By Billy Pettengill
Over the past four years I have honed in on one key element in my training and competing, eating well when traveling. One fundamental element to your competitive performance is your diet--and it's totally controllable! If you put “high performance” in, you'll get “high performance” out.
Whether it is a 15-hour flight to South America, or a 5-hour drive from the Rockies to the Wasatch Mountains, the prescription for eating healthily is the same: Eat real, whole foods. I have always tried my best to travel with all my nutrition for competitions; however, it is much harder to travel internationally with your food. Sometimes the TSA does not like what you’re trying to bring on the plane and they take it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Many of you have probably seen a type of “On-The-Go” set up at your airport (pictured above). Although these places have the allure of a mirage in the middle of a desert, there’s rarely anything healthy or worth your money there. If you pack your meals, bring enough snacks and a water bottle, you are ahead of the game. It may feel like the world is ending if the TSA takes your food, but don’t worry, buy a bag of nuts and a banana, or go for a salad with 6 oz. of protein.
The best recipe for success is to prepare for your trip well in advance. I always cooked a big meal (chicken, vegetables, rice/quinoa, with avocado) when traveling more than 4 hours. For me, having my food is a big security blanket because you never know what you’re going to get on the road…fast food=junk food.
So, if you’re not one to bring a cooler when travelling, I suggest you give it a try on your next trip! I bet your performance will increase and you will have the peace of mind that your next meal is only an arm’s reach away.