Newsletter Sign-Up:
Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon
Latest Blog Post
Tuesday
Feb112014

Well On The Road: Jen Morris

Our Travel Tuesday series cozies up to fabulous entrepreneurs who spend countless hours away from home in the name of their passion. Here we asked them to share some of their secrets for staying well on the road.

Jen Morris | Urban Detox ClubJen Morris
Certified Health Coach, Co-Founder of Urban Detox Club & Shaklee Independent Distributor
most recently in: Kenya and Paris

The one snack you can always find in my carry on is... 
Actually there two! For the actual flight day, I always have an almond butter and banana sandwich on flourless sprouted grain bread. It's almost impossible to find anything healthy at airports and in-air flights can be hit or miss so I make sure to have this on me. I also always keep my favorite snack bars from Shaklee handy. I love the Shaklee 180 snack bars and Chewy Apple Fiber bars. Depending how long I'm away, you may find one or two boxes in my suitcases.

Tell us your in-flight rituals.
If I'm traveling for pleasure, I really try to use the flight to start the relaxation process. I'll bring a book I've been wanting to read or treat myself to an in-flight movie. I think it's important to have some breaks from the craziness of running a business so I try to use the whole process as an opportunity to relax. However, I have found that I can be very productive on a flight since distractions are minimized. So if it's a business trip, I will work on a project for a few uninterrupted hours. To stay healthy, I always take some extra immunity boosting supplements the days leading up to flying and while I'm away since planes can be an incubator for germs. I'll pop some extra Vitamin C, elderberry and other immune boosting formulas. And I always take my favorite alfalfa tablets - which can help keep water retention and puffiness at bay. Finally, I try to stay very hydrated and always sit on the aisle because I like to be able to stretch my legs in the air and have easy access to the bathroom (see above about hydration!).

How do you conquer jet lag once you've arrived?
Jet-lag is rough however you cut it. Personally, I find that I'm more sane and catch up faster if I do nap when I arrive or go straight to bed if it's an evening arrival. I simply don't function well on no sleep and I find it hard to sleep on planes so I try to get some as soon as I can. If it's a nap, I make sure to keep it a nap and not climb in bed at 11am and sleep all day. After a nap, I'll get up, have a good meal, be active in some way and then get back to bed at a normal evening time. If I arrive in the evening, I'll try to get right to sleep and get up at a normal time in the morning - even if I want to keep sleeping.

Which fitness icon best describes your 'workout on the road' style?

image via

I think I'm closest to Bear as I'm a big walker and would much rather be outdoors than in a gym. I love to get out in a new city and just walk everywhere! I'll utilize mass transit when necessary but if it's walkable, I always take the scenic route. If I'm in a less urban environment, I'll swim, jog or go hiking and explore as much as I can.

How do you keep sickness at bay?
I always travel with my immunity supporting supplements (garlic, vitamin C, probiotics, and more), aim to stay well hydrated and avoid hand sanitizers opting instead for good, old fashioned soap and water.

Jen & her sister visiting the Huduma House in NairobiWhat's your 'go-to' restaurant item?
I really love experiencing new foods and enjoying local cuisine and there is no better opportunity to do this than when you are in a new part of the world. So I always opt for local cuisines that still fits with my healthy lifestyle. Fresh veggies and fish are good options and I'll enjoy a glass of wine, (local when possible), and if there is cheese and bread available, I'm sure to indulge a little. Life is too short not to enjoy delicious food on occasion. I do try to eat at local establishments versus chains or obvious tourist destinations, as I find the meals are usually fresher, healthier and served in smaller portions.

What do you do to stay grounded?
As I mentioned, I don't do well with too little sleep so I really try my best to enjoy where I'm at but still rest and sleep so I don't arrive home more exhausted than when I left! I also try to disconnect as much as I can when I'm away. I typically don't pay for international cell service so I don't text or call much. I'll try to check email once a day but use the time away to really BE away and appreciate the experience. If I'm traveling but constantly on Facebook or email, I feel pulled between two worlds and not present or grounded.

What is your preferred method of staying connected with loved ones?
I'll always let my family know where I'll be staying in case of an emergency and send an email when I arrive to let them know I'm safe. I may Skype once or twice if it's a longer trip but I think having some separation from my iPhone is healthy and needed. One of my favorite things to do is put my "Out of Office" message up on my email and voicemail. :-) 

Jen is currently keeping up with her clients one-on-one. Follow her around the world when she travels via Instagram and Twitter and become a fan of the Urban Detox Club today.

Tuesday
Jan282014

Well On The Road: Roxane Wagner

Our Travel Tuesday series cozies up to fabulous entrepreneurs who spend countless hours away from home in the name of their passion. Here we asked them to share some of their secrets for staying well on the road.

Roxane Wagner | Utopia VillageRoxane Wagner
Co-Owner & Director of Wellness and Sustainability at Utopia Village
most recently in: Nicaragua & Ireland

The one snack you can always find in my carry on is... 
As a Registered Dietitian, my homemade goodies are always my first choice. My granola bars made with organic oats, sunflower seeds, almonds and dried fruit accompany me on all my flights along with a bottle of water. Both keep me satisfied and energized throughout the flight.   

Tell us your in-flight rituals.
Once on board I always say hello to the person beside me. At times that leads to an intriguing conversation that can occupy a lot of time in-flight. There is always plenty to do on a flight and it really depends on how I am feeling. I can easily sleep on a plane so if I am tired I will take off my shoes, put on fresh socks and listen to my favorite music and have a nap. I also find once on board that my flight time is my relaxing time, I get my thoughts together for the trip. It’s a time that I reflect and read about my destination and drink lots of water and green tea.  

How do you conquer jet lag once you've arrived?
Luckily, jet lag has never been a real problem for me. When I arrive if I am tired I take a short nap then shower; the goal is to stay up as long as possible before retiring for the night. I spend that first day exploring my destination, sitting in coffee shops and watching the local interaction.

Which fitness icon best describes your 'workout on the road' style?

image via

Coming from a farming background, I am an outdoors person. I love adventure, nature, exploring and hiking, so Bear Grylls would be the fitness icon that describes my workout style.  

How do you keep sickness at bay?
I drink lots of water, eat fresh fruits and vegetables, get plenty of rest and wash my hands regularly.  

Roxane walking the streets of Copan, HondurasWhat's your 'go-to' restaurant item?
I always choose the local healthy cuisine favoring seafood and green salads.

What do you do to stay grounded?
I spend the first moments of the day in a park or on a dock to meditate and if possible catch a sunrise, that and a cup of coffee in a small café to take in the local environment and set the tone for the day.

What is your preferred method of staying connected with loved ones?
I use Skype, preferably with video so that I can see my family and animals.  

 

As a hotel co-owner, Registered Dietitian and Personal Trainer, Roxane is always on the move. Keep up with her at her home base in Honduras via her resort YouTube channel, on Facebook and Twitter

Wednesday
Jan222014

Staying Centered Overseas

Josalin in ThailandPicture this: It’s 102 degrees. Your face is burnt, your lips are chapped, and you’re dripping with sweat. Lost in a foreign country and surrounded by illegible signs written in characters that may as well be hieroglyphs. You are holding a pack that weighs half as much as you do, and you have no transportation besides the worn-out feet that are barely supporting you at a standstill. You see people that you want to ask for help, but you don’t know their language, and they don’t know yours. And in this moment, I am infinitely happy. Why? Because I'm thousands of miles from home, light-years beyond my comfort zone, and I'm thrilled to finally be here. 

Thailand. For 8 months I lived in a small town devoid of Western influence, English speakers, and intelligible books, signs, and menus. I stuck out like a sore thumb and I struggled with the simplest of tasks on a daily basis. But, being my first trip abroad I was determined to challenge myself, and I was rewarded tenfold. By setting the intention to push myself outside of my comfort zone, I allowed myself the opportunity to discover who I was - a much stronger woman than before I left. There are a few things I learned on my journey, which helped to keep me balanced, flexible, and receptive.

Relinquish your routine. Before I left for Thailand, my wellness routine consisted of a daily yoga practice. But, a tiny 10 x 10 sq. ft. room or a two-hour commute, (by pickup truck and the grace of Good Samaritans), to the nearest yoga center will change all that. Oftentimes when we are traveling for long periods in unfamiliar territory, we are temporarily lost without our routines. At first, I was lost too. Yet by letting go of my routine, I gave myself room to adopt someone else’s. 

While volunteering in local villages, I had been introduced to the art of walking meditation. Instead of the traditional seated poses I had been accustomed to, the Buddhists I was living with taught me to actively meditate while in motion. This is the time when the mind wanders the most, they said, so if you can maintain a focus while walking, you can master the art of keeping peace in the most difficult of circumstances. I was sold. While living in my small town, without room for or resources to what I was familiar with, I found solace in this newly learned meditation technique. By letting go of the past and integrating what I had learned into my nightly walk to the market—walking slowly, deliberately, mindfully—this became my new routine. 

Josalin with the local kidsLet people surprise you. I pride myself on being a fairly independent person. Pre-Thailand me would rather do something myself than ask others for help. But, what did the lost, sweaty girl with the heavy pack do in the 102 degree heat? Asked for help. Some deliberation among the concerned shopkeepers and one phone call later, a man on a motorbike was by my side, ready to take me anywhere I needed to go.  

Throughout my trip, I relied on local strangers to get me through the toughest situations, to unstick me from the thickest mire. I felt more connected with the world around me, more convinced of the ubiquitous compassion of my fellow human beings. There was a certain magic in relying on other people, instead of a guide book or a smart phone, for navigating an unknown land and culture. By the end of my 8-month stint, I hardly planned anything. I had learned to flourish within the go-with-the-flow culture that had me so worried in the beginning. Allowing myself to be vulnerable and to receive kindness from others on a regular basis, I easily adopted an attitude of gratitude that stays with me to this day.

Resist the temptation to take the easy route. When we are busy sightseeing, exploring, and traipsing around in a foreign country, we are usually exhausted, hungry, and in need of some comfort by the end of the day. Often the easiest thing to do is look up the nearest Western restaurant and nicest hotel, throw our bags to the ground, crank the A/C, and collapse on the bed. There is definitely a time for this. But resist the temptation to always flock to things that are familiar to you while traveling. Not only will you absorb more of the culture around you, but you will force your brain to make new connections, rousing your most creative problem-solving resources. Learn the language, get off the grid, go exploring, meet new people, and get lost. You will become more confident, resourceful, and resilient. Use travel as a way to go beyond your perceived limitations. One step and one deep breath outside of your comfort zone, you will find a better you. - Josalin Saffer

Tuesday
Jan142014

Well On The Road: Susie Ellis

Our Travel Tuesday series cozies up to fabulous entrepreneurs who spend countless hours away from home in the name of their passion. Here we asked them to share some of their secrets for staying well on the road.

Susie Ellis | Spafinder WellnessSusie Ellis
President of Spafinder Wellness, Inc.® and Chairman & CEO of Global Spa & Wellness Summit
most recently in: Morocco & Hong Kong

The one snack you can always find in my carry on is... 
Water is the one thing in my carry on (purchased after security of course). I prefer not to carry snacks because it generally adds calories to my day, and I end up eating them even if I am not hungry

Tell us your in-flight rituals.
I dress in layers and prefer all natural fibers like 100% cotton. I always have a warm scarf that I can throw around my neck, a pair of socks and usually my jean jacket, which doesn’t wrinkle. Then I am ready for whatever fluctuations in temperature might arise– and there are usually many. On a long distance flight I always bring my plush eye blinders that block out any light but are roomy enough so my eyelashes don't get smooshed. I generally wear very little make up when traveling and take my earrings off for maximum comfort.   

How do you conquer jet lag once you've arrived?
Part way through a flight I set my watch to the arrival location time so I can click into gear with that time zone immediately when I arrive. If it is breakfast time, I eat breakfast...if it's time for bed, I go to bed, etc. I don't think back to what time it is at home at all. There are three things I use to help me ease into the new time zone more quickly: a cup of coffee in the morning, as much sunlight as I can get during the day, and one half of a sleeping pill to make sure I get a full night's sleep. This routine works for all of my travel–this past year it really was tested since I had to go back and forth to India, then to Hong Kong and then to Morocco, all within about 60 days!

Which fitness icon best describes your 'workout on the road' style?

image via

I would have to say I am more of a Bruce Jenner when it comes to working out on the road. I like to mix it up, depending on where I am and what mood I am in. If there is a pool, I swim. In a beautiful setting, I walk. If there is a gym I do treadmill and weights. If I don't have a lot of options or am on a busy schedule, (usually the case), I will throw down a big towel on the floor of my hotel room and do squats, sit ups and push ups.  

How do you keep sickness at bay?
Sleep, sleep, sleep. For me the best predictor of getting sick is lack of sleep. So as much as I possibly can, I try to go to bed early and get a good night's sleep. 

Susie Ellis welcomes His Holiness The 14th Dalai Lama to the Global Spa & Wellness SummitWhat's your 'go-to' restaurant item?
One thing that I love, which is also healthy, is Greek salad. Fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce, feta cheese and a dressing with Greek oregano...yum! But I have them hold the olives; I’m just not a fan. 

What do you do to stay grounded?
I travel with an inspirational booklet called God's Promises. Small and easy to pack, it has a table of contents that lists various life situations and then gives Bible verses and a prayer. It always calms me down and reminds me that I am not in charge of the universe. The verse, "When I am weak, then I am strong", is always a welcome balm.   

What is your preferred method of staying connected with loved ones?
Email is best for me. I rarely go more than a few hours without checking my email so that is what keeps me connected. While messaging, tweeting, facebooking, phone calls and Skype factor in here and there, it is email that is the most constant. For staying connected with my husband, I like the FaceTime app these days.  

 

Having released the Spafinder Wellness 365™ 2014 Spa & Wellness Trends Forecast today and just announced the 2014 Global Spa & Wellness Summit for September in Morocoo, Susie is staying busy. You can keep up with her Industry Insights blog or follow her on Twitter for the latest wellness news.

Monday
Dec302013

Kickstart Your Wellness on New Year's Eve

image viaIn my opinion, New Year’s Eve is arguably one of the best holidays of the year. It is an evening filled with the wonder of the possibility of a fresh start with friends and family. Plus it’s one of the only days of the year when it is acceptable to wear head-to-toe sequins – sign me up! A majority of us spend a significant amount of time making a resolution for the New Year, and if I were a betting gal I’d say most of all resolutions made on NYE have to do with improving personal health and wellness. As a firm believer in, “Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today,” let’s ditch the resolution mindset and start off your New Year’s Eve celebration in a healthier way. 

Walk To Your Celebration Destination – Ok we know you want to spend more time working out in 2014 (more than 12% of gym members join in January) so why not start tonight by walking to your party destination? Your legs will thank you and so will your complexion for that rosy glow! Walking also has the added benefit no one getting behind the wheel in a drunken haze. If walking is out of the question, catch a cab, jump on a bike or ride the bus in order to keep you and those around you safe. Mass transportation might be crowded tonight, but starting off the year with a reduced carbon footprint is a good reason to give yourself a pat on the back. 

Pamper Your Insides - Before the party starts, make sure to stay hydrated well throughout the day and eat at least one well-rounded meal. The consumption of alcohol later in the night can deplete your body of essential fluids and nutrients. We’re all nearly 2/3’s water so you don’t want to give the champagne a head start by being dehydrated when the bottles arrive. 

Impress Your Guests with Local Organic – Are you playing host this year? We know it can be tempting to grab a giant bag of chips and French Onion Dip from your nearest superstore and call it night. This year, why not surprise your guests with great tasting; filling organic and local treats at your soiree? If you’re cooking you’re one click away from some great health conscious snack recipes - check out our Pinterest page for some favorites! If you don’t feel like slaving away in the kitchen (we don’t blame you – head-to-toe sequins takes time!), shop your farmer’s market or a local gourmet shop and support the business of your town! 

Drink Responsibly - No New Year’s shindig is complete without a little pop, clink, and fizz! We think champagne is actually the best part of the night. This year commit to buying organic and really do your part for your body and the environment. We’ve already found some Cava and Prosecco worth considering. Now, raise your glass to 2014 and toast to a year of prosperity and continued wellness! - Jen Parravani