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What do you do when you forget / can't eat or drink for a while to still get in enough protein / calories?

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I'm just under 5 weeks post-op. Everything is going great! I feel like I'm almost 100% and now been shifted to slowly introducing normal foods right now - still sometimes get weak by mid-day and it was a hard journey but otherwise it's really going great. Haven't had an issue with anything but the things I want to have an issue with (carbonated beverages, sugar, etc).

To the actual question: So I'm currently traveling for work right now. Which means sometimes I'm not in a place to eat or drink for a while. I'm trying to figure out game plans on how to get in Protein Shakes but it requires checking in my bag or hoping they have Protein Drinks at the places I'm traveling to - luckily lots of stores in US have muscle milk which has good macro-nutrients.

But say I haven't eaten in like 6-9 hours and also feeling a bit dehydrated - is there any tricks to get in enough food and Water before bed without developing bad habits? I found these Quest Protein chips with a great macros (130 calories, 21g protein, 4g carbs - not super tasty but still decent - a bit too much sodium - 230mg) and I have no issue slowly eating them while still drinking - but that sounds like may be a path to slider food. I know eating and drinking at same time is bad plan and I would never do it with normal food that's chunkier but food I can turn mushy it seems np for me - but that also seems like a bad habit.

Edited by michaeli

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A great game plan is to get at least 8 oz before starting your day. I have to be to work at 6 am. I live in NYC so I have to be up way earlier than necessary.

I wake up early and drink an 8 oz cup while getting ready for work. As I am traveling to work, I have a 20 oz bottle (I usually try to drink half in the hour it takes me to get to work). Then I spend the first hour finishing my 20 oz. I will eat something small, like boiled egg whites. 30 minutes later, I am drinking 10 oz.

Halfway through my work day, I am 38 oz.

Then I spend the remainder, getting a 10 oz cup of tea and 10 oz cold Water. I drink the tea first. Then I drink the water (warmer temperatures go down easier for me).

I drink my 20 oz bottle on the way home or at the gym. After that, it is drinking when I feel thirsty.

This is what I do. When I work the night shift, it is the same just the times change.

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4 hours ago, michaeli said:

...and I have no issue slowly eating them while still drinking - but that sounds like may be a path to slider food.

IMO, yeah, not a good plan. It shouldn't be too hard to find some Protein Powder while on the road if you aren't able to pack any with you. Staying hydrated is more important. While you obviously don't want it to become a habit sacrifice getting all your Protein in rather than missing your hydration goals.

There are better options out there. Starkist makes some single serve flavored packets of tuna. I like to have some of those around the house because it's quick and easy to pack. Otherwise try doing things like getting a Protein Shake right before a flight. My other go-to healthy options are usually some beef Jerky and nuts, but I realize being at 5 weeks out that likely isn't feasible for you right now. The Quest Protein Bars are good to have around. They never leave me feeling full, but they're easy to eat and pack a good amount of protein.

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I travel extensively for work and have for years. I found that (in the early days especially), I just had to plan for what I would need. I depended on Protein Shakes a lot during that time. I bought the Premier shakes and put them in my checked bag (3 double bagged in gallon size ziploc bags). I would bring those out periodically during the day no matter what I was doing. I also got doggy bags with whatever food I ordered at meals and used the leftovers strategically. Colleagues and customers were all very supportive because they were mesmerized by my journey and transformation.

You just have to stay on what you need to do to meet your Protein and Water goals. Now I will also say that I took off work for 6 weeks post-op, and didn't begin traveling again for over 8 weeks. I had worked through the food stages and very solidly got into the post-op routines I needed to be successful before I had to jump back into the road warrior life.

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There are all kinds of sugar free non-carbonated drink options you can buy at the airport. Keep hydrated = #1 priority. For Protein, power crunch bars (taste great) are great and can be tolerated very early in recovery - Quest bars are nasty IMHO. I stayed away from Jerky early on as it would dehydrate and can be rough if not chewed to mush. Packing Premier Protein in checked bags is a fantastic backup. Easily put them into the room fridge or throw them in the ice bucket to cool them down for Breakfast if you need it.

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bring powder packets with you when you travel. Those were not taken away from me.

I also made sure to check out the in-room menu before traveling, see if they can make eggs for you 24/7. I think eggs are a great travel food in this stage because they are usually soft, you can get them lots of places and they taste great if you like egg.

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I find warm beverages go down much more quickly. I use light hot chocolate and 24 oz of Water. I can drink it in 15 minutes or so and it’s a great way to catch up on liquids. I travel with packets of it. I often will do 2 of those a day and 1-2 Powerade. I also carry a small ziplock of each days Vitamins, they are the hardest part because they have to be separated so I use my phone timer. For travel Protein I find a piece of chicken can be gotten almost anywhere. I also will order a hamburger, hot dog or sausage and only eat the meat, which covers a lot of possibilities.

Drinking in the car works well and like others I try and drink a lot in the am. I ate 3 oz of chicken breast in a baggie yesterday while driving because I missed lunch and was behind on protein.

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