One big question that comes up when trying to maintain your fitness level on the road is how to consume enough food. It sounds easy enough but really when you’re building muscle, or doing a lot of physical activity, you need to consume as many calories as you burn just to maintain your current weight. If you want to grow in size, then you have to eat more, and eat to compensate for jungle treks, extreme sports or days of walking through cities, but it is not easy to do it right. When I say “grow in size” I mean build muscle, not gain fat. Choose what you eat wisely, but don’t let it sway you away from a pastry in a country that makes the best of the best.
Right now we ‘re in the Dominican Republic and our lifestyle consist of a lot of physical activity. We do a lot of surfing, among other things, but surfing alone burns so many calories that you get home and can scarf down pounds of food only to be hungry a couple of hours later. If you’re trying to build muscle, this can be a problem, especially if you are somewhere remote and a trip to the grocery store is a real track. Lucky for us there are plenty of places to grab food in the area but what do you do if there aren’t?
I’ve put together a list of cheap eats you won’t get tired of. Yes you can just take protein shakes but they are expense and hard to find when you leave the general population. These are foods you’re almost guaranteed to find anywhere:
Oh wonderful wonderful oatmeal. What I love about oatmeal is not only that it is really good for you, but that it’s so versatile. Add nuts, fruits, honey, put it in a shake, make oatmeal banana cookies, roast it, have it cold, have it warm, with milk, yogurt, almond or soy milk, cinnamon, chocolate chips and I’m sure there’s more. Ahhh deliciousness. I actually just ate a bowl before writing this post.
The Famous PBJ (peanut butter and jelly):
Peanut butter jelly time! Yes the famous PBJ is another great calorie packer-on-er. Personally I use honey instead of jelly because most of the jelly here is loaded with three different kinds of sugar, but you can find good jelly; it doesn’t come cheep though. Also, depending on the day I’ll make a three layer variation with bananas, honey and peanut butter. If you’ve never put bananas on your PBJ you’re missing out.
Yes there is a lot of controversy over eggs and how they are high in cholesterol and fats and all that
good stuff but in reality if you’re working out, eating right and drinking plenty of water it’s nothing that your body can’t handle. Also, after a 3 hour surf session, or any other activity, your body is going to be so happy that you packed a few hard boiled eggs in your bag. The beauty of eggs is that you can prepare them in so many different ways. You can scramble them and fry them too. Warranted, it’s not as healthy but it’s ok to switch it up, especially if you’re throwing in some onions, tomatoes, garlic, cheese, ham and a little bit of milk to help them fluff. Yes, that is success.
Out of all of the above, the local fruit of the area is going to be the cheapest to get. Not only that, but many local fruits are extremely good for you. In the Dominican Republic you can get avocados almost year-round and they make for a perfect after-workout meal. Leanitup put together a nice top 30 fruits list you should check out as well.
Eat something! After rigorous physical activity you have around a 45 minute window to let your now-beaten-body recover from working out.
There are plenty of other foods that are very good post-workout, or even to eat throughout the day, but these are the ones you are most likely to find all around the world and at a fairly cheap price. There are also some general guidelines on what types of food to look for or to avoid but that is for another day =). Remember, if you’re trying to pack on some muscle, eat, eat, eat , eat, eat, eat, eat, eat and then eat some more!