A couple of weeks ago I did a poll on Instagram stories about topics to cover, and this question of how I maintain my health while traveling came up a few times. The truth is, it’s taken the hard way to learn the best way to take care of myself. I typically clock in around 9-10 months of traveling a year and, after two years of doing this, my body broke down.
It was in September of 2016, we were in Italy traveling for a few weeks. I had noticed my acid reflux was really bad and then it got to the point where I couldn’t keep down my meals after eating as “GERDS” had kicked in. It was frustrating not to be able to enjoy dining out on my vacation with my husband and to be in constant pain. When I returned home, I was determined to get my body back into balance and took part in an Ayurvedic program for several months. It really changed how I perceived eating and travel, and what it requires to be healthy through it all.
So through these lessons, here is how I maintain my health while traveling.
How I Maintain My Health While Traveling
I think twice about everything that I eat.
The number one tip I can give is that you can control exactly how you feel by what you eat. I know my trigger foods — like red wine, dark chocolate, nightshades, and corn. I almost completely avoid these foods when I travel. The other tips I’ve learned along the way are to never finish my plate or order less — I love to try foods so I will order two appetizers for my meal. It’s not to say that I don’t have guilty pleasures but when I do, I do it in small quantities. The weeks that I feel extra good, I will most likely have more of the “not so great” meals than other weeks. I like to check in with my body and get a gauge for where I am at.
I don’t let myself get “hangry.”
It’s a rare occasion that I get past the point of hunger these days. It’s something I am really proud of, as I’ve been working on this for a long time. I know I am miserable to be around when I get to the point where I’m hangry, so about a year ago, I sat down and wrote up a solution for it. My best answer was carrying around a box of RX Bars as they are high in protein and cut my hunger immediately. I literally order them in stock from Amazon and always have one around. When we move past the point of being hungry, it completely sets the day off course and allows our bodies to become tired and weak.
I travel with a personal pharmacy — my form of illness prevention.
Literally — I take about 8 different supplements each day and never leave the house without them. I think this has been the most vital for maintaining my health. I can’t recommend to you guys what to take as I am not a physician, so I can just state what I take. I never skip Vitamin C or Zinc for my immune system, I use Turmeric for inflammation, Ashwagandha for stress, fish oil, Vitamin B for mood, and daily probiotics.
Fitness is everything.
When I travel, I find that I am actually more active then when I am at home. I love hiking and exploring cities by foot, so I find I get more exercise just in the natural course of a day. I won’t go out of my way to workout on a day that I know I’ll be on my feet all day. When I land in country and the day I fly out, I make my best effort to get into the gym for at least 45 minutes. Other trips where I am more sedentary, like lets say at a resort, I will be at the gym every day. I’ve noticed over the past year of diligent time at the gym, it has changed my mood, my health, and my confidence.
Sleep is my cure all.
Let’s be honest here for a second, I am a miserable person without sleep. I know that, my husband knows that, and even my friends know that. I find it the most challenging on campaign trips as we are out all day shooting and then come in around 10pm and have a few hours of work afterwards. I try to set an alarm to remind myself it’s time to go to bed so that I don’t wake up miserable the next day. I know I need a minimum of 6 hours sleep to be functional.
Hopefully this was helpful for those who asked about how I maintain my health while traveling. I am always open for new solutions and would love to hear your guy’s thoughts on this!