Photo courtesy of Isa Phillips
Before jumping hurdles on the track, Jamaican Olympic athlete Isa Phillips fuels his body with the right eats, which can be a challenge on the road.
Best known for running the 400-meter hurdles, Phillips placed ninth at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.
Phillips, who is also a middle distance runner, is headed to the London 2012 Olympic Games, where he will take his tips for eating healthy on the go with him.
Phillips will be packing Tahitian Noni juice from Morinda Bioactives and FIT Protein Bars. He always travels with fruits like oranges, bananas, apples, Medjool dates, and whatever other fruits he can put in a Ziploc bag, like figs from his tree in Jamaica.
"Whatever I have left I have to always finish it up on the plane as they are not allowed through customs in the case of international travel," said Phillips.
Phillips also packs trail mix with nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. His custom mix has hemp seeds, flaxseeds, goji berry, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds.
While trying to stay healthy on the go can be a challenge, Phillips takes it in stride.
"It’s as challenging as one makes it; for me it’s not. As long as federal regulations allow fruits in carry-on luggage, I am good. It’s easy to find a fairly good salad, but it’s challenging to find fresh, cost-effective fruits for sale in airports," said Phillips. "Staying hydrated and rested are challenges, also, because of liquid regulations, but I normally travel with a filter bottle to fill up at water fountains in bathroom areas."
Even though Phillips’ training and competition schedules take him across the globe, he always finds something that works with the 80/10/10 diet.
"All countries have fruits and vegetables, in different varieties and species, and I like them all, so i just look for them," said Phillips. When he was in Shanghai recently, it was Asian pears and apples, and in Jamaica it is mangoes and bananas.
Staying motivated to stick to his diet comes naturally.
"Eating healthy is natural and normal for me now, so i want to do it because it was partially conditioned growing up and I choose subconsciously daily," said Phillips. "When traveling, I stick predominantly to my healthy fruit and vegetable choices, but other things in moderation as well, as I like to try and experience new things for cultural appreciation."
When he does splurge, Phillips indulges in pastries like healthy muffins and trail mix with nuts, dried fruits, and sweet cherries.