I've been in Swindon for the past two days. As usual, working away from home comes with the added complication of having to eat out which can make it difficult to maintain healthy eating habits.
While you may start the day with yogurt and fruit topped with sprinkled nuts, chances are the hotel offering is not as healthy as your home version. You'll be lucky if the natural yogurt is bio, so you'll not be benefitting from all those live cultures to aid good gut health. The berries are highly likely to be sweeten with sugar and the nuts roasted in seed oil.
If you're wedded to a low carb diet, the cooked breakfast may seem like a win win. Poached eggs with mushrooms aside, the low grade sausages and rashers of bacon that come in varying shades of overly charred and mimi pink, are served up with high levels of added fat and sugar increasing our risk of nasty diseases. And don't get me started on the selection of mini pastries.
Evening meals provide a different kind of dilemma. While the over-priced superfood salad looks good on the menu, I can count on one hand the times it has truly lived up to its on-paper description. If you're eating with colleagues you may also have to rebuff calls to indulge in a beer or a glass of wine or deal with looks of despair when you decline a starter or dessert.
I know of people who take their own food with them when they travel, but the thought of eating a tin of sardines and a very squashed (if its been in my bag) avocado in my hotel room just seems depressing. If there's an M&S Simply Food close by, I will sometimes opt for a "picnic tea" instead.
Looking on the positive side, eating out while on business can offer the opportunity to inject some variety into your diet. It's a chance to try something new, opt for a dish that includes ingredients you don't usually cook with, or indulge in that one thing you never get to eat because your significant other can't abide it.
On Wednesday, the quick descent of a stinking cold left me willingly choosing a starter, main and dessert. But by Thursday it wasn't food I was looking to to keep me warm, it was a duvet, so early to bed with room service and another second-rate superfood salad.
Check out my tips for eating healthily when traveling on business here.