The Lean Vacation Part 1 of 3
– (The Road Trip) –
This will be the first of many Lean Blog entries from me as well as the rest of the Leaner Living Team (My brother Dr. Karl Nadolsky, Jenna Lucas, and Rachel Childress). These posts are more personable as opposed to academic, since we will be presenting personal stories that will incorporate our methods into our lives. We will still write research/evidence-based articles that support our methods, but we wanted to add a different element to the site to make it more fun and enjoyable. We hope you agree!
I have personally heard from many patients that they travel all of the time and that it is impossible to have a Leaner Living lifestyle (aka consistent Leaner Living Diet and Exercise) while traveling. Well I figured I would try to dispel this myth on my month long vacation (I get two months of vacation during my 4th year of medical school). There will be three parts to this article:
- The Road Trip
- The Vacation Stay
- The Airport
Each part will be broken down into how I was able to manage my Diet and Exercise during the various stages of my vacation.
This is the first installment of The Lean Vacation, which I will depict my road trip from Newport News, Va all the way up to Holland, Mi (15 hour drive). The goal was to simulate a job that requires a lot of driving, such as a sales rep, truck driver, etc. and try to stick with my consistent eating plan and exercise regimen. I knew it wouldn’t be easy, but if I am going to preach to patients about eating well while on the road, then I wanted to experience it myself!
Road Trip Diet
To prepare, I packed two coolers with a variety of foods from the Leaner Living Approved Foods list / Pyramid. I shopped at Trader Joes (my favorite store of all time!!) although realistically you can get these items at most grocery stores . Here is what I brought along:
- Veggies – Carrots, Celery, Lettuce, Cucumbers, Trader Joe’s Super Greens powder
- Fruit – Blueberries, Apples, Peaches, Bananas, Grapes
- Beans – Hummus
- Meat – Pastrami, Ham, Turkey Kielbasa,
- Dairy – Light Havarti, Goat Cheese spread, Tzatziki sauce (yogurt spread)
- Protein Supplements – Lean ‘n Complete of course… and lots of it!!!
- Peanut Butter
- Raw Almonds
- Fish Oil Capsules
- Cacoa Nibs
- a bunch of bottled waters
As you can see there is nothing on this list that is not Leaner Living Approved. For our meals we rotated between 1. LeanUnwiches (Lettuce wraps with pastrami, havarti, and tatziki or hummus or both) along with our choice of fruit and side veggie (which we dipped in the hummus, tatziki, or peanut butter) 2. Turkey Kielbasa with fruit and veggie 3. A Lean ‘n Complete shake with optional Trader Joe’s Super Greens drink (Many people do NOT like them… I don’t mind them). I took a couple fish oil pills with each meal as well. Notice that each meal follows our easy and practical Lean Habits. From what I can tell by my traveling patients is that their number one limiting factor is not doing enough preparation. My goal was to have the most convenient Leaner Living Approved foods possible to keep preparation at a minimum, which I believe I succeeded. All it really took was to purchase the above items and throw them into the cooler to be on my way… no real preparation needed!
I do concede that eating out of a cooler for a few days straight could get quite old, which is why I do recommend stopping for a restaurant meal once a day. (Read our Restaurant Lean Guide for how to eat out while doing Leaner Living). For this I picked Denny’s since I could get Egg Beater Western Omelets (my favorite type of omelet).
I took my time on the road trip and stayed overnight in a couple towns. If you stay in a hotel you can take advantage of keeping your food cool overnight in the minifridge and then be able restock the cooler with ice in the morning!
Road Trip Exercise (If staying somewhere overnight)
For me the exercise part is the toughest since I like to do most of my routine in a gym. To do this I researched where I would stay the night and found a gym near the hotel. That way, I could wake up, quickly drink a Lean Latte, and head to the gym before the next leg of driving. I happened to find a really nice and quaint gym in Cross Lanes, WV called Nautilus Fitness. Make sure you tell the gym that you are on the road and see if you can get a cheap one day pass.
While going to a gym would be ideal, you could also go outside and just do some walking/ running (sprints/long distance) depending on your exercise schedule. If resistance training is on your schedule and there is not a gym that is available/affordable, you can either do body weight training (Read more about Body Weight Training) or bring a kettle bell and/or some bands. You would be amazed at how good of a workout you can get with any of these options (Read more about Gym Alternatives).
So far I have discussed keeping a Leaner Living lifestyle while on the road. The next part of this series will discuss the actual vacation stays, which will include fun things to do while sticking to and learning about our Lean Diet Habits as well as Exercise Habits. Stay Lean!