Traveling Faster Than Real Time: Plan Your Meals Before Leaving
I used to work with the late technical visionary Dick Morley. He’s received dozens of patents, formed and supported many companies, and invented world-changing technologies. He didn’t completely accept the linearity of time, at least when thinking creatively, and would often say “Faster than real time!” We can loosely use that concept when traveling and eating out often. Here’s one way: go online and read the menu of the place you’ll have your meals.
You may well eat breakfast in the hotel, so become familiar with what they have before you travel. If it is standard breakfast fare, you can order eggs, perhaps some breakfast meat, maybe a little fresh fruit - berries if they have them - or grab a banana or apple for later. Skip the home fries (probably fried in some awful industrial seed oil) and the toast/bagel/muffin. And sure, whole wheat or multi-grain bread is better than white, but filtered cigarettes are better than unfiltered – it doesn’t mean you should have them. Use some discipline if it is a buffet. And if it is just cereal and bread, well, bring your traveling breakfast with you. Hard boiled eggs, jerky, etc. or just skip it. Declare it to be a great day for intermittent fasting.
Sometimes I just have some fatty coffee for breakfast, also promoted by Dave Asprey as Bulletproof coffee. You can buy travel packets at the Bulletproof site, although I just bring a small vial of MCT oil and use just a teaspoon. (Note: a nice cup of Bulletproof coffee has ~450 calories, good fat, very little protein and fiber; it’s not a nutrient-dense meal. I don’t drink it with a full breakfast. It may help satiate you for hours, but 450 calories is 450 calories.)
No matter what style of service you use, skip the juice. Eat fruit to get the fiber, don’t drink it. Next time you grocery shop, compare the labels of a typical orange juice and Mountain Dew; they are just about nutritionally equivalent. Amd how about a positive spin on skipping breakfast? Call it “intermittent fasting“ or IF for short. You’ll be way cool.
Lunch can be very tricky. In a work setting it is often sandwiches (highly processed meat-like substances and cheese product in between highly processed grains, slathered with sugar masquerading as condiments), pizza, sodas, etc. Hardly anything there worth eating. Sometimes someone will send around a take-out menu, and then you can almost always get a salad. Use the olive oil and vinegar dressing, if possible, because the packaged dressings use industrial oils and sugar. If it’s a burger joint, go ahead, but skip the bun and the fries. They will substitute a vegetable or small salad. Drink filtered still water or mineral water, tea, coffee, but nothing with sugar or artificial sweeteners.
If you are going out for lunch, exert your influence on where to go. To be faster than real time, research the neighborhood ahead of time. My wife and I did this recently while walking around Brooklyn. We looked for “best salads” well before lunch time, and chose a wonderful chain restaurant called Sweetgreen which some of you may know. As of mid-2017, there are 70 Sweetgreen locations. If traveling for pleasure, then by all means have a pleasurable lunch. You'll feel better all afternoon if you have both a happy and healthy lunch.
You can easily be faster than real time at dinner – go before you go! Get the menu on line, and decide how you will navigate all the choices before you get there. Think about your nutrition needs and health goals and pick food that meets them. When you arrive, be careful about alcohol, whether you are driving or not. The calories are empty, yes, but your tongue will get loose, your appetite will be enhanced, and your guard will be lowered. Don’t fill up on the bread, eat slowly and purposefully, and enjoy yourself! Then, off to the hotel - call your loved ones, skip the work in favor of sleep, and wake up refreshed!
The plane ride or drive offers its own opportunities to apply some forward thinking. Bring your own favorite healthy food and snacks. Hard-boiled eggs travel well, as do grass-fed meat sticks, organic fruit, baggies of raw vegetables, bottles of kombucha for the car, and one of my favorites: nuts, raw or dry-roasted.
So: take the trip before you leave - including times for fasting - and enjoy!