Travel Survival Guide


Simple Strategies For Staying Active And Healthy On Vacation

Holidays and travel in general can be a challenging time to maintain consistency with your health and wellness. However, it can be easier than you think to maintain all the great progress you’ve been making at home with a few subtle shifts. So much of your success when getting thrown off your daily routine comes down to mindset, how you approach your travel, and having a plan. And you know I am ALL about balance. Use this guide to stay active and healthy over the holidays, on your next business trip, or your next vacation.


Move daily – but don’t stress about your normal routine. Just choose activities that require movement. Moving for shorter bouts more frequently is more important than getting in long workouts.

This movement can be a family activity like a hike, or taking advantage of walking and exploring a city.

If you know you won’t be that active on certain days, plan to get up an extra 20 minutes earlier and get a quick full body workout in before you start the day.


Build time into your travel schedule – and let whoever you are traveling with know ahead of time so the expectations are set in advance.



Think ahead and make a few simple preparations to set your nutritional mindset for your trip.

Think of what to “ADD” to your meals rather than what to eliminate. Make sure to incorporate greens and protein at every single meal and fill in the rest as desired. Eating foods with little nutritional value, meals lacking balance, or too little water can throw your body completely out of whack, causing bloating, constipation, and digestive issues.

Base your approach to food on respect for your body and how food makes you feel. Vegetables, high-quality protein, and fiber-rich whole grains fuel your body and give you sustaining energy that leaves you feeling good.

Yes, there are definitely foods that are just simply delicious and pleasurable — and you are on vacation and life is meant to be celebrated. Duh. No one wants to be told not to eat pasta in Italy or that slice of pumpkin pie for breakfast. Live your life, fuel your body well, and remove the guilt from your thought process. It’s ok to indulge, it all comes down to finding balance in the day to day.


Drink plenty of water, especially mid-flight or staying at a high-altitude destination where air is dry and dehydration can cause jet lag and altitude-related illnesses.

Bring a water bottle with you to the airport and fill it up after you get through security and before boarding your flight. Drink the entire thing. Yes, I want you to get up and use the restroom. You can use that time to stretch your legs. And if you can, try to avoid alcohol mid-flight as well as those salty snacks.

And drink before meals and snacks to help prevent over-consuming.


Be prepared and pack your own snacks that fall in line with your current eating since healthy options may not always be available. Pack along nuts, fresh fruit, Rx protein bars, nut butter packets, collagen protein packets, greens powder packets, oatmeal cups, etc.

RELAX — Take a few minutes to do deep belly breaths in your seat to calm the nervous system and bring about relaxation. Bring one hand onto your belly and close your eyes. Take a deep breath in and expand your belly into your hand, feeling your ribs expand and your low back press toward the seat. Pause when you are full. Slowly exhale the breath out until you are empty, drawing the navel in and up and pause. Repeat for 2 minutes.

STRETCH — Being stuck on a plane or in a car for an extended period of time can leave muscles feeling tight and achy. Book an aisle seat so you can get up frequently and do these stretches or do them right in your seat. Make it a goal to get up once an hour to do a full body stretch and be the person in the back of the plane stretching their legs, back and shoulders. Your body will thank you — everyone else will be envious.


Seated Figure 4 — Cross right ankle over left knee and sit up tall to lift chest while tilting your tailbone back behind you to anteriorly tilt the pelvis and enhance the stretch. Hold for 30-60 seconds and switch sides.

Eagle Arms Shoulder and Upper Back Stretch — Sit up tall in your seat and hook right elbow underneath left elbow and cross forearms to clasp hands. Squeeze forearms together as you draw shoulders down away from ears and lift fingertips up towards ceiling while dropping chin down. Hold for 30 seconds and switch sides.

Seated Trunk Rotations — Sit up tall in the middle of your seat and turn your torso to the right to place both hands on the armrest, keeping hips forward. Hold spinal twist for a few deep breaths and repeat on the other side. 

Ankle Circles — Lift right foot off the floor slightly and keeping leg still, draw the largest clockwise circle that you can with your toes and repeat 5 rotations before switching to counterclockwise and then switch ankles.

Neck Circles — Engage your core and sit up tall. Keeping your torso and shoulders still, draw your chin down towards your chest, turn/rotate your chin towards your right shoulder, draw right ear towards right shoulder, extend neck back and around until left shoulder moves towards left ear, drop chin down towards shoulder and rotate back to neutral and reverse direction. Repeat twice in each direction.

Forward Fold — hinge at your hips and fold forward, hanging and holding opposite elbows. Relax shoulders, neck, and low back and take a few deep breaths.

Hip Flexor Stretch — Stand with left foot forward and right foot back about 2 feet apart with toes pointing forward. Tuck pelvis under into a posterior tilt, engage abdominals and gently shift hips forward slightly as you reach up through the right arm as high as you can. Repeat movement for 5-10 repetitions and switch sides.


Getting in a short and easy full body workout when you arrive at your destination has been proven to reduce fatigue and jet lag. A post-flight workout that falls within 24 hours of flying should be on the mellow side and purely just to bring movement and energy into the body. Think gentle mobility movements to warm up, 4-5 easy bodyweight exercises and a few stretches and belly breathing to cool down.


  1. Move daily

  2. Eat protein and greens at every meal

  3. Hydrate

  4. Pack healthy snacks

  5. Drop the guilt and enjoy yourself

  6. Stretch on the plane

  7. Try these workouts 

From Dysfunctional to Functional Breathing


Master this breathing technique to unlock your body and enhance your overall well-being.

We all breathe. But the problem is, most of us do not breathe properly. And few people understand the impact improper breathing has on mobility, strength, and power. Correcting and realigning with the proper breathing biomechanics that we were designed for can improve not only our workouts, but our overall wellness and daily life. (Big statement, I know, but it’s absolutely true.) 

Are you a chest breather or belly breather? 

Self Check — observe right now, in this very moment, whether your chest is lifting or if your belly is expanding as you inhale. Don’t try to change your breathe, just observe it’s natural state. How long did you inhale and exhale for and were the durations of each comparable?

CHEST BREATHER: If you noticed you’re breathing primarily into your chest with a relatively large inhales and a shorter exhales, you are a shallow chest breather, along with 90% of the population. You’re not alone. But we need to change that.



Shallow breathing dysfunctionally recruits accessory muscles such as your chest (pectorals), neck (scalenes and sternocleidomastoid), and upper trap musculature to inflate the chest and hold your ribcage in place, which takes your scapulae (shoulder blades) with it. Your body then uses the recoil of these muscles along with a dropping of the shoulders to perform the work of the diaphragm (dispelling air from your lungs).

This, unfortunately, can cause chronic tension, limitations in neck, shoulder and back, and poor posture…all making you more susceptible to injury.



Chest breathing has a purpose. It’s intended for our stressed states (like running from a bear!) as it stimulates the Sympathetic Nervous System (SNS - aka, our fight or flight response). But when we chest breathe in what is supposed to be our relaxed state, we in turn trigger that same stress response.

If you’re someone who spends excess time living in a sympathetic state (anxiety, high stress, lack of sleep, overtraining), you are adding unnecessary stress to your body which ultimately, is shaving years off your life.

BELLY BREATHER: This is how we are meant to breathe. Yay, you. But so often we get pulled out of this pattern from either the stress mentioned above, postural changes from poor lifestyle habits, previous injuries, or trying to hold our bellies in all day long.



Belly breathing relies on your diaphragm, intercostal muscles, internal obliques, and transversus abdominis (TVA), activating our Parasympathetic Nervous System (PNS) and shifts us into a relaxed state which optimizes our body for rest, recovery, and digestion. 


Our ability to fully expand and contract the belly on our inhales and exhales increases lung capacity, improves sleep, digestion, and overall health and wellness, ensures a healthy relationship with the pelvic floor, deep core musculature, and diaphragm. (Postpartum ladies, get on this one), and gets our bodies moving properly. Contrary to what many people believe, core strength isn’t just about holding in our core and keeping our abs tight. The diaphragm is the king of the core.

From Dysfunctional Chest Breather to Functional Belly Breather:

The best place to start if you’re new to re-learning or re-wiring this breathing pattern is in a prone position (on your belly). Once you’ve mastered breathing in all four directions on your belly (belly into the floor, ribs laterally out to the sides, low back to the ceiling), you can practice supine/on your back, seated, standing and while walking.

Prone Belly Breathing:

  1. Lay on your belly and make a pillow with your hands to rest your forehead. Focus on deeply inhaling and exhaling through your nose (you can exhale through your mouth but consistently breathe in through the nose) with a 4-5 count inhale, a 4-5 count exhale, and a 4-5 count hold when empty. 

  2. As you Inhale, actively try to expand your abdomen and breathe your belly into the floor as well as breathe laterally into your side waist, as if your waist is an accordion.

  3. As you exhale, slowly let all the breath out with control and feel empty at the bottom of your breath, gently engaging the deep core musculature and holding for 4-5 counts to allow the diaphragm to functionally engage and initiate a proper inhale.

  4. Set a timer for 2 minutes (don’t poke your head up until the timer goes off).

Practice anywhere and practice often.

Working on breathing mechanics for just two minutes a day can significantly restore mobility and hardwire your body to begin naturally breathing in this way.

And if you’re a mouth breather… breathing through your mouth most often means you’re a shallow chest breather. I like to say that breathing through your mouth is sort of like trying to eat through your nose. (Not really, but, you get the point).

Got "TECH-NECK"? 10 Stretches To Relieve Neck Pain At Your Desk

Just about everyone that sits at a computer for extended periods of time experiences neck pain and unfortunately this can cause some serious complications down the road if not addressed. Luckily, there are some steps you can take to bring your posture back to its natural and upright position and reverse the symptoms you’re experiencing while at the office.

“Tech-Neck” is typically due to 3 things: poor posture and ergonomics while sitting at your desk, stress and how you carry it, and a need to balance and strengthen the muscles that get stressed from long hours at a computer with poor posture.

*NOTE: The below stretches/movements can help reduce or alleviate symptoms but it’s important to address the root of the issue. Deeper strengthening and focused work to correct imbalances is needed to make a difference in your lasting overall health.



It’s important to know that neck pain doesn’t necessarily mean that the neck itself is the root cause of the pain. Since our entire body is woven together by connective tissue (fascia), tension anywhere in the body can be due to a build up of tension or pulling anywhere else down a fascial line.

The line of fascia most commonly affected by sitting at your desk is known as the superficial back line which runs from the forehead, up and over the crown of the head, down the length of the spine and back of the legs, over the heels and along the soles of your feet. This line is responsible for holding you in an upright position and extending the body.

The stretches, movements, and habits below can all be done while sitting at your desk to help ease tension and improve the mobility and stability of your neck, shoulders, and upper back.


Poor positioning while staring at a screen for hours at a time can lead to added stress on the superficial back line and result in a semi-permanent (or permanent if no changes are made) body positioning consisting of a forward head carry and rounded shoulders. This posture causes the extensors of the neck (back of the neck) to be locked in an overstretched or “long” position while carrying the weight of your head, the flexors of the neck (the front of the neck) to be locked “short” and weak, the chest to be locked short and tight and the mid and upper back to be locked long and weak. Depending on the degree of forward head carry, this can add up to an additional 50-60 lbs of added stress to the neck.



I know you’ve seen a million articles on proper posture, but here is my advice. Sit either at the edge of your chair on your SITS bones with a tall spine, feet flat on the floor, and chin parallel to the floor (computer should be eye level from this position) or sit all the way at the back of your chair with your lumbar spine supported, feet flat on the floor and chin parallel to the floor. From both positions, roll your shoulders back and keeping your elbows by your side, pronate your hands and turn your palms down.


Elevate your computer (and cellphone!) to alleviate tension and weight onto the neck and spine. Adjust your chair, desk, or standing desk into a proper position for your height – computer at eye level and elbows bent to 90 degrees for a position you can easily type on your keyboard.


Take frequent breaks and try to avoid sitting for longer than an hour at a time. Set a timer to get up, walk around, grab some water (so important to keep your connective tissue hydrated!), and realign your posture.



Subocciptal Stretch: Place thumb crease in chin crease and draw chin toward chest. Gently assist with hand behind head. Hold for 5-8 breaths.

Levator Scap Stretch: Rotate head to right and drop chin down toward armpit. Gently assist with right hand. Hold for 5-8 breaths.

Neck Circles: Irradiate tension and isolate from your neck only. Draw chin down, rotate head to side, draw ear toward shoulder, circle the neck smoothly all the way around until ear reaches opposite shoulder, drop chin down and rotate back to neutral. Reverse direction. Perform 3 circles in each direction.

Passive T-Spine Rotation: Sit upright in chair, twist to the right placing left hand outside right thigh and grab edge of chair with right hand to gently assist stretch. Hold for 5 breaths.

Upper Trap Stretch: Place left arm behind back and draw right ear toward right shoulder. Gently assist with right hand and hold for 5-8 deep breaths.

Chest and Shoulder Stretch: Interlace hands behind low back. Draw shoulders back and lift the chest. Hold for 5-8 breaths.

Eagle Arms: Cross right elbow underneath left elbow and then cross forearms and place palms together. Squeeze forearms together and draw shoulders away from ears as you lift elbows up toward ceiling. Push forearms forward and gently draw chin down slightly. Hold for 5 breaths and repeat on other side.

Thoracic Extension: Hold arms of chair and place base of shoulder blades on back edge. Begin to lean backwards and place hands behind head to support neck and continue extension. Hold for 3-5 breaths.


Active Thoracic Spine Flexion and Extension: Round back and bring hands together in front of chest. Open arms as you lift chest and squeeze shoulder blades together. Repeat x 8.

Active Thoracic Spine Rotation and Reach: Sit up tall with arms straight and palms touching. Draw right arm back, engaging upper back and return to start. Alternate sides. Choose to look back or keep eyes forward. Repeat x 5


Strength training is incredibly important for maintaining spinal health. Focus on strengthening the muscles that support your neck and spine such as the rhomboids, mid/lower trapezius, and core (abdominals, spinal erectors, lats, psoas, and glutes).

Would it be helpful to see some exercise video examples of recommended movements? Let me know.


If you or someone you know is in need of greater help correcting posture and alleviating symptoms, consider seeing a physical therapist or pursuing a personal trainer (me, or someone like me) to focus on the root of the problem rather than only alleviating symptoms. Treatment involves education on how to reduce stress and strain while focusing on exercises to balance the appropriate musculature to create faster rehabilitation.

If your pain persists or you’re experiencing severe or sharp-shooting pain, especially if it’s associated with numbness or tingling in the arm, there may be an underlying issue and you should see your doctor or therapist.

Curb Your Cravings With These Blood-Sugar Balancing Tips

Question of the week: “How do you deal with cravings?! I eat one sweet thing and then end up gorging all day!!!” 

sugar cravings.jpg

Our cravings are primarily related to blood sugar, stress, hormone imbalances, and food choices. By keeping nutrition quality high, getting adequate sleep, calming the nervous system, reducing stress, and getting in daily physical activity, you can help keep your cravings at bay.

Understand that cravings come and go and if you can accept their presence while trying to determine why they’re happening, you can change your reaction to them.

Here are a few reasons you might find yourself with a hankering for that 2pm cookie:

  • Low blood sugar

  • Consuming an imbalanced meal

  • Stress

  • Lack of sleep (less than 6 hours)

  • Dehydration

  • Hormonal changes during pre-menstrual period

  • Travel, especially with time-zone changes

  • Attempting to soothe boredom, anger, sadness, anxiety, depression, etc

  • Looking for a distraction

  • Overly focused on food and nutrition

The more honest you can be in recognizing your cravings, understanding the reasoning, and addressing them appropriately without giving in to them, the more you'll feel in charge of your own decisions.

How food choices affect blood sugar:

Don’t get me wrong, I love sweets and recommend you live a little, too. But understanding how and what affects your blood sugar can help you in making the right choice and how to prevent yourself from spiraling on the rollercoaster that can be the blood sugar response.

A diet consisting of a high intake of carbs with a minimal amount of fat and infrequent protein feedings (hello, American diet), eating carbs by themselves, or choosing high glycemic index foods (candy, sweets, bread, pasta, natural sweeteners, etc) causes frequent spikes and drops in blood sugar, which in turn, makes you crave more sugar and more carbohydrates.  


Sleep, emotions and stress all negatively affect cortisol levels (the stress hormone), blood sugar, inflammation, hunger hormones, and mood, all which lead to more sugar cravings. And reversibly, your ability to control blood sugar can also affect your sleep, mood, and stress. Welcome to the vicious cycle.

To keep your blood sugar stable throughout the night, eat a snack before bed consisting of a healthy fat and carbohydrate. This is the only time I don’t recommend protein, as the digestion of protein can interfere with sleep.

A single night of inadequate sleep can elevate blood sugar levels and when we consistently don’t get enough sleep, our body enters a state of chronic stress. Improve your overall health by creating a sleep routine that enables a consistent 7-9 hours of sleep.


Pre-Menstrual Period

While the hormonal effects during the a woman’s cycle varies from person to person, it’s not uncommon for there to be greater fluctuations during the pre-menstrual period. If you’re someone who tends to be more irritable and notices significant swings in mood, it may help to increase your exercise and decrease the amount of carbohydrates consumed during this week.


Consistent blood sugar balance is KEY:

Begin your day with a healthy breakfast consisting of at least 15-20 g of protein, a high quality fat (like avocado, grass fed butter, or a straight tablespoon of coconut oil), greens, and a low glycemic carbohydrate (brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato, or seasonal fruit).


Ex: 2-3 eggs (12-18g protein), arugula, ½ an avocado, ½ c brown rice, lemon, olive oil, salt, tablespoon of pesto

Eat at consistent intervals throughout the day, feeding yourself every 3-4 hours.  Lunch and dinner should consist of a fish or animal protein (the size of 1-2 palms), 2 fists of vegetables, 2 thumbs of healthy fats, and an optional 1 cupped handful of whole grains.

Snacks in between meals can consist of seasonal fruit or vegetables and a smaller amount of protein such as a serving of nuts or a serving of greek yogurt. 


  1. Eat at consistent intervals throughout the day, feeding yourself every 3-4 hours. 

  2. Always eat a balance of protein, fat, and carbs and try to avoid eating carbs by themselves. If you can’t find all three macronutrients, choose at least 2 of the 3.

    - Lunch and dinner should consist of a fish or animal protein (the size of 1-2 palms), 1-2 fists of vegetables, 1-2 thumbs of healthy fats, and 1 cupped handful of whole grains.

    - Snacks in between meals can consist of seasonal fruit or vegetables and a smaller amount of protein such as a serving of nuts or a serving of greek yogurt. 

    - Eat a snack before bed consisting of a healthy fat and carbohydrate.

  3. Get adequate sleep (7-9 hours) for more stabilized blood sugar, more energy, less hunger, better decisions, and a happier mood.

  4. Take frequent “breath-breaks” throughout your day (10 focused breaths of a 5-count inhale and 5-count exhale) to calm the nervous system and lower stress hormones.

  5. Adaptogens can help regulate the hormonal imbalance in the body. Use this guide to help you in determining what your body might benefit from.

  6. If you’re a female, increase your exercise and decrease the amount of carbohydrates consumed during your premenstrual week.


5 Tips for KICKING CRAVINGS when they arise:

  1. Keep healthy food choices on hand always, not only for balancing blood sugar quickly, but also healthier options for when you still need to satisfy that craving for something sweet -  keep these in your bag, in your car, in your desk drawer, etc:

    - avocados, olives, nuts, seeds

    - primal kitchen bars

    - chia seed pudding (3 tbsp chia seeds, 8 oz almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon

    - fresh pressed green juice with half an apple and half a lemon

    - coconut water

    - apples, berries

    - seasonal fruit

    - 70% cacao dark chocolate

  2. Drink a full glass of water

  3. Take a “breath-break” of 10 deep breaths (5 count inhale, 5 count exhale) and check back in

  4. Chew a piece of gum

  5. Eat a protein/fat combo or a serving of almonds (17) and then check in with your craving 10 minutes later.


When you first begin thinking about your craving, ask yourself if anything was missing from your last meal. Did it contain enough protein and fat to keep your blood sugar stable? Are you actually hungry? Is what you’re about to eat what your body actually needs in that moment? Eat it if you know it will bring you true joy and isn’t an attempt at filling a void, calming your stress, or your body’s cry to boost your energy levels.  If you do eat it, balance it, savor every bite, relax, and move on.

If you find that you still can’t kick your cravings after following this advice, you may want to consider getting your hormones checked.

Let’s Chat!

Do you have a question regarding blood sugar, nutrition choices, and your fitness goals? Do you have any words of advice for others trying to navigate creating a healthy lifestyle? Ask or share below or start the conversation on social using #runningwithforks.

Alcohol & Fitness: How to find a healthy balance - Part 3

Healthy Tips For Before, During, and After Alcohol


If alcohol is something you've decided can be a healthy part of your life, I've compiled some clear information on how it affects the body and how to take care of and replenish your body before, during, and after in this 3-part series.





  • First, know your limits and set a boundary for yourself before your first drink.

  • Pace yourself and aim to savor and sip rather than gulp and guzzle.

  • Eat a well-balanced meal beforehand to slow down the absorption into the bloodstream and help stabilize blood sugar.


  • Go simple. My favorites: red wine, sparkling rosé, prosecco, blanco tequila with fresh lime juice and chili salt.

  • Avoid sugary mixes, concentrates, juices, and mixing various types of alcohol.

  • If you do choose to enjoy a more sugary cocktail ( a little...), follow up with extra water and move on to a low sugar drink after one.

  • Hydration: Alcohol is dehydrating so aim to drink 1 glass of water for every drink consumed and sip on water with your drink to avoid drinking down your delicious cocktail all too quickly and reaching for snacks when you aren’t actually hungry.

  • Eat a Balanced Meal: If you show up to happy hour or dinner with an empty belly, choose a healthier option with protein, complex carbohydrates like a grain or starchy vegetable, and a healthy fat such as olives.

  • Avoid eating heavy carbohydrates with alcohol to avoid a blood sugar spike (especially before bed).

  • Avoid consuming alcohol too close to bedtime to help improve the quality of your sleep.


  • If you’re feeling hungry before bed, reach for a healthy fat like olives, cashew or sunflower seed butter, raw nuts, or half an avocado with rice vinegar and flaky salt to help stabilize blood sugar.

  • Drink a full glass of water before you head to bed along with a multivitamin that has a good dose of vitamins A, B, C, Zinc, and Magnesium.

  • Supplement with milk thistle (silymarin) – an herbal supplement that helps protect the liver, reduce inflammation, and metabolize toxins (aka alcohol) while helping balance blood sugar.

  • The Morning After: drink 12-16 oz of water with juice of one fresh lemon before anything else hits your system to stimulate the digestive system, support the liver and give your body a dose of vitamin C.

  • Follow the lemon water with healthy fats and fiber, a good dose of greens (perhaps a juice of all greens and lemon) or 1 tsp of liquid chlorophyll (since I know you won’t be craving a gigantic salad) before your coffee.

  • (In case you forgot last night..) Nourish your liver, help remove toxins, and replenish vitamins A, B, C, E and Magnesium with a Multivitamin.

  • Take a Probiotic.

  • GET A WORKOUT IN AND SWEAT! (non-negotiable)



  • Choose a few nights a week that are Alcohol-Free

  • Choose drinks with a lower percentage of alcohol

  • Keep track of how much you drink in one sitting and per week

  • Drink a glass of water before and after an alcoholic beverage


You can still enjoy moderate alcohol consumption and the social aspects of drinking and stay on track with your health and fitness goals. Determine how important your health goals are to you, consider your personal bio-individuality and genetics, pay close attention to your motivations behind drinking, and follow my healthy tips for before, during, and after.

And make sure that whatever you choose to drink, it’s totally worth it! Because life is too short for it not to be enjoyed and a good cab tastes extra delicious with a healthy meal. 

IMPORTANT: Make sure the drinks you are consuming are enjoyable rather than a form of therapy, numbing, social anxiety, peer pressure, or because you believe it’s beneficial to your health and well-being. Our relationship to alcohol, knowing our personal limits and how to maintain a healthy balance is extremely important.

Let’s Chat!

Do you have a question regarding social drinking and your fitness goals? Do you have any words of advice for others trying to navigate creating a healthy lifestyle? Ask or share below or start the conversation on social using #runningwithforks.