T Nation

All day on the run...help!

Hey Guys and Gals,

Every week I commute to college in Chicago and spend the whole day on the run. I need tips and advice on how to stay away from being food deprived or avoid getting broke on constant dining out. I can’t really take food with me for the whole day, it’ll go bad, but maybe there are prepackaged stuff that I can buy in Chicago, while keeping myself energized for my work outs!

Thanks, Anastasia

Why don’t you just carry a cooler with some food so it won’t go bad? Also for P+f meals things like shakes,beef jerkey,and nuts…

There’s PLENTY of food on the go out there for you. You can bring some healthy trail mix, fruit, veggies, yogurt, MRP drinks, some hard boiled eggs in the morning on the ride to school. The list is endless. It doesn’t have to be a 64oz Porterhouse Steak. Sure you may not be able to carry a whole day’s worth of meals everyday and might have to spend a little here and there but its better than having to spend $$$ on every meal dining out.

I carry ziplock bags filled with protein powder. You can find cups/water just about anywhere and you can add/mix/drink.

Beef jerky. You can also order chicken/baked potatoes just about anywhere, too. I’m not big on protein bars, but maybe in your case they are better than nothing.

Softback coolers are nice, convenient ways of carrying your food. They now come in the form of backpacks. I suggest you consider this.

Pretty much every 7-11 has an eclectic assorment of slurpees.

These are all good suggestions, and to them I’ll add that if you must you can find some places to eat halfway healthy. Subway has options.

Also, I sometimes keep some fish caps in a baggy in my pocket, and keep shakers in my car with protein powder so that I only need to add water.

I go to school all day, so I eat right before leaving the house, then I make a huge shake with 2 Lean Body MRPs and 4 cups low carb milk. That gives me about 9 hours from when I leave the house to when I need to be getting some more food. I keep the shakes in a thermos with ice to keep it cold all day.

I commute daily also and have no prob. Just a matter of a little planning.

Like others said those soft coolers are the ticket. For meats and such like chicken breast I will either plan them for early in the day or bring them frozen. By the time I am ready for it late afternoon it is either still partially frozen or still really cold. Veggies frozen. Etc.

Hope that helps.


A small cooler with a few “Blue Ice” freezer things does wonders. Your food will not go bad. If you use small ziplock containers to hold each meal you can pack 4-5 meals in a small cooler no problem.

I’m at school most of the day and it is hard to fit in 5-7 meals so i’ll take with me some “starfish tuna creations”, they are slightly marinated tuna that comes in a foil pouch or some chicken that comes packed similarly. Add some dried fruit or nuts and you have several meals.

Thanks guys, you suggestions are great!

I work 12 hour shifts. I eat before I leave and right when I get home. That leaves me four meals to consume during my shift. I put two protein shakes in small thermoses inside a soft cooler along with some fish oil caps. I then take two plastic baggies, each with an equal amount of chicken, broccoli, and mozarella cheese. The chicken is already cut up into bite size pieces so I can eat them in my patrol car. I just have my soft cooler in the passenger seat next to me and eat something every 2-3 hours. To kkep it cold, I just put ice inside a large ziplock bag. I used to put ice directly in the cooler but I found that sometimes I would tip the cooler during high speed chases and would then have water everywhere.