Surviving my Business Trip: My Nutrition Emergency Kit

If there is one thing that will make the difference between your success and failure when you start any kind of program, it is planning.

Planning, planning, and more planning.  Plan for absolutely everything possible, and then be smart when you encounter something for which you could not have planned.

I had a big meeting in Seattle this morning, and I had to drive last night.  I worked right up until the last minute, when I realized that I was going to be screwed as shit if I didn’t throw some food together.  Eating 200+ grams of protein per day takes a pretty hefty dose of planning.  Every meal has to contain a major lean protein source.

In this extreme case (note this is me telling you that this is extreme), a handful of almonds and a stick of string cheese just isn’t going to cut it. 

I hate being high maintenance, so I wanted to arrive with my own stuff, so I didn’t have to ask for anything special.  I had 20 minutes to pack my clothes and pull my food together.  This is what I did:

  • Pulled out 18 ounces of chicken breast that I had dethawed and cut it into 5 pieces (around 3.5oz per piece)
  • Rubbed these with a Cajun blackening rub
  • Turned the panini grill (George Foreman works great here, I just happen to live with a Sicilian) and let it heat up
  • While it heated, I chopped four heads of broccoli into snackable bite-sized pieces and threw them all in a large zip-loc bag
  • Loaded three servings of protein powder into ziploc bags (one per bag, so I didn’t have to bring the scoop – it was pre-measured)
  • Found my protein-shaker McThing and threw it in the bag
  • Grabbed a box of Vanilla Soy Milk from the cupboard and threw it in the bag
  • Snagged a container of cottage cheese from the fridge
  • Pulled the chicken off the grill, cut each piece into snackable bite-sized pieces, and loaded each 3.5 oz serving into it’s own fold-over variety cheapy sandwich bag.  All five of these serving bags went into a larger zip-loc (in case you’re wondering, yes, I do re-use my zip-loc bags unless they have contained raw meat)
  • Opened up iTunes, bought 4 Audiobooks (including some to help me practice my getting-quite-rusty Italian) and set them to download to my iPhone (AGAIN the iPhone saves my ass!)
  • Ran upstairs, packed my clothes.

This left me with 239g of protein* (not including the protein in the soy milk or broccoli), divided up into serving sizes, and more than 10 hours worth of AudioBooks to choose from for a 6 hour roundtrip.

So, if you happened to see some crazy girl flying up I-5 last night in a Tibetan-style winter hat, snacking on raw broccoli, mouthing Italian words or intermittently crying as the words of the Dalai Lama poured through her iPhone into her car speakers, that was me.

Plan, people.

Your muscles will thank you.  And so will your mind.


*Note: This isn’t all I ate :)  I just made sure I had the protein covered, since that tends to be the biggest challenge.  The broccoli was specifically included to cover roadtrip-munchie-syndrome (RMS).

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  1. On my way home tonight (from my first spin class in a month!) I was thinking exactly about planning. All evening long, that catch phrase from Berardi’s nutrition literature has been coursing through my mind: if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.

    I will have my own Every Day Athlete-inspired posting sometime before the end of the week on my Accidental Admin blog. All about planning. All about my own little realizations of planning. All about my resolutions to work on the planning and my own pleas for advice on planning for the eventual future–when my life becomes job + teaching (+ paper grading all night long + office hours + long on-the-T commutes + …) and it becomes too easy to squeeze gym off of my schedule.

    Stay well out there, braveheart…

  2. Question re: Italian language audiobooks…what series did you use? Did you enjoy it? I’m asking b/c I’m headed to germany next month and don’t know a lick of Deutsch and wondering which series to choose amongst the numerous that are available as audiobooks…

  3. RMS – I suffer from that too! What a great cure.

  4. Thanks so much for this. This might sound weird, but I spent the first couple of years of my teenage lifein Sicily, then travelled all over the world. Now I’m living in Australia, with my Chinese wife, and son we had whilst in Japan! Truly international, eh? Anyway, I’ve been trying to rediscover the smells and tastes of my youth with some authentic Italian recipe like these, best I’ve found so far! Thanks again, I’ll see if I can add the feed to my google reader tonight, though my son usually does that for me!


  1. runbikeswim » Blog Archive » Me: 2, Sweets: 2 - [...] leave tomorrow for Bend for a long weekend, so I guess I should make some plans.While I won’t be ...
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