Photo Credit: Terry Jaskiw
When it comes to traveling, whether for work or pleasure, finding healthy food options can be tough. The airport, train, highway rest stops, and other road warrior venues don’t always provide the best options. That said, having a plan of attack can help.
Here are three tips to help you stay on track when you’re on the road:
Know where you’re headed and then devise a plan. This could mean packing your own food, calling ahead or scouting out exactly where you’re headed and potential obstacles. For example, what eateries are available at the airport? If you’re headed to a work conference, can you call the hotel to see what’s on the menu? Going to a wedding or a an awards dinner, call the venue and find out what they’re serving. Especially if buffet meals are going to be served, it’s important to know what options you have and plan accordingly.
If you really want to get specific, plan out your days in MyFitnessPal (the free app I use to track my food, especially when traveling). Review your itinerary and plot out how you will eat. When you eliminate surprises, you will find eating healthy much easier to accomplish no matter what the situation.
Know your options.
Going back to my buffet example, be sure to take an inventory of all the food options. Typically what I’ll do if I’m up against a buffet and first, slowly walk around and take in everything that’s offered. There are so many times when I loaded up my plate, only to realize there was a better option at the other end. You don’t want to miss anything, including how to avoid the dessert area!
It’s rare to not find salad or some sort of grilled item in a buffet. Once you see all of the available food, then you can make an educated decision on what to eat based your goals. Whether it’s high protein, low fat, low carb, Paleo, gluten-free, etc., be sure you are clear on everything available and then you will be able to make the best healthy selection based on your options.
Be a diva and ask for what you want.
Just because a meal or item is listed on a menu does not mean you have to order it as-is. Think about all of the people who have food allergies, gluten sensitivities or dietary restrictions. Eating healthy is just as important!
Let’s use a chef’s salad as an example. For me, I will ask for no cheese and to have dressing on the side. Many salads are very healthy, it’s what they put on top of it that sometimes turns a healthy salad into an unhealthy meal. Think about your creamy dressings, various cheeses, anything fried and seeds/nuts. While you don’t always need (or have the option) to choose salads, that is always your best best if you’re trying to go healthy and watch your calories. But, be sure you know what’s in that salad. Add in cheese, nuts and other calorie/fat-dense add-ons and suddenly your salad has more calories than that cheeseburger! Too much of anything — healthy or not — is never good.
Being a road warrior is no excuse for not eating healthy. Always keep a protein bar, some nuts or an apple in your purse or backpack because you never know when you’ll be stuck on a delayed flight or traffic. Even if you’re not traveling, there are many times I’ve been delayed at the dentist or doctor’s office and had to scarf down a protein bar in the waiting room. You never know when you may be delayed and unable to get to some healthy food options.
You can also refer to this handy guide of healthy food options when you’re on the go. While it may seem difficult to find a healthy option at most fast food chains, you’d be surprised by how making some small tweaks can make all the difference. For example, instead of getting the Big Mac and large fries at McDonald’s, why not opt for the plain cheeseburger and small fries. By making that switch, you save a significant amount of calories, fat and carbs! Or if you’re stuck at the local gas station mini mart, don’t immediately reach for a hot dog. Instead, grab a bag of beef jerky or a protein bar. Not only will your stomach thank you, but so will your waistline!
Now you have no excuses for not being a healthy road warrior! Want to learn more tips? Visit www.allisonjacksonfitness.com.
Allison Jackson is the founder of Allison Jackson Fitness. She is passionate about all things health and fitness, but she really loves sharing her knowledge and expertise to help corporate moms get lean eating foods they love so they can be at their best. She knows exactly how hard it is to work full-time, take care of the kids and household…plus try to fit in working out, eating right and taking care of herself, too! Allison has spent the last seven years training and competing in figure competitions — even winning her pro card — so she has a crystal clear picture of what it takes to get to your ideal weight and stay there. Now she’s ready to share what she’s learned and experienced. Are you ready to transform your body and reach your goals?
You can also find Allison on Facebook – Instagram – Website
I hope it’s gorgeous where you are! And I hope you’re enjoying warmer temperatures, beautiful flowers, the greening of the trees, and more lightness in your step.
Last week as I made my grocery list for the week, I suddenly wanted all of the veggies and salads. Not two weeks earlier my main purchase was 4 pounds of short ribs (yum!!). But this shift got me to thinkin’…
So many people make wellness goals (i.e., “eat right and exercise”) at the turn of the New Year — but this is not really in alignment with the cycles of nature. In fact, so much of what we do is not in alignment with nature and we suffer terribly for it.
During the depth of winter our bodies naturally want to put on some extra pounds, to stay warm and cozy, to nestle in. It’s not the best time for 30 day yoga challenges, starting a CrossFit program, and dietary detoxes. That doesn’t mean we just sit on the couch and eat boxes and boxes of Girl Scout cookies all winter (no judgement here if you did!), but doubling down our efforts to not gain a pound or two can mess with our natural rhythms quite a bit.
But now, now is….the transition from winter to spring is the time that your body is ready to lighten up, become more active, and be more productive.
One of the things I talk about most with my clients is that your body is wise! It’s part of nature, and as such, it has its own intelligence and rhythm. You don’t really need to look to books and experts to tell you what and how often to eat. You need to learn the language that your body is speaking to you all the time and then give it what it wants.
If you learn how to pause, and to listen to your own body as it speaks to you, you’ll know. You’ll learn its cues, what it’s saying yes to and what it’s saying no to.
And then comes the perhaps more challenging part — to set up the practical aspects needed to give your body what it wants — to plan meals, to make time for the shopping and the cooking, and to deal with any mental drama your mind kicks up about what it wants to be eating — often based on out-dated habits and emotional cravings. This is where coaching can be extremely helpful, so feel free to reach out!
I have to be honest, I don’t love the words “cleanse” and “detox” because it sets us up for a lot of moralizing around our food choices. But if you are getting the sense that your body wants to simplify for a bit and could really benefit from this sort of nourishing support during this seasonal transition, there are a couple of good ways to go for a period of 3 – 7 days. It’s nice on the front and back ends to do a couple of days of whole, non-processed foods. Not sure if this is for you? Just get quiet and ask your body and see what your “gut feeling” is. That will also help you choose which to do.
- A mono-diet of kitchari for 3 – 7 days. Include some warming spices of ginger, turmeric, and cumin, and a well-cooked veggie like broccoli or spinach.
- Have a salad for lunch with a nice mix of greens and veggies with lean (or no) protein and a simple dressing of lemon juice, cumin, and olive oil. Parsley, celery, dandelion greens, raw or steamed beets are great salad inclusions for this time of year. Sip warm veggie or bone broth or a puréed vegetable soup for your other meals. Here’s a recipe for a great sweet potato and greens soup that fits the bill perfectly. Include healthy fat such as coconut oil or ghee if sticking to the veggies.
Make sure you feel well-nourished physically. The goal is to simplify your eating, not go hungry!!
As for movement, if you’ve not been very active and it’s time to get going again, ease into it with some nice walks in the sun, a little dancing or yoga, and stuff that simply feels like playing. You can turn this into more structured, rigorous activity as you feel led. Again, use this as a time to tune into what your body is saying to you!
And, if this is NOT a happy season for you because all of the pollen has your allergies going — we should also talk. Seasonal allergies are often a symptom of an immune system that is unable to keep up with less than stellar gut health and systemic inflammation. I have recommendations to help you with these, so do reach out to me at Laura@LauraJarrait.com.
Laura Jarrait, creator of Eat Well, Move Well, Live Well is an intuitive eating and movement coach for women. She is on a mission to help women end stressful thinking about food, eat with confidence and pleasure, and trust and love their bodies now. As a life-long fan of eating and a devoted student and teacher of alignment-based yoga and other somatic and mindfulness practices for over 20 years, she teaches women to end the war with their bodies and come into true respect, appreciation, and yes, even love, for their physicality. Be-friending your body in this way changes the game completely around how you nourish yourself and experience the joy and pleasure of being, which in turn frees you up to make your unique and powerful contributions to this world. You can read more about her story and work at www.LauraJarrait.com
You can also follow Laura on Facebook and Instagram
Photo Credit: Gustavo Alcantara
In my previous blog Vulnerability: Ask & You Shall Receive I talked about how vulnerability is something that takes courage and strengthens resilience. This blog is going to be more of a cautionary tale. Being vulnerable and asking for support is very important for peaceful living. What is even more important is to use that support to build your strength and heal your vulnerability!
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VULNERABILITY AND VICTIMHOOD
We all know people who live in a state of what seems to be constant emotional need. In fact, many of us have been there ourselves. I certainly have! During my graduate school years I was a mess!
My point here is not to degrade people who struggle with emotional neediness. When people feel this way it is because they lack the tools to help themselves feel better! That’s why I was a mess; I lacked tools. In fact, it was that very thing that motivated me toward the Mindfulness and Mindset journey I’m on today! The journey I share with you in these blogs and through my coaching.
Allowing myself to be vulnerable, so that I could benefit from the help of others, is one of the tools I have found to be very helpful in my journey to wellness and living a peaceful life. That’s why I’m sharing it with you.
Recently, a friend of mine was talking to me about her father’s illness and how she was very sad and worried because he was in Intensive Care in the hospital. After that conversation she texted me and apologized for what she called her, “meltdown.” I honestly did not know what she was talking about.
It turns out that she was talking about how she expressed emotions about her father’s illness. THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF HOW AND WHEN IT IS OKAY TO BE VULNERABLE! It is not a weakness to ask a friend to listen when you have sorrow.
On the other hand, I have also had some friends over the years who constantly seem to be in a place of emotional need – and dare I say, “drama,” In my blog about “Stressful Friends” I talk about how to mindfully communicate with friends who live in a state of complaint. This is what we want to avoid for ourselves! It is not healthy to live in an ongoing state of negativity and complaint.
Again, this is where I differentiate between vulnerability and victimhood:
Vulnerability is opening-up, saying you need help, and accepting the help so that you can move through your challenges.
Victimhood is complaining over and over again about the same thing, not accepting help and not moving through your challenges.
Vulnerabilities may, and often do, resurface. New situations in your life may also bring up new areas of vulnerability. Again, this not victimhood. Victimhood is never doing anything but complaining about your vulnerable situation.
TOOLS FOR HEALING
There are many different Mindfulness and Mindset tools that can be applied to different types of life challenges in order to overcome vulnerability. And, each specific situation will warrant different strategies. This is where seeking out a skilled coach can help you to figure out the most effective strategy for you to heal and strengthen.
But, there are also some general strategies that you can implement to help guide you. I am going to lay out 4 that are my basic go-tos:
- Meditation & Yoga: Yes, I will always start with meditation and yoga. These are the mindfulness-based practices that produce the relaxation effect that lays the foundation of peace in my life.
- Asking For Support: In my first “Vulnerability” blog I talk about how important it is to ask for support. Your friends and family, a coach, therapist or spiritual leader will support you if you ask. AND REMEMBER – In these situations, it is always okay to take what you like and leave the rest! In other words, you don’t have to follow every little bit of advice people give you.
- Affirmations: Positive self-talk is very important! I coach myself all the time with positive self-talk. It’s so easy to be hard on ourselves. But, for some reason a lot of us have to make an effort to be good to ourselves. Here is your permission! Be good to yourself! Shower yourself with kindness!
- Gratitude: I think of gratitude as a basic need in life. I practice gratitude every day. A habit of gratitude allows you to flood your body with happy hormones like oxytocin, seratonin and dopamine. I find that it helps me keep my life and my life’s challenges in perspective.
Go ahead and BE VULNERABLE! But, do so in a way that allows you to heal and strengthen. Be vulnerable and ask for support. Be vulnerable in order to become strong.
But, don’t wallow in being a VICTIM!
What do you need to be vulnerable about today?
Are there certain things that you are going on too long about?
If so, what can you do to help heal those ongoing vulnerabilities?
As always, I am grateful for your comments and shares and follows!
With Much Gratitude!
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Hi all, my name is Lyndsey Bobola and I am a certified personal trainer out of Charleston, South Carolina. I have been in the Health and Fitness industry for a long time and what I found out is that for the most part, we do not get much of the truth about what we should be doing for our health and if we do, it is usually mixed in with a bunch of garbage you have to comb through to get a sliver of the facts.
It took me a long time, a lot of tears and headaches to get the truth about health and true wellness. And now I want to share these truths with the world!!!!
I want you to envision a vehicle and all the mechanisms that help it run properly. Now I want you to think of nutrition and regular exercise as parts of the vehicle for TRUE HEALTH. When everything works together you get total health and wellness. There are multiple parts that coincide to help make the journey successful and I am here to give you the truth and realities to my part of that vehicle; nutrition and exercise.
The biggest downfall for most people when it comes to healthy eating and exercise, is information. We live in a social media driven world and are bombarded with information, about the best ways to lose weight, which exercise works for what body part, and ‘lose 40 lbs. in three weeks!!’ It is mind boggling. Especially, if you are new to your health and fitness journey. And all of it can be intimidating and a deterrent if you don’t know how to navigate the waters.
I am here as your captain, trying to steer you on the right path. And just like any good captain, I give you the truth straight up, no sugar coating. If you want good health, you got to throw away the excuses and work for it. So, let’s get started!
If you want good health, you got to throw away the excuses and work for it.
First, my ultimate and favorite phrase. K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple stupid). Not that your stupid at all!!! You are reading this blog, so you got to be a little smart 😊. What we tend to do, is over complicate situations, we get all stupid, and make things hard.
What we tend to do, is over complicate situations
For instance, we see things on social media like big elaborate meal preps, expensive workout equipment, diets with complicated rules and restrictions. What do we do? We immediately try to recreate these things because we believe, THIS IS THE ONLY WAY TO HAVE SUCCESS. But it makes us do the complete opposite; WE FAIL!!!
We fail because it becomes too complicated, too hard and too extreme and then we CRACK, BREAKDOWN AND GIVE UP!!! Basically, we set ourselves up for failure. We buy a bunch of crap and hope that it’s going to magically make us healthier.
What it takes is simple, tiny, uncomplicated steps to reach a goal you have created. For instance, if you drink 6 sodas a day, try reducing it 1 per day, if you succeed, next week try reducing it by two. It’s not magic here people, just logic!!!
Disaster is Eminent Today
Next, steer clear of any diet. Diet stands for DISASTER IS EMINENT TODAY. Look, there are plenty of fad diets out there, that guarantee rapid weight loss in short amount of time. The problem with these types of diets is that they are designed for you to fail. You end up on a roll coaster of dieting. Ever wonder why it’s called yo-yo dieting? Because it’s EXACTLY THAT. On them, you lose weight because you have restricted some food group, that you had no business removing, and then as soon as you derail, you gain all the weight back plus some. And where does that leave you? Cursing the diet gods and unhealthier than you were originally. Plus, now you are dangling from a cord over the mouth of another fad diet saying ‘hmmm this looks interesting, let me try this one.’ JUST SAY NO!!!!
Cold Hard Facts
The COLD HARD FACTS; you never learn any long-lasting lifestyle changes, nothing ever became a habit or part of your routine. CHANGE IS TRULY NECESSARY FOR GROWTH.
Last but certainly not least, you must throw out the notion that the important part is the RESULTS. THE DESTINATION. THE END GAME. THE END ALL, BE ALL. Yes, it’s great to reach and achieve a goal but the most important part is what you learned on the journey. This is where you grow on a personal level and develop behavioral changes that help you make long lasting lifestyle changes. You can’t just be healthy for a little while and expect it to last. You have to do it daily to maintain good health.
I know. I know. I probably busted a lot of bubbles just now but that is my job. Our world is in a state of instant gratification, but the truth is that, anything good (aka your health) is going to take hard work and I am going to give you all the information you need to make this journey successful!!! So there is no excuse for you not to succeed!!!
So, if you are ready, keeping following, reading and learning.
You can also find Lyndsey on Facebook – Instagram – Website
Photo credit: Di Lewis
Being a mom is freaking hard! I love my daughter SO MUCH, but sometimes I miss my old life.
If I could send a message to the pre-mom version of myself, I would tell myself to enjoy the quiet moments.
Being a mom means we wear many hats! We run our family, our home, work (whether that’s in the home or not) and more. The stress is real and we often put our own health (and sanity) last.
In the long run, not taking care of yourself will have a huge negative impact on your health, your happiness and your family.
Creating healthy habits doesn’t have to be difficult, expensive or overwhelming. It’s important to make one change/improvement at a time.
To help you make some quick improvements, I’m sharing some of my favorite healthy living hacks.
Stop counting calories
Please! I’m seriously begging you. Counting calories is one of the worst things you can do for your health. This usually leads to eating chemical filled synthetic ‘franken-foods’ that are void of any nutrients just because they’re low calorie.
Always go for quality over quantity. Make it easy and just eat real food.
Eating real food will help you lose weight, have more energy, balance your hormones, sleep better, reduce inflammation….there is no end to the benefits of eating real food.
Create a meal plan
I know this can sound like something else that you need to add to your never ending ‘to-do list’.
The good news is it doesn’t have to take too much time to create a meal plan that will then last you for months.
‘How?’ you say. I created a blank six week calendar that I fill in with pre-planned meals. I then rotate through those six weeks a couple of times.
I have two of these plans, one for cold months (with soups and chilis) and the other for warm months (salads and grilling). You can get a copy of my blank six week meal plan here.
Remember to allow days for socializing, going out to dinner and leftovers.
If creating a meal plan still sounds overwhelming, this is the amazing meal planning service that I recommend to my clients.
I heard that sigh. I know exercising may not be the funnest thing in the world, but it is a MUST if you want to be healthy.
There are seriously so many options out there now…gyms, YouTube videos, at home paid programs (DVDs, websites, etc), mom groups…the list goes on.
These programs include all types of exercise, from 10 minutes to an hour, any price range for any skill level.
Which means there is literally no excuse!
Use your smart phone to your advantage with healthy apps. Some awesome healthy living apps are:
Healthy Living by EWG.org. This app rates food, skin care products, cleaning products and more based on their level of toxicity, breaks down each ingredient, lets you know if it’s a possible allergen or carcinogen (and everything in between), and recommends clean products.
Fooducate is an amazing app that helps you track your food intake, exercise, macros, sleep, hunger and more. You can scan packaged foods and Fooducate gives it a letter grade based on sugar content, artificial ingredients, GMO’s, etc. Fooducate will also make recommendations for a better product. You can personalize it with your info like age, health conditions, goals, etc.
Calm has been my favorite guided meditation website/app for years. If you want to meditate but have a hard time quieting your mind, Calm is for you. They have free programs as well as paid.
Thankful for – Gratitude Diary. This is a new app for me and I totally love it! I love practicing gratitude but need reminders because I’m a busy mom/entrepreneur. This app has hundreds of small gratitude statements like “I am thankful for friendships”, “I am thankful for oxygen”, and many more. You can also create reminders that the app will you on your phone. It’s so awesome to get a couple “I am thankful for…” reminders every day. Practicing gratitude is so much easier now!
Please don’t attempt to begin using all of these at the same time. That can lead to overwhelm really fast! Baby steps are best when making transformations. Start to use one of these suggestions, make it a set habit and then move on to another one.
Which of these 4 tips will you commit to implementing?
As we know better, we do better ~
You can also find Bri on the following social media platforms:
Heart opening yoga poses are one of my favorite ways to challenge myself…to let shit go…to open myself physically, mentally, and emotionally to the pose, but also to whatever life is currently throwing at me. These experiences are another one of the MANY reasons why I love to practice. This practice is not just about being present on the mat, but also present in LIFE.
Have you noticed how heart opening poses are hard? How they change the way we breathe? How they force us out of our comfort zone? How they even make us agitated and discouraged? Raise your hand if you have experienced these frustrating moments…ME!
*My “oh crap I hate this pose” moment: When I raise myself up into wheel and I let out a grunt, the practice is kicking my butt and so is life. It feels like there is a elephant on my chest and everything feels heavy and the move well just flat out sucks. The first thing that comes to mind when I get up into wheel is I immediately want to come down. I want to thrown in the towel and just be done.
But have you also noticed, that when you allow yourself to LET GO…to breathe…to open yourself to the unknown…to be a little fearless…to take a chance…the heart opening pose allows you to fully OPEN and it all feels effortless.
*My “YES!!! FREAKING GO FOR IT pose” moment: Landing in Half Moon pose and feeling grounded, strong, open, and happy is yoga bliss. When I feel these things and all that other mooshy gooshy stuff, this pose is effortless and yes, just makes me SMILE.
Yes, these heart opening poses also require practice, strength, and balance, but they also offer much more than that and I hope you will be able to feel mental and emotional benefits someday soon.
In the meantime, here are my 5 favorite heart opening poses. Each one presents its own challenge to me in my practice. What I truly love about these poses is that there is ALWAYS room to grow in both the physical practice, but yes also the mental and emotional.
So let it go…Open your heart…Open your mind…Breathe…
What is your favorite heart opening yoga pose?
Do your heart opening yoga poses challenge you?
My name is Katie Uhran. I’m a fitness and lifestyle influencer who lives in beautiful Charleston, South Carolina. I am passionate about running, yoga, writing, food, and inspiring others to live their happiest life inside and out. I share workouts, simple recipes, self-care tips, and a glimpse into my own personal journey. It’s real…It can get messy…and there will definitely be some ups and downs. But this is ME. This is my life and the beautiful mess that it is and I want you to join me. To live, learn, love, and ENJOY life to the fullest.
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