10 Tips for a Healthy Tour

10 Tips for a Healthy Tour

Life on the road takes a toll on your health, so here are some tips to keep you healthy both during and after the tour. Many of the choices you make to keep you healthy are also going to help keep the planet healthy too so it’s doubly worth doing!

If you can do a little prep before you leave it will pay back in volumes:

Stock up on healthy snacks, get yourself a BPA free water bottle and a good travel mug. When you buy food shop local, shop organic get a big bag and break it down into single servings yourself. Take some reusable ziplock bags or little tupperware containers.

1. Eat Breakfast – yes it’s true, this is the most important meal of the day even when it’s eaten at 2 in the afternoon!

Including fibre in your breakfast will reduce hunger cravings all day. As you reach for the waffle in the hotel/motel breakfast hold back, grab a yoghurt, put some high fibre cereal in it and finish off with a piece of fresh fruit. Another option is to take a bag of granola with you, organic if you can and check on the sugar in the ingredients, try to keep it low. Good old oatmeal is good filling start to the day, sweeten it with honey or agave rather than sugar.

2. Beware the caffeinated and sugared drinks – And now for the coffee! If you can make the switch to green tea, it still has caffeine but is so much healthier for you.

If not, try to reduce the amount of coffee you are drinking. For those who like their coffee sweetened take some packs of stevia with you – zero calories and all natural. If you are going to be staying in places where you can brew your own – motel rooms, friends’ homes – take your own preground organic, shade-grown and fair-trade. Take your own (herbal) teabags with you on the road, that way you can just get hot water and have the drink you want instead of the ubiquitous one on offer. Keep a couple in your pocket or your bag. Take your own travel mug and ask for that to be filled when you buy coffee, tea or water. Think how many cups get thrown out every day that could be avoided.

3.The Perils Of Bottled Water – I’m all in favor of healthier water but bottled water is not always it. Many of the ones you see are distilled water. It may be ‘clean’ but it is also ‘dead’. Spring water is great but, often, municipal water is fine too. Whichever you choose please take your own water bottle (BPA free) and refill it – try to avoid the endless landfill of water bottles if you can. You’ll also save a fortune.

4. Ooh those ‘Energy’ drinks – you know the ones, they are everywhere, but, when you stop to read the ingredients and figure it out, the energy is coming from up to 12 teaspoons of sugar per can and a lot of caffeine! So, yes, you’ll get energized but, after the sugar spike (and caffeine high) comes the sugar plunge (and caffeine low) and then, you’ll want another and so it goes. Rather choose one of the non-sugar drinks with electrolytes and vitamins. A new product I recently discovered is Quench Aid Sport which comes in little sachets so you can mix it as you go. A karate sensei I work with has given up on the gatorade and now mixes a half pack of this before teaching a 4 hour session and then takes the other half afterwards. Look for ginko bilboa, ginseng, acai and guarana as potentially helpful ingredients. Avoid sugar and caffeine.

5. Le Snack – If you are on the road it is so easy to eat poorly – stops at fast food places, late night eats, grabbing that super caffeinated super sugared ‘energy’ drink. All this will contribute to high sodium, high saturated fats and sugar and caffeine spikes which, while they might feel good initially, have lousy pay-offs.

So, try to have snacks on you that you can graze on through the day (or night). This will help balance your metabolism and your energy. Dried fruit is excellent for vitamins but watch out for the sugar. Fresh fruit and veg are great, organic yoghurt without added sugar are all excellent options.

6. Buy a large bag of almonds – Rich in minerals, vitamins (high in anti-oxidants) and good quality protein, can help reduce cholesterol, reduce surges in blood sugar from your meals and are a little wonder food. Take a couple of little tupperware containers or small ziplock bags and put a quarter cup of almonds in them to snack on each day. Practical Tips: Don’t just enjoy almonds as a between-meal snack. And, when fast food is unavoidable, remember when eating foods with a higher glycemic index, including almonds in the meal can help keep your blood sugar under control. So chow down on a few between the burger bites.

7. Eat your greens – If you have access to a refrigerator or can keep a cool box on the bus, take some fresh fruit and vegetables to munch on.

Celery sticks, sliced red and green peppers, carrots – so much better then the bag of Doritos you were about to reach for. Round them off with some hummus to dip into or peanut or (even better) almond butter and you’re set. If you buy a salad in a restaurant, dress it with a dash of orange juice or lemon juice and some black pepper, try to avoid pre-prepared salad dressings. All the virtue of eating that salad will go out the window! Choose dark greens over romaine – baby spinach beats romaine hands down for iron and other nutrients. For your carb fix baked pita chips are the better way to go.

8. Sore muscles, aching joints – you know how it goes, a stiff neck from unfamiliar pillows or dropping off on the plane, sort it out fast with a warming muscle rub. Using an all natural one is good for you, keeps all those toxins out of your system and good for the planet too. If you hurt yourself, it’s best to alternate heat with ice on the first day to reduce swelling. 20 mins ice, 20 mins no ice (or heat) and then another 20 mins ice.

9. Stress Relief – if you can escape the pressures and stress of being on a 24/7 schedule, you will function much better both physically and mentally. This exercise can also be effective in dealing with anxiety, panic attacks, stage fright, and fears (such as the fear of flying). All you need to do is take 3 minutes out and you will notice the difference. So when dealing with anxiety, panic attacks, stage fright, or just exhaustion, focus on your breathing and restore your equilibrium. The following exercise can be done anywhere, anytime. The more you practice the more useful you will find this.

Controlled Breathing Exercise:
1. Sit upright in a comfortable position.
2. Focus on your present state and existence (this is often termed being “mindful”). Block out intrusive thoughts. You may close your eyes if you wish.
3. Pay attention to your breathing. Inhale slowly through the nose, taking several seconds.
4. Exhale through the mouth, trying to make the exhalation phase last twice as long as the inhalation.
5. Continue this mindful breathing for 3-5 minutes.
1-2-3 Stretch

Most people carry stress in their necks and shoulders. A few simple stretching exercises can work wonders to relieve the tension, reduce headaches and improve well-being. (Movement should be stopped when a gentle stretch is felt. If any sensation such as arm tingling, numbness, or pain is experienced, the exercise should be discontinued.)
Flexion Stretch – Chin to Chest
1. Gently bend your head forward while bringing your chin toward your chest. Place one hand on the back at your head and gently assist this motion.
2. Stop when a stretch is felt in the back of your neck.
3. Hold position for a slow count of 10.
4. Return to starting position. (neck in midline position)
5. Repeat above stretch 2 more times.

Extension Stretch – Eyes to Sky
1. Gently bend your head backward so that your eyes are looking up to the “sky”. Place one hand on your forehead and gently assist this motion.
2. Stop when a stretch is felt in the front of your neck.
3. Hold position for a slow count of 10.
4. Return to starting position. (neck in midline position)
5. Repeat above stretch 2 more times.

Rotation – Side to Side
1. Gently turn your head to the left, looking over your left shoulder.
2. Stop when a stretch is felt in the right side of your neck.
3. Hold position for a slow count of 10.
4. Return to starting position. (neck in midline position)
5. Repeat above stretch 3 more times.
6.Repeat the steps above in the opposite direction.

Lateral Flexion – Ear to Shoulder (my favorite)
1. Slowly tilt your left ear down to your left shoulder.
2. Place one hand on your right ear and gently assist in this motion.
3. Stop when a stretch is felt in the muscles on the right side of your neck.
4. Hold for a count of ten.
5. Repeat the steps above in the opposite direction. For a better stretch sit on the hand not being used.

10. Support Your Immune System – Stress and exhaustion can make you much more vulnerable to infections, viruses and mysterious bugs. Give your immune system a hand so that you can be healthy and stay healthy. Good diet, exercise and peace of mind all contribute. Additionally take advantage of the benefits of plant essential oils (aromatherapy). Many plants have antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties. When you are in confined spaces, germs spread easily and there is nothing for you to do but inhale them. Try using an immune support spray on a tissue and breathe that in. Spray it in the air and sheets in hotel rooms. It smells great and really helps.

Got Questions? Green goddess and well-living consultant, Melina Macall knows it all.

As CEO & founder of Muti Oils, one of the universe’s most caring organic skincare and healthy living brands; and Boxed Organics which offers affordable organic produce conviently delivered to the local community, Melina has a knack for combining a green vision with an understanding of the demands of daily life.

A lifelong social activist, Melina sources fair trade and environmentally sensitive products & is committed to helping individuals & organizations live healthy lifestyles while keeping its carbon footprint to a tiptoe.

Find out what Melina can do for you: [email protected]