What Being a Parent Taught Me About Managing Stress

The Big Aha Moment:

My 18 month old son, Preston, taught me how to manage stress more effectively without knowing it! What a smart little man! 😊

The reactive assumption, without breaking down this claim: Babies teach us nothing! They are little animals trying to survive in nature. What do they know!!!

The real breakdown: Giving birth to a child will change your life forever. You will always need to think about others, be mindful of your risk-taking behavior, plan ahead, focus on meaningful interaction, show empathy and sympathy…..wait a minute, shouldn’t we be doing this anyway (with or without a child)! In all honesty, my wife, Sammy, and I haven’t felt the drastic change in life that most people claim. The responsibilities and day-to-day specific approach may have been reshaped but the principles are the same. Although that’s true, Preston has inspired new approaches to managing stress. He unknowingly prepared a Stress 101 curriculum for his Dad: A model of human instinctual behavior. Without a doubt, it made rethink about my needs and how I structured my life to minimize stress. Here’s how:

Observation: I need to make my primary (survival) needs a priority before pursuing any secondary tasks/projects.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: A long time ago (when Preston was 0-8 months) Sammy and I relied on Preston’s cries to alert us of his basic survival needs: Changing his diaper, laying him down to sleep, giving him milk, making sure he’s not too cold, and making sure he’s not too hot. While a parent will always look for serious signs of discomfort or sickness as a caution, the primary focus is this list. If we fail to meet these demands, Preston’s cries, will, uhm, continue for a very long time (rightfully so).

Now, Preston’s ego has certainly kicked in, and life is more complicated (e.g., crying is a result of the inability to communicate in a way that we understand, the lack of attention, or the societal restriction of haphazardly tossing toys down the stairs). Although his cognitive brain may muddle what he needs in the moment and how he communicates it, Sammy and I still consider Preston’s survival needs as a first option. I take the same approach with myself when I experience discomfort or stress. Poor Preston can’t move on until we meet these needs, and I can’t either. And, yes, I’m a big baby.

Unfortunately, my advanced cognitive brain taught me to ignore or distract myself from these innate physical needs for most of my life. With my new observations of Preston in mind, I began asking the following questions: How often do I hold off eating lunch or visiting the restroom because I need to finish a computer project? How comfortable do I feel while ignoring these cues? What level of stress do I experience while “h-angry” or squirming in my chair? How often does it redirects my focus from the project at times? Does it contribute to a subtle (or not-so subtle) anxiety?

Once I considered these questions, I started to realize the level of discomfort and stress I created by ignoring my need to eat, sleep, or potty (think like Preston). Despite my efforts to suppress the need, it was still sitting in my unconscious and manifesting itself in a number of ways, including impatience, irritability, reactiveness, etc. In terms of creativity, effectiveness, and efficiency, I never want anything to become an obstacle to my success. Sometimes the most stressful situations in my life have been resolved with this renewed focus on my physical self. President Bill Clinton always fed diplomats before an important meeting and I will certainly continue to take the same approach with myself.

Observation: Routine Rules!

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Babies are creatures of habit and routine. Please let me rephrase this: ALL of us are creatures of habit and routine. Babies thrive on the predictability of a schedule. It isn’t a result of feeling cognitively satisfied with their adherence to a routine. They rely on physical cues to trigger action for food and sleep. The core system of their bodies loves to efficiently and effectively prepare for both (think hormonal release). Ever wonder why babies typically wake the same time every day? For some reason, Preston never realizes that it’s the weekend and that Mama and Papa want to sleep an additional 1-4 hours. He continues to wake at 7:15 am almost within 5 minutes every day (even on Saturdays!!!). While less convenient for sleeping parents, it contributes to a healthy lifestyle and proper recovery time. In a perfect world, I don’t need an alarm, and my body begins a systematic approach to slowly wake the body starting three hours before that typical time. What an efficient machine! The same process takes place with a consistent eating schedule. The human body wants to predict the next influx of fuel to use it in the most efficient manner (hence, the reason you’re hungry at noon on Saturdays if you typically eat every weekday at noon).

Of course, if we miss one of Preston’s naps, he reaches an epic level of irritability that’s difficult to calm. I can’t it’s much different when I’m overtired. If my body typically rests for the night at 11:30, it certainly gives me an internal physical smack until I succumb to its demand. I easily recognize when I’m pushing these limits and fighting my physical self (especially if I’m working on a work project late night). Unfortunately, the anxiety I feel as a result ends up affecting my ability to fall asleep when I eventually hit the pillow. A routine helps me become an efficient machine, and it will protect it as much as it comes. The more I fight it, the more discomfort I feel, and the same applies to the timing of meals.


5 Ways to Make Your Child a Healthy Eater

Myth: Kids can eat whatever they want.

Reason Parents Give: “They’re children…they can get away with it.”

Many parents believe the myth that children can really eat whatever they want. As a parent, I wish this was true! It’s a lot of work showing my 17-month old son, Preston, a powerpoint presentation about the benefits of broccoli. Unfortunately, that first statement is false (and it makes sense why). Think about the period of 0-11 years of life for a child. Do you see any other period of physical and mental development as drastic in a human’s life? Absolutely not. The growth during this span of time is tremendous and pivotal to the physical foundation of one’s life. Why wouldn’t you give your child the proper fuel to not only build it efficiently and effectively but also protect the process with the best immunity? The good Dr. Fuhrman says it best:

The poor dietary habits of today’s children are contributing to the development of obesity, reduced brain function, higher incidence of allergies, asthma, autoimmune diseases, and emotional and behavioral disorders, such as depression and ADD. Poor nutrition also increases occurrence and severity of infections and results in chronically reoccurring infections such as sinusitis and otitis media (ear infection). It is also laying a foundation for poor academic performance, chronic disease later in life, violent behavior, and premature death. A Nutritarian diet is essential for a disease-free, healthy, and happy child.

I know what you’re thinking, “Good luck getting your kid to eat a plant-based diet.” I fully realize the difficulties here. At times, Preston will refuse everything until he gets what he wants (a very difficult customer at times!). You need to remember that our little ones aren’t much different from adults. Here are several strategies to dramatically improve your child’s diet and health without running for cover:

Introduce new foods…and try it again next month.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Do you want to eat the same thing all the time? Unless it’s pizza, bacon, and ice cream, you’ll probably answer “No” (and rightfully so). Not only does neural stimulation greatly diminish after the 5th bite, but you also lose the mental and emotional excitement of eating a new dish. Poor Preston suffers whenever we discover he likes a new dish. “Do you like frozen peas and butternut squash, Master P?” Yessssssssssssssssssssssssssss! And then we feed him that for 10 straight meals until he throws it on the ground (and we don’t have a dog).

If your approach is on repeat too, I get it. Be mindful of your (and my) laziness, though. Chalk up a new food gobbled up in seconds as a victory but continue your experimentation. Your child has not tried the wide array of dishes that our world offers (and you most likely haven’t either). Move onto something new and help your child stimulate her senses. You’ll always have the peas and butternut squash in your back packet. And if it doesn’t work today, try the dish again in 4 weeks. Your child’s pallet and senses are evolving, and his or her preference or sensitivity will change over time too. With this being said,….

Add a variety of different tastes, smells, and textures (including different seasonings and sauces).

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Babies and kids are curious animals exploring the world. I honestly admit to restricting Preston’s scientist tendencies. After all, who wants to see their eggs cracked across the kitchen floor for the sake of learning physics! Appeal to your child’s curiosity by opening her senses to the culinary world. Not only let your child physically touch and feel the difference between different fruits and vegetables but also encourage her to smell and taste the bites of goodness (and it’s okay to get messy).

Take your experiment to a new level and assign a different ethnic style of food to each day. Simply add a combination of the seasonings and sauces most commonly found in that culture. For instance, if Monday is Mexican Day, add salsa and/or a taco seasoning to the meals (Tuesday can be Italian, Wednesday, can be Indian, etc.).

Model good behavior.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: If you’re serving a dish to your child, it’s a great time for you to eat too! Everybody loves company while they eat….and your child is no different. Ever been out to dinner at a restaurant and you notice a friend not ordering anything. You probably wondered, “Is Amy on a diet?”….”Is Amy upset?”…..”Does Amy not like me?”….etc., etc. Your child might be thinking the same about you in those moments! Interestingly, Preston will not eat at times but will not hesitate to sit on my lap moments later to lovingly (and grub-bingly) grab the same food off my plate. Little P just wants to share the experience with Papa!

Modeling good behavior goes beyond simply eating in front of your child. Eating the right foods is just as, if not more, important. What message are you sending while telling “No candy” to your child while eating the candy bar in front of her? It scares me to think about the things that Preston witnesses me doing. I recently started the habit of throwing his shoes to a rack near the door. What a surprise when I witnessed Preston tossing a bell strap across the daycare room….hitting the helpless victim, baby Liam, in the forehead. Shame on Papa! It’s a good reminder, though, that I have the opportunity to positively shape my son’s behavior by acting like a good healthy citizen (especially while eating dinner). Take the initiative and demonstrate healthy eating behavior by eating healthy food WITH your child.

Determine your child’s food preferences and find the healthiest versions.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Let’s be honest: Your kids will be introduced to unhealthy foods at school, friends’ homes, parties, and more. It seems that many kids could eat an endless amount of candy and pasta (and they’ll let you know). If it’s a constant fight, not all is lost. Don’t forget that a piece of food can be a comprehensive experience for the senses. It’s possible to replicate the experience with a healthy substitute. Not surprising, Preston instantly loved pasta (who doesn’t?). Instead of feeding him the enriched flour, blood-sugar spiking versions found on most American tables; we cook a pasta noodle made of chickpeas. It is a wonderful, more nutrient-dense option with protein and fiber compared to the white flour, wheat, AND whole wheat versions. Although it may take research, there are other thoughtful substitutes for your child’s other unhealthy preferences too!

Explain the benefits of every meal and the reasons why you’re eating it too.

Personal Trainer Wisdom: Why has parenting become so complicated????? Life was so much easier when you can respond to your child’s Socratic question, “Why do I have to do this?” with the answer, “Because I said so.” Now you have to explain things and….wait, nevermind….we should’ve been doing this all along! Why? Because they don’t know better and need the message reinforced repeatedly (a lesson I now understand as an obligation of effective parenting). Your kids may not understand why they need hemp seeds, nuts, collard greens, and a piece of fish on one plate. They haven’t established any value of eating healthfully. Take the time to illustrate why it’s important so that your kids eventually make the same independent choices without your supervision.

Photo Credit:
Shaw academy .com–Could your child’s answer to eating healthy be sitting in your lap?


The Grocery List that Will Help You Lose Weight (and Live Healthy)

The Personal Trainer’s Grocery List

Whether my Personal Training clients are trying to lose weight and/or optimize their health, the general nutrition guidelines are the same. These guidelines are based on the percentages below and “The Simple Plate" photo at the bottom of this post.

· 45-55% Plant Nutrients/Vegetables (dark green, starchy, red/orange, etc.)
· 25-40% Protein (lean white meat, fish, eggs, vegetables, nuts, beans, etc.)
· 25% Fiber (beans, legumes, fruit, seeds, vegetables, etc.)
*****Although I haven't specifically mentioned it, you should still be mindful of the amount of good fats (nuts, avocado, olive oil, etc.) in your diet, too. You shouldn't exceed 15% in any given meal unless deemed necessary.

Great! Now you know what every meal should look like! How do you know what to buy from the grocery store, though? I’ve taken the hard work out of your hands by supplying my grocery list below. Take on the challenge and create quick and easy meals with these ingredients in mind!

Fresh Fruit

Green Kiwi
Produce Organic Pink Lady Apples
Organic Blueberries
International Harvest Organic Dried Mango Slices, Bulk

Fresh Veggies

Organic Red, Green, and Orange Bell Peppers
Hass Avocado
Local Asparagus
Organic Sliced White Mushroom
Organic Baby Broccoli
Taylor Farms Angel Hair Coleslaw
365 Organic Micro Tipped Green Beans
Organic Broccoli Florets
365 Shredded Organic Carrot
Organic Red Grape Tomato
365 by Whole Foods Market Organic Broccoli Slaw
365 Organic Baby Spinach
365 Shaved Brussels Sprouts
Organic Limes

Frozen Veggies

365 Organic Frozen Quinoa With Roasted Vegetables
Organic Frozen Broccoli
Organic Brozen Butternut Squash
Organic Frozen Peas


365 Organic Large Omega 3 Brown Eggs (If the package says Omega 3, it means the chickens were fed seeds)
Nature's Rancher Turkey Ground Organic
Wild Fresh Salmon Coho Fillet

Dried Goods

365 Organic Pinto Beans (Dried)
Organic Black Turtle Beans (Dried)
365 Organic Whole Raw Cashews
365 Organic Sliced Raw Almonds
Organic corn tortillas
Hemp Seeds
Chia Seeds

Canned Goods

365 No Salt Added Garbanzo Beans
Amy's Organic Soups Fat Free Chunky Vegetable
Canned Stewed Tomatoes

Sauces, Seasonings, and More

Frontera Salsa Mexicana Red Tomato With Jalapeno + Cilantro
Frontera Fajita Sauce
Creole Seasoning
Jar of Minced Garlic
Jar of Minced Shallots

Photo Credit:
hotforfoodblog .com–Even your favorite meals can be healthy with the right grocery list.

 Simple Weight Loss Plate

Simple Weight Loss Plate


How to Overcome Your Anxiety at Work

The Challenge for my Personal Training Client:

“I experience anxiety in many professional scenarios including interactions with clients, managers and/or colleagues.”

The reactive assumption, without breaking down the problem: “I’m not educated or equipped to handle the professional demands of my position.”

The Personal Trainer Breakdown: The following cyclical process that can steer you through most anxious situations: Awareness->Acceptance->Adaptation


I wish I had a simple solution to overcoming any form of anxiety. It often begins as situational but most commonly becomes generalizable. You probably experience a spectrum of anxiety in different areas of your professional AND personal lives and sometimes need a specific plan of action for each.

Before you choose a path, though, step one will always start with a focus on YOU. How do you think, behave, and interact with the world? Your success will depend on this awareness. Your observations will help you understand how you approach challenges and the underlying influences on your decisions and feelings. Eventually, you might be able to understand the “why” to your approach to life.

Study yourself for 2 days by recording every anxious feeling you experience in a pocket notebook (no matter the strength). Attempt to answer these questions: What are your thoughts in the moment? What were you thinking prior to the moment? Did you feel in control? Do you feel in control now? What external factors contribute to this feeling (e.g., last-minute demand, unrealistic demands, a colleague critically assessed your results and/or productivity, etc.)? What internal factors contribute to this feeling (e.g., you don’t feel that you can’t adequately meet the demands of your work, you feel insecure about your role in the company, you fear that your colleagues will unfairly scrutinize everything you do, you fear making a mistake in front of others, you don’t trust your reactive ability to effectively respond to a problem, you perceive your peers’ efforts as superior to yours, etc.). These questions not only steer the reflection process but also help identify the root of your feeling.


Once you become aware of the root of your anxiety or at least the feeling of it, can you accept it? Can you accept the current status of “being”? Can you accept the anxious feeling and what led to it without judging yourself? Before you move forward to the next step, you need to decide whether you can accept your current findings. You’re a human scientist, after all. If not, your emotional connection could steer you down the wrong path or at least blind you from the correct one.

By accepting the moment, your findings, your tendency, and YOU, you are deciding to take an objective path to minimize your anxiety. You’re choosing to adapt your approach in a logistical, strategic way. If you have truly honored the process up to this point, then you are ready to adapt your approach.


Here are specific strategies to overcome your anxiety at work. You’ll notice that many of the solutions involving examining your approach, reframing your mindset, and being assertive. With the use of self-talk consistently over time, you can develop the right mindset to handle any challenge with minimal anxiety. It will require reflection as well as confidence in the professional environment. With the proper examination of yourself and your approach, some solutions will definitely come easier than others. Your diligence and respect for yourself will help overcome the more difficult challenges.

What makes you anxious:
Your manager has unrealistic demands and expectations of you
Be assertive and communicate your feelings
What to keep in mind:
Being assertive doesn’t equate to failure. If you sense unrealistic (or unfair) demands and expectations of you, it’s acceptable (and encouraged) to communicate this feeling with your manager. While you may fear looking weak or incapable of meeting demands, you’re only setting yourself up for greater success with this action. In fairness to your manager, she may not be aware of your workload and might be willing to subtract a task or two, or she may see strengths in you that you haven’t quite identified yet. Instead of stressing yourself to produce what could be less than your best effort, seek more understanding of the assignment and why you are chosen to complete it. Use that time to communicate your strengths and current status on projects, too. If needed, seek the manager’s advice on how to more efficiently handles a large task load. If the intention is to do your best, always know that your wisdom and productivity will only grow with the guidance of others.

What makes you anxious:
Your manager has last-minute demands daily
Reflect on your processes and stay ahead of your day-to-day responsibilities or build-in a buffer zone
What to keep in mind:
Nothing is more frustrating than being swamped with projects….and then your management adds a last-minute task on your list. To make it worse, your manager probably needed today’s request completed yesterday. While it’s always tough to drop everything that you’re doing to complete a task you didn’t expect, you should ask yourself if it’s really a surprise. Professionals gripe daily about the fire alarm demands from their bosses but rarely realize that (1.) this is consistent and a buffer zone most likely needs to be carved into their daily schedules and (2.) their professional approach is just a set of inefficient systems and time is wasted daily. At what point, will you accept that last minute demands are part of your position and that you need to create a 30 or 60-minute period each day to handle it? Schedule it as a free period. If nothing pops up by the day's end, then use the time to complete another project. At least you’ll approach the day with the healthy mindset that something may randomly appear on your desk and you won’t be stressed by the expectation to complete it in a short frame of time.

If your schedule doesn't allow this free time, then you’ll want to examine your day-to-day approach. Ask yourself these questions: How much time do you waste reading entertainment articles, perusing social media accounts, or indulging in mindless activities? Do you have a specific strategy to handle urgent and non-urgent emails? Do you strategically plan your day and week with looming projects in mind? Do you effectively and efficiently communicate with colleagues and participate in group meetings? Do you inefficiently waste time on tasks that can be automated or left to a colleague with greater expertise? Do you spend more time than necessary on a decision? Looking at your approach with a fine-tooth comb could identify some areas that are essentially stealing time away from you. The time to complete this last-minute demand from your boss could be sitting in front of you.

What makes you anxious:
You’ve built efficient systems and a buffer zone, but your manager’s last-minute demands are still overwhelming
Be assertive and communicate a realistic turn-around time or help your manager reassign the task
What to keep in mind:
While the world may demand the most out of you, it doesn’t mean you need to accept the responsibility. Unfortunately, many professionals will continue to ask for more of YOU until you draw the line. If you truly understand what you can effectively and efficiently manage within a timeframe, then you will know when 1 additional task is 1 task too many. Everybody has a cutoff line (a boundary line), and you should absolutely communicate this to your colleagues and managers (and you shouldn’t lose your job as a result). You don’t need to say, no, though (in case you’re worried). Instead, tell them your real timeline (4 days instead of 1 day) and/or help them reassign the task to someone else. Ultimately, if you have a hardworking and productive reputation, they should respect your response. If there’s a negative response, you may want to recognize their frustration and put them at ease that you’ll do your best to accommodate, but it must be within a realistic time frame (your time frame).

What makes you anxious:
You feel that your experience and/or age makes you inferior
Recognize the skillsets and experience that make you unique and learn from your colleagues
What to keep in mind:
No matter your age everyone brings a unique set of skills and experience that integrally contribute to the culture and success of a company. What a young colleague lacks in experience might be made up in his or her fresh creative ideas (especially when relating to another generation). What an old colleague lacks in fresh perspective might be made up in her or his experience handling conflict in the workplace. You wouldn’t want 100 people with the same skill set and experience within a company you own, and your employer most likely doesn’t either. Honor the differences between you and your colleagues. You don’t need to be a product of every generation or have decades of experience to productively participate. Feel enlightened when YOU recognize your weaknesses, shortfalls, or failures. You now have the opportunity to gain wisdom from other trained professionals in the same room. Take advantage of this paid education and accept where you stand at a given point. Make a list of 3-5 ways you can contribute to each project while also identifying 3-5 ways you can learn from your counterparts.

What makes you anxious:
A colleague (or manager) critically assessed your results and/or productivity
Understand the reasons for your emotional response and seek understanding
What to keep in mind:
Any criticism can be difficult to accept if you have an emotional investment in what you’re doing or believe. Any insecurities about your value and experience will certainly add fuel to this fire. Your reaction may be anxiousness, anger, or disbelief. No matter your response, though, you should always seek understanding. Perhaps, the message wasn’t communicated properly or effectively or you misheard it. Give the person the opportunity to explain him or herself….seek understanding. If there’s an absolute truth in the criticism, think about your insecurities. Do you have unfair expectations of yourself? Is your self-assessment skewed? Do you accept that you’re not perfect? Are you willing to work on improving these areas? Are you willing to ask for help? If you wholeheartedly disagree with the criticism, seek understanding and explain in related terms the reasons why. Communicate the goal: To be your best and to contribute effectively. Even in disagreement both of you might find a way to at least be on the same productive page.

Photo Credit:
The Content Wolf .com–Do you have anxiety at work? You may need to rethink your approach….literally.


The "No Messing Around" Guide to Eating Healthy on the Road as a Professional

The Big Challenge:

It's very difficult to eat healthy and/or lose weight while traveling professionally each week.

The reactive assumption, without breaking down the problem: It's IMPOSSIBLE to eat healthily and lose weight on the road. Between limited options and the demands of work, friends, and family, I'm left with very few options and control! Insert dramatic sigh here. :)

The breakdown: It's amazing how often I jumped to wrongful, emotionally-driven assumptions when I first noticed a problem-especially when it came to my health at an earlier age. What a state of stress trying to take care of my health....which is ironic, of course! I easily blamed a lack of resources, work, and everyone else. While at times for fair reasons, I lose sympathy when I allow it to happen consistently.

Last year my wife, son, and mother-in-law drove 13 hours over 2 days from Chicago to Washington D.C. last summer. The food options were sparse and, regarding health, absolutely awful. Meat, cheese, bun, cola....meat, cheese, bun, cola....a consistent offering down highway 94 throughout Indiana, Ohio, and more. I feel you!!!! I can't imagine traveling to rural and small towns across America with the limited offerings of McDonald's, Pizza Hut, Applebees, and Chilis.

Maybe you are guilty of these same tendencies or dealt with similar challenges. Ultimately, if you recognize this, it's probably time to change it. If you feel a lack of control, then it's time to take control of the situation. Instead of saying, "There are no options in the middle-of-nowhere Ohio, Michael," try to say "I will find viable options in a 5-10 radius of my hotel and workplace. Instead of saying, "Work is so demanding on the road that I don't have the time to travel somewhere for healthy food options," try to say "I will travel to the nearest grocery store and stockpile my refrigerator-equipped room with healthy lunch options." The theme: Changing the defeatist self-talk to "I will" statements. What I suggest moving forward will be fruitful unless you are willing to find a solution...wanting to make a change. I've made a list of the usual excuses/reasons why eating healthy is tough on the road and the solutions with their respective implications. Use each of the strategies when deemed most appropriate for your current situation and carefully consider the drawbacks of each as well. Ultimately, you can make at least one of the options work daily with a change of mindset, a reflection on priorities, and a willingness to dedicate an additional 0-30 minutes towards your diet. No matter what you choose, though, don't forget that PLANNING MATTERS.


I don't know what to eat
Determine the best nutrition combination for you
We should always eat and move with intent. If you don't know what to eat, you need establish to establish your nutrition guidelines and principles beforehand (with a personal trainer, your Google machine, or other trusted professionals). This foundation will be your starting point for any eating decision and the measure of how far you pushed beyond the perfect combination. Use the article "Read How to Lose Weight Without Exercise" and use "The Plate" as your reference to eating on the road. On the other hand, this process takes the time, and you simply don't have it. Unfortunately, this is a non-negotiable solution. You must do complete this action before attempting anything else (especially it guides all approaches). You don't have to do this alone. Be patient and learn what you need to do while sitting on a plane.

I find myself constantly snacking on unhealthy options when I fly
Pack non-perishables for the trip
You can easily packed dried, unsweetened and unsulfered fruit, nuts, and more for your travels. Although they will not meet all of your nutritional needs, they will hinder some indulgences. On the other hand, space could be a factor with your checked and/or carryon luggage and may limit your available space.

There aren't any healthy options at the airport
Review your guidelines on nutrition and determine if you’re overlooking something or have something delivered before you depart to the airport
Now airports are offering more and more options that fall in the range of the dietary suggestions you’ll find in the article "Read How to Lose Weight Without Exercise". You will also find specific healthy fast food menu items in the article "37 Snack Ideas for Weight Loss (And You Won’t Be Bored)”…..which really gives small meal ideas for at home and on the road. On the hand, smaller airports truly may have limited options. In that case, though, you could pick something up on the way to the airport or have it delivered wherever you are before your departure.

When I arrive, I rarely have time to fit anything else into my schedule
Schedule your flight to arrive an hour earlier than normal
Since lack of time typically impedes the healthy eating process, you can give yourself more time to prepare and research healthy food options by scheduling your flight an hour earlier than normal. On the other hand, the hour must be taken from somewhere (hopefully not sleep), and you may not have any time to spare.

I don't know where to eat healthy food
Find viable options in a 5-10 radius of my hotel and workplace
With technology and the endless phone apps, you can easily find restaurants, diners, and more along the route from your hotel to the workplace. Go to Google Maps and type in "Restaurants (Town or City)" and find the options on your path. Visit the website and review their menus. Although diners or family restaurants typically offer many unhealthy options, you might be surprised by 3-4 alternatives on a usual expansive menu (think stir fry or skillet). You will also find specific healthy fast food menu items in the article "37 Snack Ideas for Weight Loss (And You Won’t Be Bored)”…..which really gives small meal ideas for at home and on the road. On the other hand, do you have time to wait for a restaurant to prepare your food? You may need to order ahead and quickly pick it up at the door.

There aren't any healthy options or restaurants near my hotel or workplace
Cook your meals
I think we've taken many conveniences in society for granted, including the access to meals. Although people say "I don't cook," it truly translates to "I refuse to cook." You don't need to be a chef to create quick and simple meals daily. In fact, I create 3 meals each morning within 13 minutes. It is possible....as long as you're willing to do the initial experimentation phase to determine what you like best (and it's quick to prepare). On the other hand, cooking (and grocery shopping) still requires time and could be tough during a tight schedule. You may need to creatively carve out little chunks of time from different areas (e.g., cutting a meeting short by 5 minutes, having groceries delivered to your room or apartment, etc.).

I'm surrounded by unhealthy options at the hotel and workplace
I will travel to the nearest grocery store and stockpile my refrigerator-equipped room with healthy lunch options
Book hotel or an apartment with a fridge. If the hotel doesn't have a fridge, book an Airbnb. If you can't book an Airbnb, stockpile your room with non-perishables and fruits/vegetables that won't perish within a few days. On the other hand, time could be a huge factor, and you won't have the wiggle room to sneak away to a grocery store. You may need to go to a small convenience store nearby (Google "convenience store" or ask your hotel).

I don't have access to a kitchen
Expense an Airbnb apartment instead of a hotel room
While a hotel room may give you the luxury and ease....actually I'm not sure what it gives you that's better than an Airbnb apartment. The Airbnb options have grown so much that you can secure a space 3x the size of a hotel with the same level of luxury of comfort. The check-in process is comparable, and you have the option to cook your meals. On the hand, the closest Airbnb option to your workplace could be an additional 10-30 minutes away...not ideal for a tight schedule.

There aren’t healthy options off the highway on my road trip
Identify small towns and cities on your route and type “(the town or city) restaurants” in Google Maps.
To eliminate the roadside desperation, you’ll need to prepare ahead once again. Take 5 minutes to review your route on Google Maps and then type in “(the town or city) restaurants”. You might be surprised by the number of options that will pop up roadside or within a 5 minute drive of the highway. On the other hand, you are requiring an additional 3-30 minutes during this process….time you don’t have.

The workplace only offers unhealthy options during my meetings
Bring your own prepared meals for lunch or have a meal delivered during the same timeslot.
Preparation is the key here. Anything you can prep or schedule in advance will give you the alternative that you're looking for. On the other hand, you may have not had the time to prepare the meal or schedule a food delivery in advance. Let's be honest, though, if you know what to order from a place you selected in advance it won't take more than 2 minutes to order delivery.

My meetings run into each other, and I have no time to eat
Be more assertive
This is rarely a reasonable excuse. You definitely need to be more assertive. It is fair to expect that you need a 30-minute break at some point in the day. You need to make it a priority and remove some of the irrational time urgency you constantly place on your life. On the other hand, it is possible that meetings run late and any free time becomes obsolete. In these cases, though, you can easily have food delivered.

I don’t want to be judged by my colleagues while special ordering
Be assertive and order what you want….but find ways to still participate in the experience.
There is an underlying and, often, overt theme here: Be assertive. While you need your job, your job needs you. It should be fair to carve time for healthy eating in an already demanding 13-hour workday (which you can argue is a generous offering to your company….no matter what they pay you). Putting aside the time challenge, though, many people still feel awkward ordering what they want when eating with colleagues. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what your colleagues think. Nevertheless, you understand that they just want you to share the experience with them….especially if you’re the one who invited them to dinner. Then, still indulge in the experience with them! Under your control though. Order 1 drink (instead of 3) and discuss its unique taste profile. Order a plant-based dish (instead of the cheeseburger) and discuss your favorite restaurants and dishes. Essentially, contribute to the conversation of the experience but control what you eat. If anything, order 1-2 appetizers for the table and steal a small bite of each to exhibit your tasting participation. On the other hand, this strategy requires to be more assertive and confident (both of which take time to foster).

Photo Credit:
beyondwords .life–Are there more healthy option on the road than you realize?