After a much-needed break from the kitchen, writing and my duties as a business owner, I am back!!! And I’m excited to share some things that I learned during my hiatus that I think will help my readers feel good, look good and age better! Stepping away from my regular routine and daily grind gave me a chance to do some research, reading and thinking; as well as have some fun, travel, and relax. Making the decision to take a little break was in all honesty, difficult for me. I’ve spent the past eight years running my business and raising my kids by myself and the thought of passing my duties off to other people was terrifying. I was certain that my world would come to an end if I wasn’t there holding it up. Plus.. I am someone that needs routine. I need structure and morning rituals. I need to work out, eat healthy, take supplements (too many to travel with), have my alone time/space and get 8 hours of sleep. My routine is what has gotten me through the past 8 years, and I was a little nervous about leaving it behind for the better part of the summer.
Without my routine I tend to flounder and make poor choices with my time, which leads to less productivity and motivation. It wasn’t easy for me to completely dip out for the summer…but after years of being told to “just stay home”, I was ready to be as far away from home as possible. I spent the summer in Colorado, the East Coast, and a few weeks in Europe. I had places to go and people to see but still..I was worried I’d get a week into my travels and want to go home. At home, I have all the tools to feel my best physically, mentally, and energetically. Usually when I travel, it’s rarely for more than a week at a time and by the end, I feel horrible. Eating out every meal, working out less, sleeping less and having a few more cocktails than usual take its toll on me after a few days. Going into my summer of travel, I decided I needed to bring some tools with me to maintain the energy and wellness that I feel at home. Based on what I experienced this summer, I am even more convinced about the importance of diet, hydration, and certain minerals when it comes to feeling and looking your best. My experiment with changing some things in my diet and adding a few minerals really made all the difference. Which is the point of today’s post. I want to share some things that boosted my energy, mood, and overall wellness despite traveling across the world, multiple times zones and completely disrupting my normal routine. And guess what? My business didn’t fall apart, and my kids didn’t burn the house down in my absence…although 3/4 of the way through my travels, my nosey neighbor texted me asking if I still lived next door and wondered if my kids were living there by themselves now. Hopefully she isn’t reading this.
With record high temperatures just about everywhere I traveled this summer, being able to handle the heat and stay hydrated was essential to feeling good and maintaining energy levels needed to enjoy my time away. When traveling, inflammation can also cause you to feel less than stellar, so I decided I was going to focus on a diet and supplemental minerals that would keep me hydrated and reduce inflammation. I did my research and played around with some minerals before my trip because I had to be picky here. I had a lot of party dresses and shoes to pack, and I couldn’t fill my suitcase entirely with supplements. Since I only had so much room in my suitcase, I chose the things that were going to make a big difference.
Why Hydration Is So Important
We are so dehydrated on a cellular level due to depleted soils, processed foods and constant exposure to environmental toxins that no amount of water consumption is going to make us adequately hydrated. There is a misconception that drinking high quantities of water will make you “hydrated” but the sad reality is that most of us are dehydrated at the cellular level, and we need more than just H2O. The boost in hydration comes from changing our diet and adding certain minerals and supplements to achieve cellular hydration and optimal health. Hydration at the cellular level is an important factor in health and avoiding disease. Our depleted soils, toxic loads and cellular dehydration are all interconnected; causing many to have chronic illness, fatigue, and a lower quality of life.
Minerals are important when it comes to hydration because they increase the level of electrical charge across the membrane to ensure absorption; enabling your cells to pull in the water you drink. Without electrolyte rich minerals, your cells are dehydrated. Being dehydrated makes you feel overheated, uncomfortable, irritable, and confused. Being dehydrated also causes constipation, drowsiness, low energy, and blurred vision. All these sensations are even more heightened when traveling. Since I was going to be traveling abroad and facing a long flight, major time change and record high temperatures this summer, taking some minerals and adjusting my diet a bit was an experiment I’m glad I took on. It paid off and here is why…
The minerals that I brought on my trip helped combat dehydration and the fatigue and malaise that comes with it. Focusing on anti-inflammatory and hydrating foods was also part of my success this summer. Eating versus drinking to hydrate may sound foreign to you, but there are many foods that can help keep you hydrated too. Water rich fruits and vegetables such as strawberries, peaches, oranges, melon, cucumbers, lettuce, zucchini, and celery to name a few, have minerals and water in them to help you stay hydrated. And what better time than the summer to eat seasonal/local produce? It honestly wasn’t that hard because the local produce everywhere I traveled was so delicious…and there is something so aligning when you eat fresh foods that are indigenous to the area you are visiting.
My diet during the summer mostly consisted of fruits, nuts, vegetables, and legumes. France isn’t the most vegan friendly place when compared to other places that I have traveled (Indonesia, Asia and Greece are by far the best), but during the summer months, the variety and quality of their produce is off the charts; making it easy to modify and enjoy the local offerings. Due to an allergy to gluten, my regular diet consists of gluten free grains. However, during my six weeks of travel, I took it one step further and avoided grains altogether. This might sound extreme, and I don’t recommend a completely grain-free lifestyle in general, but I do think that limiting your intake of grains can help to eliminate inflammation, improve gut health, avoid constipation, stabilize blood sugar, and help you maintain your weight. Although this might seem hard or extreme, it made a huge difference in my energy and overall feeling great for my entire trip. I was able to drink, dance, stay up late and have a lot of fun without the consequences that I usually face when I am not paying attention to my diet and taking minerals when on vacation. I also hardly worked out for 6 weeks..which is very different from my usual routine of 5 to 6 workouts a week. And you know what? I felt fine and it was a nice break. I traveled with a lot of friends during the summer, and they struggled more than I with the heat, their energy, and the time change. I think my diet and mineral supplements gave me the nutrients and hydration I needed to keep up with my travel schedule and thoroughly enjoy myself without feeling run down. You know that feeling I’m talking about…when you need a vacation from your vacation? I didn’t feel like that this time.
I also want to mention that on one of my last evenings in France, I decided to indulge in a vegan pizza that did not have a gluten free crust. I’ve always heard that the wheat produced in Europe isn’t as problematic as in our country…but in my experience, that was NOT the case. While it did taste delicious, the 15 minutes of enjoyment that I had eating the pizza was not worth the night of gas, bloating and stomach pain I experienced after… and that is my feeling in general about food. Foods that aren’t good for you or that you don’t tolerate well, while they might taste good, are not worth the longer term affects when compared to the few minutes of enjoyment. Lesson learned for the 1,231 time.
Which Minerals Made the Trip?
An easy choice for my trip was the Cymbiotika Hydrogen Tablets. Hydration and inflammation are interconnected because water is one of the body’s great defenses against inflammation. Optimally hydrated cells mean your chances of fighting and reducing inflammation increase. Why? Because our bodies are constantly making waste in the form of free radicals produced from stress and outside influences in the form of environmental toxins. Molecular Hydrogen is the smallest molecule that exists and serves as a powerful antioxidant within the body. Due to its small size, it crosses cellular barriers and absorbs easily throughout the body. Hydrogen immediately provides balance in the body by neutralizing free radical damage and oxidative stress. By achieving this at the cellular level, the body maintains homeostasis and slows premature aging of your cells. The Cymbiotika Hydrogen Tablets were easy to pack and add to my water twice a day and is now part of my daily routine at home too.
Another powerhouse mineral that I brought with me was Shilajit. Shilajit is one of the many herb and mineral formulations used in Ayurveda, a healing system that originated thousands of years ago in India. Shilajit has been used in traditional herbal medicine to treat a wide variety of conditions. It contains an important compound known as fulvic acid and is very rich in metals. Shilajit, a blackish resin, comes from layers of rock found in several mountain ranges worldwide, including the Himalayan, Tibetan, and Altai Mountain. Shilajit has been known and used for centuries by Ayurvedic medicine as a rejuvenator and as an anti-aging compound. There are two important characteristics of the resin compound in the ancient Indian Ayurvedic medicine; this is to increase physical strength and to promote human health. It can function as an antioxidant to improve your body’s immunity and memory, an anti-inflammatory, an energy booster, and a diuretic to remove excess fluid from your body. I brought a few jars of the Cymbiotika Shilajit Black Gold Live Resin on my trip. The Cymbiotika Shilajit contains over 84 minerals and is rich with fulvic acid, humic acid, vitamins, enzymes, tocopherols, bioflavonoids, antioxidants, and metabolites for your body. This brand also has the highest gold content when compared to other Shilajit brands. This is a mineral that I use 1 to 2 times a day, mixed in hot water. It has become part of my morning ritual and is easy to pack. I have noticed a major difference in the hydration of my skin and hair since taking this product. If you only chose one thing to take away from this post, it would be Shilajit!
Another mineral that made the trip was Quinton from Water and Wellness. Although these little glass vials filled with sea plankton water might seem trickier to travel with, I put the whole box of vials into my checked suitcase, and they made it just fine. They are easy to consume since you just snap off the ends of the vial, pour into a cup and drink them. Quinton helps with electrolyte balance, normal energy metabolism and reduces tiredness and fatigue. Quinton also supports the nervous system, mental functions, muscle functions and helps keep your bones and teeth healthy. The seawater in Quinton is pure oceanic seawater which is rich in micronutrients. Noteworthy beneficial elements and minerals include magnesium, calcium, chromium, selenium, zinc and more. This is a daily ritual for me now and I alternate between taking the Quinton Isotonic and the Quinton Hypertonic depending on how I am feeling and the rigors of my schedule. If I am not feeling good, I take the Isotonic; if I have a demanding schedule, I take the Hypertonic. The Hypertonic is the one that made the trip this summer. Want to know more about Quinton? International water scientist Robert Slovak is interviewed on The Skinny Confidential Him & Her podcast #476 and it is a good one if you want to learn more about the benefits of taking this supplement.
A magnesium supplement was another tool that I packed this summer. Magnesium is needed for hundreds of bodily functions like muscle & nervous system regulation, regulating blood sugar and blood pressure, converting food into energy, and creating and repairing DNA to name a few. Magnesium helps promote faster muscle recovery after exercise and helps support better sleep quality, relaxation, energy levels and reduction of anxiety and stress in the body. I packed the LivOn Lypo-Spheric Magnesium L-Threonate for my trip. I also like the Cymbiotika brand Magnesium L-Threonate; especially now that they improved the taste. Cymbiotika also has an amazing magnesium spray that I use at night before I go to bed. The spray didn’t make the trip because I tried to limit myself to just the essentials, but the spray is something I use regularly at home and highly recommend.
Lastly, I brought some ZICAM zinc swabs and a bottle of Kick Ass immunity with me in case I started to feel like I was getting sick, and I’m glad that I did! At the tiniest sign of feeling like I was fighting a cold halfway through my travels, I used the zinc swabs and the Kick Ass immunity for 4-5 days and it never developed into anything that held me back. The combination of these two homeopathic immunity boosters is very affective at fending off colds and virus if you take them at the early onset of symptoms. It’s definitely worth traveling with this duo!
I hope sharing about my experiment this summer was helpful! If you have any questions about my experience with these supplements feel free to email me! I am working on some blog posts with recommendations for food and fun specific to each city that I visited this summer! Coming soon!