When I was a musician, I was on the road 200+ days a year. I’d return from my epic road trips strung out on Pringles and looking like Keith Richards. I’d crash hard into many extra hours of sleep to get myself back on track.
Even though I don’t travel nearly as much now, I’m still on the road for events, masterminds, and other engagements. The truth remains: Travel can be hell on your health, appearance and energy levels.
So, why does it matter?
As an entrepreneur, your energy level is everything. You don’t have the option of blowing off a day here and there. Taking care of yourself is non-negotiable.
Most people dismiss the toll that airplanes, environmental toxins and processed food can take on performance. Flying, long car rides, hotel rooms, eating out can all send your health into a tailspin.
You gotta be a diva when you travel to keep yourself energized and performing at your best. How you plan your trip and how you prepare in advance for travel can make the difference. To help you travel for high performance in your business, here are six items I never leave home without.
1. Electrical Tape
T.S. Wiley, author of the book Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar and Health says “the light bulb is the ultimate endocrine disrupter.” What this means is that even if your eyes are closed, light disrupts your body’s ability to heal itself during sleep.
After learning this, I became a devotee of sleeping in a pitch black room. This means I seek out hotels that use uber-heavy window coverings. (The higher level Marriott hotels use light blocking curtains.)
But what about the issue of the lights IN your room?
You know what I mean, right? You turn out the lights, hit the mattress, and suddenly feel like you’re surrounded by jawas.
There’s the little red light blinking on the ceiling smoke detector. Then you roll over, and see a blue light glowing from the TV power switch. Switch sides, and your clock is shining green numbers at you.
This is no good for sleep. Countless studies have proven that unnatural light patterns interfere with sleep, leaving you wired, tired and even depressed.
Not anymore. Now that you travel with your pack of handy-dandy electrical tape, you take back the control.
Before you climb into bed, take stock of your room. Cover up the blinks and glows. Fasten the drapes tight to the walls. (Yes, even if it means leaping to the ceiling with an umbrella to stick the tape onto the smoke detector!)
2. Activated Charcoal
When you travel, you’ll be eating out at restaurants or consuming catered food or scrounging for whatever snack you can find in an airport or gas station. (Avoid this! See #5.)
Changes in your diet create chaos with your health and energy, especially if you generally eat clean, like I do. The sudden influx of processed food, oils, and drinks can zap you in ways you can’t imagine.
So, if you were to grab my purse and rifle through it, you would discover a mini-container these weird-ass little black dusty capsules in it…my trusty supply of activated charcoal.
Activated charcoal works through a process called adsorption. It actually binds to the toxins or other chemicals that you don’t want in your body – toxins from things like processed foods, alcohol and even environmental toxins – and moves them out of your system.
Emergency rooms have used activated charcoal for years to treat poisonings and overdoses. My favorite kind: Upgraded Coconut Charcoal capsules from Bulletproof Executive.
3. Heart Rate Variability Monitor
Heart-rate variability (HRV) defines the amount of time between your heart beats. When you are stressed out, your heart beat becomes regular and robotic. Science shows that people with high variability – or varied lengths of time between beats – are less stressed out and healthier overall.
Mark Sisson, author of The Primal Blueprint, compares it to music – a perfectly timed drum beat is almost robotic and unnatural. “There’s no soul in it,” he says.
So why would I travel with my trusty little HRV monitor?
Well, it’s tiny. It plugs right into your phone. And it trains you to be aware of and control your stress levels through your breathing. Ten minutes a day is all it takes to gain control of your knee-jerk reactions to stressors. Life-changing.
4. My Uplevel Sigg Bottle
Plastic water bottles contain chemicals that disrupt your hormones. I never leave home without my Sigg bottle. Bottles made of stainless steel or glass won’t leach chemicals into the water you’re about to drink! There’s lots of studies out there, and medical doctors like best-selling author Sara Gottfried constantly warn us women that chemicals from plastic containers can increase our risk for infertility, miscarriage and other reproductive issues.
By using a safe bottle, not only will you protect your delicate hormone system from chemicals like BPA, you can Uplevel the planet by not adding more plastic to the nearly 50 billion plastic water bottles Americans use every year. (Only one in five of those is recycled!)
5. Macadamia Nuts and Avocado
In the low-carb world, there are all kinds of folks who advocate eating lots of fat and then skipping an entire day of food while you travel in order to avoid the toxic airport offerings.
Try as I may, I can’t skip eating all day no matter how much fat I consume. So I pack my go-to snacks: macadamia nuts and avocado! (Both are non-messy – and high in fat which keeps you satiated longer!)
So why not just grab a pack of nuts at a convenience store or airport kiosk?
Here’s one reason:
Most people don’t know that food manufacturers only have to list MSG if it’s used to enhance the flavor of food, but not if it’s a processing agent. So that snack that boasts “No MSG” on the label could actually still have a small amount of MSG! This means that if you are like me and have an MSG intolerance, you could end up with a massive migraine in a matter of minutes after consuming just trace amounts of it. (Plus any of the other chemicals used in processed foods.)
6. Bonus Ninja travel weapon – The Myers Cocktail
Okay, so you can’t exactly add this to your carry-ons – but you can have it coursing through your veins!
Before I take any long flight or head out to do a multi-day mastermind or speaking event – I get my doctor to hit me with a Myers Cocktail. A Myers cocktail is given by an intravenous drip – and contains mega doses of vitamin C, magnesium, minerals and B vitamins. (Add in glutathione for an extra hit of help for your immune system.)
Got any stress-busting travel tips to add? I’d love to hear about them… leave them in the comments below.