To say I spend a lot of my time traveling is an understatement. Working as a fashion model means my downtime is limited, and that I spend scattered, short amounts of time with my family at home (I am writing this from an airplane lounge right now). This means I have to be very organized about my eating and wellness habits – while I know every single vegan option at random airports across the globe, I have a few guidelines that really help me to stay healthy whilst on the go. The effects of my wellness routines go far beyond what I eat and drink; they affect how I think and move, how I interact with strangers and most importantly, how I talk to myself. I find that how I react to stressful situations is a testament to how diligent I have been at keeping up my healthy habits, and flying is one of the more stressful things we can do to ourselves! So read on to see how I attempt to keep myself grounded in the air.
On sticking to a healthy diet:
Always pack a protein powder. I travel religiously with the VEGA one meal replacement shake. I add a little water and shake it up, and it has saved me many a time! I have a friend who goes to any old juice or coffee place with a blender and asks them to blend hers with almond milk and berries. Just be brave; people are nice if you ask politely and are not too in their face about it.
Always pack some healthy flying snacks. I have a habit of filling my bag with pints of cherry tomatoes and hummus, and some roasted vegetables. I tend to avoid airplane food as it always makes me sluggish and bloated on landing.
You can always find vegetables at a restaurant in the terminal. I have gotten extremely good at finding the vegetables at all sorts of places and asking them to just grill me a massive plate of them. Again – be polite! Do not be that vegan person who gets in their face about it. Nobody likes that person... And be generous with your tips!
When in a pinch find dry roasted nuts, or better yet, raw nuts. Even better, travel with your own nuts. But be careful; drink plenty of water with nuts as they can be dehydrating… Which brings me to my next point…
Drink a ton of water! Water is your friend and you will really feel different upon landing if you pound it.
As far as general well-being while flying I have a few rituals to help stay sane and grounded. We all know that the stress of flying can bring the calmest of people undone, and once it became apparent that I would be living in planes about five years ago (four flights this week and counting … and it is only Thursday) I developed the following routine.
Flying time is reading/writing/staring out the window time. Wifi and being online will not come into it EVER. I will never be the person who puts the blinds down – unless people are sleeping obviously – I love to sit glued to the window, whilst listening to podcasts or music. I get my best thinking done while high in the air, and the view is unbeatable. I also have brought my weekly average of books up to three a week thanks to flights!
Before a long flight I ensure I go on a light run outdoors. I have made the mistake of working out hard before a flight (and feeling like I was made of fire ants and glass while trapped in a small box) and have found a nice three-mile shuffle helps hugely with relaxation at the other end. I hate sitting for hours at a time, so it is nice to get the blood flowing a bit. Plus morning sunlight is proven to help keep your body clock on track.
I meditate religiously each morning, and find it is essential if you want to stay calm during the flight check in process. While there is stress and chaos around me I like to feel like the eye of the hurricane; it helps me stay polite and happy. Plus nobody upgrades the person yelling and creating a scene… Just saying.
Bathe your skin in bio-oil. Planes are drying, bio-oil will make you glow upon landing. It’s a good thing.
Pack like a minimalist. I have packing down to a fine art – make a list and stick to it. Plan your outfits according to your days and pack only what you need. I used to only wear a quarter of what I packed, so now I only pack that quarter. Life can be simple if you make it so!
Upon landing have a good stretch, take a walk, and stand on your head. I just like how it feels – if this is not attainable for you try lying on your back with your legs up the wall.
Traveling doesn’t have to be a horrible, debilitating experience with the right mindset. It can actually be quite a meditative and contemplative ride if you make a conscious decision to change your view on it! This can be said for any of those boring things we have to do every single day. Life is what you make it.