Nutrition & Fitness for the Busy Professional

Traveling is something I really enjoy. Getting to see the world or even parts of my own city I’ve never explored is what I consider fun. I have relationships that need regular nurturing, people that I love and trust who deserve my time and energy. I involve myself with businesses that grab my intrigue and appeal to my desire to do things that I love. There seems to be no end to things to do. If I let it, life will very quickly become about nothing but work (not a bad thing when you love what you do but not necessarily a healthy balanced life).

All of this while training for the CrossFit Games and eating a clean paleo lifestyle. Of all the things in my life, these two are perhaps the most important footholds of my lifestyle. I know that if one of them goes awry everything else in my life will suffer. My relationships, my attitude, my drive. These are the base of my life pyramid and we all know what happens to a lopsided pyramid.

A lot of people are in similar situations. Their lives are a crazy contortion of relationships, jobs, family, and expectations. All of these things consume percentages of our mind-share and time-share. At their core, many people feel the same way about their fitness and nutrition that I do. They know it’s a critical piece of the puzzle, and have all the best intentions of eating healthy every meal and working out at least 3 times a week. Somewhere along the way however we get sidetracked. We’re suddenly too busy to get that third workout in and take the time to make a healthy meal choice.

We only have so many hours in a day and the mental capacity to support a certain number of external factors at any given time. So the question is, how as a busy person are you supposed to maintain control of the two most important factors in your life? The two things that will ensure that you’re strong enough and around long enough to keep supporting your relationships, job, and family. With so much going on in life, how do you maintain your fitness and nutrition?

It’s simple in theory, but can be challenging in practice. So here are five effective tips to keep you on track. They’re here to help you build positive habits and make lasting changes in your life. Use them wisely and let me know how it goes.

#1: Batch Cook

  • Starting with snacks, once a week prepare healthy options for the coming week so that you don’t have to search for food when you have cravings.
  • TRY THIS:
    • Grill or Saut√© a couple bunches of asparagus.
    • Once cooked, wrap each stem with a piece of deli cut prosciutto.
    • Bunch them in fives and place in ziplock bags so they’re ready to grab when you’re ready to go.

#2: Treat your workout like a meeting with your most important client, or your child’s birthday

  • You wouldn’t let anyone or some menial task keep you from attending either of these so don’t let it happen with your workout.
  • Consistency is king when it comes to fitness. The more you show up, the more it becomes habit, and the more likely you are to continue.
  • TRY THIS:
    • Schedule your workouts on your work calendar for a month out.
    • Alert all necessary parties that you’re unavailable during this hour.
    • Turn off your phone or at least the ringer so your workout isn’t interrupted.

#3. Hire a coach

  • Have you ever seen the majority of people at your typical globo gym? Most of them have been going for years and haven’t changed one bit.
  • Left to their own devices, most people will avoid hard work. Not intentionally it’s just how we operate.
  • A coach will challenge you and focus on building your weaknesses. This will break through plateaus that have been holding you back for a while.
  • TRY THIS:
    • Find a coach that appeals to you either in person or online.
    • Make sure you find a coach. A coach is more than a trainer. They play the role of helping you manage your nutrition, physical, and mental game.
    • Commit to a specific amount of time with your coach. Put your money where your mouth is it’ll keep you coming back to get your money’s worth.

#4. Fill 3/4 of your grocery cart from the produce section

  • One downfall of the paleo revolution is the increase in proteins (read: meats) without the increase in vegetables. Tipping the scales back to vegetable heavy meals can initiate the body composition change you’ve been looking for.
  • The more variety you’re picking up in the produce section, the greater intake of micronutrients you’re taking in. These nutrients fuel your body to perform at it’s peak.
  • TRY THIS:
    • Go to the grocery store with a couple vegetable heavy recipes you’ve researched. This will make sure the veggies you buy don’t go uncooked because you’re not sure how to prepare them
    • Buy the rainbow. Find a vegetable that’s white, brown, light green, dark green, red, orange, purple etc. How colorful can you get?
    • Immediately cook a couple dishes once you get home. This will make sure you have meals ready when you need them and keep you from putting it off till later.
    • Repeat Tip 1

#5. Always pack workout clothes

  • Whether traveling or going to the office. Having workout clothes staring you in the face will make you much more likely to use them
  • Buy new workout clothes. The old sweats and shoes you have from 10 years ago won’t make you feel good about putting them on. Clothes that fit you properly, shoes that fit and were made for fitness and running mechanics like the Inov-8 F-Lite 230′s¬†(my personal favorites) or the New Balance Minimus will get you excited to put them on.
  • TRY THIS:
    • Pack your workout bag with all your toiletries. Towel, deodorant, toothbrush etc. You’ll come out feeling like a new person after your workout is done.
    • Make it a daily habit by packing your bag the night before. If you go or not, it will be ready the next time you are..
    • When you travel, commit an area of your bag to one set of workout clothes. Instead of plopping on the bed after a day of work in your hotel bed, throw those clothes on and go find the hotel gym. If they don’t have one, make up a workout in your room.

Stay healthy this year, put these tips into play, and let’s hear about the new you that’s bound to show through.

4 thoughts on “Nutrition & Fitness for the Busy Professional

  1. Spot on Shane! I started reading this at work got interrupted and finished it in my hotel room after justifying a day off at the gym because I was on the road, no joke. 30 minutes after reading this I was at the gym and even found an erg off in the corner. I’d post my stellar 2000m time but the air up here in the mile high city made it not so stellar, at least that’s my excuse. The “Batch cook” tip is a huge one and will be really helpfull – feel free to share any resources for healthy travel snack recipes.

  2. yup. its all about the healthy snacks. i like to make a bag of baby carrots, grapes, and baby tomatoes.

  3. Love this list!

    We’ve found the produce section to be much more affordable than the meat section.

    It is really nice to have trainer when you are traveling. I went abroad for a few months and thought I would workout with my p90x videos. What a waste of space! The last thing I wanted to do was stay in my hotel room. And Europeans gyms are hard to find. Having Shane program for me was amazing. I just told him what sort of terrain (beach in France, concrete in Italy, and hills and rocks in Croatia) and he tailored my workouts accordingly. Plus, the best way to explore new places is by foot. Especially if you are traveling for work, any free time should be spent enjoying the outdoors!

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