Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Barefoot Betty isn't gone, just busy! (On the Road - Health Edition)

I haven't been home much the past month, and when I am it is hard to motivate to sit in front of a computer when there is a garden that needs tended... a sun to be bathing in.. wine that needs drinking... ect.

I realize I am not the only working woman in the world who travels frequently for thier jobs.  Every morning women all over the country jump into vehicles or onto planes, bid loved ones goodbye, and head out to work away from home.. We sleep in hotels and eat out at restraunts at least once a day.  We try to fit in workout routines involving hotel pools, minimal-space yoga, and mostly dissapointing and out-date fitness rooms that are usually squeezed in closets and smell like a middle school locker room.
We ponder menus that feature burgers, tacos, pizza, and every once in awhile are lucky enough to find a salad bar or a raw juice cafe.
We enter gas stations and spend too much time reading nutritional labels and crinkling our noses at mile long ingredient lists that hardly ever include "real food".  We walk out with sugar loaded licorice, a bag of pretzels, and some overly salted proccessed jerky hoping that it holds us over until dinner.

In the morning we wake up and join other sleepy  travelers for hotel breakfast.  Usually this consists of sad looking fruit and pastries and gross coffee.

It is what some people think of a glamorous life, eating out and sleeping in motels. However, it really isn't at all.  It is a difficult lifestyle that can be really hard on your health and, by proxy, your waistline.

Whether you spend over 300 days a year on the road (like me) or you are looking for a way to make a vacation fit into your healthy life style.  Here are a few tips.

Stock up before you go, and make room for a cooler and a medium sized box for snacks that don't need refrigerated.
Snack Box Staples:
Apples and a jar of Peanut Butter
Dry Nuts
Dried Fruits
Pita Chips, Organic Popcorn, Annie's snacks.. etc
Cooler Staples:
celery sticks
vegan dressing for dipping (will last much longer)
frozen fruit: bananas, strawberries, and blackberries.
cubed cheese
a gallon sized ziplock bag of fresh greens
sliced cucumber
greek yogurt

Now this won't completely sustain you or keep you from eating out, but it will cut down or cut out on gas station snacking.  Don't forget silverware and a few mason jars.  Mason jars are awesome for mixing up quick salads, preparing granola, fruit, and yogurt breakfasts or mixing hummus with fresh vegetables for an on the road veggie 'slaw'.  I also like taking granola, nuts, and dried fruits and shaking them up to make my own mixture... keeps things interesting!  If you want to get real crazy, and you travel often enough... purchase a personal sized blender to make your own smoothies using fruit, yogurt, and superfoods like chia seeds.

If you are into planning ahead and you have the time, here are some recipes that will keep you full and nourished.

Cranberry Pumpkin Granola

No bake peanut butter granola bites

Also I found a cookbook I love that has recipes on healthy foods that you usually need a dehydrator to make and transitions those recipes into oven friendly creations.  This means homemade jerky, veggie chips, and fruit rollups.. all in the oven!  The cookbook is called "Practically Raw: Flexible Raw Recipes" and is available in hard copy or on your kindle or Ipad.

If you don't have time to cook, or plan ahead, you can still make healthy decisions on the road if you know where to look.

Gas Stations:
-Most gas stations sell fruit.  Also 7-11 and other mainstream places have started carrying carrot and celery sticks or other pre-packaged vegies.  Ditch the ranch dip and go to town!
-Look for a healthy or organic section, most gas stations have a section for these things.  You may find cliff bars, pita chips, or granola.
-String cheese
- Odwalla / Naked smoothies or juice.

Hotel Breakfast:
Skip the pastries and waffles.  Especially skip the weird looking biscuits and gravy or "scrambled eggs" unless you love diarrhea.  Instead, choose whole wheat toast with peanut butter, hard boiled eggs, and fruit are usually provided.  To get the best fruit don't be afraid to dig to the bottom of the basket, they usually rotate the older stuff on top so it gets removed first.  In lieu of coffee loaded with cream or sugar use hot water and make an herbal tea.  These are usually on hand, but you can pack your own favorites as well.

Eating out:
You can usually find something healthy at most all restaurants as long as you AVOID FAST FOOD.  If you absolutely have to eat fast food, stick to salads with vinaigrette based dressings.  Chains like Denny's, I-Hop, Applebee's, and Outback all have healthier or light menu options that are tasty and simple.

It isn't always easy, but the time you take to prepare will be time well spent making you a healthier and happier person at the end of a vacation, road trip, or your average work week.

Now stay tuned, if I keep writing blogs from on the road I am guarunteed to tell you all of my tips for peeing outdoors.


Best of luck, and feel free to share your favorite road recipes in the comments below!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Ain't Nobody Got Time For That.

I am sure I am not the only one that has a day every once in awhile where I feel like I can't win.  Tonight I got home from work and realized I needed to do three things.  Take a shower, work out, and do laundry.
We have not yet purchased a washer and dryer for our house and have mainly been using the laundromat down the road.  Normally that isn't a big deal, but I look at the clock and it is already almost 6.  By the time I do everything and eat dinner, I will maybe have an hour to relax before bed.

I lovelovelove my down time.  The faster I can do get myself from waking up and starting my work day, to pajamas- a book- and fuzzy slippers, the freakin' happier I am.

Do it yo' self 30 minute workout, shower, and laundry combination.

Cost: Free
Time: 30 minutes
Items needed: Dr. Bronner's peppermint soap (or some other soap that is easy on clothes, body wash not recommended), a scrub brush, a laundry hamper, and a bath towel.

I selected 3 days worth of clothes.  Pants, T-Shirts, socks, and panties.
Not my entire stock, but a manageable amount.
Toss what you choose in the bottom of your bath tub or shower.
Place the empty clean laundry basket on a towel right outside your shower.
Get nekkid.
Get in the shower.
I don't need to go into detail here, I am sure you know how to wash yourself, so do that now. While you are doing this, stomp around on the clothes, make sure they all get wet.
Now time for laundry.
Turn off the shower.
Squirt soap on your brush.
 Pick up one clothing item at a time a scrub it like it owes you money. After your arms are aching, and every item has been thoroughly scrubbed, turn back on your shower.
March up and down on your clothes for 30 seconds.
Turn off shower.
Shimmy, dance, and lightly (don't slip!) bounce on clothes for 30 seconds.
Repeat 10-15 times.
My heart rate was up after this, if yours isn't good for you. You obviously didn't notice the recent influx of girl scouts and their cookie pushing regime.
Now turn off that shower again (conservation!)
Pick up items of clothes one by one.
Tightly wind them, and wring them out from top to bottom 4 times a piece.
Arms sore yet?

After every item is wrung out, pile in laundry basket.  If you managed to work up some sweat than you are in luck, because you are still in the shower.
Rinse off one more time.

Now of course they need to dry.  You can them from hangers in the shower or do what I did and hang them outside.
Every time you hang one item of clothing plank for 30 seconds.  Alternate side planks and flat plank.
Don't be shy about those hot pink panties hanging up OR doing your yoga abs.  If your neighbors don't know how awesome you are, they will now.

Now you have plenty of time to read a book, write a blog, eat a yummy dinner, and in general.. relax in fuzzy slippers.  You win.

Everyone always says You Only Live Once.  Dude that is so not true... you only DIE once.  You live every day.
Live, girl. Get it.
Clothes line? Ain't nobody got time fo' that.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Cement Block Salsa and Strawberry Bed

I am sporadic at heart, when I have an idea I want it to instantly appear in front of me, with little work and with big expectations.  Today I had a few hours off and a need to feel the earth in my hands.

My project is one I have seen on other sites, namely Pinterest.  I have been wanting to do this for awhile but was waiting to plant a new bed until I could grow the makings for salsa (peppers, tomatoes, cilantro) and strawberries.

Cost: Free/Reclaimed
Materials: Soil- 6 cubic feet, 8 Cement Blocks, Plant Starters
Time:  1.5 hours including planting, composting, and watering.

The set up was easy.  There have been a stack of sad looking cinder blocks sitting in the corner of the yard housing spiders and looking a bit drab.  I stacked them in the shape and dimensions of the bed I wanted and added soil.  I always give my soil some good hacks with a hoe to loosen it up.  Plants like oxygen, especially tomatoes.
After filling and smacking was planting.
Turns out strawberries don't need a whole ton of root space.  I used the holes in the cinder blocks to house them.  The roots of strawberries tend to "ball" instead of "sprawl" so each plant needs about 4 inches of root space.  The vines will also eventually cover the rest of the cement, making a pretty little border for the salsa bed.
Tomatoes, peppers, and cilantro love compost.
I has compost.
I sifted the compost using one of the plastic plant containers that had previously held my starters.  I turned it into a 30 minute full body work out by placing the holding bucket (mine is an old ceramic crock pot liner) on a surface at about belly button height.  I did a deep squat keeping my back straight and tightening my core as tight as possible.  Then, shake shake shake until your fore arms, calves, thighs, and abdomen are on fire.  Rest and repeat.
Yes, please.
I gave each plant a good shot of compost by digging a small hole a couple inches away from the plant and filling with compost.  Not too close, don't want to burn those roots!

I can't wait to sit outside on a hot summer days, eat strawberries, and dream up delicious salsa recipes.