My background and beliefs when it comes to health are a weird mix of holistic and traditional Western, a balanced hybrid of yoga, acupuncture, meditation and eating healthy with a well-stocked medicine cabinet.
Staying healthy is a massive challenge when you a) live in a crazy crowded city and b) travel regularly: not only do you come into contact with way more germs but you also don’t usually have the downtime to properly rest. Alas! None of this is exactly ground-breaking and I’m certainly not a doctor, but here are a few of my favorite tried-and-true methods to keep my energy levels high and my sinuses clear.
Hot water with lemon in the morning
Remember back in January when one of my resolutions was committing to healthy habits? This was one of them. When I wake up every morning, I immediately put water onto boil and slice a lemon so that I can sip lemon water while I putter around and get ready for the day. It’s incredibly helpful for toxin elimination and regular digestion. (I also use a neti pot a few times a week, which is a great and kind of weird way to keep my sinuses just as clear.)
Eat real food (+keep your plate colorful!)
This is one of those 80/20 rules things: eat healthy 80% of the time, and don’t feel guilty when you splurge 20% of the time. But I try to eat REAL food at least 95% of the time, and my bar for that is pretty low: real is knowing what the ingredients are.
And one of my favorite tricks to eat healthy comes from a policy my mom instituted when I was a kid: keeping my plate colorful! It essentially helps me to avoid a diet full of starches and grains and carbs by making sure I get some greens (or red peppers, or oranges!) on my plate with every meal. Even when I’m traveling, I still try to pick up fruits and veggies at a local market so that I can keep an apple or tangerine in my bag for a quick afternoon snack and start the morning with a grapefruit.
Hydrate like crazy
Drink water! I always keep a glass of water on my bedside as a reminder to drink more water in the mornings and evenings. I always travel with a Klean Kanteen so that it’s super easy to always have (free) water with me. Side note: coffee is super dehydradting and soda is full of sugar and calories, so it’s worth remembering that all liquids are not created equal.
Exercise, but not too much
I’m a big believer in staying active—yoga, an occasional spin class, opting to take the stairs every day—but also a HUGE supporter of eight hours of sleep. I feel like your body can’t fight infection if it’s exhausted all the time! This is especially important when I’m traveling: I rarely stay out late and drink much alcohol, because I’d prefer to start the day early feeling vibrant and well rested.
Know when to bring in the big guns
As much as I swear by all of these lifestyle choices to stay healthy: I also don’t have the time to let my body heal itself all on its own. I always keep NyQuil and DayQuil Severe caplets in my travel first-aid kit—and I usually pop a NyQuil Severe at the first hint of feeling under-the-weather to tackle it head-on. I used to dread the taking liquid medicine growing up, but I love that caplets are so easy to chuck in my bag AND they don’t taste terrible. Even though I try to keep my lifestyle as holistic as possible, I also believe that there’s no point in turning your back on science—and in today’s busy world, it’s worth it to keep some meds around to kick start your recovery.
Note: this post was kindly sponsored by Vick’s, but I’m thrilled that they gave me a reason to talk about my health policies! All opinions are my own.
p.s. you might want to check out what’s in my international travel first aid kit!
What do you do to keep well at home and on the road?