1 Discovering Well-Being in Travel A guide by Sarah Wilson
2 Sarah Wilson is author of the I Quit Sugar series of books and ebooks. More than 500,000 people have completed her sugar detox program and she herself healed her autoimmune disease through the process. Sarah is a New York Times Bestseller and her books now sell in more than 40 countries around the world. Learn more at iquitsugar.com and sarahwilson.com
3 Hello. I m Sarah Wilson. I m a big traveller and my work as an author, public speaker and well-being advocate sees me in the air and in hotel beds a good three months of the year. It could all take its toll except that I ve dedicated a great deal of energy to developing and collating my tips and tricks for staying well while on the road. You could call it a (obsessed) hobby of mine. I ve interviewed all manner of seasoned globe trotters, including His Holiness The Dalai Lama, Deepak Chopra, Sir Richard Branson, Oprah s life coach Martha Beck, New York Times bestselling authors Brene Brown and Gretchen Rubin and many more to get their take, too. Consider this guide to Discovering Well-being in Travel - a compendium of the best techniques from the world s top travellers! Westin Hotels & Resorts is equally committed to well-being and approached me recently about sharing these health ideas with their valued guests. a global initiative dedicated to enhancing the well-being of guests and associates around the world. Westin has implemented a string of innovative health and wellness programs for guests under the brand s six pillars of well-being, which include Sleep Well, Eat Well, Move Well, Feel Well, Work Well, and Play Well. Westin has also partnered with Yin Yang, Founder of Yogi Yoga Center in China and Chief Editor of Yoga Journal Lara Dutta, an Indian actress who was crowned Miss Universe 2000 and has been a yoga practitioner for more than 12 years - I m certainly in good company! For me, far from being compromising, I now see my travel and hotel stays as a wonderful opportunity to focus on my wellness. As they say, a change is as good as a holiday and a home away from home can be the restorative circuit breaker you might just need! A truly bon voyage and much rest to you, Westin is passionate about inspiring and facilitating best health practices and launched the Westin Well-Being Movement in March this year - Sarah Wilson
4 EAT WELL I often travel to eat. It s part of my job! So I ve developed a number of ways to ensure I do it in a way that reflects my real food eating principles and keeps me sprightly and sharp.
5 MY TIP I avoid carbohydrates (pasta, breads, pizza etc) when travelling. Grains and pulses can leave us bloated and tend to be highly processed. They can also take the place of more nutritious food, which you need while moving about.
6 It s easy to establish a few practices that ensure you don t fall into the trap of eating cheap, processed foods. Three principles that work for me include: Maximise nutrition. At every opportunity go for the food with the densest nutrition profile Don t eat anything you can t identify. I avoid complex-looking sauces, for instance they invariably contain lots of processed additives and sugar Focus on green. Wherever I can I order an extra serve of vegetables IN YOUR HOTEL Eat a big breakfast full of protein either from the buffet or room service. Pick eggs and bacon and any kind of vegetables available steamed spinach, avocado or mushrooms - as well as some whole fruit. This ensures you have nourished yourself nicely with foods that will sustain your energy evenly (in case the rest of the day doesn t pan out so well) Order an extra side of steamed veggies from in-room dining if you need a snack. Not very exciting, but it s important you incorporate lots of vegetables into your diet when you re travelling Check out the Westin SuperFoodsRx menu created together with doctors and nutritionists- the different dishes are packed with nutrients and energy If you re travelling with kids, Westin has introduced the Westin Eat Well Menu for Kids, a healthy kids menu pulled together by SuperChefs, a group of doctors, dentists, dieticians and chefs dedicated to educating kids on the importance and the fun! of eating smart 06 Westin Well-Being
7 MY TIP Check the side dishes on a menu. If there are some vegetables I can add to a dish, I know I ll be alright. EATING OUT IN RESTAURANTS Hold the carbs Ask for no bread and opt for vegetables or salad instead of fries or mash (to maximise nutrition) Opt for roasts and bakes Meat and vegetables prepared simply (ingredients you can identify!) are the way to go. Avoid dishes with gooby sauces (they ll contain additives, bad fats and sugars), such as pastas Go for Indian and Mediterranean foods Indian curries are rarely made with added sugar (but always ask). While Greek and Lebanese dishes are mostly grilled meats, good oils and fresh veggies Stick to one glass of wine A glass of red can aid digestion and balance blood sugars. Any more than that will interrupt sleep (also, stick to red wine as white and sparkling wines are higher in sugar) ON PLANES On short domestic flights, don t eat from the trolley Honestly, all of us can survive 1-2 hours without food, and snacking between meals compromises digestion On longer flights Choose the main meal with the least sauce Eat the fruit and cheese Possibly your best bet no added nasties Don t eat sugar It dehydrates, compromises digestion, sees you hankering for more food and, as it s not being burnt off, mucks with your metabolism MY TIP: For every hour you are flying, drink at least 500ml of water and drink a stack before you leave for the airport. Westin Well-Being 07
8 My favourite green smoothie for you to make and tote: Green Immunity Blend (Serves 2) stalks removed, torn MY TIP I make a green smoothie (pureed greens and whole fruit) which I carry in a metal canister to drink before flights. I then use the canister as my water bottle for the rest of the trip. 08 Westin Well-Being
9 ON THE RUN Coconut chips are a great snack. You can buy these in the health food isle Nut butter For those of you with a sweet tooth, try macadamia nut butter. Look out for snack-sized packs in health food stores MY TIP Try a pot of chai tea. The spices such as cinnamon and cardamom both satisfy the need for a sweet hit but also stabilise blood sugar and cravings. The milk will also provide a lovely sweetness. Westin Well-Being 09
10 FEEL WELL Flying, air conditioning, transit stress it can all leave you feeling quite agitated. When I travel I focus on getting myself as grounded as possible.
11 Meditate or just lie in a dark room I meditate as often as possible: on the plane, in the cab, wherever. But just lying on the bed in your room can be just as beneficial. Draw the curtains, shut your eyes and focus on your breathing. A ten-minute quiet moment before heading off for meetings, sightseeing or a dinner can work wonders MY TIP If you re in your room, check out Westin s exclusive meditation series developed by meditation and mindfulness experts Headspace. They re super easy to follow and the perfect way to start or end your day. Westin Well-Being 11
12 Avoid draughts and strong air-conditioning where possible Both whip up and exhaust the adrenals Get a massage Ask the concierge to recommend a good spa in the local area or if you re staying with Westin take advantage of their in-room service Avoid screens Travelling exposes you to a lot of blue light and electro-magnetic fields, which have been shown to sap energy. When you can, put down your phone and unplug your laptop MY TIP: I always travel with a battery-operated alarm clock instead of using my phone as the alarm to minimise EMF exposure. Stay warm It s another way to ground yourself when things get out of whack. Jump into a warm bath and then climb into a snug bathrobe 12 Westin Well-Being
13 SLEEP WELL I m a chronic insomniac and so I am particularly mindful of ensuring my travel sleep routine is sound.
14 WHAT TO PACK A few of your favourite tea bags (Chamomile is a lovely, calming option). A tea ritual in your room can signify the end of the day An eye mask Ear plugs Natural supplements MY TIP Lavender oil it can be very calming and only takes up a little room. A small vial travels with me everywhere I go! To help promote restful sleep patterns magnesium is a great option. It also calms your nerves and muscles A travel alarm clock 14 Westin Well-Being
15 A QUIETEN-DOWN ROUTINE Skip the nightcap One drink can induce drowsiness, but two or more drinks will reduce the quality of your sleep Drink several cups of chamomile tea From about 30 minutes after dinner until an hour before bed Turn off all screens a good 30 minutes before bedtime Take a bath or hot shower This will help pacify nerves Stretch for 10 minutes If you re prone to restless legs (many people are when travelling) ADJUSTING YOUR ROOM Get your bed sorted Your Westin Heavenly Bed is designed to promote great sleep - from the crisp, white sheets to the down duvets, plush pillows and custom pillow-top mattresses. If you re a one-pillow person, move the excess pillows to a corner. If you re an extra-blanket person, call for an extra blanket before you settle in for the night Ensure the curtains are drawn tight Turn the air con down or off If you have a window that opens, open it slightly to let in some fresh air Try applying lavender oil to your wrists and soles of your feet Honestly, it works Westin Well-Being 15
16 MY TIP For international trips I always plan to arrive by 5pm local time so that I can do some exercise, have a meal and get to bed at a good time.this routine helps me settle into a new time zone.
17 MOVE WELL Here s my number one trick for staying fit at home and when travelling: I walk and I walk and I walk. Walking pumps out toxins which can build up when travelling. Walking is also the best cure for anyone (me!) who gets inflammation and water retention on planes. As a rule, I exercise every day, particularly when away from home. Here s how
18 MY TIP I don t overdo exercise when travelling. Your body is more compromised and responds best to gentle and consistent (i.e. daily) movement.
19 HOW TO MOVE IN THE HOTEL Do yoga It s great for lymphatic drainage, as well as peace of mind. Westin in Australia recently partnered with Charlotte Dodson, yoga teacher to the stars, to launch a new travel-friendly yoga sequence which you can do in your room A stair workout If you only have time for a quick 10 minute workout, find some stairs for a few laps up and down Use the gym It s there on your doorstep! Catch the news on TV while you re there MY TIP: I always pack my swimmers and goggles in case there s a pool in the hotel or nearby. Also handy if there s a steam room, which is a boon for frazzled adrenals and blocked lymphs! Westin Well-Being 19
20 HOW TO DO INCIDENTAL EXERCISE Walk to meetings and dinner It s also a great way to see a foreign city Check out the bike schemes in the city London, Paris and New York do these really well, so does Melbourne in Australia. I use these whenever I m in these cities super simple and the best way to see a big city Try the RunWestin program Westin teamed up with New Balance to provide guests with three- and five- mile routes around the local area HOW TO MOVE WELL ON PLANES It's important to get up and stretch regularly to avoid Deep Vein Thrombosis, as well as lymphatic blockage which can leave you feeling inflamed and bloated on arrival. Wear compression stockings They're a great investment Stretch at the back of the plane In quiet times on the flight I try and complete a full yoga routine. Simple forward bends, lunges and any kind of hip stretching is really important. At layovers I spend the whole time walking and stretching 20 Westin Well-Being
21 MY TIP If you forget your gear, don t worry. Through the Westin Gear Lending program, you can borrow a pair of New Balance shoes and clothing to use during your stay, for only AUD$5.00 or local equivalent.
22 WORK WELL Trying to work while on the road can be tricky - distractions are always an issue. But with the following tricks you can get focused and get stuff done.
23 HAVE A MORNING ROUTINE If my morning kicks off well, I m generally in a better space to cope with the day. All the productivity, health and mindfulness experts I ve interviewed over the years have a remarkably similar morning routine. Upon rising, drink hot water with lemon (ask room service the night before for a fresh lemon) Stretch a little and then head out the door to exercise (or do some in-room yoga) Meditate or sit quietly and get grounded in yourself Five minutes sitting on a chair with your eyes shut can work wonders Allow a good 20 minutes to eat breakfast It might be the last 20 you have to yourself for the rest of the day. Plus, your digestion will thank you for it! Westin Well-Being 23
24 SHUT OUT DISTRACTIONS Turn off (or don t connect to) Wi-Fi for stints so that you can focus and get real work done MY TIP: I like to use the widget Pomodoro Technique. It s a timer that paces out focus stints and rest stints for you. It s wonderful for getting focused work done. I work to a 15 second rule If it can be solved, answered or filed in 15 seconds I do it straight away. If not I come back to it and complete longer responses in batches When at a Westin, use the Clutter-Free Meeting Stations for potential meetings They provide paper, pens, glasses, water and other thoughtful touches, keeping the main work area open and clear. On a personal note, I love that these areas are eco-mindful too, with energy-efficient light bulbs and water pitchers in lieu of bottled water MY TIP: I use Instapaper for long reads. It s a really simple tool for saving web pages to read at a later date. In transit layovers, I ll open and download a bunch to read on the plane. 24 Westin Well-Being
25 Use out of office on your s. Even if you will be working while you re away. Put the onus on others to you back Often my out of office will say: I m away until X date and won t be replying to s. Please me again after X date if your matter is still valid/important. Often, a matter is redundant by the time you re back on deck.
26 PLAY WELL If you re in a different city, take a breather. Check out some new places to eat and drink (and shop, if that s your thing).
27 Go walking This allows you to be in real time with a city Stay close and local and keep small Not big excursions, but whimsical explorations of what s nearby MY TIP: Research the area on Broadsheet or Time Out before you travel, to check out best places to eat or drink. MY TIP Take a flanerie. This is a wonderful French word. And it s very Parisienne in nature. Flanerie: to take a wander around a city just to look and smell and absorb. No buying. Just looking, in gardens and parks and galleries. Discover great local events and attractions near your hotel using Westin Finds from AFAR This offers you access to the best-kept secrets on what to see and where to eat, drink and shop during your stay Find a local writer s reading event It s a great way to get a feel for the locals and the culture of the area MY TIP: Travel to a city or region based on your interests. Some people travel to a city or region to see a famous museum, or for the café scene, or for the wineries. I use hiking as the raison d etre of my travelling. That and eating. Westin Well-Being 27
28 I go to where the best hike (insert your reason for travelling) is and build in other experiences from there. It s not a bad formula to adhere to. MY TIP Choose to dine solo. This is another great way to get a feel for the local culture and vibe. Sit at the bar so you can talk to the staff if you don t want to be stuck alone in a corner. 28 Westin Well-Being
29 FOR A BETTER YOU