Three Ways I Eat Healthy on the Road

I recently spent time with my sister Kris exploring Joshua Tree National Park.

Hiking in the park’s surreal desert landscape among the twisted, spiky Joshua trees, giant granite boulders and abundant wildflowers was truly an eye-popping, soul-nourishing experience.

Wherever I travel, I always do my best to maintain many of my healthy eating practices. Doing so helps ensure I feel good physically and mentally (i.e., not tired, bloated, sluggish, irritable, distracted, etc.), so I can fully enjoy my trip.

Here are three of the ways I eat healthy on the road:

1. Buy Fresh, Local Goods
Before I travel anywhere, I always research local farmers’ markets and producers. I love to explore and experience foods unique to the region, and pick up fresh vegetables, fruits and other wholesome fare to fuel my adventures.

2. Get a Kitchen
Whenever possible, I get a place with a kitchen so I can easily store food and prep meals.

This enables me to balance simple, scratch-made meals with more indulgent fare from local eateries (like the delicious toasted coconut and dark chocolate muffins I discovered at a Joshua Tree cafe).

Before arriving at our Joshua Tree cabin, my sister and I loaded up on groceries for our meals and snacks.

We also hit the Saturday farmers’ market, where we bought bundles of spring asparagus and bunches of leafy greens, including a few varieties we had never tasted before.

We had fun cooking in our tiny kitchen and enjoying new flavors and leisurely meals together.

3. Fly with Food
Whether my flight is one hour or 20 hours, I always expect delays and always pack plenty of food so I don’t have to rely on airport or airplane fare.

A typical in-flight lunch for me is an almond-butter sandwich with a side of sautéed kale. It holds up well and keeps me full for hours.

My sister was grateful I encouraged her to pack both a lunch and dinner for her long flight home. As her first flight was delayed, she had no time between connections to grab dinner at the airport.

Thankfully, along with the nut-butter sandwich and greens she had prepared for lunch, she had also packed a hummus and veggie sandwich for dinner, plus an apple and nuts for snacks.

This prevented her blood sugar, energy and mood from nosediving. And ensured she didn't arrive home a weary, cranky traveler.

Do You Have This Disorder?

Sometimes I have to tell my clients to take a hike.

And, I literally mean, take a hike.

It's often one of the best remedies for whatever's ailing them.

Nature-Deficit Disorder
For many of us, our modern lifestyle has removed us from nature disconnecting us from her rhythms and cycles and leading to what's been coined "nature-deficit disorder."

As a result, we experience higher levels of stress, low energy, crappy sleep, mood swings, brain fog, food cravings and more.

Can you relate?

My Outdoor Habit
From my coastal hikes to sunrise runs in Golden Gate Park, spending time outdoors both grounds and uplifts me.

It calms my mind, energizes my body, gets my creative juices flowing, miraculously diminishes my problems, and fills my heart with gratitude for all the gifts Mother Nature grants us each day.

Quite frankly, I can be pretty cranky without my daily dose of M.N.

Mother Nature's Healing Touch
Numerous studies have found that communing with Mother Nature can elevate overall health and well-being, including:

  • decreasing blood pressure, heart rate and inflammation
  • strengthening immunity
  • alleviating depression
  • lowering stress, tension and anxiety
  • improving focus, memory and attention (including ADD)
  • boosting energy, creativity and productivity
  • raising self-esteem
  • bestowing a sense of connectedness, meaning and purpose

More than anything, Mother Nature nourishes our soul. She wisely reminds us that we are never truly alone. She rejuvenates by attuning us to the earth's natural rhythms.

The Best Remedy
We instinctively know that Mother Nature is good for us on so many levels. Yet, our fast-paced, indoor, screen-addicted culture makes it so easy to forget how essential she is to our vitality.

Let me be a little birdie on your shoulder gently reminding you that sometimes the very best remedy for an unwanted condition or state is not in your medicine cabinet, refrigerator, wine rack, or some diet book. It's literally just outside your door.

What small step can you take this week to reconnect with Mother Nature? Perhaps you can move your morning workout outside, enjoy lunch al fresco, or take a post-dinner walk.

Go Wild!

Have You Given Away Your Power?

There were times in my past when I hated my body for not being perfect.

I’d conceal it under baggy sweatshirts and pants. I'd dodge mirrors. I’d hide on the couch instead of going to parties. I’d push away boyfriends when they tried to wrap their arms around my waist.

Many of us reject our bodies when they don’t conform to the ideal size and shape dictated by our culture.

However, rather than self-rejection, what we really need to reject are the lies we’re incessantly fed (and buying into) about how our bodies are supposed to look.

We need to reclaim our power by loving and accepting our bodies unconditionally, and not becoming victims of the profit-making machine that thrives on making us feel inadequate, deficient, less than.

How I Reclaimed My Power
When I started partnering with my body instead of rejecting it, our relationship drastically changed. I began experiencing a sense of ease, peace and freedom I hadn’t felt since I was a very young girl (before I started believing all the BS).

Here are some of the ways I took back my power:

  • I stopped believing I could hate, deprive, restrict, starve and punish myself into a version of myself that I finally loved and accepted.
  • I started trusting my body again to guide me toward food choices based on what my body really wanted and needed. I no longer made eating decisions based on calories, diet plans, my weight, how many miles I ran, etc.
  • I stopped feeling guilt and shame when I ate so-called “bad” foods.
  • I stopped constantly weighing myself and letting the number on the scale dictate my feelings, mood and behavior.
  • I fired my inner mean girl and started speaking to my body—and about it—with kindness, compassion, respect and gratitude.
  • I created a more body-positive culture by ditching media (e.g., magazines, TV shows, websites) that promoted and perpetuated the thin ideal.
  • I trusted that if I took care of myself holistically—that is, my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual being—that my body would settle into its natural weight.

This journey hasn't been fast or easy. But, man, has it been worth it. I’m still a work-in-progress, but I’m never turning back.

How can you reclaim your power?