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Tips For Staying Healthy Away From Home

July 7, 2011

Hello all! I hope you’re having a good week so far. I can’t really believe it’s Thursday already! I’ve been in Sheffield all week on a course and time’s flying, probably because it’s a bit different from my usual routine.

I was dreading having to work away from home for a week, but I’m actually quite enjoying my stay away. I have a lovely hotel room:


And the hotel is right next to the Sheffield Winter Gardens – it’s nice to see some greenery!


I’m also quite fond of the fountain just outside the hotel:


I had a nightmare getting here though, mainly because I’ve been a complete air-head recently. On Tuesday morning I thought for a moment that a miracle had occurred because I could see. I soon realised that I had slept in my contact lenses – doh! I got up early so that I could catch the early train and get to Sheffield in plenty of time. I made it to the station just in time, walked quickly to the platform and got on the train … only it was the wrong train! In the meantime I had missed the train I wanted to get and had to wait over an hour for the next fast train. This sort of scatter-brained behaviour is often one of the first signs of stress for me, and I have been letting life’s little anxieties get to me lately. I took Tuesday morning as a sign that I need to chill out a bit and think before I act.

One of the reasons I wasn’t looking forward to going away was because I was worried about staying healthy while I’m away from home. I believe that if you’re on holiday you should relax your routine and chill out, but working away is a bit different – I didn’t want these few days to derail me. However, I haven’t found it too difficult to stay on track (although I’m not perfect) and I’ve pulled together my top tips for how to do it.

1. Bring your workout kit with you and plan in some exercise

I haven’t managed to fit in all my usual exercise this week because I’ve been socialising with colleagues in the evenings, but I have managed one run and I have another one planned for tomorrow morning. I planned out a route before I came and asked a local person on my course whether they thought that was sensible. They warned me that it was hilly … but you can’t really escape hills in Sheffield. I planned a 3.5 mile interval run, but silly air-head me took a wrong turn and I ended up doing 5.5 miles! I didn’t have my map or my phone with me and I had just run down the mother of all hills. I was not happy that I had to make my way back up the hill – I walked!

I’m lucky that my hotel has a gym, although I haven’t used it yet. If where your staying doesn’t have fitness facilities you can run or walk, or do yoga, Pilates or circuit training in your room (just be sympathetic to the people that might be in the room underneath you!)

2. Get some healthy snacks to keep you going throughout the day

I brought some snacks with me and also went to the supermarket to buy a few extras:


I get really snacky when I’m in the classroom, so these stop me from heading to the canteen for some less healthy snacks. Having said that I did eat a bag of Walkers Baked crisps, but that’s because they are perfect hangover food.

3. Go easy on the alcohol

OK – this is a do as I say, not as I do item. I didn’t go too mad last night, but I suffer from a hangover after a couple of drinks, so I probably should have steered completely clear. The aforementioned crisps and a cup of tea sorted me right out though!

4. Don’t go overboard at the breakfast buffet

You probably know that I love breakfast, so to be faced with so much choice at the buffet is heavenly! However, I make a conscious effort to eat a normal portion and to get a good balance of carbs, protein and fat. For example, this morning I had some fresh fruit, natural yoghurt and a little muesli, followed by a piece of wholemeal toast with a spoonful of scrambled egg.

5. Make sensible choices for lunch

The temptation when you’re away from home is to eat bigger meals than you normally would. My dinners have definitely been bigger, so I’ve tried to reign in my breakfasts and lunches. Just down the road from the office is a fantastic cafe called Urban Deli which does the most amazing salad boxes, full of great stuff like roasted vegetables, spinach, lentils and chickpeas. Lots of delis do similar things and the supermarkets and high street shops also now stock lots of healthy salads.

So, I haven’t been perfect while I’ve been away, but I haven’t done too badly. The most important thing to remember if you get off track a little (like me) is to get right back on it as soon as possible. I’m taking it easy tonight …

To make me feel better, what’s the most air-headed thing that you’ve done lately?

Have you got any other tips for staying healthy away from home?

11 Comments leave one →
  1. July 7, 2011 5:49 pm

    I think your tips are spot on: even the prospect of being away from home sends me into a blind panic, particularly with regard of how/where to run.

    Walkers baked crisps are about 100 calories a pack I think, so certainly not likely to have caused much damage 🙂

    I am the definition of air-headed. I’d like to blame it on being blonde but sadly that’s really no excuse 😛


  2. July 7, 2011 6:33 pm

    I’m a big fan of being prepared when traveling- having a protein bar or trail mix with me so that if I get hungry but its not a meal time (or there isn’t some fantastic looking treat around) I don’t end up eating some convenience bland food like cheetos and then getting a sugar crash and getting crabby… while traveling. ugh! I buy my own stuff at local farmers markets too when I travel, if I have a cooking option!

  3. July 7, 2011 7:05 pm

    I think those are great tips and very much the ones I try and follow to, taking fruit and snack bars is a must for me, and now I’m mostly vegan I tend to take mini cartons of soy milk too. Sometimes its really nice to have a bit of a change of routine to refresh you, hope you enjoy the rest of your week! 🙂

  4. July 7, 2011 7:29 pm

    Hehe bless you, I have slept in my lenses a few times too and woken up thinking I’ve had an overnight miracle.
    Great tips! I always try and eat as much veg as possible when I’m away, because I think that’s the one thing that changes so much and leaves me feeling a bit meh. Restaurant sized portions are not the same as mine! Your hotel room looks lovely too! hope your train journey home is more successful 🙂

  5. July 7, 2011 8:38 pm

    I love love love tips posts like these, i always save them in a big file on my computer to re-read later when i need advice 🙂
    As far as hangover cures go, walkers baked are definitely better than a fry up so go you!

  6. July 7, 2011 9:37 pm

    Thanks for the tips. I’m feeling more than a little anxious about my eating when I go on holiday next week especially as I’m staying half board and have no idea what to expect! Sounds like you’ve hit the balance well, I’m hoping I get it right too!

  7. July 7, 2011 9:49 pm

    Great tips 🙂 I tend to have a slightly bigger breakfast, and then a very small lunch (eg banana and cereal bar like nakd) and then try a normal dinner. I also write down what I eat as I think that helps me see that I do not need a chocolate bar or whatever in the evening. 🙂

  8. July 7, 2011 10:26 pm

    I’ve been travelling a lot recently, and I actually made a list of things to do to help me deal with it better, the first of which was to *always* pack my workout gear just in case. That and be more conscious of the feeling of “it doesn’t count because I’m eating it on public transport” that I get!

    I can’t think of anything all that scatterbrained that I’ve done recently. I actually tend to get hyper-focused and efficient when I’m stressed. It’s useful in terms of getting stuff done, but not that good for helping me relax…

  9. July 8, 2011 10:03 am

    The are great tips, which work great for me. I’m definitely going to be taking some food with me on my trip next week.

  10. July 10, 2011 9:12 am

    These are great tips! When I travel I often get into a bit of a panic about not being able to exercise and not having enough control over what I eat but I think you have to learn to relax a little more.
    I only just stumbled across your blog through another one but I really like it 🙂


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