On the road without food; we've all been there, and sure as Monday is International Chest Day, we're bound to find ourselves there again.
Sure, fast food might work for one meal, but doing it 5-6 times a day is likely to leave you with empty pockets and an upset stomach. You can always hit the diner or a steakhouse and get some decent-quality food, but unless you've got plenty of money to burn, that isn't going to work either.
Man, if only you had just thought of everything and brought a wheelbarrow full of perfectly prepared meals! I'm just breaking your balls. No matter how prepared you are, there are times where you simply won't have prepared food with you. Overseas travel where border control won't allow food to be brought in from other countries comes to mind. Or a last-minute trip that doesn't allow you time to prep. Perhaps you did plan ahead, but you're such an animal that you ate it all and you need some more.
What to do? Hit the nearest grocery—it doesn't have to be a big one—and find a microwave. I'll handle it from there.
Meals on the Go With Evan Centopani
How to Hit Your Macros in Any Grocery Store
No matter how awful the place you're staying, I'm almost positive you can gain access to a microwave somewhere on the premises. And between the foods that can be cooked in a microwave, what you might be able to find already prepared at a typical grocery store, and food that doesn't need preparation, it's not that hard to put together a respectable day's worth of meals.
Here's the mental checklist I keep with me on the road.
Carbohydrates: Rice, potatoes, and oatmeal can all be cooked in the microwave. Also, bread may not be the ideal choice, but it is a carbohydrate source, and it doesn't require any preparation.
Vegetables: If you read my article "How an IFBB Pro Really Eats," you know I eat a lot of veggies. For me, they're the fourth macronutrient, and skipping them is not an option. Luckily, they're easy to steam in a microwave if you have some cheap Tupperware and some water.
Fats: Nuts are available pretty much everywhere and require no cooking or refrigeration. Olive oil is cheap and readily available, and it fits into almost any meal. Between those two, you can cover your fat requirements.
What About Protein?
Because it is so important, and so easy to get wrong, protein deserves its own discussion. Stop me if you've heard this before, but cooking chicken, fish, steak, or most other meats in a microwave is far from ideal. Can it be done? Sure. But before we resort to that, let's think about other options.
Scrambled eggs: These are easy to cook in the microwave, and doing so doesn't really mess with their texture if you know what you're doing. There are dozens of online guides to show you how.
Rotisserie chicken: These are in most grocery stores, and they're inexpensive. Many stores even have a section for precooked foods like grilled or breaded chicken, roasted salmon, and some type of red meat. That makes things pretty easy.
Cottage cheese: I don't do well with dairy, but for those who do, a tub of cottage cheese is an economical and convenient way to get down 50-plus grams of quality protein.
Protein powder: Put a few scoops in a baggie or jar, and hit the road. Mix Animal Whey with some oats and peanut or almond butter, and boom—you've got an easy, nutritious meal in no time. Things are beginning to look up.
The Road Warrior Challenge
Sure, it's easy enough to explain what to do. But what about putting it into action, like I did in the video? With access only to a grocery store and a microwave, I was able do pretty well and come up with something very similar to my typical day of eating.
Total Daily Macros
- Fat: 135 g
- Carbohydrates: 345 g
- Protein: 355 g
- Calories: 4,015
Not only was I able to hit my nutritional requirements, but I was able to do it for just over $30. Hell, I can easily spend $20 per meal at a chain burger joint. What's better: $100 in burgers or $30 of decent food? No-brainer.
Next time you're on the road and even think about complaining, just pull up this article and remember that a decent day's worth of food is always close at hand!