Tag Archives: live smarter

11 Ways to Sneak in Healthy Habits When You’re Traveling

11 ways to sneak in healthy habits when you're traveling*This post may contain affiliate links.

Do you travel a lot? When I was in college, competing for our school’s speech team, I traveled a TON. It was a very busy season of my life; jumping on a bus, plane, or 15 passenger van to show up at tournaments all across the country. It was an amazing experience and certainly a privilege.

But here’s the thing…with all that travel, came some unexpected consequences. I got sick. Like…a lot. If I could go back in time, putting a HUGE emphasis on healthy travel would be the first change I’d make!

Whether you’re jet-setting for business or pleasure, nothing can spoil travels quicker than getting ill. Read on to discover 11 tips that will help to keep you in tip-top shape while traveling…

Eat whole foods – While it is easy to prioritize budget and speed when picking up meals on the go (read: FAST FOOD), opting for whole foods will make you feel a WHOLE lot better. My favorite way to make this happen for myself while traveling is to grab meals from the deli section of grocery stores. The prices are reasonable and, since you’re already in the store, you can pick up some other yummy and healthier options for munching–like fresh fruits and veg, yogurt, salami, etc. 

Don’t forget your skincare routine – When you’re on the go it can be tempting to cut out important parts of your routine for more sleep (or more fun!). All you need is 10 minutes, so set some time aside and give your skin some love! Don’t forget sunscreen if you’re going to be spending a lot of time outdoors. And if you plan on taking a dip in the hotel pool (or nearby body of water), make sure you know how to clean ears properly and take the time to do so. 

Eat fish – If you’re hitting up a nice, sit-down restaurant consider ordering fish with loads of veggies! Not only does it taste good, but it provides a healthy boost of Omega 3, which is good for your skin and digestion. Not to mention all the vitamin-rich micronutrients in the vegetables. 

Fill up the tub – Hotel air can get super dry, especially if your stay is in the winter months when the heaters are pumping. There are some great travel humidifiers out there (check out this one!) but a simpler option is to fill up the tub with water before you go to bed. 

Drinks lots and lots and LOTS of water – And sticking with that water theme…HYDRATION! Keep a water bottle with you at all times and drink water like it’s going out of style. Try to keep caffeinated drinks to a minimum, maybe just your morning cup of joe, and then opt for water the rest of the day. 

Wash your hands frequently – If you are traveling, you are no doubt going to be in a LOT of public places…sometimes in super close quarters. Make sure to wash your hands frequently, especially before you eat. A good idea is to carry around your own hand sanitizer, in case a bathroom isn’t readily available. 

Snack on fresh fruit – Fruit is such an awesome and portable snack! Plus, they’re good for you, low in calories, and will contribute to your hydration efforts. Pick some up whenever you can…oh, and pro-tip: grab a few pieces from that hotel breakfast bar and snack on ’em later–no one will notice. 

Relax – Being “on” for way more hours a day then you’re used to can be exhausting! Find a few moments in your day where you can unwind and catch your breath. Maybe this is taking 10 minutes to meditate before you get dressed in the morning or coming back to your Airbnb 30 minutes before everyone else leaves the bar so you can watch some tv with your phone on airplane mode. 

Be clever with your alcohol – This is not to say you can’t drink, but be smart about it. Alcohol is dehydrating so if you don’t want to reverse all that great work you’ve been doing on this front, then make sure you drink a glass of water in between each drink. Try not to mix drinks too much. And, if you intend on having a long night out, go for something low in alcohol content, or have something slightly watered down, such as a white wine spritzer. After all, nothing is worse than boarding a flight hungover.

Take your vitamins – You may think those 7-day pill cases are just for old people but hey, don’t knock it ’til you try it! Divvy up your medications and vitamins and then set a dang alarm on your phone so you don’t forget to take ’em. I also like to bring emergen-c packets and herbal teas. 

Take advantage of the hotel gym – If you are staying in a hotel, take advantage of their gym facilities. Most hotels have a gym with at least a treadmill and a bike. Go sweat it out for a little bit and get those endorphins pumping. You’ll feel better and sleep better, too. Alternatively, pop a yoga video on your laptop and do a little downward dog in your room. Or go for a jog! A great way to check out the city while also getting in a workout. 

How do YOU stay healthy while traveling? Share your tips & tricks below!

P.S. Wanna up your travel game even MORE? Here are the products I recommend.
P.P.S. If you enjoyed this content and would like to support my sweet blog (thank you!)–click HERE. 

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The Finding Delight End of Summer Reboot!

FINDINGDELIGHT.com

I always find life’s pace to slow a bit during the summertime. Maybe this is an after-effect of years spent in school. Without reading assignments and due dates, the days would stretch into a calm, never-ending march towards autumn. In the year’s since the same chill vibe has continued to ring true. This blissful respite from the GO, GO, GO of other seasons is awesome. But it can be a hard one to shake once the vacation days are spent and you gotta force yourself back into the saddle.

I think the end of summer is a great time for a fresh start. Whether you’re still a student or the change in season marks a new chapter in your life or you never stopped hustling all summer long (“Vacation? WHAT vacation?”), you can give yourself a little reboot.

To help us out, I’ve gathered 30 days worth of reboot assignments. If you want to ease into the next season feeling productive, de-cluttered, calm, inspired, and ready to kick a lot of butt then this challenge is for you. One day at a time. One assignment at a time. We got this!

Day One. Keep a spending diary.

Record your purchases for the duration of the day. Spend some time going over the results to identify necessities vs. superfluous spending.

Day Two. Silence the cell phone noise.

Navigate into your phone’s settings and turn off all your notifications. Choose a few times throughout the day to check on things (read: texts, emails, social media) but leave it at that.

Day Three. Give your To-Do list a Top 3.

Identify three to-do’s that MUST get done today and place those at the top of your list. Check these items off before you move down to any of your other tasks.

Day Four. Organize your junk.

Do you have a space in your house that acts as your catch-all? Maybe it’s a random drawer in your kitchen or a table in your entryway. Maybe it’s even the top of your desk. Spend some time today clearing out this space, wherever it is, and organizing whatever items remain after the purge.

Day Five. Plan your counter-attack.

Stress creeps up at the most inopportune times. Why not get out in front of it. Today, identify five things that ease your stress. A nice cup of tea? A thirty minute jog through your neighborhood? Keep this list near and then USE IT. When stress rears it’s ugly head..fight back!

Day Six. Enjoy a day of nothing.

Remember the part where I said you were gonna ease into a productive autumn? If you have the day off then see where the day takes you. No planning ahead, no worrying about what you should be doing. Just do what you want when you want to do it. (If you have to work today, apply this mind set to your off-time.) Perhaps you’ll end up starting the novel you’ve been dying to read. Perhaps, bored out of your gourd, you’ll turn your attention to your side hustle. Who knows!? The point is to just go with the flow.

Day Seven. Focus on casual gratitude.

All too often, we say “I’m sorry,” when what we mean is “Thank you.” Work on catching yourself and flip the script. Read more here.

Day Eight. Streamline your morning routine.

Take a long hard look at the steps you take to ready yourself for the day and find ways to trim the fat. Love a good, long morning faff? I do too! But maybe you don’t need to do ALL the journaling, yoga, newspaper reading, and full-face of makeup every, single day. One or two areas of focus per day may work great for you!

Day Nine. Establish your bedtime routine.

Spend this evening creating a lovely, relaxing nighttime ritual that sets you up for a great night of sleep and a productive tomorrow.

Day Ten. Write!

Set aside twenty minutes today for a little stream-of-consciousness journaling.

Day Eleven. Read!

I love watching TV as much as the next guy, but for today’s assignment, switch out any time you would normally watch for some time spent reading instead. Books, articles, whatever. It’s a day for reading!

Day Twelve. Go on a long walk.

Hit the trails unplugged and free from distractions. Just spend some time with yourself, your thoughts, and nature. Take note of your surroundings and how they make you feel.

Day Thirteen. Social media clear out.

As you scroll through your social media accounts today take note of those people, brands, or accounts that no longer serve you. Is there a friend whose Facebook posts do nothing but rile you up? Time to unfriend. A store whose Instagram pics make you pull out your wallet a little too quick? Click that unsubscribe button.

Day Fourteen. Try the “45 minute on – 15 minute off” approach.

As you create your To-Do List, consider breaking down your tasks into items you can complete in 45 minute chunks. Then, set a timer as you work your way through. After you complete each task give yourself a 15 minute break to stretch, grab a snack, wander outside, play with your dog, or whatever!

Day Fifteen. Give yourself an allowance.

Look back at your spending diary and see if you can place a number on the amount you would like to put towards “extras.” Spend some time defining extras, sketching out your monthly expenses, and identifying the best way to divvy up your fun fund. Then, give yourself a pay-out!

Day Sixteen. Eliminate decision fatigue.

Take today to identify one area of your life where you could eliminate decision fatigue and come up with an action plan. Some ideas – weekly meal plans, subscription services (like Graze for snacks or Vitafive for vitamins), or a capsule wardrobe.

Day Seventeen. Sign up for a learning opportunity.

Take a class, enroll in a web seminar, work your way through a workbook, or download an app. Education has a way of re-invigorating and inspiring!

Day Eighteen. Cull your closet.

Try on all your clothes and sort them into three piles–keep, donate, and toss. Think of all the clothes karma you’ll receive when you pass along your duds to someone they may be better suited to.

Day Nineteen. Set goals.

What are your main goals or priorities in this season of your life? Make an inspiring piece of wall art that lists them and hang it somewhere prominent.

Day Twenty. Forward plan.

If you’re like me, then you focus a lot of your attention on planning day-to-day tasks and not as much on the big picture. Today, spend some time sketching out the weeks and months (maybe even years!) ahead. Grab your calendar and pencil stuff in. No worries if things change down the road.

Day Twenty-One. Check your inbox three times.

Instead of spending the day with an ever-open tab dedicated to your email, check your emails only three times today. Once at the beginning of your work day, once right before or after your meal break, and one more time at the end of your day.

Day Twenty-Two. Prepare some meals.

Stock your fridge with lunches for the coming week. Pinterest has about a billion pins-worth of inspiration if you’re stuck on what to make.

Day Twenty-Three. Work off-line.

Allocate 2-3 hours to working off-line. Get everything you may need to complete your tasks in order, turn your phone to airplane mode, and venture outside of that Wi-fi bubble.

Day Twenty-Four. Make a reading list.

Make a list of all the books you want to read over the next year or so. Head to the library and get started!

Day Twenty-Five. Schedule time for your passions.

Identify three or four things that bring you joy and schedule them into your routine for the week to come. Maybe you can play soccer with friends on Monday, work on a knitting project on Thursday, and every other day work a crossword puzzle with a glass of wine. Make the time for YOU!

Day Twenty-Six. Talk to someone just starting out on this journey.

This one is open to interpretation but is a great way to pay it forward. Whether you choose to chat with a new hire or your own kid, an honest discussion about your personal life path can be a wildly helpful twenty minutes. And why not?

Day Twenty-Seven. Keep your small talk positive.

As you go about your day, make sure your conversations are steering clear of the following topics: how tired you are, how busy you are, or anything else complain-y. No need putting out negativity at every opportunity. Instead, focus on positive conversations.

Day Twenty-Eight. Organize your computer.

Clear out any files you no longer need and get your folders on fleek.

Day Twenty-Nine. Meditate!

Take fifteen minutes today to tap into some mindfulness. If you’re new to meditation, there are tons of apps and YouTube videos out there that can help guide you.

Day Thirty. Take a break from technology.

Repeat the day of nothing from Day Six but this time *dun, dun, DUN* do it without technology. No cell phones, internet, or TV’s. Spend part of the day reflecting on the strategies you’ve learned and tried throughout your reboot but most of the day just doing whatever you want. See what happens!

*As you complete each assignment consider whether it is something you could implement long-term. If you find something to be especially helpful or meaningful then keep it up! *

So, are you ready to reboot? Buh-bye, Summer! HELLO AUTUMN!!! 

***

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Mastering habits based on your personality.

gretchen rubin quote

Yesterday, I was listening to a podcast that aired about a year ago. The host was interviewing Gretchen Rubin about her book Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits–to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life. The book delves into the methods that help us set habits and stick to them. Sounds like a lot of other books on such subjects, yes? Well, the difference is Ms. Rubin breaks us human-folks down into four distinct habit tendencies–Upholder, Questioner, Obliger, and Rebel. She then discusses how these personalities relate to habits and how to set up your habits in a way that works for you and your personality. 

As I listened to the interview and discussion of Gretchen’s theories about the four types, I tried to self-select which category I would fall into.

Here’s a break-down of the four types from GretchenRubin.com

Upholders respond readily to outer and inner expectations.

Questioners question all expectations; they’ll meet an expectation if they think it makes sense.

Rebels resist all expectations, outer and inner alike.

Obligers meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves. 

At times I’m extremely intrinsically motivated. At times I rank outer expectations super high on my to-do list….but sometimes I don’t. I couldn’t quite figure out where I fell in this framework.

So, I poked around on Gretchen’s website…AND took the QUIZ.

The more I read, the more I realized I’m a Questioner (and the quiz agreed). *light-bulb moment* Suddenly my intrinsic motivation to meet some external expectations made a lot more sense. I question everything and am able to self-motivate and form habits around what has answered as important. *ding, ding, ding*

Of course now that I’ve sorted this out I can’t wait to read Better Than Before so I can figure out ways to more effectively and efficiently set up habits in my every day life.

I also think this book could be a fascinating (and helpful) read for understanding the people we live and work with. Being a great educator, coach, manager, parent is all about helping people develop habits in the classroom, field, workplace, home. It might be nice to be able to speak to all four tendencies instead of simply relying on your experience from one.

Check out The Lively Show Ep. 82 and Gretchen Rubin’s website if this stuff tickles your fancy! I also highly recommend taking The Four Tendencies Quiz. And let me know–Which tendency are you??? 

P.S. I’ve read Rubin’s book, The Happiness Project: Or, Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun  and would very much recommend it as well! (I’m totally outing my secret love of self-help books but c’est la vie!) 

My Three Favorite Make-Ahead Breakfast Recipes

happiness depends on breakfast

I love breakfast. It is my favorite meal of the day and I could eat breakfast foods morning, noon, and night. (Sometimes I do!) I also really enjoy eating my breakfast in bed while I read the news and check my emails. According to Downton Abbey this is a luxury I shouldn’t be afforded until after my wedding day. But Downton be damned! I like to live by the quote above instead — All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast. Can I get an AMEN? Wanna know what can make your breakfasts even MORE leisurely than consuming them propped up amongst a mountain of pillows? (Yes, having it served on a tray by your ladies maid would be grand but that’s not quite what I was thinking…) Making them ahead of time! I’m an oatmeal girl through and through but sometimes it’s nice to have a few other options on hand to switch things up. Especially when those options cut down on the time spent away from my quilt! Here are a few make-ahead breakfast recipes that will have you dining like a Crawley in no time…

Freezer Breakfast Burritos. Breakfast Burritos are one of my favorite things on the entire planet. Having a stash in the freezer at all times is obviously the best way to live your life. To make them, just throw some veggies (like bell peppers, onion, spinach, or whatever you have on hand) into a pan for a minute or so. Beat your eggs and add them to the pan and scramble on up. Add black beans and salsa to warm. Transfer your egg mixture to a bowl and let it cool a little. Finally, grab some tortillas and plastic wrap/aluminum foil. Add a couple scoops of egg-y goodness to the tortilla, sprinkle some cheese on top if you like, and fold and wrap. Place the individually wrapped burritos in a tupperware or freezer bag and pop ’em in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat, unwrap and microwave for 1-2 minutes (flipping once).

Choco-Coconut Overnight Oats. This is the most decadent breakfast in all of the land. So rich, so creamy, so…in a mason jar. How could you go wrong? All you do is add the following ingredients to a jar: 1/2 cup of oats, 1/2 cup of milk of choice, 3 Tbsps coconut greek yogurt, 1 Tbsp cocoa powder, and 1/2 a banana-mashed. Stir everything up and put a lid on it. Pop it in your fridge and let it sit at least overnight (but up to 3 days). Note: If you don’t have coconut yogurt you can substitute plain yogurt + shredded coconut + sweetener of your choice.

Banana Blueberry Soft Serve. Ok, so this one is sort of cheating because you still have to use your food processor in the morning but stick with me…it’s worth it. All you’re gonna do is make little baggies (or small tupperwares) with 1 1/2 banana and 1/4 cup of blueberries and throw them in the freezer. Then in the morning throw the contents of the bag in your food processor with a splash of milk and give it a good whiz until you reach a soft serve consistency. Scoop the mixture out into a bowl and add whatever toppings you have on hand (like granola, sliced almonds, chia seeds, or fresh fruit). Admittedly, this is my favorite dessert at the moment but who said your leisurely breakfast can’t include such luxuries?

Which would you choose? xoxo