Archive for January, 2011

Traveling Well

While the exact figures vary, it?s safe to say that a rather high percentage of New Year?s resolutions in some way deal with health and wellness – from weight loss to healthier eating to reducing stress. Most of us legitimately make these resolutions with the best intentions, and somewhere along the way, we get sidetracked and these intentions don?t come to fruition.

Travel can be a major contributor to this downslide. On the road it can be trickier to find our favorite organic foods, get in a run or a gym trip and take time to work on reducing stress. It?s because of this, though, that it?s important to find ways to stay tuned in to your health and wellness goals when traveling.

This issue will address ways to keep those resolutions when traveling, including healthier travel items, wellness-focused hotels and methods for keeping and increasing your energy levels when traveling.

This issue would not have been possible without the help of Jolene Hart is a natural beauty expert and Beauty & Health Coach, certified by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and the American Association of Drugless Practitioners. She coaches women on beauty issues ranging from adult acne to weight gain and anti-aging nutrition, and educates consumers about nontoxic beauty products through her company, Beauty is Wellness. A giant thanks to Jolene for her tremendous knowledge and help with our Travel Wellness issue!

Happy reading, happy travels and happy New Year!


Red Mountain

Hotels on a Wellness Mission

One of the easiest ways to incorporate wellness into your vacation is to stay at a hotel or resort that features opportunities for healthy activities. Some resort actually hold health and wellness as a central theme, offering everything from nutrition consultations to yoga classes and spa therapies.

While the options too numerous to name, these hotels provide examples of the range of features and amenities that travels can enjoy in pursuit of wellness.

Red Mountain Resort & Spa, Ivins, Utah: For those specifically focused on taking a health and wellness vacation, this resort offers packages with names such as Detoxification & Renewal, Emotional Fitness, and Zen to Zion, to name just a few. Red Mountain Resort also offers amenities such as fitness facilities, guided hiking and biking and cooking classes. Packages can accommodate short getaways or week long stays.

Red Mountain Resort & Spa

The Sullivan Estate & SPA Retreat, Oahu, Hawaii: This private estate, featuring six bedrooms and six baths, boasts the title of the world?s first holistic anti-stress center. Among their many spa offerings, wellness treatments for the 7 senses and longevity treatments are among the most notable. OlaLoa Health Gourmet Cafe features organic, healthy and gourmet foods for nourishing guests from the inside as spa treatments nourish from the outside.

The Standard, Miami, Florida: Unlike many other spa and wellness hotels, The Standard places a major focus on water treatments and baths. A few of these include their famous hamam, Cedar sauna, Roman waterfall hot tub and a mud lounge. In addition, this hotel offers yoga and meditation, a center for integrated living and acupuncture.

Hamam at The Standard Miami

Pura Vida Retreat & Spa, Costa Rica: This yoga-and-wellness-centered retreat is perched up on the mountains overlooking the town of Alajeula. The resort?s main attractions are the yoga packages – which include yoga classes, meals, and tours/activities – and the spa, who?s less traditional offerings include a rose petal massage, somatic harmonization and Tui Na (a treatment based on Chinese medicine).

Pura Vida Resort and Spa

Rancho La Puerta, Baja California, Mexico: With it?s own organic farm, cooking school, eco-activities and spa services such as craniosacral therapy, Rancho La Puerto is a one-of-a-kind health and wellness experience. The location boasting 325 days of sunshine a year doesn?t hurt either!

Le Source de Caudalie, Bordeaux, France: Located among the vineyards, this hotel & spa makes good use of it?s surroundings. The Caudalie Vinotherapie Spa includes treatments such as a red wine bath, honey & wine wrap, crushed cabernet scrub and grape seed oil massage.

Back to Basics Travel Wellness

Staying healthy while traveling is, on paper, relatively easy if you keep a few basic ?rules? in mind. These can?t, of course, prevent the random occurrence of being hit by a flu or nasty cold, but they should help keep you energized and lift the stress that traveling can place on ones body.

1. Hydrate. This is not only important during a flight, where the air can be dry, but during the rest of your trip as well. It?s easy to get caught up in the culture, sampling the local coffee, beer and wine, which is perfectly fine. Just don?t forget to drink some water as well. It?s important to check weather or not you can drink the tap water. If you?re unsure, go for bottled*.


2. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. The local cuisine may or may not be rich with fruits and veggies. If it is, this makes it easier to pack in the nutrients they offer. If not, you might have to make an extra effort to obtain these. Either way, make sure to include these in your diet when traveling. Without them you may find the lack of nutrients makes you feel sluggish, which you probably don?t want on vacation. If you really feel you won?t be able to fit these important foods into your diet while traveling, plan ahead and pack the appropriate vitamins and supplements – while it?s generally better to get these from the plant source, this is better than not getting them at all.

Market in Barcelona

3. Get plenty of oxygen. Meaning spend time outdoors, preferably moving. Even if you?re taking a spa vacation where each day is filled with indoor pampering, take a break and go for a walk. While lying by the pool will indeed get you outside air, it doesn?t quite wake up your muscles and get your blood flowing the way some activity will. Again, the lack of oxygen could result in lethargy and sleepiness.

4. Stretch. Ever spent the day exploring a new city, only to realized you walked well more than you normally do in an average day and that you are quite sore the next day? Taking a few minutes to stretch at the end of the day, or even at intervals throughout the day (10 to 15 minutes total should be plenty), can help prevent feeling sore and inhibiting your activity the next day.


5. Properly address jet lag. There are multiple theories on how to address jet lag – including staying up until 7 PM the day you land, taking a quick cat nap when you land to energize for the rest of the day and plenties of others. Regardless of your chosen method, it?s important to address it one way or another. This means, don?t run yourself into the ground and pretend you aren?t tired or think that if you just keep going day after day you?ll eventually overcome it. All this will do is make it worse in the long run. You could get exhaust yourself to the point where you lose a few days later in the trip, or you could get sick from lack of sleep. If you are tired, let yourself nap when needed. If you?re worried about zonking out and losing an entire day, set an alarm and don?t hit the snooze button. Whatever you do, just make sure that by the end of the second day, you?re getting your at least close to your normal amount of sleep. If you?re not, you?ll pay for it later in the trip.

*Chimera Travel is not promoting a particular type of water bottle based on the image in this post. This just happened to be the bottle in the picture taken.

Naturalize Your Travel Products

At home, I try to use as many natural and organic products as possible – everything from organic vegetables to 100% natural shampoo. However, I?ll be the first to admit that this healthy regimen is more difficult to keep up when traveling, and I?ve been known to make a last minute drug store run and pick up whatever shower products they have in the travel bin.

I also notice, though, that I tend to feel much less healthy when I travel as a result. My hair looks duller, my face tends to break out more and my skin feels drier. In part, this could be due to the water at my destination (I?m sure my skin and hair are used to the water at home and reacting to the change) but I could almost guarantee that in part it?s due to the use of travel products that aren?t quite up to par with those that I use at on a regular basis.

With a little preparation, however, this could easily be avoided. Many of the companies that provide my home health and beauty products also offer travel sizes. While they might not be exactly the same as those I use daily, they?re certainly a better option than blindly picking out of the travel bin somewhere at the last minute.

Italian Red Grape & Vanilla Chai Travel Kit

Desert Essence – This brand, which makes a wide variety of shower products, skin products and more, can be found both online and at Whole Foods. They offer several travel kits, including the Italian Red Grape Kit, featuring shampoo, conditioner, body wash and body lotion, from just $8.95

Yes to Carrots – This line combines organic fruits and vegetables to create their products, and can be found in a variety of drug stores/pharmacies as well as online. Their travel products include a Shower Essentials Kit – complete with shampoo, conditioner and shower gel – as well as a facial towelettes pack which is 98.7% natural and biodegradable. (The Yes To line produces five collections, all starting with “Yes To”: Carrots, Cucumbers, Blueberries, Tomatoes and Baby Carrots).


21 Drops – Though not a ?beauty product?, this innovative line of products could help while traveling in other ways. These 100% natural and organic aromatherapy drops offers blends for 21 different complaints – from ?drained? to ?sleepless? to ? overindulged? and can also create custom blends. Given the large number of travel complaints due to jet lag, different foods, and change in activity level, these essential oils could come in quite handy for those that enjoy aromatherapy and want to bring a little of that comfort with them.

21 drops smaller

The products above are 3 oz or less, and therefore can be placed in a carry on. Just because a product?s name includes the word ?travel?, though, does not mean it is under the 3 oz limit. Make sure to check each product, especially if it comes in a kit or gift bag – it?s frustrating to bring along your new beauty finds just to have them taken away at security. If you?re unsure, best to pack them in your checked luggage or transfer them into a 3 oz bottle if you are bringing only a carry on.