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Eating on the Road

We’ve all been there right? That unsettled feeling of being on the road and uncertain how to best balance your food intake in a different place, with different options all while prioritizing performing at your best.

I’ve been there, trust me, I get it. And, I promise there’s hope to find balance and settle into a routine no matter what your travel schedule might throw at you.

Dancing in Amsterdam!

My first experiences with major imbalance on the road happened when I worked at an annual conference. These conferences were early mornings, late nights, lots of interactions with conference goers, catered food, and not much time to take care of myself - and I wasn’t even dancing! That entire week I felt bloated, lethargic at times, and certainly would not have felt great about my dancing. It took another two years and two conferences for me to begin to figure out what works for me to feel my best on the road. I may not be working these conferences anymore but I apply these tips to keep finding my own balance when travelling for dance!

Tip #1 - Stay as “normal” as possible.

This might seem obvious, but whether you’re staying at a hotel or with a host family, aim for your normal schedule as much as possible - timing of meals, types of foods, all of it. You may find it helpful to request or ask for access to a refrigerator. This will allow you to make a trip to the grocery store to gather items you typically purchase. If you don’t have access to a full kitchen, keep in mind that microwavable foods or foods that don’t require any preparation might be most practical for your stay. If you take a daily multivitamin, be sure to bring that with you!

As an example, I ensure access to a refrigerator and will do a mini-grocery shopping trip to purchase individual servings of yogurt, fruit, on-the-go salads, bottles of water, and easy-to-transport snacks like nut medleys and bananas. I also bring along non-perishable snacks from home like my preferred protein bars. Keep in mind that some hotels offer free breakfasts, so take advantage of that if available! Hotels typically have yummy and balanced options to choose from (and maybe grab a piece of fruit or granola for your day).

A busy train station

Tip #2 - Bring your water bottle with you.

This was definitely my biggest oversight at those conferences. If you’re like me, you lug around a 32oz water bottle everywhere to meet your daily water consumption goals. Why would you operate differently on the road? Your choice of water bottle may need to change but keeping one with you is a great reminder to stay hydrated (as well as help manage inflammation, tired/sore muscles, blood pressure, and all the amazing benefits of water we’ve talked about before). Remember that an optimal amount of water consumption is about 67ounces daily.

Tip #3 - Find your “Me Time.”

On the road you may find yourself in the studio and around people more often than normal. I certainly thrive in this environment, but it can add a challenge to your performance if you’re unable to find time for yourself.

I like to wake up a few minutes earlier in the morning to enjoy my morning coffee and breakfast, alone with added mindfulness and intentionality. You may try to get outside during a lunch or mid-day break to sit in the sun and get some fresh air. Maybe it’s a short yoga or meditation practice in the morning when you wake up or before going to bed. Finding a groove that helps you stay present in your body can work wonders to your overall mood, sleep quality, and performance! Maybe follow along to my free yoga ondemand!

Let me know if these tips are helpful for you! Curious to learn more? Let's chat and plan out an on-the-road health + wellness plan for you!

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I'm a Nutrition Educator & Wellness Coach based in and serving Washington, DC and the DMV region. My lifestyle-focused method has successfully helped clients achieve personal results and enhance athletic ability, eMpowering performance in class, rehearsals, and on-stage. As professional dancer myself, I have gained nutritional balance and improved my own relationship with food through many years of practice and a Masters of Science in Nutrition from University of Bridgeport. I bring this depth of personal and academic experience to a variety of clients, particularly performance athletes and fitness enthusiasts. In my spare time, I teach yoga and manage Ballet Embody, a professional contemporary ballet company.
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