20 Essential Grocery Store Items To Buy While Traveling

Who has time to purchase grocery store items during a trip?

Ummmm you do!

(seriously…you do)

No matter how busy your life is while traveling, you need to make time for essential grocery store items.

The best way to live a healthy lifestyle while traveling is to control your own food.

So, what’s the safest way to control your own food?

It’s taking a trip to the grocery store and getting what your body really needs!

Shopping at a grocery store prevents you from becoming a victim of catered lunches, restaurants and fast food joints .

Always insure that you have healthy food by utilizing these essential grocery store items.

The Typical Traveler’s Situation

In this article I’m going to assume that the only thing you have in your hotel room is a mini-refrigerator and microwave.

It may not sound like much but that’s all you the amenities you need in order to prepare and store quality food during your trip.


Note: If you consistently struggle with your health, fitness and eating habits whenever you take a personal and/or business trip, Sign Up for the Travel Workout Mastercourse!

It’s a 16-week course dedicated towards improving your physical and nutritional habits anywhere your travels take you!


As a person that wants to look and feel good during your trip, you should emphasize eating vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats and clean carb sources.

Vegetables

When I was first learning how to be an international business developer, it was hard to find fresh vegetables to eat.

You typical had to clean, chop and organize the vegetables yourself after purchasing them. That was too much hassle when you traveled so you typically settled for frozen or canned vegetables.

It’s amazing how society can change over time!

In the majority of grocery stores across America, you can now find fresh veggies already washed, chopped and prepped for instant consummation.

#1 Steam Vegetable Bags

Look for bags of broccoli, green beans, cauliflower, etc. stored in steamable bags. If your hotel room has a microwave, steam bags make eating vegetables so much easier.

#2 Salad Bags

You can find salad bags for all occasions:

  • Spinach salads
  • Romaine lettuce bags
  • Spring mix salads
  • Cole slaw kit
  • Swiss chard
  • Etc.

Get creative and expand your salads beyond just iceberg lettuce.

#3 Veggie Snacks

Besides the steamer bags you can still find vegetables stored in small mini plastic bags, storage containers and snack trays.

Find snacks that fit your taste buds:

  • Baby carrots
  • Celery
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Snap peas
  • Edamame
  • Etc.

Lean Protein

Most grocery stores contain a deli section in which they will precook foods for you.

Deli counter
Score!

 

Here’s what I recommend:

#4 Rotisserie Chicken

Cheap, simple and delicious.

Since you will be eating a whole chicken just be aware that you’ll be eating more fat than normal.

That’s fine, just cut back on some of your carbs for the day.

#5 Lunch Meat

This might come to a surprise, but lunch meat can be very handy while traveling.

I’m not talking that cheap refrigerator aisle stuff. I’m talking about the slabs you can get from behind the deli counter.

Go for the more premium quality looking lunch meats. You want a high protein, low fat ratio.

If the texture is more like bologna than the original animal it came from, don’t buy it!

The less processed the better.

Examples:

  • Turkey breast
  • Chicken breast
  • Roast beef
  • London Broil
  • Ham

Don’t go for sugar-coated stuff like honey brine or glazed variations.

Remember, you’re still trying to make due with the best choice available to you.

If the grocery store has no deli section, then you would get prepackaged lunch meat from the grocery aisle.

#6 Deli Cheese

Cheese makes for a good “high protein, high fat” food source.

The key is to purchase quality cheese. Don’t settle for the semisoft overly processed varieties (American cheese, Velveeta).

Go for hard cheeses with better protein/fat/carb ratios like:

  • Swiss cheese
  • Muenster
  • Sharp cheddar
  • Provolone

Grocery Aisle Proteins

#7 Vacuumed Sealed Tuna

Sunkist and Bumblebee started the trend and others caught on. You can find vacuum sealed bags of seasoned tuna in the center aisle.

You can easily add this to salads for instant meals.

There are also some bags in which the tuna is in its steak form, which makes a heartier dinning experience.

Starkist Tuna pouch in a vacuum sealed bag

#8 Canned Albacore Tuna

You should always look for albacore tuna due to its higher protein content. If you’re watching your calories, select the tuna canned in water.

If you’re bulking up, look for tuna in olive oil.

For a special treat you could always mix a can of tuna with a vacuumed sealed bag of seasoned tuna.

This is the easiest way to season lots of tuna without needing to buy (or bring) your own seasonings.

#9 Vacuumed Sealed Salmon
#10 Canned Salmon

Just like tuna, you can find salmon in bags and canned. I find that the vacuumed sealed bags are more travel friendly & less funky.

Canned salmon typically requires lots of extra seasonings & spices to make it edible.

#11 Milk

Whole, skim, soy, almond or whatever.

If your goal is to gain some weight, don’t be afraid of drinking 1% or higher fat milk.

#12 Greek Yogurt

If you want a cheap post workout meal, I highly suggest you add Greek yogurt.

Even the kind with “fruit” is ok due to you needing quick simple sugars in your body after a workout.

When eating Greek yogurt at any other time, just go with the plain/non-fat versions with some real fruit mixed in.

#13 Canned Beans

Beans are a good protein and carbohydrate source. Nowadays you can find seasoned beans that just require you to heat and serve.

I’m not talking baked beans either!

I’m talking the healthier beans like garbanzo, black beans, kidney beans, lentils, etc.

If the grocery store has an international section, there’s a good chance you’ll find some awesome vegetarian bean creations.

Examples:

  • Dahl
  • Lentil soups
  • Chili
  • Curry

Carbohydrate/Starch Sources

#14 White Potatoes

three potatoes

#15 Sweet Potatoes

Use that microwave and heat these bad boys up. Very easy and efficient carb sources while traveling.

Don’t ruin it by adding butter and sugar! Salt and pepper is all you need.

It’s called a sweet potato for a reason!

#16 Fruit

This should be how you indulge your sweet tooth while traveling. You can buy small pieces of fruit for quick and easy convenience like apples, pears, peaches, oranges, bananas, etc.

You can also purchase tropical fruits already sliced up and keep them in your refrigerator.

Don’t be tempted by the candy and desserts of the road.

Just stick to fruit like nature intended.

Healthy Fat Sources

#17 Nuts

In the nut aisle you’ll find several options for nuts. The best option is to go as natural as possible.

Every now and then you can try one of the seasoned spiced versions of nuts.

They do have several delicious flavors. The trick is to not go overboard.

Remember nuts are very dense and high in fat.

Despite their little size, too many nuts equate to lots of calories.

Keep count of your servings!

Storage Containers

#18 Tupperware

Tupperware is one of the most overlooked inexpensive grocery store items that people don’t buy (or bring) when traveling.

Every thing that we bought above can easily be stored in your hotel room inside a Tupperware container.

Tupperware saves you lots of time by having your meals and snacks organized.

Plus, remember you can always take them home with you once your trip is over.

#19 Zip Lock bags

Zip lock bags travel easier and are smaller than Tupperware containers.

Place your snack portions (nuts and veggies) in these bags and have yourself a ready to go meal!

They also give you something to put leftovers in if you did have to go out for the occasional meal on your trip.

#20 Water Bottle or Jug

I’m a fan of getting a bigger water bottle/jug than purchasing a case of several smaller bottles. It’s cheaper and you get more water for your buck.

Do whatever fits your traveling environment requires. This may be last on the list, but staying hydrated is always important during your trip.


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6 Helpful Ways To Keep Your Physique While On Vacation

The problem with most people is that once they go on vacation, they abandon everything they did to get their physique.

Imagine spending months preparing for that moment in the sun. All those hours of squatting, running and jumping are now going to pay off as you go on vacation.

You can see yourself now at the beach feeling good about your physique!

But now that you’ve worked so hard to get that physique, you’re worried that you’re going to lose it while on vacation.

Remember that last time you went on a cruise?

Remember how one “All You Can Eat” dinner buffet turned into five pounds of instant weight gain?

You try to tell yourself that will not be the case this time around. Never while on vacation again!

I know you work hard to look good, so I’m here to help. Here are six helpful ways to keep your physique during your next vacation.

Drink Lots of Water On Vacation

We know we should be drinking at least 8 cups of water. But when we go on vacation, it’s easy to forget this rule.

Maybe it’s the fact that you have to pay for water bottles at most vacation destinations. The fact that you’re paying makes you think that you should just go ahead and pay for the fun stuff like alcohol, soda and juice.

More pina coladas please!

No! You still need lots of water in your system.

Water keeps you hydrated as well as curbs your appetite to prevent you from going overboard during mealtime.

If you followed my 9 Mandatory Fitness Items You Must Have For Your Next Trip advice then you know you should be traveling with a water bottle with you.

Having your own water bottle is an easy way to make sure you always have water available.

If staying at a hotel/resort, be sure to visit the gym. Most likely you’ll be able to find free water. Whether it’s a bottle, water fountain or filtered water system.

That’s been my secret free water spot for years while traveling.

Get Some Sleep

You’re on vacation!

Vacation means you’re taking a break from your daily life and having some time to yourself and family. Use this time as a way to get that sleep you always said you wanted to get.

Too many of us get caught up in the hustle and bustle of trying to do so much stuff that we sacrifice sleep during our vacations.

Stop it!

Use your vacation as a way to challenge yourself to get more sleep than you normally do. By the time your vacation is over, your body will be thanking you!

Learn How To Relax

We live in a work, work, work society. So much so, that many of us have no idea on how to relax. Even I’ll admit that when on vacation it typically takes me a day to get into vacation mode.

That first trip to the beach is always awkward as I struggle to let go.

We are so use to feeling like we always have to do something. Well the sooner you can get into “relax mode” the better your body will look and feel once the vacation is over!

Learn how to appreciate the art of doing “nothingness.” If at the beach or pool, learn how to calm your mind down and just be in the moment.

If you never mediate, learn how to while on vacation!

Meditation is an art form that you should be doing on a daily basis. All you need is at least two minutes to get you started.

There’s no perfect way to mediate. The purpose is to be able to appreciate the moment.

Not the past.

Not the future.

You just close your eyes and focus on this moment in time. That’s the present.

That stillness is you becoming aware.

When you are aware of what’s going on, it makes it easier to relax your brain’s activity.

Having a relaxed mindset will help you have a much better vacation and life!

Embrace Activity

If you’re at a destination in which you see options for physical activity, hop to it! It’s a good idea to get a good mix of activity and relaxing while on vacation.

Look for fun activities.

If you’re a person that’s been going to the gym for several months’ straight and only lifting weights, maybe it’s time to embrace an outdoor walk?

Does the vacation spot have a tennis court? Play some tennis. Never been golfing before.

Golf!

Use this time to do activities that are healthy and unexpected calorie burners. The easiest overlooked vacation exercise is swimming.

If that’s something you don’t have at home, go swimming as much as possible. Even if all you do is doggy paddle, that’s still burning calories and having fun!

Other great activity ideas:

  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Classes
  • Beach sprints
  • Snorkeling
  • Rock climbing
  • Volleyball
  • Basketball
  • Soccer
  • Playing catch

Get on a cardio machine that you typically never get on for 20-40 minutes

If you feeling too tired to leave the room but want to be active, do my No Gym No Problem Workout!

80% Full Rule

When on vacation you will want to try as many different foods as possible. That’s what vacations are about, enjoying good food.

No matter what you will be eating, you should start practicing the 80% full rule.

The foods you will be eating on vacation will most likely be higher in calories than what you were eating to get your physique.

What the 80% full rule states is that you only eat until you are 80% full. It’s a very powerful tool that I learned from Precision Nutrition.

80% full means that you should still be able to comfortably walk around after eating.

If you are at the point where you feel that you have to loosen your belt or unzip your pants, you’ve gone well beyond the 80% eating rule.

It takes between 15-25 minutes for your stomach to communicate to your brain that it’s completely full.

So if you’re eating high calorie foods, you most likely will be eating an extra 500-2,000 calories before your brain get’s the message.

By eating until you’re 80% full and learning how to enjoy your food, you will significantly reduce the amount of calories you will be eating for the day.

Yes you’re on vacation, but you will feel just as good when stopping at 80% full than you will be going overboard and eating until 100% full.

Don’t Abandon Everything That Got You Here

Remember those months of working out?

Remember how you felt?

That sensation that maybe you won’t get that ideal body. But somehow you stuck to your diet and exercise plan.

It’s ok to relax and enjoy your vacation, but don’t abandon what got you here!

Every meal doesn’t have to be filled with junk!

You can still follow your eating plan for the majority of your meals while on vacation.

Save the things you typically don’t eat as special treats. But if you treated every meal as a special treat, you will have nothing but regrets once that vacation was over.

Having some cake 3 nights out of a week long vacation is totally different than having cake, cookies, ice cream, and beer during every vacation meal!

The person, who remembers what got them here, will have a better-looking body once the vacation is over. The other will wonder what happened and repeat a vicious cycle all over again.

Be smart and don’t go crazy!

Have that perfect balance of fun and sanity during your vacation. You will feel much better on vacation and afterwards as well!

Take Advantage Of Those Times You Physically Do Hard Work

Ever have those days where you just end up doing some hard work?

I’m not talking about hard work at the gym, I’m talking about in your normal routine.

I may be a travel fitness coach, but there’s more to being in shape than what you find inside a gym. The hardest work usually occurs outside the gym.

For a lot of frequent travelers, their jobs are physically demanding. Hard work is sometimes just a normal day.

For others, hard work only happens a few times a month. Why not take advantage?

Hard Work Video Highlights

White collar vs. Blue collar work
It’s not just about the gym when living healthy
Take advantage of physical demanding trips

—————————————————

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13 Fat Burning Hotel Hallway HIIT Cardio Workouts

When was the last time you did a HIIT cardio workout at a hotel?

If you’re like most folks, I’m sure you utilized the hotel’s gym to perform your HIIT (high intensity interval training) cardio session.

If not at the hotel’s gym, maybe you did your quick HIIT cardio session (P90X, Insanity, jumping jacks, burpees, etc.) from inside your hotel room.

What if I told you there was one more location that you could use to get a good cardio workout in?

Your hotel’s hallway!

High Intensity Interval Training + Hallway = Crazy Idea?

Why Use Hallways For HIIT Cardio Workouts?

Think about it.

What’s the longest stretch of space at a hotel?

Unless you’re staying at a super luxurious hotel with a great big lounge area the answer is typically the hallway.

Hotels want to acquire as many guests as possible so they will try to build as many rooms as possible.

How do hotel guests get to their rooms? Through hallways of course!

Therefore hotel hallways are quite lengthy due to all the rooms.

Most hallways are designed in a straight up and down, shotgun approach. When I say shotgun, I simply mean that you can see from one end to the other end of the building if you were to step into the hallway.

Larger hotels are shaped more like squares or rectangles. This design allows a hallway to extend into another hallway at each corner.

Both types of hallways work fine for these workouts I have designed.

HIIT Cardio Hotel Hallway Workouts

These workouts were written without the use of any additional equipment other than what the hotel guest would naturally carry with them.

You can always make things harder by adding some weighted objects and/or dumbbell weights to some of these routines. If using the hotel’s dumbbells, please make sure you have their permission to use them in the hallways.

MicVinny Disclaimer: I don’t want to get a call from some hotel manager saying: “Our hotel guest said that you told them to use our weights in the hallway. That’ll be a $500 fine sir!”

Become A Track Star

The first HIIT cardio workout that comes to mind when looking at how hallways are built is the 50 meter sprint. You know the event at the Olympics that determines the world’s fastest man or woman.

Now you don’t have to be Usain Bolt level fast to do this workout.  Just as long as you give it more than 80% effort, you’ll easily reap the benefits of sprinting.

Please be careful with your hallway sprints. Do these when you know the hallway will not be crowded.

If people unexpectedly show up in your hallway, be respectful and slow down, stop or move around them. You can always start your sprint again when they leave.

Hallway Sprints

Just like the Olympics, start at one end of the floor on your two legs and run as fast as possible to the other side of the hallway.

Go as far as you want.

Take a 40-60 second rest and repeat 7-10 more times.

Professional Hallway Sprints

Just like before, except start your pace with all four of your limbs touching the ground just like a professional sprinter.

This creates a different starting position and gets more muscles involved in that initial burst of speed.

Bear Crawls

Get down on all fours and quickly crawl across that hallway.

When doing this for the first time, aim to go at least 5 doors down the hallway.

Once you reach your desired number of hotel doors, take a 40-60 second rest.

For your next set, try to do the amount of doors you did last time plus one more.

Keep adding more doors for each additional set until you can’t physically performed the hotel door distance anymore.

Try to beat that number next time.

Forward and Reverse Bear Crawls

Just like Bear Crawls except once you reached your door number, you now have to go back to where you started in reverse.

Ex: 5 doors forward, 5 doors backward, rest 40-60 secs. 6 doors forward, 6 doors backward…etc.

Crab Walks

Instead of getting on all fours like you do for the Bear Crawl, you get on all for legs from a posterior position which makes you walk like a crab.

Use the same idea for the Bear Crawl. Just don’t be surprised if you can’t go as far with this movement due to the position it puts your body in.

Try to do it in forward and reverse as well.

Farmers Walk

Overhead Farmers Walk

This sounds simple to do but trust me; it’ll get your heart pounding.

Place both hands above your head and walk up and down that hallway as fast as possible for two minutes straight.

Take a 30 second break and then repeat four more times.

Weighted Overhead Farmers Walk

If the above was too simple, it’s now time to graduate to the next level.

Using any weighted object (pillow, laundry bag, luggage, dumbbells,etc.), raise that object evenly above your head and do the same as above.

If your arms start to give out, stop, put them safely down and then put right back up and continue going until your two minutes is up.

Two minutes walk.
One minute rest.
Repeat

This sounds so easy but trust me, it’ll hurt in a good way.

One Arm Suitcase Farmers Walk

Using a suitcase, hold it on one side of your body as you walk down the hallway as fast as possible. Once at the other end, switch hands and walk back to where you started.

Keep going until your two minutes is up.

One minute rest
Repeat four more times

The key is to use your core/abs to keep you stable. You will find the opposite side of your body doing all the work as it stabilizes your mobility.

Hands to the Side

If you don’t have super long wingspan like I do try this.

Raise your arms completely to the side until they are at shoulder level.

Now start walking down the hallway without lowering your arms.
Go for two minutes.

If your arms get sore. Stop, lower them down really quickly but put them back up and keep going until your two minutes are up

Three Doors Down

Here’s a simple hallway HIIT circuit you can do with just 3 exercises:

  • Inchworms
  • Toy soldiers
  • High Knee Skips

For every three doors you pass, you will switch exercises.

Inch worms

Toy soldiers

High knee skips

Once you do each exercise at least three times, take a 60-90 second break and repeat 2 more times.

Floor by Floors

Bottom to the top

Start on the bottom floor. Walk the entire floor from one side of the hallway to the other side where the stairs are.

Run up the stairs to the next level. Walk that hallway to the opposite staircase. Run up the stairs to the next level.

Repeat until you’ve made it to the top of the hotel.

Top to the Bottom

Same as before but start at the top and work your way down.

Odd/Even Floors

You can do the bottom to the top, but instead of stopping on every floor, you can sprint up to either the next odd floor, or even floor.


Give these hallway workouts a try during your next trip!

How To Pick A Post Workout Drink While Traveling

Everything doesn’t always go as planned when traveling.

Heck, I even got food poising 4 hours after recording this video.

It also took me over a month to realize this post never even posted when it originally was suppose to!

Is it embarassing?  Yup!

But you didn’t see me just give up.  Neither should you!

You can still have a great workout no matter where you travel to!

Anybody that’s been lifting weights for awhile knows that proper nutrition can make all the difference in the world in how your physique looks.

In today’s video, MicVinny talks about getting a proper post workout drink from a limited convenience store while traveling.

Post Workout Drink Video Highlights

  • MicVinny’s current workout routine
  • Pre workout meal recommendations
  • Peri Workout nutrition
  • Post workout meal ideas
  • Comparing high protein post workout sources
  • Is Milk better than protein shakes?
  • Making the best choice with what you have available

WHO IS THIS GUY??

MicVinny is a body transformation specialist who provides Fitness  For Traveling Professionals

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