Eating & Living Healthy from the Road
Thursday, June 15, 2017
by: Reyna Joyner, Client Relations Manager, Gross Polowy

Section: WILLed Q2 2017 (Please click on article title to read full article)

Every year I take the opportunity to stimulate my thoughts with renewal, take an introspective look at my goals, and set admirable aspirations for the year ahead. As a busy working woman, with a travel schedule to rival any Platinum-Gazillion-Medallion Miles flying member, I find myself in constant motion. After 8+ years of living life and working from the road, I have come to appreciate the comforts of healthy living and eating routines during travel. In the midst of changing time zones, early flights, late nights, jet-lag, happy hours, long meetings, and the occasional “fragrant” cab driver, being on the road can crush the spirit if you don’t consider personal ways to thrive and not just survive the intensities of business travel. After all, for some, we are out on the road just as often as being home.

A common truth all business travelers share is that healthy living and eating is the first sacrifice we make to accommodate our moving schedules. Offering personal and professional time for business travel always disrupts regular schedules and routine patterns. Unfortunately, our travel diets are no different. Whether traveling by plane traversing multiple airports, or driving remote highways to that one client in the middle of rural nowhere, being hungry on travel days presents a minefield of dietary disasters. Usually the easiest and most convenient thing to do is make quick (translate: bad) food choices in order to simply stay “on the go.” Early morning departures lead to airport coffee stops in search of caffeine and sugars, a buttery croissant, or an egg and bacon sandwich.  Airport lounges with unlimited free booze and snacks after butter soaked steak dinners with clients are not heathy offerings during the trip home either.    
With simple planning and a little change in perspective, life balance can be reached and the light of your New Year Zen can accompany you to any destination. I am no expert in the field of nutrition or health study, but I find that by incorporating a few successful and simple tips, you’ll be slipping seamlessly even between the most grueling of travel itineraries.
Maintaining healthy habits while on the go in our industry is critical to keeping ourselves feeling great, and doing our best work

My Tried and True Tips for Living your Best Life on the Road:
  1. Buzz Off + Back off the Booze: The easiest way to ensure your best foot is continually forward (and on the ground) is to keep your alcohol consumption to two drinks, and alternate one lemon water in between each drink. Pacing yourself for a long night will ensure the effortless maintenance of your energy levels, ensure your best judgment in play, and keep you clear thinking throughout the evening. Even a minor buzz at happy hour before dinner can produce a desire for “comfort food” to reverse the effects of drinking too much too soon, and make it difficult to consider healthy choices during menu selection.
  2. Go Nuts + Snack Smart:  A good rule of thumb here is to “stay close to the farm,” i.e. stick to portable, healthy snacks and drinks that grow or naturally occur, and aren’t produced or made. Think fruits and nuts with flavored water as opposed to chips, pretzels, and a coke. Starbucks coffee stores are abundantly found and excellent in their offerings of trail mixes, natural jerkies, fresh fruits, and small pre-packaged snacks. All good options on the go and lightweight to carry! I usually pick these up in the airports on departure days, and stash them in my bag for snacking from the hotel room later during the trip. Think = “chipmunking” or maintaining foraging squirrel status.
  3. Offend the Chef + Ask for Substitutions:   One of my favorite travel perks is hosting a business dinner with my cherished clients. Nobody is powerless to the wafting aroma of a brilliant steakhouse or fresh, warm baked bread, so allow yourself to cheat here with portion control in mind. Substituting steamed fresh grilled veggies in exchange for creamed or cheesy vegetable ‘dishes’ is an obvious boost to calorie maintenance. Opting for herb crusted or blackened seasonings on fish as opposed to heaver, lemon butter sauces is another sneaky cheater trick. When it comes to salad dressings, skip the prepared dressings (which are usually hidden full of sugar) and enjoy a drizzle of olive oil, fresh lemon or lime juice, or balsamic vinegar instead. Once you discover your favorite substitutions, any restaurant menu can be conquered.
  4. Be Basic + Drink Water:  Water never gets boring, adds to your caloric intake, or hinders you from digesting. I travel with a refillable hydro-flask bottle every time I leave my house, but if you don’t want to bother with toting a bottle around, grab a smart water with a sport top to allow for refills on the road and carry it throughout your trip. Add a drop of (FDA approved for consumption) lemon, orange, or metabolic blend essential oil and you’ve got yourself one helpful, tasty beverage. I travel with ten essential oils which all serve different purposes, but lemon is my favorite tasting in water and always smells great.
  5. Don’t Count on the Hotel Gym + Do In-Room Yoga:  One of the most common foes during business travel is uncertainty. Even the most careful itineraries can go wrong and schedules are bent. Yoga is the best way to keep flexible so that when your schedules bend, you don’t break. And let’s face it, leaving the bulky running shoes at home preserves valuable carry-on space in your suitcase! In-room yoga is time conserving and can easily be done in a series of “asanas” - the Sanskrit word for “yogic pose.”  Yoga is done barefoot, wearing leggings and a cotton tank, and a hotel room towel can be used in place of a yoga mat if you are without one. Spending just 10-15 minutes at the open or close of your day to stretch muscles, realign your posture, silence your mind, and practice deep breathing to oxygenate your blood and your muscles is a worthy investment in your body and soul.  An abundance of educational resources on introductory yoga are available for free on the web. Yoga Journal Magazine publishes an online edition with backlogs of free instructional and lifestyle content for yogis of all levels. I have also noticed an upward trend with “mobile” yoga subscriptions which are paid video memberships that offer instructor led guidance through asanas of all levels. 

Maintaining healthy habits while on the go in our industry is critical to keeping ourselves feeling great, and doing our best work. They also account for better sleep and healthy skin. Be prepared for the onslaught of compliments once you adopt these practices and start showing your glow as we enter the summer of 2017! 
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