One of the hardest parts about traveling for work is sticking to a nutritious diet. Between the stress of being on the go and staying in an unfamiliar place, it's easy to falter from a healthy eating plan. Fortunately, a few tips and tricks can help get your day started right, whether you're dining in your guest room or enjoying a hotel breakfast buffet.
Healthy Restaurant Dishes
Hotel restaurants do offer a lot of high-calorie dishes, but you don't have to skip breakfast to be health conscious while traveling. You can get just as much satisfaction from a veggie omelet — hold the cheese — with whole-wheat toast on the side, or make your own delicious breakfast sandwich from scrambled eggs and an English muffin. If buckwheat pancakes or waffles are on the menu, get them with fresh strawberries instead of butter and syrup, or opt for dishes like avocado toast or hash browns topped with peppers, mushrooms, and onions. Many hotel restaurants also offer nutritious breakfast-in-a-bowl selections like Greek yogurt and muesli.
Nutritious Selections from the Buffet
Although a complimentary breakfast buffet might be easy on the wallet, it's not always easy on your waistline. Happily, most buffets have at least a few healthy choices. Look for good sources of protein like eggs and yogurt, and supplement with fresh fruit. Almost all buffets serve oatmeal, and you can make it tastier with a small packet of dried fruit and nuts. Trade a muffin or a pastry for whole-grain toast and peanut butter, and top it with sliced banana if available. To get the same amount of nutrients with less concentrated sugar, always choose whole fruit over fruit juice, and stir a little cinnamon and stevia into your cup of Joe instead of flavored creamers.
Wholesome In-Room Options
If your hotel breakfast buffet serves nothing but pancakes, sausage, and other high-calorie, high-fat foods, borrow a plate and utensils and whip up a healthier meal in your guest room. For cook-free, no-refrigeration-needed fare, hit the grocery store for oranges, apples, and bananas. Pack a little more substance into your morning meal with granola bars, whole-grain bagels, and trail mix.
If your room offers amenities like a coffee maker, mini-fridge, and microwave, then the sky is the limit for a healthy, delicious breakfast. Use your microwave to prepare turkey bacon, and cook hard-boiled eggs with your coffee maker by submerging them in brewed water and allowing them to sit for 10 to 12 minutes. For another breakfast or healthy snack option, stock your mini-fridge with single-serve containers of Greek yogurt.
Convenience Store Choices
Some hotels don't offer breakfast, so you may have to settle for the convenience store in the lobby or around the corner. No problem. Kick start your day with string cheese. Typically under 100 calories, this protein-rich, fun-to-eat food makes a great option for breakfast. To add healthy fats and carbs to the mix, choose whole-grain cereal cups, fresh fruit if available, or single-serve packets of pistachios, almonds, or cashews. To satisfy a sweet tooth, opt for fig cookies, a healthier alternative to sugary doughnuts and cinnamon rolls. When it comes to breakfast beverages, sip vegetable juice rather than orange or apple juice, and trade a fattening coffee drink for plain black coffee or green tea.
Nutritious eating isn't impossible when you're traveling for business. Follow these tips and tricks for the best hotel breakfast options to suit a healthy lifestyle. Don't forget to share your creative ideas with us on Twitter.