I had to make the most of what I could!

  7. How do travel expenses work for bloggers? When I travel for work, I expense all my meals while I’m in transit, so I really never bring stuff from home.

  8. You seem to have a great grasp on healthy eating with balance. That balance is in what you eat and don’t eat, but also working out and staying active balanced with enough rest. The question I have is if you weigh yourself? Doing crossfit I have more muscle than I have ever had, but I still struggle not to get hung up with the number on that scale. Any suggestions?

    1. I’m so not a scale person. It’s data, so it’s important to consider, but it definitely doesn’t tell the whole story. As long as I’m happy with the way I look and how I feel, I don’t care about what the scale says.

  9. Maybe this sounds weird, but I think because a day of traveling ups the stress/anxiety, the brain is looking for more fuel. It’s not easy staying alert in new, changing surroundings and worrying nonstop (for me at least – did I pack everything I need, will I have enough time for this or that, etc).

  10. If you get a chance, go to Los Agaves on Milpas St in Santa Barbara for some of the best Mexican food ever! Lots of healthy options too for a Mexican restaurant.

  11. Alright, I have to say it. As someone who flies frequently for work… NO HARD BOILED EGGS ON A PLANE (or tuna salad or any other stinky food)! They are definitely a healthy snack but they should be eaten before or after. Airplanes are small to begin with, and that is shared air…and hard boiled eggs smell like farts. I applaud your devotion to healthy eating though, just please take into account your fellow travellers.

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