As a new year winds up, I can’t help but feel immense gratitude for the opportunities offered to me over 2017. I have experienced tremendous growth in my professional life, accomplishing many goals I once only dreamed about. I made sure I took time over the holidays to slow down and celebrate all of the small and big wins of 2017.
A major highlight for me this year was becoming a contributor for Do the Daniel. For years, I dreamed of sharing my passion for nutrition and health with a larger audience, so I was ecstatic when I was asked to join the team.
Travelling with Ford Canada on a wellness getaway was probably one of the coolest experiences to date. I’m thankful to Do The Daniel for making this dream a reality! I travelled to beautiful Montebello, Quebec in a brand new Ford and got to photograph nature and write about health, the entire time. If you know me at all, then you’d know this is right up my alley. It’s moments like this that make the hard work worth it. All of those days, months, years of digging in the trenches, not sure if anything is going to come of your efforts… Then one day, seemingly out of the blue, a life-changing opportunity comes knocking. These are the moments that push me to keep going.
If you’ve been hanging around the Do The Daniel team lately, you’ve seen that we’ve been covering a ton of travel. Vacation season is upon us! Especially if you live in Canada, the snow is likely to push you to visit warmer climates.
So if you’re planning a vacation of your own, don’t be quick to throw away your healthy habits. It’s important to stay on top of your well-being so that you can get the most out of your break. The trick is preparation; research your destination, pack smart, and stick to your regular healthy habits as much as you can, while also enjoying local indulgences. Because it’s all about balance, right?
Keep these health tips in mind when you prepare for winter travel:
Do your research.
Look for fitness studios that offer free trials or discounted drop-in passes, check out hotel amenities, and research restaurants that support your healthy habits. Talk to locals to discover restaurants and activities that may not be promoted online; that way you can get the most from your experience.
Walking is a great way to sight-see while remaining active. It’s my favourite way to explore a new city, plus you never know what local hidden treasures you may find. Also, take advantage of what’s available where you’re vacationing; there may be opportunities to swim, bike, hike, or take part in other physical activities. And I don’t mean the swim up bar…
Prepare your own snacks.
Food served at airports and on planes is usually high in sodium and can be made with questionable ingredients. Instead, pack healthy treats that are travel-friendly, like raw nuts and seeds, dates, apples, almond butter, granola, veggies, hummus, kale chips, etc. That way, you won’t have to compromise your health goals when hunger strikes and options are limited.
It’s a good idea to pay attention to your gut health while travelling. Supplementing with a probiotic can prevent indigestion, bloating, abdominal pain, and constipation. When your microbiome is in balance, you can support healthy digestion and strengthen the immune system. Pack a B Vitamin Complex; these nutrients metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats for energy and recovery. Magnesium is also great because it helps to relieve muscle cramps after a long day of sightseeing, plus it’s especially helpful if you suffer from constipation, stress, headaches or insomnia.
Our skin and digestion are usually the first to suffer while travelling. Drinking plenty of water will hydrate your cells, help to flush out toxins, support healthy digestion, and keep you energized. Pack herbal teas; I like peppermint to aid digestion and chamomile for relaxation. Aim to drink at least 2 litres of water per day. Trust me, your skin will love you!
Prioritize healthy eating.
Seek out healthy options wherever you can; add greens to each meal whenever possible, scout out juice bars, and visit farmers markets to ensure you get your nutrients on a daily basis.
Eye masks help you to enjoy the restorative sleep you need, both on the plane and at your destination. Darkness supports melatonin production, which you need for a good nights rest. I love incorporating essential oils into my travel. There are ones that cater to fatigue, insomnia, stress and appetite, reducing the most challenging parts of travel.
Set yourself up for health success by utilizing the above tips. It’s important to enjoy local food without restrictions or guilt, even if it means deviating from your regular healthy habits. The goal is to not get so far off track that our health suffers, and then you can’t enjoy your vacation to the fullest.
Happy and healthy travels!
For more healthy inspiration, including delicious recipes, be sure to follow me on my Instagram Account. I’m so excited for you to join in on all of my #DoTheDaniel adventures in Ottawa!
With love & gratitude,
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Photos by Hannah Rauhanen, CNP