Tag Archives: Restaurant

7 Tips to Travel Healthy by Sonnet on insonnetskitchen.com

Last week I traveled to Washington DC for work and I thought it would be fun to share some of my best tips healthy traveling tips. Eating healthy and feeling energized while traveling can be particularly challenging, especially if you have special dietary needs or preferences. Since I was traveling for business, I wasn’t able to have as much flexibility and control over my schedule as if I were traveling on vacation, so I definitely picked up some techniques along the way that made it easier to eat healthy and feel my best on-the-go.

Tip #1: Do your research before you go
The internet is your friend and it will help you to explore the city you are visiting before you embark on your trip. I always find this especially important if you like to eat healthy on trips because then you can prepare by packing extra snacks if needed. I always look for:

  • The closest natural foods or health foods store. (In a pinch, a regular grocery store will also do!)
  • A nearby juice bar (if possible)
  • Nearby Asian, Thai, Indian, and (healthy) Mexican restaurants. (These restaurants are usually my best bet for finding fresh veggies in an unfamiliar city. Plus, they are also a great option if you are traveling with others because these restaurants can accommodate a large variety of dietary needs.)
If you know that you are traveling to a city that doesn’t have any options for dining healthfully, the next few steps are really important because they will help you to be prepared and make the best choices on the trip.
Tip #2: Pack your snacks
Nothing is worse than traveling hungry. I always make sure I have a variety of healthy snack options with me to prevent blood sugar crashes. Some of my favorites include:
  • Nuts (preferably unsalted) or seeds
  • Crackers
  • Nut butters (I really love these individual Justin’s almond butter packets because they don’t have to be refrigerated for traveling and are easy to use on-the-go.)
  • Dried fruit
  • Larabars (Cashew Cookie is my favorite!)
  • Herbal (or decaf) teas
Other items to pack:
  • A small bottle of extra-virgin olive oil and vinegar (helpful for salad bars with limited dressing options)
  • A can-opener (helpful if you plan to purchase canned beans, see below)
Tip #3: Pick-up some fresh snacks and basic ingredients when you arrive
One of the reasons why I research a health foods or grocery store before I go is because then it’s easy to pick-up some fresh snacks when I arrive. Even if you don’t have a refrigerator in your room, you can easily make an ice bath in your sink to keep these items cold overnight or for a few days (just replenish the ice as needed.) Some of my favorites include:
  • Whole carrots, cucumbers, celery sticks
  • Fresh guacamole or an avocado
  • Hummus
  • Fresh fruit
  • Mixed greens
  • Canned beans
I love these options because they can easily double as meals if I need them too. I will often pair my flax crackers with hummus and veggies to make a light lunch or combine mixed greens with veggies, canned beans and the olive oil and vinegar that I packed to make a large salad for dinner. If you are planning to dine out or have lots of restaurant options, you might not need to be this resourceful.
Tip #4: Drink water and stay hydrated
One of the worst things about traveling is how dehydrated I feel during and after a flight. Carrying a water bottle and drinking lots of water ensures that I will stay hydrated and energized throughout my day. I also try to drink at least a cup of water for every hour that I am flying, as well as increasing water intake on the days before and after flying.
Tip #5: Eat smart when dining out

From small airports to big cities, I have experienced a variety of challenges during my travels over the last few years. Dining out is always easier if you are going to a restaurant that has some healthy options, however, when that’s not possible here is what usually works for me:

  • Start with a large salad. Every restaurant should have some type of salad and you can usually get it without cheese, croutons, and mayo-based dressing. This is helpful if you don’t have a lot of options for fresh food wherever you are dining.
  • Pair together a variety of sides to create a meal. Restaurants are usually able to give you a side of black beans and steamed veggies. In a pinch, this can be a lifesaver. I also like to order a side of beans and put them on top of a salad to bulk it up a bit.
  • Ask what accommodations they can make. Some restaurants are more flexible than others, but often times they can remove cheese on items or make dishes gluten-free if you need them to be. A polite request can go a long way.
Tip #6: Supplement as needed
This last trip I used a few supplements that were immensely helpful for traveling and I will definitely be using these on future trips. My favorites were:
  • Natural Calm Anti-Stress Drink packets. I’ve talked about the importance of magnesium supplements in another post and I found these individual packets were great for traveling and helping to reduce stress and fatigue during the trip.
  • Airborne Immune Support on-the-go packets. Traveling can be stressful at times and I hate arriving home with a cold. I’ve had great results using Airborne while traveling in the past and I loved these packets because they were convient to mix with water during the flight.
  • JetZone Jet Lag Prevention. This trip was my first time trying this supplement and I was a little skeptical of it as first, but I decided to try it because of the time difference between the East and West coast. I was already immensely sleep deprived leading up to the trip so I wasn’t sure if it helped that much on the way there, but I definitely noticed it on the way back. My trip back included thirteen hours of a subway ride, a train ride, working, a layover, and two long flights. By the end of it I was exhausted, but I had a wonderful night of sleep when I returned and woke up incredibly refreshed the next morning. I know there is no way I would have felt this good without this. If you are traveling between time zones, I would definitely recommend trying it.
Tip #7: Respect your body
Traveling is physically and mentally exhausting and it’s important to take care of your body. This includes:

  • Getting extra sleep as needed.
  • Moving your body. This might be walking around the city, using a hotel gym, or doing some yoga poses in your room. I always pack my resistance bands so I can do some basic resistance exercises (e.g. arm curls, side leg lifts, etc) in a small space if I don’t have other options for exercise during the trip. This really helps with jetlag, overall fatigue, and feeling energized during the trip.
  • Avoiding salt, sugar, and caffeine as much as possible. Even though I work to avoid these things in general, I have found that minimizing salt, sugar, and caffeine while traveling is especially helpful for keeping my energy level up and preventing mood swings.

What are your best tips for traveling healthy? Leave me a comment below and let me know!

Credit – This insightful article is written by Sonnet on insonnetskitchen.com . Do check it out for some mouth watering recipes!


Top 5 Secret Things to Do in Madrid (Guest Post) on holayessica

Hello everybody! This week I’m off traveling to the Basque Country with my parents, so I’ve got a couple guest posters lined up. Today, I want to introduce you to Paul from Take Ya There,  a 25-year-old writer currently trying to blend in as a madrileño. He’s going to take you on a trip to some of Madrid’s lesser-known gems. 

Perhaps the greatest dilemma facing a travel writer today is whether or not to give up a truly well-kept secret. Sure, while we want to share the love and rave about all kinds of great little places – hidden cafés, underground bars, and rooftop clubs you’d never dream of finding – in doing so, we are essentially ruining what we love so much (it’s a secret!) and inviting a wave of invaders to spoil all the fun.

That being said, sometimes it just feels good to let others in on a few of the places that can make a city truly special. Of all the cities in the world, Madrid, Spain surely has more than its fair share of incredible bars, restaurants, and cafés. Madrid is perhaps the most vivacious city in the world – a city where dinner starts late and is less of a sit-down-meal and more of a moveable feast of tapas, with a procession of well-suited drinks to boot.

It should then come as no surprise that when list great places to visit in Madrid, they all revolve around food and drink. This list may look basic (a dive bar, rooftop restaurant, and university library), but each spot is in a different neighborhood, or barrio, of the city. All of them take you to a well-known area of the city and showcase something important, perhaps even uncovering something you didn’t know existed.

The true test of any guide’s recommendation can be measured once you’ve finished. Any city will tend to look the same through a guise of dimly lit restaurants and resort hotel rooms. Istanbul, New York, and Buenos Aires all feel the same inside a Ritz (one imagines). But take a stroll and follow a well-designed guide, and you’re sure to experience a kaleidoscope of colors, sights, and cultures which only that city can offer.

Madrid is no different, so to experience a bit of everything here, seek out these 5 spots:

1.) El Palentino

A true madrileño dive bar – on the weekend this bar is packed as the smoky smell of bacon and thin steaks on the grill fills the bar and mixes with the raucous laughter and clinking of glasses for a brindis or cheers. Elderly bar men quickly pour incredibly cheap classics like gin & tonic and rum & coke for €3 to the delight of all.

El Palentino. Calle Pez, 12, 28004 Madrid, Spain. Near metro Noviciado.

2) Bar Pontepez

Pontepez is set just around the corner from the Palentino and is a warm and welcoming little hole-in-the-wall bar. There’s a loyal hoard of customers who pile in again and again for the small plates of Spanish fare with a clever twist. The vibe here is one you won’t find anywhere else – it’s almost as if a gastro bar and a dive bar had a baby.

They serve dishes like potatoes, mushrooms, and a fried egg with truffle oil. Or try the crunchy chicken: a plate of chicken slices soaked in coconut milk and curry powder, then covered in corn flakes and fried up. Come by on a weekend for a good time. The food is unique and whipped up by the grunting chef in the back while the bartender smiles and cranks up the eclectic music.

Bar Pontepez. Calle Pez, 8 28004 Madrid, Spain. Near metro Noviciado.

3.) Bar Pittu

Set in the upscale and shopper’s dream suburb Salamanca (not to be confused with the famous town two hours from Madrid), this bar has an elegant bar feel straight from the north of Spain. Their speciality is  Basque pintxos, small tapas of bread with brilliant toppings like smoked salmon, cream, and blackberries, or a skewer of grilled mushroom, caramelized onions, and crispy jamón ibérico.

Bar Pittu. Calle de Claudio Coello, 30 28001 Madrid, Spain. Near metro Serrano.

4.) Gau & Cafe

Maybe Madrid’s best kept secret, this hip terrace bar and restaurant sits on top of the local university library and is plopped right in the middle of the lively, bohemian barrio of Lavapiés. Look for the ruins of the escuela pías and you’ll find it has been converted into a sophisticated library and bookstore. The restaurant is on the top floor.

Gau & Cafe. Calle Tributelete, 14 4ª planta 28012 Madrid, Spain. Near metro Lavapiés.

5.) Mercado San Antón

OK, this one’s no secret at all! Madrid boasts two world-class markets, the Mercado de San Antón and the Mercado de San Miguel which showcase some of the city’s incredible food, produce, desserts, olive oils, and wines. While you should peek into both, visiting the San Antón market will mean you’ve strolled the lively district of Chueca – the gay neighbourhood and home to some of the best bars and restaurants.

The market has three floors. The first is a standard market, the second a bevy of restaurants and wine bars, and on the top floor you’ll find the luxurious open air terrace, perfect for a drink in the sun.

Mercado de San Antón. Calle de Augusto Figueroa, 24 28004 Madrid, Spain. Near metro Chueca.

Paul is a writer and avid traveler currently living in Madrid, Spain. You can find his work on Cheap In Madrid and on TakeYaThere.

Credit: This blog was on holayessica, I personally found it FUN.