By: Lisa Weagle, OLY
Whether you’re travelling for sport, business or vacation, you probably know that making healthy food choices on the road can be challenging.
As a curling athlete, I spend a lot of time in hotel rooms in large and small communities across Canada. Making food choices that maximize my performance are essential, and I’ve learned some strategies over the years that I find helpful:
Ask if the hotel room has a fridge and microwave. If the room isn’t equipped, sometimes they can bring you a fridge or microwave if you ask. I like staying somewhere with a kitchenette because it’s usually well stocked to cook a variety of meals. When possible, I like to stay at a house rental to have access to a full kitchen.
Bring what you need. I always pack a small travel cutlery set and a microwavable bowl that has a lid and a steamer attachment. For longer trips, I will also bring a kettle and mini blender. I always bring an insulated coffee mug and a refillable water bottle, and sometimes I bring my favourite mug to make being on the road feel a little more like home.
Pack snacks for travel. I’ve noticed that airports and rest stops are starting to offer better selection and healthier options, but I don’t like to leave it to chance. I like to pack some easy snacks like fruit, veggies, trail mix, beef jerky, or a protein bar to get through a long trip.
Meal prep before you travel. It’s helpful to have food prepared to get you through the first few days of your trip. I like to bake, so protein muffins are a staple recipe for me. If you can check an extra bag, you can freeze things like soups and stews and bring them in a cooler. Just make sure you seal and pack them carefully!
Head to the grocery store. One of my first stops is the grocery store to stock up on snacks and items to create quick and easy meals. I do this so frequently that I keep a little grocery list on my phone so I don’t have to spend a lot of time thinking when we get to the store. Always on my list: a veggie tray, boiled eggs, 2% plain Greek yogurt, fruit, granola, peanut butter, and crackers. As well, delivery apps can come in handy—if you don’t want to or can’t get out to the store, you can have your groceries delivered to your hotel room door.
Read menus ahead of time. Before going to a restaurant, I like to check out the menu and make my choice beforehand. Never hesitate to ask the server questions about how something is prepared, and ask for modifications if you want them.
Make room for comfort food. Nobody eats healthy all the time, even in competition. Build in some space for your favourite treats! I love ice cream, so when I’m on the road I like to find the best local ice cream in different cities.
Lisa Weagle is an Olympian and World Champion in curling. A lifelong Ottawa resident, she is a three-time Scotties Tournament of Hearts champion and won gold, silver, and bronze at the World Women’s Curling Championships. She competed for Canada in the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games. She is a multiple all-star award winner, Scotties MVP, and a certified coach. Away from the rink, Lisa works as a communications specialist.