The Wellness Traveler: Healthy and Well on the Move! General Well Travel Tips – Part Three

Newfound friends from Italy and the UK dance the night away being well!

Wellness is a way of living to take with you wherever you go. Living well can also help you get there and make the most of it!

It was three o’clock in the morning and I was just getting to bed at a spa in Europe with a wonderful grin on my face. I had danced with newfound friends from around the world and hadn’t quit until the band (finally) went home! I thought I had lived life to the fullest, when I heard noise outside the resort hotel. Laughing and splashing down in the pool were some of my previous partying companions, still going strong!

Well Travel Tip #6
Live a life in balance so you can get a little “out of balance” and be glad you did!

One of the greatest reasons to live a life in balance, a healthy wellness lifestyle, is so you can have the health and vitality to “go for it” when the opportunity is there.

Wellness is not a worried existence atop a balance beam! It’s not a Spartan lifestyle of self-denial and depravation all in the name of health. Most of us can say “Yes!” to an opportunity to have fun, indulge, explore or adventure and not lose any ground in our pursuit of our wellness plans. Living healthy and well the other 97% of the time allows us to do just that.

How wonderful to say “Yes!” to that Italian pastry (and not kid ourselves how often we do that!). How lovely to stay up into the wee hours of the morning studying the stars as you paddle across a quiet and calm lake. How fantastic to be able “push” when you want to, to have “something left in the tank” when an arduous travel day requires extra stamina. All that healthy living can now pay dividends.

Well Travel Tip #7
Eat like your trip depends upon it…it does!

Now that I’ve urged you to “Go for it!” (with consciousness!), I’ll advise some consistency and common sense in the world of nutrition and eating. You can find almost endless online resources with lots of good suggestions, but as usual, I want to take a different tact here. First an ethical obligation to urge health and wellness through good ol’ basics:
• Drink more water, lots more water. Airplanes suck the moisture right out of you, so do new climates and elevation changes. Dehydration can affect you negatively in so many ways it would make your head spin (and I think that’s on the list of effects too). Hold on to the water you take in better. Limit caffeine, alcohol, and other diuretics!
• Pack your own food. As much as possible. Stay in charge of your own food supply. Buy locally, eat fresh!
• Eat a good breakfast. Best nutritional punch of the day. Even the French and Italians are starting to question their traditional white flour, sugar and caffeine breakfasts.
• Have fun at restaurants, but eat with real awareness! Don’t’ kid yourself on how much, how often, how many, or what! Eat like you know something about wellness!

Here’s a couple of simple list type resources with good ideas for eating better on the road:

Now for some Wellness Traveler thoughts on how to eat like your trip depends up on it.

• Eat to maintain energy and vitality. You want to be able to enjoy a whole day of walking through a beautiful part of the world, or hike all the way to that secluded waterfall and make it back! Balance your food intake so you have slow-burning energy from protein and fats (good fats) as well as the quicker burning carbs. Remember it’s like a good campfire, tinder+kindling+firewood, not just burning one wad of newspapers after another. Lots of food easily available to travelers is loaded with nothing but carbs and sugars.
• Be smart about food sources, but definitely be adventurous! Avoid the risky looking street vendor food, but order that new-to-you food at the restaurant. Like me you may hate canned anchovies, but you would not believe how fantastic the fresh ones that I had in Italy were!
• Eat mindfully. As much as possible find food that is close to the source, and partake of it with gratitude and grace. Mindful eating is even better for your digestion!
Honor the culture you are in and connect with it. When in Rome…don’t order a #&*@! Hamburger!  People express themselves and their geography through food so be a part of it. Try the homemade (not instant!) grits in the Southern part of the U.S. Try the civiche in coastal Mexico. Try those crazy snails in France! Bon appetite!

I certainly don’t pretend to tell you how to eat or what to do, but if you’ll give these ideas some thoughts you may find that what you eat enhances more than just your nutrition when you’re on the move. It may feed your soul, if you let it.

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