How to stay healthy while travelling

How to stay healthy while travelling

Originally published by me on BeautyNews.com.au.

We’ve saved the money, packed our bags and planned ourselves an awesome trip. Everything has finally fallen into place and things are looking great. However, great times often lead to some not so great results; think discovering that our once beloved skinny jeans no longer fit, or that we’ve reached a number on the scales we’ve only ever seen on calculators. That giant Italian pizza and Nutella crepe seemed like a good idea at the time, but now we think it’s worse than any of the decisions we ever made in high school. To make sure it doesn’t happen again, here are the best ways to stay healthy while travelling:

Drink plenty of water

Yes, we sound like our mums, but water is actually one of the best things for us. It keeps us hydrated, energised and best of all; it has no calories. It’s extremely important to stay hydrated while travelling because we do so much walking, exploring and general touristy things that drain us of our natural supplements. Water can also replace snacks when we’re feeling hungry, as a lot of the time we’re not actually hungry; we’re just thirsty and our bodies confuse the two feelings. Replacing fattening snacks is a great thing because it stops us from gaining excess weight and adopting pimply skin. What more could we want?

Exercise

Exercising to keep healthy isn’t rocket science, but it’s surprising how many people are hesitant about exercising while overseas. We make countless excuses, such as ‘we don’t know where the local gyms are,’ ‘we have no idea who will be at the gym,’ and ‘we don’t know what the instructor will be like.’ But even if we don’t go to an actual gym, there are many other ways to get some much needed exercise under our belts. Why not set an hour of exercise aside every day or two to ensure it gets done? We can go for a run on the streets, jog along the beach or even go for a nice power walk around the local area. It doesn’t have to be an intense workout; it just needs to get done and we need to understand thatWhether we send ourselves a calendar notification, leave ourselves a note or get someone to remind us – just effing do it.

Commit to at least one healthy meal a day

Yes, this is hard. We know one of the best things about being in a foreign city or country is the yummy food we can’t find back home. But don’t worry; the good thing about this one is that we can still stuff our faces with awesome food twice a day (instead of three times). Similar to setting aside time to exercise, we should afford the same courtesy to food. Whether the chosen meal is breakfast, lunch or dinner – we just need to make it happen. We can even mix it up every few days by changing a healthy breakfast to a healthy lunch, or even a healthy dinner. There are nutritious restaurants all over the world, and contrary to popular belief, googling does more than tell us the best places to find chocolate, alcohol and milkshakes. If that doesn’t suit, we can head to the grocery store and bag some great ingredients that showcase those superb cooking skills.

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Keep healthy snacks handy

Let’s face it; snacks is where it goes wrong. Those devilish little things don’t look fattening at all. In fact, they’re so small and insignificant that we find it hard to believe they contribute to weight gain. But the thing is, they add up. They add up a lot. Quickly devouring a Mars Bar before hitting the shops and then thinking, ‘hey, why don’t I get a quick ice cream while I’m here?’ and then ‘one more Mars Bar won’t hurt’ is what gets us good. They slowly but surely cause pimples and then suddenly, our stomachs resemble our dads’ Christmas beer bellies. While this can be very concerning, there are ways to prevent it. We should carry healthy snacks that are low in calories at all times. According to experts, some of these snacks include bananas, almonds, strawberries, muesli bars, nuts, crackers and other foods high in protein. We should eat them whenever we feel hungry and refrain from indulging on those fattening, sugary foods.

Stick to routines

Holidays are exciting, and it’s extremely hard to maintain our everyday routines. We know that. Most of the time we just want to jump out of bed and head straight to the beach or something as equally exciting. However, before doing so we need to make sure we’ve washed our faces and applied our usual toners and moisturisers. It might not seem that important, but our bodies are thrown out of proportion when change occurs. As weird as it sounds, our bodies know when we’re messing with their routines and they’re not happy about it. Cue the intense breakouts, frizzy hair and weird shape changes. It’s a good idea to shower just as much as we usually would, exercise the same (if not more) and maintain our health eating habits.

Sneaky things that make you think you’re hungry

Sneaky things that make you think you’re hungry

Originally published by me on BeautyNews.com.au.

While we all eat for pleasure sometimes, it’s important to understand the difference between your tastebuds’ urge for treats and actual stomach churning hunger. I, for one, find it extremely difficult to differentiate between the two, and find that 90% of the time I’m just eating because I’m bored, stressed or both. And although this can be healthy in moderation, overeating can lead to weight gain, poor skin and other health issues like diabetes. That’s why it’s important to know how to identify the sneaky things that trick us into believing we’re hungry when we’re actually not. Some of these include:

You’ve been looking at delicious food

For someone with very little self control, I completely understand this one. According to experts, humans are designed to feel hungry when looking at food. Evolutionary psychologists believe it’s a trait we acquired way back in our hunting days when survival mechanisms were designed to help combat sparse food. And even though we now have access to plenty of sustenance, our instincts haven’t really changed. It’s particularly difficult in the 21st century because we can’t even check social media without being confronted by chocolate cakes, pies and juicy burgers. By understanding that, just looking at food causes unnecessary hunger, you should be able to refrain from eating the next time those survival instincts kick in.

You’ve been thinking super hard

When we’re slaving away at the office or doing something of equal intensity, we can easily run out of energy. This is because our brains aren’t very good at storing calories for fuel, and once they run out of energy they trigger an urge to eat – no matter what we already have in our stomachs. Fortunately, there are easy ways to prevent this. Exercising as soon as we start to feel hungry is a great way to increase the amount of lactic acid and sugar in our blood streams. This will eventually spread to the brain and it will be used as a fuel for energy. Goodbye, hunger!

Your normal routine is telling you it’s food time

Sometimes I’ll eat just because society dictates I eat three meals per day. However, experts say it’s not essential to eat if we’ve already snacked throughout the day. It’s always good to get into a routine, but we often force ourselves into the habit of eating at specific times every single day. Obviously meals are important, but sometimes we even get used to excessive snacking and then our bodies begin to expect food all the time.

You spent your last meal multi-tasking

When we spend our meals eating and scrolling through social media at the same time, our senses don’t meet their full expectations. They’re not able to smell, taste and look at food as it moves from our forks to our stomachs. And because it can take up to 20 minutes for the food to be digested and for our brains to receive that signal, we think that we’re still hungry. It’s time to put the iPhone down and concentrate on the task at hand. Otherwise, we might end up eating twice as much every day.

You’re actually thirsty

This is a huge one. When I become dehydrated, I can’t differentiate between whether I’m hungry or thirsty. According to experts, our bodies receive mixed signals when we haven’t had enough to eat or drink. Some foods also contain certain percentages of water, which is when things become even more confusing. The solution to this problem is extremely obvious: drink plenty of water. Nutritionists recommend at least eight glasses per day, so we should take our water bottles everywhere you go – the office, our friend’s place and even to bed at night.

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Some other things that make us unnecessarily hungry include stress, sadness, alcohol, messy environments, other junk food, tiredness, anger and believe it or not, sad movies.

But as long as we can learn to recognise all of these things, we should be able to combat the tricky little buggers.

7 things people really need to stop doing on public transport

7 things people really need to stop doing on public transport

Originally published by me on Mamamia.com.au.

This morning I was on the train when a woman pulled out a small disposable razor and started shaving her legs.

Yep. She was shaving her legs. DRY. ON THE TRAIN.

Um, I know it’s the silly season and all, but seriously? I’d much rather go to work with the hairiest legs in the world than shave in front of an entire peak hour train carriage.

 Unfortunately, that’s not even the weirdest thing that’s known to happen on public transport. Here are some (of many) more annoying passenger habits:

1. People who board without letting others off first

These people are so desperate to nab a seat, they’re willing to bowl over frail elderly women and their tiny walking sticks.

You’ve probably seen them before – they’re the commuters who line up where they think the carriage will stop about 15 minutes before the train’s expected to actually arrive.

They refuse to move for people getting on other trains and when theirs finally arrives, they barge in the doors as soon as possible — alighting passengers be damned.

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I don’t know where you people learned your manners, but don’t you know you’re supposed to stand to the side of the carriage and wait for EVERYONE TO GET OFF?

Would you really prefer be the cause of someone falling onto the freaking train tracks, rather than having to stand for 10 measly minutes?

Remember: sensible people are good people.

2. People who sniffle and/or cough without covering their mouth

Not only are you probably infecting me with your illness, but you’re doing in a really awful way. Just stop.

Nobody can help getting sick and sometimes we still have to go to work, but please try not to spread your germs by being a gross person.

Trust me, the sound of blowing your nose is much nicer than the sound of snot being sucked around every two minutes.

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3. People who put their bags on the seat

This is one of my biggest pet peeves. What gives you the right to dictate whether people can sit next to you?

Did your bag pay for a ticket? No, I didn’t think so!

I know it’s as simple as asking someone to move their bag, which I’ve happily done on many occasions. But the point is that I shouldn’t have to do in the first place.

How about you just not put your stuff on perfectly good seats? Great, thanks.

4. People who trim their nails

To be honest, this is even grosser than shaving your legs on public transport.

Where are your disposed nails going? Are you dropping them on the floor so that someone else can clean them up, or are you allowing them to fling across the carriage and potentially land on some poor unsuspecting soul’s head?

Either way, not cool.

5. People who eat smelly food

People who eat on public transport don’t bother me at all. But people who eat smelly food in small spaces? Bad.

Whipping out a can of tuna, an egg sandwich or even leftover curry is a huge no no. It gets up the nostrils of everyone around you and when it mixes with the already sometimes-questionable scent of public transport, they’ll want to puke.

I used to catch the train to work, and without fail, the same woman would sit next to me every single morning. She seemed nice enough, but she liked to eat corn on the cob for breakfast.

Now, plenty of people enjoy a good cob of corn — but I don’t know anyone who eats it at 7:30am. Out of a plastic bag. For 50 minutes straight.

I even moved carriages several times, but she somehow still sought me out. She then spent the entire journey nibbling as slowly as possible on her corn while elbowing me in the ribs.

Fun times.

6. People who read over your shoulder

Trust me, my text messages aren’t that interesting. Most of the time I’m just messaging my mum asking her what belongs in the fridge and what belongs in the pantry.

It’s even more annoying when I’m trying to read a book or newspaper. You do know that you’re not being stealthy, right? I can feel your eyes burning through my pages.

If you’re really that fascinated with my reading material, why don’t you just buy your own damn one?

7. People who listen to music without headphones

Yes, I always listen to music on public transport. I’d be bored out of my mind otherwise.

But I use these small things called headphones that – shockingly – allow only me to hear my music. Crazy concept, right?

Apparently it is for some people. They seem to think their music is so great that everyone else should also be subjected to its torture.

But the train’s not your personal dance party, buddy, so give it up.

Feel free to inflict the pain on your own ears, but leave mine out of it.

Hidden Hunger Issues in Australia

Hidden Hunger Issues in Australia

We all know that hunger is a third-world issue, but what many people don’t know is that it’s also a problem in Australia. According to Foodbank, 1 in 10 Australians are going hungry every single day. Why then, is it such a hidden issue when so many people are suffering?

Food wastage is one of the main reasons for hidden hunger issues. We throw away so much food that it’s almost impossible to believe that some of us are struggling to make ends meet. However, a number of different circumstances, such as low income and financial loss can be problematic for many Australians.

Thankfully, we have some great charities, such as The Hope Food Barn, that are willing to offer their assistance in more ways than one.

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(Above images were sourced from LunchALot.com)

References:

Blythman, J 2015, ‘Why supermarkets’ love of use-by dates leads to food waste’ The Guardian website, viewed 1 April 2016,<http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/04/supermarkets-use-by-dates-food-waste>

Do something about food waste, LunchALot website, viewed 4 April 2016,<http://www.lunchalot.com/foodwaste.php>

Mclaren, N. & Blackall, D.R. (2008). The Food Barn, ABC Stateline, TV Current affairs program [audio-visual recording]. Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Sydney, 29 November.

Society at a glance 2014 highlights: Australia OECD social indicators, OECD website, viewed 2 April 2016,
<http://www.oecd.org/australia/OECD-SocietyAtaGlance2014-Highlights-Australia.pdf>

Sound effects and music, YouTube Creative Commons section, viewed 4 April 2016,
< https://www.youtube.com/user/creativecommons>

The Economic and Social Impact Survey 2015, Salvation Army website, viewed 1 April 2016,<http://www.salvationarmy.org.au/en/Who-We-Are/Publications-reports-submissions/Reports–Submissions/Latest-Reports/National-Economic-and-Social-Impact-Survey-2015/Summary/Key-Findings/>

The Facts, Food Bank website, viewed 6 April 2016,
<http://www.foodbank.org.au/hunger-in-australia/the-facts/>

The Hope Centre – about us, Hope Centre website, viewed 1 April 2016,<http://www.hopecentre.com.au/about-us/>