It’s officially summer… solstice-wise and, finally, weather-wise in Paris.
This side of three days ago we were surfing a veritable monsoon, tilting our heads to the sky, pleading in faux sobs, “Why, God? Why!?”
But now everything’s cool (or hot?) and we can finally focus our attention on more important things… like summer vacations.
Which, conveniently, is what this post is about.
However, during this season of fun and sun, our routine healthy habits can disappear faster than you can say “gelato.” And there will be gelato. Plus, possibly, perhaps plane travel, jet lag, family recipes, new environments, odd hours, lack of routine, exotic desserts… and more I cannot wish you than this, after all. Vive l’été!
But what’s a summer-lovin’ soul to do to not totally fall off the health bandwagon while traveling?
Glad you asked…
How to Have a Healthy Summer Holiday
In a word, prepare. Let me remind you of the (perhaps) hackneyed maxim — if we fail to plan, we plan to fail. No truer words were spoken when it comes to summer travel.
- Make a “healthy summer list.” Include some of my tips, and/or some of your own. You’re much more likely to stay on track if you’ve written down your action plan.
- Prep with probiotics. Repeat after me: The gut is life. (It’s your second brain, and 80% of your immune system is in your gut. I could go on and on about this, but in the interest of saving time — and avoiding ‘tome status’ for this post — here’s a great article about it.) And, though I recommend taking probiotics on a regular basis, at least start taking them a month before you travel, and during your trip.
- Prep with vitamin D. So many of us are vitamin D deficient, and it’s magic for staving off colds.
- Make sure your phone (or iPod/etc.) is loaded with inspiring audiobooks, podcasts, and/or meditations. Using your plane time well, in my opinion, starts the trip off on the right foot. After all… a healthy and inspired mind will make better choices.
- Pack some greens. Why? They massively boost your immune system and can supplement your nutrition while traveling — because who knows if where you’re going has an organic juice bar, right? How? With travel-size green powders, or Dr. Schulze’s superfood tablets.
On the Plane
- Bring your own trail mix. I cannot stress this enough… never, ever eat the crap they give you in packages with weird chemical salts and who-knows-what. Yes, I just said crap. But why ‘sugar coat’ it? Oh, wait… they do. And, in fact, it’s probably high fructose ‘sugar’ — so don’t eat it! Instead, prepare a delicious stash of cashews, almonds, pistachios, goji berries, pumpkin seeds — yum! Throw in some chopped up dark chocolate — hooray! Maybe add some prunes and dried figs — woohoo! Remember, he who bringeth his own snackeths will feel a million times better, and avoid the salt-induced water retention and food coma. You may already have to deal with jetlag, so why exacerbate the issue? (Btw, here are 8 Ways to Combat Jetlag.)
- Lavender hand wipes. (I love Herban Essentials.) These wipes are super multi-functional, as not only is the scent of lavender calming, but they are also incredibly handy in case of spillages, or if you need to clean your hands without using scary anti-bacterial hand goo. (What I am talking about…)
- Tea time? (Uh, always.) Bring your own delicious organic tea bags (and perhaps a thermos, because lawd knows those cups be small) and ask the flight attendant for hot water, whereupon you can surreptitiously pop in your tea bag for your needed quality cuppa. (Isn’t cuppa a great word? I’m turning British, guys. It’s all Chloe’s fault. 😉 ) Or, for a sky high health tonic, fill a thermos with slices of lemon and ginger (and no liquid) before you leave home. Then, once on the plane, have them fill that up for you with hot water and let it infuse for a few minutes. Mmm… I’m feeling healthier just thinking about it.
Ginger: not the most attractive of foods, but certainly one of the most beneficial, and great for tummy issues.
On the scene
- Don’t underestimate the power of quick yoga/work out sessions! Even 15 minutes before bed and/or upon rising can make a world of difference in how you feel, and in the choices you’ll make throughout the day. We love Steffy Yoga for this. (I know, we talk about her a lot, but who wouldn’t like doing yoga to a Scottish accent?)
- Hydrate! This is, of course, a rule of thumb for always and forever, not just during the summertime…. but especially when it’s hot, and you’re traveling, it’s paramount.
- Plan exercise. Much like you would schedule a visit to some fabulous tourist site or monument, put exercise on your calendar. Ex: Monday, see Machu Picchu. Tuesday, yoga at Lima Yoga. ¿Hablas español? Could be fun. (And with this newfangled internet thing, these days you can find yoga almost anywhere.) Another way to squeeze in some fitness is by planning exercise dates with long-lost friends. So, say you’re in your hometown, and Suzy from high school wants to hang out. You and Suzy can bond over a pilates class, or a walk around the local lake.
- If you MUST wear sunscreen, buy the natural-est one you can find. This article handles the topic beautifully. Do your research on this.
- Dry Brush. *grin* If you read my last post, you know all there is to know about this amazing practice. What better way to rejuvenate wherever you may be, than with a lil’ energizing body scrub? (Maybe bring a small brush without a handle for travel ease.)
- Choose your sugar moments wisely. Listen… my favorite thing is cake, so I get it. But pick your moments. If someone offers you any less-than-stellar sweet thing, say “no, thank you” politely. You can do it. There’s no need to use up your calorie intake on mediocre sweets, and, reminder: sugar jeopardizes the immune system. It’s sad, but we all know that sugar is crack. That being said… if someone offers you a double chocolate vegan fudge cake slice (and that, um, happens to be your favorite thing,) by all means, say “yes, please.” Yum. Just not too much, and not too often. You know what I mean. Also, on the days I have a treat, I strive to make sure the rest of my meals worthy of, like, David Wolfe.
So, to review, here’s the bullet point version of this article.
To stay healthy this summer:
- Prepare appropriately
- Keep exercising and moving
- Eat healthily (avoid too much sugar) + supplement with green/probiotics and vitamin D.
You’re good to go!
Summerin’ it out in Los Angeles.
I certainly hope you have found these tips helpful. What are some ways you stay feelin’ fine during the summertime? Let us know in the comments below. And hey — let us know where you’re off to this summer so that we can vicariously come along… 😉
P.S. Not going anywhere this summer? No worries, we’ve got you covered here.