You're one busy person. In perhaps the busiest and most complex our societies have ever been - with a wealth of distractions and communications and stimulus hitting us from every direction on a daily basis - you would think we would have FEWER distractions and MORE time to focus upon the things in life which really matter. However, the opposite is clearly the case. In this clickbait world, we are bombarded with data all day long, and our days are busier and more confusing as a result.
Likewise, in a global society, interconnected as our planet is, it would seem that being on the road for hours at a time each day would have become a thing of the past by now. After all, we can chat in "real time" with co-workers and buddies in America, China, Antarctica, in Europe, on planes, in a bathroom stall, and yes, even in the gym - in real time. Yet despite this, many of us average Joes & Joans find ourselves on the road for hours a day, bouncing between work, school, clients, relationships, chores, and yes, we cannot forget the gym! All this time on the road means we often miss meals, which costs us valuable muscle!
Ideally, you'd always be at home to eat from your own refrigerator at your own kitchen table. The second-most optimal option would have to be dining at work, out of the employee refrigerator where your chicken & rice were safely stored. After that, we often descend into a mess of protein shakes made at a long red light, cold tuna salad pulled from a cooler in our trunk, or worse… something from a drive thru.
Don't get it twisted - prepared food can be awesome! If you have access, time, and the financial resources to have a person prepare your food for you each day, then you are in great shape. Remember Ronnie Coleman eating at Black Eyed Pea and other various steak houses each day? He ate lean & clean, and got his protein, carbs, and essential fats each day. However, most of us don't have the time or money to spend that kind of time eating piles of food that we don't have to prepare for ourselves. No, most of us have to make it ourselves, or get resourceful when it comes to eating on the road. Let's dive into some techniques you can employ to get better results from your curbside dining!
First off, you should scope out your local grocery stores. Managers and owners have been listening to hordes of musclebound shoppers demanding lean dietary options for fueling their workout and recovery, and have thus chosen to offer food options to meet this demand. Pre-made rotisserie chickens were a good start. Protein-rich deli sandwiches came next. Then we started to see pre-made meals, stocked with rice, potatoes, steak, and chicken, available from many delis. Sushi is an amazing meal, too! Get creative, and there's a good chance you can enjoy a nutrient rich meal from the grocery store, and never really get bored with the hodgepodge of mixed up meal options available, limited only by your imagination!
Buffets and other all-you-can-eat options may offer a faster and more affordable way to get the EXACT clean foods you want. You may pay the same $9 you'd pay for a higher quality "clean" meal at Arby's, but you'll also have access to pounds of lean protein, cups of broccoli, and all the sweet potatoes you can eat. And since the food is already prepared, you can pay then dive in almost immediately. Even if you only have 15 minutes for lunch, a buffet with all food options ready upon your entrance may be more than sufficient for your dietary needs. Just be sure not to overdo it on the all-you-can-eat desserts. Even if you're bulking, you never need more than one dessert with any given meal!
Remember that smoothies are a hugely safe choice for 1-3 meals each day. Many gas stations such as Wawa now offer protein shakes and smoothies (just watch the sugar content!), and just about all gas stations and corner markets have products such as Muscle Milk available. You can knock back 30 grams of protein in 30 seconds for about $3 bucks… it's tough to beat that! The line at the checkout will be shorter than any fast food lane, and you won't blow out your wallet or your waistline in the process!
Packing in a cooler is always your best option when on the road. You'll have the exact meal you want, at the time you want it. However, eating cold food doesn't always sit well. Plan out your week to determine exactly how many times each week you'll find yourself hungry with little to no clean options available. Prepare for it, packing all the shakes and lean meal options as possible. Then, when "on the road" hits you unexpectedly, you can tap any of the above listed options to ensure you don't blow up your diet in your mission not to miss a meal.
Nutrition is by far the most important aspect of your training/supplementation/nutrition/rest combo that will deliver you the ultimate in physique development. You can't miss meals, but you cannot be living on junk food either. Plan your diet just as you plan your supplementation, rest, and training, giving it equal (or greater) significance when planning. The results will be a you that doesn't even miss a meal, or a chance to grow!