Want to eat healthier on the road? Try getting more sleep. One of the most difficult things to do when working either as a crewmember or artist is to keep a healthy lifestyle on the road. The constant push to keep moving and arrive at the next destination on time or better yet early makes the traveling portion a major grind. Long hours on the road or airport while eating on the way at fast-food joints or even worse, gas stations.
Here is what I have learned over my years of doing road gigs: I get hungry when I am tired. Yes, I tend to go for the sugar and carbs when I am absolutely exhausted. It’s like my body’s saying, “Hey, you are tired but need to keep going? Have some sugar and fast food (which is really bread [sugar carbs] and sweeteners) so we can keep this pace up”. Although for you road warriors and other crew types, you know that sleep is pretty much a premium. During one of my first tours as a green A2, I was shocked to see crewmembers getting a 2-hour break and then spending it curled up under a staircase or on a set of road boxes. This would often be the sleep they would get before another 8-hour shift.
So as I grow a little bit older, I noticed that when I was well rested, I tended to eat much healthier. Mostly vegetables and protein; no fast food. When I get tired at night, I sleep a minimum of 7 hours. This leaves me well rested and actually ready for the day. I tend of have more cognitive engagement as the day progresses as well. I translated this new behavioral process to my road warrior lifestyle and so far, so good.
Here are my 5 tips for eating healthier on the road:
- Get sleep in a minimum of 3.5 hour blocks.
- Eat mostly plants and protein (meat or vegetarian options)
- Try to have 2 hours of downtime for yourself somewhere in the day. Play video games or do something mindless you enjoy.
- Naps are great, take a 10-30 minute nap if possible
- Work out! Yes, work out. 30-60 minutes of increased cardio helps curb appetites and makes us crave better food and sleep!