Answer My question - "I am traveling a lot for work, and I have to eat at gas stations occasionally, how do I make smart choices?"

Answer my question is a weekly blog post where I attempt to answer questions presented by OC members in goal setting sessions or emailed to me. Have a question? Send me an email: Sean@oregoncrossfit.com - subject line “Answer my Question”

Question - “I am traveling a lot for work and I am in gas stations or airports for pit stops, but don’t often have access to grocery stores, how can I make the most healthy choices?”

Answer: Okay - there are a lot of professions that get stuck in this fashion, police for one come to mind - at 3am on a night shift and they end up at 7/11 what good food choices do you have? Here is a breakdown:

Veggies are probably the best bet, but also tend to be the hardest to find as they have a limited “shelf life”. Nonetheless, trying to check for a refrigerated section and snagging carrot sticks and the premade salads (especially those without salad dressing already applied).

In the next category of “better” choices: Plain Greek Yogurt (not the stuff with tons of additional sugar added) so stick to the plain yogurt as a lot of fruit can increase the sugar amount greatly. Hard Boiled eggs are another solid option as they are pretty easy to come by and you know what you are getting. I recently saw protein powder at the convenience store in individual packets and if it is just protein and some water, then mix it up and you are good to go. (Check the ingredient list on protein powders!)

In the “okay” category: String cheese - there is a big range here on the products so check the label. Protein bars - again check the label - some of these have undesirables like soy, or added sugar in them. Premade protein drinks - like muscle milk - these have more sugar but if you are in a pinch - better than many alternatives. Same thing for beef jerky and the fruit yogurts - lots of added sugar, but I have seen some Zero Sugar Jerky packets surfacing of late, so hopefully that trend continues.

In the “less than ideal” bucket, but still better than a king sized candy bar - I would put hot dogs, without a bun - put mustard on it as it has less sugar compared to ketchup. Fried chicken - anything fried isn’t your friend for “healthy food” but sometimes that is the only choice. And finally slim jims - these are sometimes disguised as “healthy” but they really aren’t.

In regards to what to drink - if you are watching calories - choose water - if you are trying to get more calories choose - milk. Worst possible choice is probably soda - followed by a lot of juices or smoothies that usually have excess added sugar.

Hope this helps.

If you have follow up questions - or would like me to dive deeper - let me know. Sean@oregoncrossfit.com - Subject Line “Answer my Question”

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