Living in hotels means having no chores, errands, bills, or worries. It also usually means having no kitchen.
How can someone eat a healthy diet (and stay lean), on a budget, while traveling and staying in hotels? Here is how I’m doing it.
My hotel elite status often comes with a free breakfast. I sometimes eat their steel cut oatmeal and berries.
If you ask, some hotels can be extra accommodating. For example, the amazing Chef Manuel at the Hilton Pasadena makes oil-free veggies and oil-free homemade salsa. I see it as a delicious feast when I add steel cut oatmeal, some berries, and grapefruit.
To further enjoy variety, I make my own cup of oatmeal in my hotel room. I soak a cup of old-fashioned rolled oats, flaxseed, frozen blueberries, cinnamon, and almond milk for 1 hour in the fridge. Then I add a 1/4 cup Rip’s Big Bowl cereal (for a little extra crunch and variety) and 1/2 banana (for extra sweetness). It’s so delicious that every night I look forward to waking up knowing I get to have it again.
All of the meals I prepare in my hotel are 100% oil-free, meat-free, dairy-free, unprocessed food. It all has lots of fiber so I’m kept full all day. When I need to shed a few pounds, I avoid other high fat foods, such as avocados and nuts.
In my current hotel, the club lounge has the usual fried food item and cheese tray in the evenings, but they also have a fresh veggie tray from which I pick from sometimes. More importantly, there’s a microwave. I use it to heat up my daily starch and beans and to steam some veggies.
Lunches and dinners are interchangeable. I usually mix-and-match my favorite foods, favoring the most nutritious, in each of the following categories:
- starch, such as sweet potatoes, corn, tortilla, quinoa, and brown rice
- beans (more starch), such as black, kidney, chickpeas, and edamame
- Non-starchy veggies, such as spinach, kale, radishes, cauliflower, and tomatoes
I eat lots of soup because it is filling, nutritious, and yummy. I cut a variety of vegetables, add them to vegetable broth, and heat it up.
As a snack, I usually have a piece of fruit (which I grab from the breakfast buffet each morning), some raw veggies, some edamame, and/or crackers with oil-free hummus.
I stop eating altogether by 6pm each day (3 hours before my usual bedtime). Since focusing on healthy starches and veggies for every meal, I am never hungry, weak or tired at any time during the day.