I Tried Keto, This is What Happened

During the pandemic, I had a lot of spare time to try things out, so I tried going keto. I thought it was a good idea after reading a lot about it. It seemed like I could reduce fat mass pretty quickly, which was my goal. It also looked like an excellent opportunity to clear my liver. Finally, I wanted to re-establish my relationship with food, as I had demonized some items when I was doing Noom.

If you want to learn about the ketogenic diet, there are many videos online; here is my favorite.

Those who swear by the keto diet claim some benefits: 

  • An enhanced mental clarity,
  • A more stable mood.
  • Automatic calorie intake control.
  • Being able to enjoy those fatty treats, etc. 
  • Medically, it is used to treat epilepsy and diabetes.

During my tests, I could confirm some of these claims and bust others. I also will share how it affected me during the time I did it.  

The Process

Before going keto, I counted calories and measured my body composition without paying attention to the ratios of my macronutrients (macros for short). The first step was to think about these macros and gradually reduce the carbs; this happened a week before ‘keto day one.’ At the same time, I began researching keto from different resources and bought a cookbook on Amazon.

These ‘Deviled Eggs’ Were a delicious snack!

During the first week, I minimized my intake of carbs by removing grains, rice, cereals, fruits, and starchy vegetables from my diet. There are some fruits like berries that are still ok to eat.

By doing this, I noticed some changes :

  • I felt thirstier.
  • I visited the bathroom much more often.
  • I didn’t have any trouble reaching my calorie goal.
  • I struggled to eat enough food because I was feeling full and satisfied. 

By the end of the first week, I experienced the ‘keto flu,’ which I thought was regular flu. I even got a little scared of the possibility of having COVID-19 as I had visited several airports. It started with a 5-mile hike in the snow. Suddenly, I felt Ill. I spent two days in bed with the shivers. It all ended after having a very salty Thai soup that made me feel better instantly. Apparently, my sodium levels were too low.

Week two came with the first lockdown. I decided to shop for groceries and follow the meal plan from my keto book. I followed it to the T.

I enjoyed cooking foods like meatloaf and cauliflower mash. It felt refreshing to go all-in with cream and butter while cooking. I could not develop a liking for keto sweets based on stevia.

I monitored daily my ketone levels with the urine straps. I was happy to observe that having a PB&J sandwich in the middle of a long bike ride did not kick me out of ketosis.

This test stripe shows I had a high level of ketones in my system.

My Findings

  1. The first two weeks I lost about 6lb of water weight. At the same time, my body composition went the opposite way I wanted. Reduced lean body mass and gained fat mass. I think, though, it was part of the fat-adaptation process.
  2. I restored my relationship with fatty foods. I got to experience with ingredients I had demonized and cooked meals I didn’t think of healthy before.
  3. My mood was very stable, but I didn’t get any additional mental clarity. If anything, I found it harder to focus. I believe it’s also part of the adaptation process.
  4. My appetite and eating patterns changed. Moved to just three meals a day without snacking in between. I felt satisfied most of the time. I had to force myself to eat more; otherwise, I’d have less than 1400 calories a day, which is even below my BMR.
  5. I felt weaker: I could barely do ten push-ups. I felt my usual weights more challenging, and while cycling, my legs felt the strain on roads that before didn’t feel that challenging.
  6. My endurance improved; I could ride 100km on my bike while eating very little food.
  7. Snacking was hard. It’s hard to find keto snacks in grocery stores; these snacks also typically need refrigeration. Hiking or riding bikes is not compatible with refrigerated snacks. You end up only carrying Jerky, nuts, or packets of nut butter. Even some nuts have too many carbs to be considered keto. Virtually everything has sugars, so if you want to follow it by the T, you need to be a good planner.
Here you can see how my body composition changed (towards the end) when I started the Keto Diet

Final Thoughts

Going Keto was a good decision from the learning perspective. I learned a lot about nutrition, and I learned about my own body. It also showed me that it’s impractical if I’m not at home where I can control every aspect of it. Would I do it again? No. As an athlete, it’s not my goal to compromise lean body mass, and I need the bursts of energy that only carbohydrates give. I would recommend it only for people who want to learn how to control their calories or lose the fear of eating oils and healthy fats. If you already know how to manage your weight, then intermittent fasting with a Mediterranean diet seems to be a better long-term sustainable solution—my two cents.

Almond Milk Flan

Since I’m a kid, I’m obsessed with flan. It is one of those desserts I’m sure I’d not be able to stop eating. That’s why I like to have them once in a very long while. It’s more of a treat rather than something habitual.

Not long ago, I baked a horrible loaf of bread. It was probably the worst loaf I’ve ever baked, and I’ve done many! To not waste it, I decided to make bread pudding with it, but I only had almond milk available. I felt adventurous, so I decided to give it a go. I soaked the chunks of my loaf in that almond milk and then prepared a custard with the liquid that the bread had not absorbed. In the end, my custard did set beautifully, and the flavor was incredible. So I thought: this ought to be a great way of making non-dairy flan! That’s how this recipe came to be.

One characteristic of almond milk is that it tastes significantly different from dairy, so if we want such a confection to work flavorwise, we need to build its flavor profile. I used Meyer lemon zest as a base, and since my almond milk is not the “unsweetened version,” I didn’t use as much sugar as I would have for a regular flan. Then I found the combination of cardamom and cinnamon as garnish gave the flan a lovely flavor component without being overly sweet.

My flan beautifully set and chilled, ready to eat.

I use the same techniques as a regular flan for this preparation, and it works well. Here is the recipe.

Almond Milk Flan

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: Medium
  • Print


  • 5 tsp of cane sugar, two for the caramel and three for the custard.
  • 1 large egg (I also added one egg yolk, but I feel it can be avoided)
  • ½ tsp zest of Meyer lemon.
  • 1 tiny pinch of salt.
  • 1 Cup of vanilla-flavored almond milk.
  • ¼ tsp cardamom & ½ tsp cinnamon.


  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF or 180ºC
  2. In a small saucepan, melt 2 tsp of sugar into caramel, making sure not to scorch it as it will develop an unpleasant flavor. Once it’s pourable, pour it to coat the bottom of the container where you’ll bake the flan. I used a glass microwaveable food container. Place the container in your freezer while you prepare the custard.
  3. In a small saucepan, warm up the almond milk to about 165ºF, or 73ºC. Make sure it doesn’t go too much over that, or it will cook your egg.
  4. While the milk is heating, In a bowl, combine and whisk the egg and yolk (if using) with 3 tsp of sugar, salt, and lemon zest.
  5. Temper your egg batter by whisking in vigorously ¼ of your almond milk first, then slowly incorporate the rest of the almond milk. It’s crucial to get this step right. Otherwise, you can potentially end up with sweet scrambled eggs.
  6. Pour your batter into the container with the caramel.
  7. Prepare your bain-marie: Fill out a larger saucepan, pot, or tray with enough water so your flan container is submerged 80%. Bring the water almost to a boil. Then place your flan in. Transfer everything into the oven right away.
  8. Bake for about 50 minutes or until the custard is set. Then refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
  9. Plating: Run a pairing knife through the edge of your container and un-mold the flan into a serving plate. Garnish with cardamom and cinnamon.
  10. Enjoy!

Freshly un-molded almond milk flan with a light caramel on top.

Cycling Hurricane Ridge: Pacing Yourself on Long Climbs

Last weekend I went out to explore the Olympic National Park, partly on my bike, partly hiking, and driving around. That place is an outdoor paradise that can offer something to everyone.

One of the activities I chose to do is cycle up to ‘Hurricane Ridge’ visitor center. This place is a ski resort located over 5000ft above sea level. Accessible from Port Angeles, this smoothly paved road winds up without interruption for about 19 miles. This route challenged me in two ways: first, it’s the highest I’ve cycled uphill, and second, almost without any ‘downhill break.’

Larger patches of snow as I pass the 3/4 mark of my climb.

The road was stunningly beautiful. At ground level, I could see green vegetation everywhere and the stunning distant background of the Olympics. As the ride progressed, I saw the vegetation get smaller, fewer trees, and an increasing number of snow patches. By the time I reached the summit, it was, well, a Ski resort. I have seen such dramatic changes in scenery only on my virtual rides on Zwift.

I leave the route and details here if you decide to place it on your bucket list.

Mastering the Longer Climbs

When I began riding on the road, I dreaded going up hills. I would go completely out of breath, my legs would hurt, and I would feel compelled to stop and catch my breath every five minutes. Riding non-stop for two or three hours uphill only seemed unimaginable. I often had to stop and do the ‘walk of shame,’ walking my bike up the hill. If this feels like you, I will give you some tips that will help you conquer any paved mountain.

Train for Endurance: Before attempting to go up to large mountains, you need to make sure your heart (cardio endurance) is up to the task. You can train this by riding progressively longer and longer non-stop. You can start with intervals of 20 minutes and gradually increase to 30, 40, and so on. If you can afford it, buy a heart rate monitor. Then you can ride at a comfortable pace where your BPMs are under control.

Keep a steady pace: Initially, I got very competitive, especially on group rides, and I wanted to go as quickly as the first ones on the pack. While I managed to keep up for like five minutes, I quickly ran out of energy and then went even slower than the slowest. Keeping a steady pace is pivotal. Remember that you’ll be using a lot of energy, so it’s best to preserve it.

It’s best to go to start with your lowest gear: I also learned this through frustration. For some reason, I felt there was something shameful out of going to the minimum. It was not until I started joining organized group events that I saw people blast past me on the climb in their lowest gear—the secret: cadence. When you’re at your lowest, you have finer control of your power output by tweaking how fast or slow you spin your legs. The easiest way to produce more power (and thus climb faster) is to bring your cadence up.

Mentally prepare: In the end, climbing hills with your bike is a test of your endurance. You need to go with a mindset of resisting. You can take some breaks to recoup by lowering your cadence, zigzagging up the hill, or turning momentarily on the intersections, so it becomes flat. But try to keep yourself mentally on the bike as much as possible.

Climb progressively harder hills: The last one is the most obvious. Before tackling 3k+ ft. hills, I trained weekly on a moderate 1100ft route close to home. You would not imagine how happy I was the first time I could ride it non-stop.

Fuel yourself well: these types of endurance efforts will exhaust your glycogen stores quickly, and that’s when you begin feeling miserable. Eat plenty of simple carbohydrates (sugars, fruits, processed flours, and grains) before riding, and carry a few granola bars to replenish every hour.

My Pacing Strategy to Ride the Hurricane

This little guy welcomed to the summit by saying “No way you came here on your bike!”, then proceeded to take a selfie as I prepared my bike for the victory shot.

Being a cyclist for a long time, I’m used to training with all the bells and whistles. My bike carries a cadence sensor, a speed sensor, power meter pedals, and other gadgets. These pieces of technology are not essential to riding, but they do help you go beyond what you perceive is “too hard” or “too easy.” Here I describe my strategy:

  • I went on my lowest gear throughout the climb, switching to a harder one only when it was too easy.
  • I tried to keep my heart rate constant at 90%. As soon as it went higher, I would reduce my cadence (and thus power output) to stabilize it.
  • I kept my power output between 75% and 90% of my FTP. If you don’t know what this means, don’t worry. I’m simply using a cyclist term to say I was pushing hard but sustainably by not going over the limit of what I can sustain for an hour.
  • I ate a crepe before the ride and one PB&J sandwich split in half during the climb.
  • I made sure to drink a sip of water every 15 minutes.

With this, I close my post. I hope you find some of these tips helpful and can apply them on your next gravity-defying ride.

Book Review: The Righteous Mind

“If you think that moral reasoning is something we do to figure out the truth, you’ll be constantly frustrated by how foolish, biased, and illogical people become when they disagree with you.”

Haidt, Jonathan. The Righteous Mind . Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

During the 2021 COVID-19 pandemic, I witnessed and experienced strain within my social circle. Friendships, romances, and family relationships were eroded because of differences in opinions and beliefs. Friction amongst people is nothing new, but it was impressive to see how the pandemic accentuated and accelerated the effect.

Jonathan Haidt, is the author of “The Righteous Mind.” He is a psychologist and morals specialist. He is the creator of the “Elephant and the Rider” analogy, which Noom uses very extensively to describe people’s eating behavior. And that’s what drove me to look into his books. At the time, I also was into reading behavioral psychology, and morals seemed a natural step.

The book promised to answer my question: “Why can’t people just get along or be more tolerant?” It delivered the answer loud and clear.

Throughout the pages of the book, the reader will discover many interesting facts:

  • How humans feel first, and reason second.
  • All the various components of morals, and how people are sensitive to each.
  • How we behave as individuals and as groups.

Every topic is discussed with examples that apply to today’s social context.

My takeaways:

After reading the book, I began to see the world slightly differently. It became very evident how quickly I was judging, and all the information I was not taking into consideration. It also opened the door to another topic for book hunt: compassion.

The book is very well written and backed by an extensive amount of research and it’s full of citations. What I liked about it, is that the author starts by saying “I’m a democrat” but at no point in the book his narrative seems to take any side, but rather being very descriptive.

I definitely recommend this book to everyone.

Bread Baking Essentials

So you’re ready to start baking bread, you’ve got your flour, your yeast, your salt, some water, and now what? I know there is seemingly endless bread baking material on the internet, and everyone prefers different tools. Here I intend to share what is essential to my bread baking needs and why it makes a difference.

These tools are:

  • A kitchen scale.
  • A container for my dough or “Dough Tub”
  • Bench Scrapers
  • A large wooden board.
  • A proofing vessel.
  • A baking vessel.
  • A razor blade.
  • A bread Knife
  • Two small-sized glass jars to keep your starter & rubber bands.

A Kitchen Scale

During the first six months of baking bread, I did not have a scale, I was just mixing based on the “feel.” Sometimes it would come out decent, sometimes it would be a rock. Well, let me break it to you, a small amount of any ingredient yields a very different loaf of bread. So, if you want to be consistent, you need to learn how to be precise. I have not yet found the perfect one size fits all scale. But if you have to prioritize, buy one that can measure grams & kilograms over more precise quantities. I have two: one that measures the flour, and the other one that measures the salt and yeast.

These are my two scales, the first one measures up to the milligram, the second I use to measure heavier items.

A “Dough Tub”

Baking can be a very messy hobby. Mixing dough in a bowl, performing folds, kneading, etc. You end up with many things to clean. On top of that, using plastic wrap to cover the dough every time you do something to it is somehow wasteful. One container with a lid that’s big enough can become “the one place” where you mix, fold, and ferment your dough.

I have two preferred options:

  • A “Cambro” general purpose container with a lid. A four qt works excellent for me, and sometimes I use the two qt. The levels help you identify when your dough has doubled in size.
  • A Pyrex baking dish with a lid. It’s a little bit more expensive, but glassware with a wide bottom works better when performing folds inside the container.
From left to Right: Cambro 4qt, 6qt, and 2qt. Square shape makes easier to perform “coil folds.”

Bench Scrapers

Plastic flexible scrapers are relatively inexpensive and make your life easy when handling the dough. I also love having a hard bench scraper; it has been a game-changer for me. I use it to divide and shape the dough, as well as to clean my board.

These are my two go-to scrapers. I use the metallic one for shaping and dividing doughs, and the silicone one for my folds and helping the dough out of the tub.

A Large “Kneading Wooden Board”

Kneading or manipulating dough on your kitchen counter takes a lot of work. Flour can end up in the most unsuspected places, and if you haven’t cleaned carefully, your dough might end up with suspicious particles. I bought a wooden board for $10 in Ikea that’s big enough to work in but lightweight and convenient to store. I keep it in its original bag.

Somewhere to ‘Proof’ the Dough.

The ideal thing to ‘proof’ your dough depends on what you’re making. Baguettes are proofed in a “couche,” Boules in a round basket, Batards in an oval basket, and so on. If you start collecting these items (like I have), you will soon realize how expensive it gets and how much space it takes for something that’s single-purpose.

The minimalistic baker can use a cheese or pastry cloth and a bowl. I like the most an oval-shaped proofing basket.

This is my oval-shaped proofing basket with an 82% hydration dough in it. After I shaped it on the wooden board.

A Vessel to Bake your Bread.

This is key if you want your loaf to bake evenly without having to open the oven and turning it every now and then. For at least a year, I used a baking sheet. It does the job, but it’s more hands-on when it comes to your loaf baking evenly. Now I have two preferred methods:

  • Cast Iron Dutch Oven: It’s useful when all you want is a “Boule” (The round-shaped loaf”), but you might find it limiting if you’re going to bake loaves of other shapes. This was my preferred method for a couple of years.
  • Pizza Baking Stone: This one is my absolute favorite. You won’t get the great crust you get in the Dutch oven, but you can bake all sorts of things in it. Plus, you get to see how your loaf grows inside the oven and maybe shoot time-lapses.
This shows my Lodge cast-iron combo. I used this pot for a long time before switching to the baking stone.

A Razor Blade

Traditional bread bakers bend the razor lightly and build a home-made bread lame. I have one that my dad made for me as he works with wood. To create that perfect score, you need a very sharp blade or edge. Not scoring your loaves before baking affects the oven spring, and you might end up with cracks in your crust (which some find visually appealing).

The lame my dad made for me resting on top of the cheesecloth, that I use for proofing smaller pieces.

A Good Bread Knife

There is nothing more frustrating than slicing into your freshly baked loaf with a dull or non-serrated knife. You compress the crumb structure. It’s hard to get through the crust. All of which could make your slices less visually appealing. One of the first items I got after I started baking was my bread knife. Many years after I bought it, it’s still doing the job nicely. I would advise you to go for the models with longer blades. Mine is 8 inches, and it feels too short for some loaves.

The bread knife that I had for years is a Wusthof Classic. Mine is 8” long but sometimes it feels too short.

Containers For your Starter

Most books that teach you how to start a yeast culture recommend and discard large quantities of flour. As long as you keep your proportions right, you can keep and feed a tiny amount of starter and perform what a blogger I follow calls ‘micro-feedings’.

To this end, I use a few 4oz glass jars that are perfect for 45 grams of starter and have just enough space for it to quadruple in size. I also save the tiny rubber bands from my bunches of vegetables to mark my starter’s initial level. This way is easier to keep track of where it is at in its cycle.

My starter growing in a small dessert glass jar.

Closing Thoughts

The list of items I shared might seem long, but each one makes a difference when aiming for the perfect loaf and baking consistency.

There are many additional gadgets out there that will make your baking life even more comfortable. Still, I tried to keep it to what I believe it’s essential. Please feel free to leave questions or comments in the section below. Happy Baking!

How Noom Changed my Life

In today’s post, I’m going to share a product review. I decided to write about it because I used it intensively, and it changed my life for the better. I also let enough time go by to make sure the results were long-lasting instead of a ‘fad diet’ that would make me bounce back to my previous state.


I began using Noom in late 2019. I weighed 74kg (163lb) and had an ambitious goal of 64kg (141lb). At the time, my liver took the tolls from my lifestyle, and I knew it was time to change my habits. I looked into noom, and I got sold instantly to their promise:

Helping people everywhere lead healthier lives through behavior change.

Noom’s About Page

So what’s different about this site? They combine behavioral psychology, nutrition, fitness, and life hacks, and they distill it and spoon-feed it daily to their premium subscribers.

I used the program only for about four months. The first days I said to myself, “boy, this is dumb.” But I kept following it. The first breakthrough is when the coach I got assigned told me, “you should start logging your calories.” To me, it was ridiculous, out of the question, but I tried to keep an open mind and gave it a try.

Following the program took some discipline, I had to build new habits and break old ones. For the first time in my life, I felt empathy and compassion for those with dietary restrictions. The way our society is structured around food is ridiculous. My friends also didn’t understand it; they called it “a fad diet.” I received a lot of social pressure to keep eating and behaving the way I did. But the funny thing is that the app told me in advance that this was coming. I had to push away some of my friends temporarily until my new habits stuck.

How my weight changed over time, and some of the metrics I was tracking.

Once I had new habits in place, I learned a huge deal about my own body. I got introduced to measuring variables that I didn’t know existed. I learned about my hormones, gut health, the different types of hunger, and what happens when you break your patterns.

After I achieve my target weight, I had enough information in my head to sustain it. I built the habit of controlling my weight daily. Finally, I could pair my knowledge with the business skills that are part of my professional program to develop dashboards and tune to achieve fitness goals. I reached my target weight in February 2020, and as of today, it remains the same.

Not everything is fantastic, though. Earlier I mentioned I got paired with a coach. This coach only did one good thing for me for the whole duration of the program. Afterward, she would dodge my questions until I got frustrated and gave up. If I were to rate the app, I would deduct half a star because of that.

In summary, I recommend this program to anyone determined to change their habits, but I warned you, you must commit, or it will not work.

Japanese Kabocha And Shiitake Risotto

After I attempted to go keto, I decided to dive deeper into Mediterranean cuisine. This type of cuisine seemed natural and familiar to me as a Spanish and Italian descendant. I enjoyed preparing all sorts of Mediterranean dishes for several months, including the traditional pumpkin risotto. A month ago, I decided to get my toes wet in Asian cuisine, and I got a Japanese cookbook. By preparing the recipes, I gained familiarity with the Japanese ingredients and ways of cooking. I realized the base of Japanese cuisine is the dashi, which is nothing more than a seaweed broth. I also developed a liking for the kabocha squash. These two ingredients inspired me to try out this fusion dish that turned out to be delicious. 

I replaced most of the ingredients of the risotto with Japanese counterparts: Sake and mirin for wine, kabocha for regular squash, sesame oil for olive oil, and so on. Initially, I wanted to make it entirely Japanese by using sushi rice, which, like risotto kinds of rice, is very starchy, but unfortunately, I didn’t have any available, so I decided to make it a fusion dish. If you happen to try this recipe and use sushi rice, I’d be very interested in how it turns out. For the seasoning, I rely on the saltiness of soy sauce. Finally, the shichimi togarashi gave it the level of umami I was looking for.

You most likely will have about one to two cups of leftover dashi, if that is the case, one good use to it is to prepare some miso soup, which is a perfect starter for the risotto. Bon appetit!

Kabocha And Shiitake Risotto

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Japanese inspired risotto.

Ingredients for the Dashi

  • 6 cups Water
  • 1 Sheet of Kombu (Size 4”x4”)
  • 5/6 Dried Shiitake

Ingredients for the Risotto

  • 1 tbsp toasted Sesame Oil
  • 4 Scallions, white parts chopped, green parts cut in bias.
  • 1/2 Onion, finely chopped.
  • 1 tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 6 medium-sized Shiitake Mushrooms
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced.
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme.
  • 1/2 cup Mirin.
  • 1/2 cup Sake.
  • 1 cup Sushi Rice. Arborio or carnaroli also will work.
  • 1/2 Kabocha Squash, peeled and cut into 1/2” dice.
  • 2 tbsp Rice Vinegar
  • 2 Pieces of Nori, cut into 1” squares.
  • Shichimi togarashi
  • Soy Sauce


  1. In a medium saucepan, add the water, dried Shiitake, and kombu, bring to a gentle simmer.
  2. As soon as the water starts to simmer, remove and discard the kombu.
  3. Simmer the dashi for 10 minutes to extract the flavors of the dried Shiitake. (You can use these later to add more mushrooms to your risotto)
  4. Reduce heat to low to keep the dashi warm.
  5. In a dutch oven in medium heat, bring the oil to a gentle simmer but not over the smoke point.
  6. Add the scallions, onion, and salt, cook until softened, 4 minutes.
  7. Add the mushrooms, cook until they start to release their liquid, 2 minutes.
  8. Add garlic and thyme, cook until fragrant, 30 seconds.
  9. Stir in the rice, cook until the edges become translucent, 2 minutes.
  10. Incorporate the sake and mirin, stir until the liquid is fully absorbed.
  11. Add the kabocha squash.
  12. Add 3/4 cup of the dashi, continually stirring until it’s fully absorbed.
  13. Keep adding the dashi by 3/4 cup until the rice is fully cooked, around 40 minutes.
  14. Turn off the heat, stir in the rice vinegar, and soy sauce to taste.
  15. Allow for 10 minutes rest before serving.
  16. Plate the risotto adding nori, scallions, and Shichimi togarashi.

13 Health Tips for Traveling Professionals

As a person that travels for work, and a manager of people who do, one concern for me is to keep myself and my team healthy. Traveling for work challenges every pillar of a healthy lifestyle, so in this post, I’m going to share some tips that I’ve learned and implemented over the years that might be of use for you as well.

Before I start, I’m going to talk about what I call three pillars of a healthy lifestyle. Even though there are many factors that influence your health, in my mind, there are three that are key. These three pillars are Rest, Food, Exercise.


Being well-slept, relaxed, and stress-free is essential to our health. Work trips typically challenge these aspects that then have an impact on your food choices and your workout schedule. So the following tips might help to keep you energized:

  1. Make your flight well-rested. This is especially important for day-trippers. If you have to get up at 4 am, try to go to bed at 9 pm or so. Believe it or not, if you don’t rest well, you will feel hungrier the rest of your day, and less able to stop yourself from overeating.
  2. Meditate on the plane. Taking time to meditate will help you control the cortisol levels in your system, which in turn will impact your food and exercise choices. I often just focus on the map and relax, so when I land, I feel recharged and ready to go. We get infrequent occasions to be forced off our electronics that paying for airplane wifi almost feels like it hurts your wellbeing.
  3. Try to adjust fast to time zones. Jet lag might be challenging to overcome. What I like to do is to force myself to go to bed at the right time. I try to stay awake even if I’m too tired, or go to bed even if I’m not.
One thing I like to do while flying is observing the amazing natural scenery we typically can’t appreciate.


Eating well is possibly the most challenging aspect of being a traveling professional. The temptation is double: you don’t have a place to cook meals, and you have a budget to eat in restaurants. In general, it’s also difficult to go to a grocery store unless you have rented a car. So here are my tips with regards to healthy eating:

  1. Have proteins and healthy fats before the trip. An avocado toast with a poached egg would help you keep full for the full duration of the journey, helping you avoid the processed food and sugary drinks that are typically served in flights.
  2. Keep some healthy snacks in hand. Hard-boiled eggs, hummus, and carrots, no fat Greek yogurt are all low-calorie options that will help to keep you satiated and are sold on airports and many shops.
  3. Pick your hotels wisely. Fortunately, most of the time, I’ve been lucky enough to be able to pick my hotels. If that is your case, many chains offer a kitchenette, which goes a very long way in supporting your health. Also, typically you get your expenses covered from and to the client site, but not to grocery stores, so picking a hotel close to a grocery store will help you keep healthy and save some money for your clients.
  4. Box half of your restaurant meals ahead. You might feel awkward doing this in front of colleagues or clients, but it works! Ask for a to-go box the moment you order your meal and pack half of it before starting to eat. You can finish it at a later point in time, and it will help you eat less on your following meal.
  5. Minimize Alcohol and Sugary Drinks. Even diet-friendly and sweetened drinks will make you crave for food, even if your body doesn’t need it. Alcoholic drinks typically pack a ton of sugar, and not to mention alcohol slowing down your liver, and thus your natural ability to burn fat.
  6. If you have to snack, do healthy swaps: Simple examples are: Salsa or hummus have fewer calories than guac, or mayo. Pita chips have fewer calories than tortilla chips. Popcorn fewer calories than chips in general. Fruits and veggies instead of cereal bars. Americano with half & half instead of a latte. Almond milk instead of whole milk, I hope you get the idea.


Working out is the main source of a healthy lifestyle for many. Being away from home means also being away from your gym routine, your bike, your outside activities, etc. Being active also helps improves your mood, energy levels and helps in many other aspects, so instead of just “taking a break while you’re away”, here are some tips to remain active:

  1. Walk, walk, walk: If you have the luxury to pick the location where you’re staying, make it, so it’s like a 10 / 20 min walk from your workplace, groceries, and downtown area. Take coffee breaks where you walk to a coffee shop. Take lunch breaks where you walk to the restaurant. Take the stairs whenever you can.
  2. Bring a yoga mat with you: Yoga is a great low-intensity cardio exercise and can be practiced without much gear. Additionally, yoga mats are reasonably convenient to transport, so no extra airplane fees will be involved. Finally, yoga helps with your meditation practice that’s a keystone habit for eating the right amounts of food.
  3. Practice some gearless exercises: Go for a run, do some squats, hold your plank or any other workout that you can do. Ten minutes a day will make a huge difference, and high-intensity exercises will take away some of that anxious hunger.
  4. Become a member of a gym chain: In the US, at least, there are some chains of gyms where you can go to any location nationwide. This gives additional flexibility and also gives you the chance to try out different classes with different teachers.

With this, I conclude my post, if you are a traveling professional and do other things to keep a healthy lifestyle, please don’t be shy and share them in the comments section below.

How to Make Bread while Camping?

This is a topic I’m really excited to talk about, as I’ve been holding myself from posting this until I actually get a chance to try it in real life! And it finally happened, so happily I will present my camping bread recipe.

Context and Challenges

You can safely skip all the explanations and go directly to the recipe if you don’t care how I came up with this recipe.

Making bread, and especially good a one is not easy. The recipe is simple but getting it right requires some practice, and moreover, thinking of cooking an item that requires baking in an oven while camping, this is, on a camping stove and pot, seems even out of the question.

So, I’ve been trying to improve my camping cooking skills, and, as part of this, I tried to make bread. Those who know me would know that I’m a passionate bread baker, so attempting this was kind of a natural next step for me.

Camping bread cooking on a camping stove and pot.

Fact is, there are several bread kinds that are cooked on a stovetop. Naan, English muffins, or pita bread are some. However, English muffins require egg whites, which is challenging to keep fresh while camping; and pita bread requires a solid stream of heat to make its typical air bubble, (achieved at home by cooking it on a cast-iron skillet). So inspired by these two, I came up with a method to prepare something that would be a hybrid between English muffins and pita. That can be prepared between the time you pitch your tent and when you wake up for breakfast.


Aside from the challenges I already mentioned, nothing really of making bread seems compatible with camping: keeping the dough in a bowl, covered with plastic film so it doesn’t dry out, still, and on a warm place to rise, keeping it clean, mixing with clean hands, not to think about measuring ingredients with a kitchen scale!! Finally, the recipe requires rolling the dough balls.

So this is how I overcame it:

  • Mixing dough with clean hands, clean place, covered with film so it doesn’t dry out: This seems like a job for a plastic bag, flexible enough to mix ingredients without touching them with dirty hands, easy to keep clean, additionally used as a container for dough while it rises. I tried many, I went with the 1qt Ziploc bags.
  • Measuring ingredients: This is a tricky one. Having a precise amount of yeast, salt, olive oil, water, and four on the small scale without a kitchen scale is impossible in the wilderness! Carrying a kitchen scale just for making bread? No way Jose! As you’ll see there will be some small compromises on the items to carry but camping with a kitchen scale is ridiculous! So here is how I measure each ingredient:
    • Flour: This one is easy! Measure it at home and carry it inside the bag for mixing! Check! Markings can be made with a sharpie so we are able to reuse the mixing bag.
    • Water and Olive Oil: This is more tricky, liquids are heavy and we cannot afford to carry them on separate containers, so what to do? Simple! Get a makeshift measuring vessel. I found a travel 3 flOz container (thank you TSA!) that fit almost exactly the amount of water I needed, so I drew lines for water and olive oil in it.
    • Salt: How to measure 2 grams of salt? 2 options I could think of. Pre-measure with kitchen scale and place on drug-dealer style Ziploc bags; or conveniently enough, buy 1 gram cooking salt packets on Amazon! I went for the latter.
    • Yeast: In the recipe I add a lot of yeast, to compensate for the overnight temperature drop that is typically experienced in the wilderness. So I take a 6g packet and add an eyeballed amount (around half).
  • Cooking it: This bread is shaped after pita bread or naan (if you will) so it can be cooked on the stovetop without completely burning the crust or consuming all your gas canister. It has double the olive oil I would put on a typical recipe with exactly this in mind: It helps not to burn the bread while cooking it! I have to admit that I kind of burned the first 6 buns I made.
  • Rolling it: So this is where I made a compromise. I carried a very small bamboo cutting board to roll the buns and I managed to successfully roll them on it. I used the same liquid container bottle! To keep everything clean I put everything together inside of a Ziploc bag.
This is my kit for making camping bread.

Campsite Bread

  • Servings: Two Buns
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 100g of all purpose flour.
  • 74 grams of water (74%) (the small 3 flOz container almost full)
  • 6 grams of olive oil (6%) measured in the small container.
  • 2.4 grams of salt (2.4%) this is to taste, adapted really to the salt packets I bought, but typically bread takes 1-4% of salt.
  • 3 grams of dried yeast (3%) typically more than triple of what I would add if baked at home.
  • A bag of “spare” flour, that you can use to flour your hands and the cutting board.


  1. In a Ziploc bag mix the flour, olive oil, and water. Close the bag making sure it has a lot of air and squeeze it until the ingredients are incorporated (don’t worry, when mixed the dough will not stick to the bag). Let the mixture rest for 20 minutes, this step is called “autolyse” and it will help the development of the gluten.
  2. Add the salt and “work it into the dough” by massaging the Ziploc bag.
  3. Repeat the same step but with the yeast.
  4. “Knead” the dough by massaging the bag vigorously until it looks uniform and soft, and it doesn’t get stuck to the bag.
  5. Let the dough rise. Best is overnight, but it also works if you put it inside, at the top of your backpack while you hike and the sun hits it, it helps the fermentation process.
  6. When you’re ready, this means early morning, or after the hike. Clean your hands as best as you can and flour them, also flour the small cutting board.
  7. Turn the bag with the dough outside out and help it drop to the board. Divide in 2 and shape into 2 balls.
  8. Roll the 2 balls to fit the bottom of your camping cooking pot.
  9. Leave to rise for 20 to 30 min (optional step)
  10. Heat some olive oil on your camping stove and, with low heat, cook 1 side of the bread for 3 minutes.
  11. Turn the bread and cook it for another 3 minutes.
  12. Remove from the stove, let it cool and cook repeat from step 10 with the other bun.

You must leave the bread to cool down to finish cooking on the inside. After that, you can cut it open and enjoy it with your favorite camping stuffing, like peanut butter!

Bon Apetit!