Well, join the club because you are not alone!
Frequent travelers and those who work in the meetings industry know all too well the challenges of staying fit and healthy when you’re jumping from city to city.
To shed some light on this problem and find some solutions, ConventionPlanit.com, the leading online search directory for meeting sites, recently interviewed Bethenny Frankel, author of a New York Times bestselling book, Naturally Thin: Unleash Your SkinnyGirl and Free Yourself from a Life of Dieting.
Frankel is also a star of the “Real Housewives of New York City” program on Bravo TV and runner-up in the reality television show, “Martha Stewart Apprentice.”
Here’s what she had to say:
CP: People in the meetings industry are always traveling and eating fast food in airports and heavy dinners at organized events. How can they eat healthier on the road?
Bethenny: "I'm too busy" or "I'm always traveling" are not viable excuses. I travel more than almost anyone I know, and I manage to make the most of wherever I am. There is always a lesser of evils. When working at the Kentucky Derby, the best available snack was whole wheat crackers filled with cheese. At an airport, I recently had half a turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato and mustard. Most coffee places have a whole wheat bagel you can scoop and planes have small bags of nuts. My book 'Naturally Thin' goes into detail about how to be healthy in unhealthy places.
CP: What about exercise? What’s your advice for the frequent traveler with little free time?
Bethenny: Do what you can when you can. Be realistic. Sleep is sometime more important than exercising when stressed or exhausted, plus lack of sleep is linked to overeating and weight gain. Stretch in your room and do sit-ups and pushups. Work out when you get home and don't beat yourself up about it. Bring yoga DVD and play it on your computer. Walk to meetings.
CP: What types of food should meeting planners put on the menu for their events?
Bethenny: Food should be thoughtful, whole grain, fresh, in bright colors, and with lots of variety and fruit and vegetable choice. When even the popular big-box retail stores have lots of organic and healthy food, everyone needs to follow suit.
CP: What’s appropriate for a group dinner with 3,000 people and what is good for snacking between sessions?
Bethenny: Whole grain pasta with vegetables, olive oil, and garlic, and chicken or shrimp. Whole grain turkey or cheese and vegetable wraps or sandwiches are good choices, as are brown rice vegetables and fish sushi. Also assorted salads that last a long time without wilting such as cabbage, grilled vegetables and brown rice vegetable salads. For dessert, try rainbow fruit skewers, whole grain cookies, and brownies
CP: How can exercise be integrated into a meeting for attendees who are sitting in sessions all day?
Bethenny: Bring in a Yoga instructor to lead people through a few basic exercises during breaks. Position a few exercise bikes around the meeting and invite people to take a quick spin. Even just five or 10 minutes of moderate exercise can give you energy for the whole day.
CP: What are the key messages you deliver when you speak in front of large groups at conventions and meetings?
Bethenny: Your diet is a bank account and you are in charge of checks and deposits. Food is not your best friend nor your enemy, and you were neither good nor bad.
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