How to stay (relatively) healthy on vacation..

I was debating titling this post “How to stay healthy on vacation” but then I realized that having mudslides and ice cream doesn’t exactly qualify as a golden standard of health. BUT, I do have some tips that I think are worth sharing for people that travel a lot (like me). I’m lucky that I always travel for pleasure, but I think that also makes it harder to commit yourself to staying healthy (relatively).

1.) Bring workout gear… and WEAR IT!

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I’m really not sure why I’m sharing this picture with you all because I look like a psycho. I most definitely scared people away in that gym. Seriously. I did a CrossFit-style workout and was grunting, sweating profusely and just being a little too intense for the soccer moms dabbling on the treadmils.

So when you’re packing- pack workout gear! It sounds simple, right? Okay, next step- WEAR THE WORKOUT GEAR! Don’t just have it sit in the bottom of your suitcase. I packed 3 workout outfits- I was away for 6 days, so figured working out 3 times was enough of a break on my body, but still enough to not make me feel like a total slug. My Reebok RealFlex sneaks are perfect for traveling because they’re so light and bendy that they fit anywhere, and I am OBSESSED with my new workout arm band. Seriously, it’s the only one I’ve had so far that fits the best and doesn’t slip. And it came with Bose headphones, so the sound quality is bomb diggity. Oh, and don’t spend 2 hours in the hotel gym. Do a quick, high intensity circuit that will get you out of there and on the beach ASAP. I did…

 

3 rounds of 12
Alternating dead lifts (35# dumbbells) and sit ups
Alternating overhead air squats (8# medicine ball) and V-sits
Alternating side kicks with 8# medicine ball press and bicycles
Alternating bicep curls (10# dumbbells) and planks (30 seconds each)

Boom. I started off with 10 minutes on the treadmil (2 rounds of 3 minutes walk, 1 minute incline sprint) and was done with the workout in about half an hour. And was so sore the next day and felt really accomplished.

2.) Pack snacks

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The theme of the day is to post embarrassing pictures of myself. Don’t you worry, there are more coming. Whenever I travel, I load up on snacks beforehand. Biggest things- protein, protein shaker, trail mix, dried mangos, and perhaps some plantain chips. Vega has individual protein packs that I brought which were AMAZING. After my workouts in the morning, or for breakfast, I would just shake it up with some water. And it would hold me over until my Mudslide during lunch #counterproductive #notsorry. But for real, having snacks on hand will help you get through the day and let you indulge in things you actually want to indulge in (mudslides, ice cream, etc. This girl doesn’t need to waste calories on a breakfast pastry buffet, thank you).

Oh, and don’t eat all of your snacks on the plane ride down. That may or may not have happened before. To me.

3.) HYDRATE


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Would you believe me if I told you that there’s coconut water in that coconut? Because that’s all it is. I was very intrigued about the idea of drinking out of a coconut, but thought you had to only order a fru fru drink to get one, then the waiter told me I could get it with straight coconut water. Since I’m so cool and prefer water over alcohol, I went for that, and it was delish. Just ignore my lazy eye, and imagine how awesome it is to drink out of a coconut. Why do I live in Boston again?

It’s hard to constantly be drinking water when you’re out of your normal routine and easy commute to a water bubbler, but always try to have a bottle on hand. It will help you stay full throughout the day and keeps everything in your system moving along. It sounds like a dumb thing to say, but sometimes something as easy as drinking as water gets forgotten when on vacation.

4.) Relax! 

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Don’t beat yourself up too much if you want to indulge and splurge a little bit. You work hard all year round, so kick back a little. Just don’t get tooo far off track because then it will suck when you come back and will be even harder to get into your normal routine. Some people say I’m crazy to workout on vacation, but when you’re used to working out 6x a week, your body sort of needs it. So do a little working out, a little splurging on food, and a lot of enjoying yourself 🙂

Puerto Rico was amazing, I had such a good time. If you follow me on Instagram you were probably cursing me for posting tropical pics during the middle of a snowstorm up here, so I apologize for that. But now it’s back to reality, back on track, wompity womp womp.

Does anyone have any holiday travel tips? How do you stay on track on the road?

-Emily

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Western Weekend Recap

Going off my theory that Mondays don’t exist, and Tuesdays are the beginning of the week. Seriously, I don’t think my brain was turned on yesterday, so therefore, I am pretending that the day just didn’t happen.

So happy beginning of the week SEGR’s!! I was in Montana this past weekend. My grandparents live out there, and unfortunately aren’t in the best health. My grandfather was sent home from the hospital last week so he could rest peacefully at home with his family and friends, so I flew out with my brother this weekend to say goodbye. It was really sad, but he’s been sick for awhile and seems really at peace with what’s happening to him. His mind is still sharp as a tack so we had a great visit with him. Even though it was so hard to say goodbye (I’m very close with my grandfather) I’m really glad that we went out there.

Anyways, not trying to drop a big SAD bomb on your faces this morning! Wanted to recap how to stay in shape when you’re traveling, so here’s a little low down on how my weekend went..

Friday 1PM: Go to Trader Joe’s and pick up excessive amount of snacks for the plane (I always end up eating double my body weight when I travel. I think it’s half out of boredom/half I pretend it’s the time change.. “my body is confused, it doesn’t know what time it is!” No Emily, you’re just a fatty). Point is- prepare! You’ll be less tempted to eat airport junk food when you have snacks on hand. I got a bunch of dried fruit, nuts, and plantain chips.

Friday 3PM: HAUL ASS to catch the train to the airport. I am talking full on sweat pourin’ sesh. Thank God I was wearing TOMS and not flip flops. Legit took me about 15 minutes to catch my breath and for my sweat to dry. Getting to sit in my dry, stinky sweat for the next 12 hours was certainly a treat.

Friday 5PM: After nomming on some lobster salad at Legal Sea Foods in the airport, my brother challenges me to climb up the stairs with our suitcases instead of taking the escalator. Umm.. have you been to the Delta terminal at Logan Airport? Oh you haven’t? It might possibly be the biggest escalator in the world. It’s a bitch. Here’s a pic from Architect Magazine (fancy)

Yeah, so it was probably about 100 steps. Michael and I booked it to the top, each carrying our 25 lb suitcases, probably getting really weird looks from the normal folk on the escalator. So once my sweat had dried from sweating to the train, it was pourin’ again. Great.

Friday 6-9PM: Consume majority of the snacks I brought for the entire trip on the first flight. Whoops.

Friday 10PM: Second flight is delayed. Get a Greek salad at the airport. Dinner #2, no big deal.

Friday 12PM: They decide to cancel our flight. Nervously consume entire bag of dried mangos as we try to re-book and get a hotel.

Saturday 7AM: Head back to airport with van full of uber friendly Westerners. Seriously, it was hard to be a pissed off Bostonian when you were surrounding by happy, smiling people. Direct quote from someone after I was complaining about our travel woes “Well… today is a new day!”

(our reaction..)

Saturday 9AM: Don’t make standby on the first flight. Consume delicious all natural fruit and protein shake from UFood. Also a bag of plantain chips. Michael and I find some more stairs to climb with our suitcases. I start sweating again. Vicious cycle.

Saturday 11AM: We finally are en route to Montana. 10,000 calories later.

So the point of that little recap was just to show that it is possible to make healthy choices on the road and even get in a little exercise if you’re stuck in an airport. Are there any gyms in airports? There should be. If I knew anything about business or had any money, I would do that. Is there a way to patent my idea? I’ll just say it here: if anyone puts gyms in airports before me I’ll sue you! Ha! No but really, someone should do that.

If you haven’t been to Montana, you should get out there. Hands down the most beautiful place I’ve ever been to. Since this has been the post random post ever, I’ll leave you with some pics that have nothing to do with fitness, but have everything to do with eye candy and beauty.

My grandparents house and backyard. Favorite view in the world.

The sky varies SO much out there. Both of these pictures were taken from the same point, just facing opposite directions. Crazy huh?

These ones are from last summer

My grandfather has been compiling a notebook over the past few years of the most valuable things he’s learned in life. It’s a really amazing collection of inspiration and wisdom, but I’ll leave you with my favorite one today. Little food for thought while you’re training

“All limits are self imposed”

-Emily

Burnin’ Calories and Shreddin’ the GNAR

Hi SEGR’s! Sorry we’ve been absent. Erica and I both happened to be in Vail skiing this weekend, which was a total blast. We only overlapped for a couple of hours, during which time Erica’s dad forced us to do shots of Jager with him. Totally Paleo, right?

Totally not pros at this. Sidenote- guess which one of us was skiing all day, and which one was sitting in the spa? Hint- the beastly creature in the pink Bondi was not in the spa.

Clearly no better way to start off a healthy blog post by sharing pictures of us doing shots. I swear I’m going somewhere with this..

It’s hard to stay healthy when you’re traveling. There’s temptation everywhere, and it’s hard to prepare your own food. I was a little anxious about this, so I packed about 20 Larabars.. for 4 days.. normal! Even though the gate agent at security probably thought I was crazy and going camping for 2 weeks, I definitely think it’s better to be prepared and always be able to have a healthy option on the go.

Turns out I didn’t need to go overboard packing the Larabars because Colorado is a super healthy place. I was in Denver for 2 nights and was pleasantly surprised that both restaurants had gluten free menus. Not shocking, as Denver is ranked one of the fittest cities in America. At Vail, they also had tons of healthy choices for lunch- salads, soups, fresh fruit, GLUTEN FREE COOKIES!! Amazing. I really hope that the food industry will continue to shift towards offering gluten-free options- it makes my life a whole lot easier.

Another awesome thing about taking a ski trip- you’re working out the whole time! I was nervous at first about missing 4 days at the gym, but then my boyfriend reminded me that I’m a moron and would in fact be working out the entire time we were there. I found this great list that describes why skiing is so awesome and kick ass for you:

TONES YOUR STOMACH MUSCLES

The art of skiing is to keep yourself steady on the slippery slope or through deep powder. To help balance yourself, you naturally engage your core stability muscles – the sheath of deep muscle that starts either side of your spine and runs around your body, ending up in your pelvic region. These are key stomach muscles which, when strengthened, act a bit like a corset, compressing the lower abdomen (which means a flatter tummy), toning your stomach muscles and stabilising your spine to protect it when you bend down or fall over on the piste. Mastering your core stability will also help you balance on the piste and improve your overall coordination.

IMPROVES YOUR CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM

Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced skier, you will be giving your cardiovascular system a good workout on the piste. Improving your cardiovascular system means elevating your heart rate which increases blood circulation, bringing more nutrients and oxygen to your tissues and helping to remove waste from the body more quickly. Working out in this way also means your muscles are able to draw in more oxygen and blood which produces more capillaries and allows your muscles to expand, and, in turn, burn up calories more quickly. Betony Garner of the Ski Club of Great Britain believes skiing for just half an hour without stopping is a good cardiovascular workout.

FULL BODY WORKOUT

Although skiing exercises all our major muscle groups, it particularly targets the inner and outer thighs, hamstrings and butt muscles – thanks to the crouching position that skiing involves. Warming up and down for ten minutes before and after skiing will help prevent muscle soreness and potential injuries by lengthening your muscle fibers. The best way to make sure you are stretching properly is to do a lower leg, hamstring, thigh, lower back, upper back and arm stretch and hold it in the position for 40 seconds. Skiing also stretches your upper and lower arms, says Corinne Thompson of the gym chain David Lloyd’s. ‘As you grip your poles and steer around moguls you use your triceps (backs of upper arms), biceps (front of upper arms) and lower arm muscles to control your speed and direction,’ she says. ‘This action also engages your shoulder blades and lower back giving a good overall workout.’

HELPS YOU LOSE WEIGHT

According to fitness experts, you can lose up to five pounds during a week’s skiing holiday. This is because a typical day’s skiing can burn up to 3,000 calories – far more than a session at the gym. Bethony Garner of Ski Club of Great Britain says the steeper the slope, the more calories you’ll burn because your body has to work harder to keep your body balanced. ‘Experienced skiers are also more likely to negotiate moguls – which use up even more muscle power and so burn even more calories,’ she says. Not only that, but being exposed to sub zero temperatures means your body is forced to raise its own body temperature and it does this by burning off even more calories! Betony points out taking it easy on the hot chocolate and pastries can also encourage weight loss. ‘High calorific food and drinking alcohol goes hand-in-hand with skiing holidays, but avoiding them will help you lose weight even faster,’ she says.

Read more here (via Daily Mail)

I couldn’t get over how exhausted I was at the end of each day. You really are getting a full body whooping. I wasn’t thinking of skiing as a workout because it’s so beautiful up in the mountains, and I was having a blast with friends. It was more of a social thing than a workout. But I did a calorie tracker and turns out I was burning about 350-400 calories per hour. I skiied on average 4 hours each day.. not bad! Definitely beats running on a treadmil staring at a wall.

I’ll leave you with some shots (pictures, not booze, sheesh) from my trip. Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend!

PS- Do I ever not have a Bondi Band on my head?

-ES


Being Paleo in Public

One of the funniest things about being Paleo is all the looks you get ordering at a restaurant or eating something weird at work (like mashed sweet potatoes for breakfast). As you guys know, I travel a lot for my job, so I need to be extra careful/creative with what I order. Take for example, breakfast. Every day, I order one out of the three paleo-ish meals on the menu. The conversation with the waiter usually goes as followed:

Waiter: Would you like any orange or apple juice this morning?

Me: No thank you, I’m fine with water.

Waiter: Alright what can I get you?

Me: Can I have the western omelet cooked in olive oil without the cheddar cheese, and instead of the home fries and toast can I have the fresh fruit cup without the mascarpone … please?

Waiter: Oh, you can substitute the bread for a muffin or bagel if that interests you more?

Me: No thank you, the fruit is fine.

Thanks waiter. Thumbs up 

Thankfully, I have been at this hotel now for 2 months and they know what they are dealing with every time I order. But, once in awhile I will get a new waiter, and completely throw them off their game. Poor things, its way too early to put up with my BS.

Then comes lunch. I go food shopping at Whole Foods on Mondays and stock up with everything I need for the week. For some reason, everyone thinks its weird that I choose to make lunch every day (since the company pays for it when I travel) rather than just to go out to eat. That’s when I usually have to explain to them that, although Mexicana Fiesta and Pizza Palace sound delicious, I’ll stick to my grilled chicken salad, thank you very much.

And finally, let me start off by saying I’m not proud of what I am about to tell you. I know lying is bad and rah rah, but sometimes a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do. Anyways, one time at work, my boss decided to order pizza for the office. (On a side note, it was freaking Upper Crust Pizza, my ALL time favorite. If you haven’t had Upper Crust, you simply haven’t lived. Seriously, its that good). SO, since I was doing the Whole 30, I REALLY could not cheat. Knowing my boss would not understand the first thing about being Paleo and why I did not want pizza, I lied to him and told him that I had a gluten allergy. I know I know, lying is bad and you especially should not lie to your boss (my mom already told me that it will probably bite me in the ass someday). BUT, if you knew my boss, you would agree this was the best way out.  When I told him I had a gluten allergy, he told me next time he would order gluten free pizza. Then I sorta felt bad. But whatever, a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.

Have you guys run into any situations like these? What do you normally tell people? Do they look at you like you have three heads?

-EB

CrossFit Hopping

As a consultant, I live my life on the road.  Over the past year I have stayed 143 nights in a hotel.  Although it may seem like a lot, I actually love it.  Traveling has given me the chance to see new places, try new gyms and meet new people.  Given my nomadic lifestyle, people might think its hard to eat healthy and stay fit.  I mean if you look at the average traveling businessman (sorry guys) he is most likely overweight.  Obviously this is a result of going out to eat every day, drinking with coworkers and not working out.  However, my friends, I have chosen a very different, often times seen as weird, path in my travels.

When I first find out where my next assignment will be, the first thing I do is look at the CrossFit website (www.crossfit.com) for a local box.  I have been lucky since there has always been one pretty close to where I am staying.  Then, I check to see where the nearest Whole Foods, Trader Joes, or, as a last resort, grocery store is.   Next, I call the hotel to see if there is a mini fridge in the room or if I can request one.  If all three check out, then I can take a deep breath and avoid a major panic attack.  All kidding aside, I know that if there is a mini fridge, grocery store and gym nearby, I will be able to maintain a healthy lifestyle on the road.

Now, a lot of people like to travel since you don’t have to cook and can go out to eat every night.  That is definitely an option if you want to eat unhealthy and feel crappy.  So, on the first day I usually head to the local grocery store and stock up on fresh produce, chicken and almonds.  This way I can prepare a salad for lunch, bring some fruit and almonds or veggies and avocado for a snack, and have some chicken (or other lean meat I find) and veggies or sweet potatoes for dinner.  Although this might take a little extra time and bring out some weird looks from the concierge or fellow coworkers, it has worked out for me this far.

I think the best thing about traveling is being able to try out new CrossFit gyms and getting a new perspective on training.  I literally cannot imagine how boring and lonely traveling would be without CrossFit.  I have met a ton of awesome, super fit people through CrossFit that I still stay in contact with today.  Its awesome to have that sense of community when you are on the road in a city you know little about. Fellow crossfitters also don’t think its weird that you go grocery shopping instead of eating out every night which is always a plus.

If there isn’t a CrossFit gym in the area, Nerd Fitness (www.nerdfitness.com) has a ton of great hotel workouts.  They are all body weight movements that will kick your ass and make you sweat. To switch things up, I will also create some of my own WODs that can be done in the room.  I try to incorporate some body weight skills such as handstand pushups or pistols along with some air squats, pushups, burpees and dips.  Those movements alone will give you a great workout.

Do you travel a lot? How do you stay fit? Any recommendations? We’d love to hear from you!

-EB