Actress-songstressÂ Ayesha Omerâ€™sÂ tips on staying healthy while travelling
Drink plenty of fluids
Water is truly a girl’s best friend. There is nothing more indispensible for holistic health, beauty and brains than a steady 15 glasses a day. And no, not juice, not Vitamin water and not even sparkling water can take the place of good old plain, clean and still water.
Airplane cabins are notoriously devoid of moisture and you can shrivel up like a prune if you’re not diligent and conscientious about your water intake. Take an extra trip to the loo if necessary but whatever you do, do not skimp out on drinking water at regular intervals.
Invest in a handy reusable water bottle. You’ll be saving money, plus you won’t be stranded without any water where there’s no place to buy any. And you can take it through airport security, too, albeit empty.
“It’s good to stay hydrated, lemon is always a good pick me up and is always refreshing. You have late nights when you’re travelling usually and waking up early and hence you’re not really sleeping much, so it’s very very important to stay hydrated. I try to have coconut water here and there also. That’s a great way to get hydrated when you’re travelling. I also always carried around my water bottle everywhere!”
â€œWhat’s more familiar to a McDonaldâ€™s lover than seeing the massive golden arches of the McDonaldâ€™s M and wanting some Mc meal or other? Itâ€™s important to exit your comfort zones!â€
Try the local cuisine
As a rule, even when in the homeland, it’s always advisable to indulge in local AND seasonal produce. It’s fresher and healthier and more climate appropriate. For example, oranges come to us in Pakistan in the winter season and stave off cold and flu using their copious quantities of immunity boosting vitamin C.
So wherever you travel, let go of your inhibitions and take a chance on the local cuisine. It may even be miles away from what you’re used to, it’s still an integral part of the cultural experience of visiting another place.
Stay away from generic fast food
Humans are, after all, creatures of comfort and comfort lies in the familiar. What’s more familiar to a McDonald’s lover than seeing the massive golden arches of the McDonald’s M and wanting some Mc meal or other? It’s important to exit your comfort zone and ditch familiar fast food chains for local and small eateries. Not only will you be in for an alternative experience and a cornucopia of variety inaccessible to you in the run-of-the-mill fast food chain, fast food is notoriously unhealthy, full of unsaturated fats and sodium and God knows what else.
If you’re worried about hygiene standards in the local mom and pop eatery, take comfort in knowing that the world is growing smaller and that food standards and hygiene are becoming more and more regulated across the globe each day. So there will more or less be at least some hygienic, local and healthy food sources for you to choose from.
Keep healthy dry snacks in zip lock bags (nuts, seeds, trailmix, etc.)
When there is absolutely nothing around to eat or you’re trapped in that airport limbo where there is not an ounce of food in sight and you need sustenance, you can rely on your own private stash of dry, portable foods to keep you going. Take a Ziploc bag and stuff some nuts, seeds, trailmix, whole wheat crackers and the like and keep hidden away for when you’ll most need it. Dried fruits also provide essential vitamins and minerals when you can’t access the real stuff.
These portable snacks are excellent alternatives to a dreary and icky airline meal that’s all carbs and grease. Dried yogurt covered cranberries are a favourite of mine and provide a whole host of nutrients, essential for your good health and for having a good time on the go.
“And I always carry some snacks in my bag, a bit of dark chocolate or some nuts or some handmade energy bars. Not the processed ones, try and scope out some homemade or handmade ones or try making them yourself at home. Mints also give you some energy, they’re good to have around.”
Keep meals light and frequent to stay energised
Most of us know the feeling of lethargy after having scarfed down a huge meal of festive and/or comfort food. The two possible outcomes are either sleepiness or frequent trips to the bathroom coupled with intestinal discomfort. Who wants to experience either on a trip? Not us.
That’s why it’s smarter to eat small meals more frequently throughout the day rather than the usual three solid ones. Not only will you be able to do more regional food sampling this way, you’ll stay energetic, keep your metabolic rate up and hence be able to see and do more.
Opt for salads, smoothies, and grilled lean meats or scope out the healthier and more nutritious options on your own using some basic nutritional common sense.
“So chaltay phirtay, one can just stay energised with quick bites on the go like fruits, nuts and the like without much fuss. It’s always so much better to have little tidbits instead of huge meals. Any green salad is great for a light snack and so healthy too.”
â€œItâ€™s so great to get a lot of sun when you go to beachy places and thatâ€™s actually good for you, believe it or notâ€
AYESHA’S HEALTH TIPS FOR A BLAST OF A VACATION:
“It’s so great to get a lot of sun when you go to beachy places and that’s actually good for youÂ believe it or not. In Pakistan, we don’t get out in the sun a lot so the vitamin D is really welcome.
We did some walking and sightseeing, chilling in the park or biking around. It’s good to be getting at least a bit of exercise because you’ll probably be eating a lot of junk when you’re on holiday.
Whenever you’re walking around, you can get fruit almost everywhere, on the street, fresh cut up fruit like the one I got in the fruit market. So indulge in the local produce.
It’s important to take vitamins and supplements while you’re travelling. Not only is your body under more duress than usual and you may not be able to access the full spectrum of nutrition that you need for optimum health.”