Could not be happier to introduce everyone to our friend Ellen of @triplepeakpaleo ~ she’s a gem on so many levels. She is kind, determined, fearless, creative, and a joy to be around.
We met last year at PaleoFX and I like to think we were instant friends! We stayed in touch via IG, of course, but as Ellen traveled her way in and out of Utah on her many journeys, she made it a point to stop in and say hello. We’ve shared several meals at a couple of our favorite spots in town. Enjoyed a hike up Rock Canyon here in Provo this past January. A hike we’ve been enjoying for nearly 4 decades in our family, and love to share with visitors. We even got to see some wild mountain goats…what can I say, it’s one of Rock Canyon’s claims to fame!! We’ve also had Ellen over to our home, made dinner together and chatted for hours.
Ellen is a certified health coach, globetrotting her way around the world empowering and helping busy folks (which is all of us btw) live our lives to the fullest and in the most extraordinary way. She even offers a complimentary 60 min strategy session where she’ll get specific about your goals, uncover what’s holding you back, and leave you with at least one action step you can take moving forward.
Please enjoy this article she put together about traveling healthy…she lives this nomad “on the road again” life ~ in fact, I’m sure she’s on the road as I’m writing this intro. Please enjoy and be sure to follow along on her journeys via Instagram Stories…she’s constantly sharing along the way and always has a smile on her face.
10 Simple Strategies to Make Healthy Travel a Habit
“Staying healthy while traveling is so hard!”
As a holistic health coach, digital nomad, and world traveler, this is a statement I hear often. And for good reason! Being removed from the sanctuary of your carefully crafted wellness routine and thrust into an unfamiliar environment is intimidating!
When traveling – for either work or pleasure – you’re ripped from the comfort of your perfectly curated paleo-friendly kitchen, stocked with all the paleo foods you rely on to make your nutritional success inevitable. You’re disconnected from the automatic routine of your daily Crossfit or yoga class led by your favorite instructor. You’re pulled from your intentionally structured schedule that makes time for daily meditation, stretching, or self care.
Travel is one giant wrecking ball of unknown that can swiftly demolish the healthy lifestyle you’ve created. It’s no wonder staying healthy on the road seems impossible.
But consider this: healthy travel is simply an extension of your already healthy lifestyle!
That means, you’ve already done the hard work. You know what food energizes you and makes your gut happy. You know what types of movement make your body feel strong and capable. And you know what you need to feel grounded and whole. You’ve already invested so much time and effort into overhauling your body and soul, its become a habit, something that’s automatic.
Since you already know what you need to be your best self, you just need to alleviate the unknowns of travel so you can keep doing what you do best! So here are 10 simple strategies you can use to bust through the roadblocks and clear your path to make eating and living clean while traveling as effortless as your day-to-day wellness!
1. DO THE RESEARCH
At home, you have your fully outfitted kitchen, your favorite paleo-friendly restaurants, and your gym membership. When traveling, this wellness infrastructure is a giant unknown, so set yourself up for success by taking a few minutes to find out the answers to these questions:
• What type of kitchen equipment is available at your Airbnb, hotel, or hostel?
• Is there a gym or any gym equipment available at your lodging?
• Are there any paleo-friendly, farm-to-table, or natural foods stores or restaurants nearby?
A quick search on Google or Yelp can answers these questions in a matter of minutes and the answers to these questions will help you establish what is and isn’t possible based on what you already do to stay healthy! For example, if you only have access to a hotel mini fridge and microwave, you may have to get more creative with your cooking. Or if you don’t have access to a gym equipment like you normally do, perhaps you’ll have to come prepared with a few bodyweight workouts. Regardless, you’ll know what situation you’re walking into and you’ll be able to take the appropriate steps to prepare!
2. KEEP MEALS SIMPLE
You may be an Iron Chef in your kitchen, but travel is not the time to attempt that Cabernet-Braised Beef Ribs and Parsnip Puree. We in the paleo community know how delicious simple, high quality food can be, so embrace that simplicity and take your cooking back to basics!
• Opt for recipes like these requiring minimal ingredients, that can all be purchased at a single grocery store.
• The Ultimate Travel Breakfast: Protein Chia Seed Pudding
• Roasted Chicken Patty & Vegetable Noodles
• The Super Power Paleo Salad
• Purchase pre-cooked foods that can be eaten cold or only require reheating (rotisserie chicken, sausages, pre-cooked veggies).
• Choose raw food meals like salads that don’t require any cooking equipment
Not only will keeping it simple save you valuable time that you could spend seeing the sights, but it will also save you money, frustration, prevent food waste, and keep your body feeling great.
3. PACK YOUR SNACKS
This is one of the easiest actions you can take to set yourself up for nutritional travel success: throw your favorite snack bars into your suitcase or bag and you’ll have high quality food at the airport, on a hike, or when you get a weird craving at the hotel at one in the morning. Paleo snacks are made from real food ingredients so don’t be afraid to substitute a few bars for a meal if you get caught between a rock and a hard place!
Here are some travel-friendly snack ideas:
• Jerky – Epic Bars, Steve’s Paleo Goods Jerky, Nick’s Sticks
• Bars – RX Bars, Larabars, Primal Kitchen Collagen Bars, Thunderbird Bars
• Nuts and Seeds – Trail Mix, Individual Nut Butter Packets
• Protein – Sardines, Canned Tuna, Canned Salmon
• Fresh fruit or veggies
• Dark Chocolate
4. MAKE NON-PALEO FOODS A CHOICE
Too often people use vacation as an excuse to go food crazy. If you eat clean 99% of the time you’re at home and then suddenly go on vacation and start eating a diet consisting entirely of pancakes, pizza, and ice cream, you’re going to feel like the garbage you’re eating. While travel is a great reason to step outside of your normal diet and indulge, make these indulgences a conscious choice. For example, if you’re going to Paris, of course you’re going to have a croissant (unless you’re deathly allergic to gluten)! Instead of having any old croissant with every meal, choose the best croissant in all of Paris and make it a one-time event you’ll never forget! By choosing the handful of cultural foods you want to eat ahead of time, you’ll spare yourself the will-power battle every time a non-paleo food crosses your path, and you’ll keep your body feeling its best.
5. STICK TO PROTEIN AND VEGGIES WHEN EATING OUT
When you’re not cooking simple paleo meals at your Airbnb or choosing your special cultural food indulgences, do what you normally do when eating out, and keep your meals clean. Whether you’re at a fast food chain or a five star restaurant, choosing foods that are as close to paleo as possible will minimize your digestive distress, keep your brain sharp, and your energy steady. A tried-and-true rule of thumb is to choose protein and veggie-based dishes, and of course, never be afraid to ask your server for modifications! Swap grains for more vegetables, ask that your food be cooked in olive oil or butter, and never be afraid to advocate for yourself if you have a food intolerance or allergy. Get my 10 Paleo-ish Meals at Fast Food Chains guide so even when you’re out of options, you’ll never make a bad food choice again.
6. MAKE MOVEMENT PART OF YOUR ITINERARY
Vacation should be a time for relaxation, but that doesn’t mean you can’t move your body! Instead of hitting the cookie-cutter hotel gym for an hour, incorporate a physical activity into your sighting-seeing itinerary each day. Go for a hike, take a stand up paddle boarding tour, sign up for an axe-throwing or salsa dancing class, go snorkeling, rent bikes and explore your destination on wheels – the possibilities are endless! Not only are activities like these a great way to get your daily dose of movement, but they’ll often take you away from the throngs of tourists and enrich your vacation by showing you a side of your destination you wouldn’t otherwise experience!
7. STAY HYDRATED
This one sounds simple, but as soon as people are upended from their usual routine, they forget to drink water. Did you know that just a 5% decrease in your body’s fluid levels level can diminish your energy by 25-35%? If your goal is to make the most of your trip, then chug, chug, chug!
In addition to packing your favorite water bottle, here are two simple strategies you can use to keep your remember to drink water.
- Either use an app like Daily Water that will send you periodic notifications or set a timer every hour to two to signal that it’s time to take a few sips!
- Use a visual reminder to keep track of how much water you’ve consumed.
• Step 1: Determine how much water you should drink in a day. The rule of thumb is your body weight /2 = # of ounces you should drink per day.
• Step 2: Figure out the number of your favorite water bottles it will take to reach your daily water goal. If your goals is 75 oz/ day and your water bottle holds 25 oz, you must consume 3 bottles of water to achieve your goal.
• Step 3: Here’s where the visual comes in. For the number of water bottles you must drink, find the same number of rubber bands and put them around the base of your water bottle. For every bottle you drink during the day, move one rubber band to the top of the water bottle. When all the rubber bands have been moved to the top, celebrate! Then reset the rubber bands for tomorrow!
8. CONDENSE YOUR SELF CARE ROUTINE
Chances are you have a leisurely self care routine when at home: 15 minutes of meditation, 20 minutes of stretching, rounded out with a home brewed matcha latte and gratitude journaling. While that fits in nicely to a normal day, fitting that hour into a daily travel schedule doesn’t seem like the best use of time. Given the choice between 20 minutes stretching and 20 minutes watching the sunrise over Monument Valley, I hope you’d choose the latter. So does that mean your self care routine – a beneficial daily practice that centers you and makes you feel your best – has to get thrown out during your trip? No!
Travel can be stressful so it’s even more important to have self care practices in place during this time to support your well-being. Instead of spending an hour completing your regimen, however, condense it down to 10 minutes. Meditate for a few minutes, do a light stretch, take your matcha to go, and share your gratitude with your travel companions over lunch!
9. MAKE YOUR HOTEL ROOM A SLEEP SANCTUARY
You know sleep is essential to feeling your best, so why is it so challenging to get a night of quality sleep when traveling? Here are two easy strategies you can use to get a good night’s sleep on the go:
- When in an unfamiliar environment, the primal part of your brain concerned with safety activates a subconsciously heightened state of alertness. Though this helps keep you safe in the event of an attack, it makes for a crappy night’s sleep. To soothe this stress response and transition into a state of relaxation, spend a few minutes before bed meditating or practicing deep, conscious breathing.
- Spend a few minutes turning your hotel room into a sleep-promoting environment.
• Draw your shades to prevent exterior light to make your room completely dark
• Unplug or put a towel over any small lights that can’t be turned off (like an alarm clock, microwave LED display, thermostat, etc)
• Use an eye mask and a set of ear plugs
• Lower the thermostat to make your room cool
• Download and use a white noise app
10. DON’T MAKE IT “ALL OR NOTHING”
Have you ever made a dietary misstep like giving into the temptation of that slice or two of sugar-laden, gluten-filled cake? Then, consumed by the guilt and disappointment of completely ‘failing’ in your paleo ways, you decide, “screw it, I’m just going to eat what I want for the rest of the day… or week… and start over on Monday.” You’re not alone – I’ve been there as well. But here’s the thing: this “all or nothing” mentality doesn’t work. In addition to sabotaging your healthy habits, it also makes you feel like crap, mentally and physically.
Instead, adopt this new paradigm: every choice you make is an opportunity to be the best, healthiest version of you. That’s thousands of opportunities each day! So if you want to eat the cake or spend half a day sitting on the beach tossing back margaritas, empower yourself by owning and enjoying your decision. Then, use your next decision to get back on track and make a choice more inline with your healthy lifestyle. Robert Collier says it best: “Success is the sum of small efforts – repeated day in and day out.”
MAKE YOUR NEXT VACATION THE HEALTHIEST, BEST ONE YET
The key to making healthy travel an effortless habit is to build on the habits you’ve already created. You don’t need to reinvent your wellness routine – just do your research, make small adjustments to fit the limitations of your itinerary and environment, be willing to go with the flow, and when all else fails, just do the best you can! With every trip, you’ll become more confident in which strategies work for you so that eventually, healthy travel will start to feel as natural as your daily wellness lifestyle. By dialing in your health on the road, not only will you continue to feel great, but you’ll have the energy, strength, and vitality to live your life and vacation to the fullest!
Psssst! ~ mention this article when you sign up for her “90 Day Transformation” program & Ellen will toss in a free extra session! ~Michelle