We all know that travel, for work or vacation, can be an excuse to let loose: eat and drink whatever you want (hello meetings & work dinners) / what is available (unfamiliar territory), forget about working out / movement (no time/energy), sleep/rest whenever (new place/different schedule) and indulge because you’ve worked a LONG day and you still have a 100 e-mails to go through (I deserve it!).
While people who don’t travel for work seem to think that it’s minimal work and vacation-like, it rarely is actually like that. These tips are to help you be as energetic as you are at home and in your office on a regular day.
I cannot say this enough. Google and Yelp around where you are staying. Put a post out on Facebook and Instagram for recommendations for restaurants with healthy (for you) options, coffee shops, places to walk/run/hike’ and anything else that interests you. Find a grocery store nearby, one you know that carries snacks + foods you like. My go to’s are Whole Foods, Sprouts, Trader Joe’s and Natural Grocers.
Many of my favorite brands make single serve/travel sized items. Order ahead of time and take in your luggage or check the stores around you for those items.
Go to that grocery store and stock up on condiments, snacks and ’emergency food.’ If your hotel/accommodation has a mini-fridge and microwave or even a full kitchen/kitchenette, get some items you can make/eat right in your hotel room plus some other items. You can also check out grocery delivery services and if they are available in your area. Here’s my go to list when I travel:
- Coffee creamer: Nutpods or Califia Farms no sugar/dairy-free are my favorites.
- Bars: Used mainly for emergency foods / when I get stuck onsite and need something easy and portable. I stick to EPIC, Nick’s Sticks, RX Bars, Thunderbird and The New Primal. I look for ones that only have a few ingredients and don’t contain any syrups or sugars.
- Hard Boiled Eggs: Easy protein for mornings or mid-afternoon snacks.
- Ready made salads: easy to grab and eat for lunches or dinners. Usually skip the dressing.
- Single Serve Items: Instant coffee (I like Four Sigmatic Mushroom Coffee), MCT Oil, Olive Oil, Ultima or Natural Calm packets, Collagen packets, even sugar-free ketchup or mayo packets.
- Fruit/veggies: grab your favorites to keep on hand as an easy snack or add to salads.
- Water: I try to find either boxed (tetrapack), glass or aluminum containers/bottles of water. I keep refilling at filtered water stations when I can and then recycle when I’m done. If I know the tap water is good, I use my refillable cup/bottle that I bring with me.
Whether it’s 15 minutes or an hour plus, make it a point to get some movement in. Maybe a group class helps you stay motivated, check out gyms and studios nearby. They often have a first class free or free week for new clients or use services like ZenRez to find deals on drop in classes. If you travel often enough, a service like Class Pass (play a monthly fee to go to any number of gyms or studios), might be a great option. Not into group classes, check out local parks and trails to move and get into nature for a bit. Working late? Try to get up before work and get it done in the morning.
You do not need to stay up all night with your clients or co-workers. No one is forcing you to stay up all night. No one.
I often have trouble sleeping the first night I am somewhere new, but here’s some tips.
- Designate a get into bedtime. I tend to get anxious anytime I ‘think’ I should be asleep and wake up. A get into bedtime is easier for me to handle. I do my normal nighttime routine and then hop in to relax and try not to pressure myself to fall asleep by a certain time.
- Turn off all the screens – TV, computer, phone at least 30 minutes before you get into bed. More time if you can.
- Natural sleep aids – I usually stir up a warm glass of water with magnesium (Natural Calm makes single use packets), sleepytime tea or other mix you know that works for you.
Ultimately, it’s all about PRIORITIZING YOURSELF and creating HEALTHY BOUNDARIES.
I know, it’s easier to create excuses and move the blame off of yourself, BUT you ultimately are in charge of yourself. Not your boss, not your work and not your clients. You may not have a ton of control over the schedule, where you stay and who you are around, but you can always make decisions from a place of health and wellness. Healthy boundaries are needed, what are your non-negotiables?
Sometimes, dessert or a specialty cocktail or glass of wine, is a healthy choice. That healthy choice is something only you know and you know that it is worth it. Are the stale, gas station doughnuts worth it? Probably not. Is the fancy business dinner worth it? Maybe. Only you know the answers. Does alcohol make you feel like shit, even if you only have one? Does a cupcake/doughnut/dessert make you crave carbs for days? (this is me right now!) The ultimate question is “Is it worth it for me?”