6 tips for staying well on work trips

Spice caught up with Healthy Chef founder Teresa Cutter about six ways to stay healthy under stress.

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Spice caught up with Teresa Cutter, the founder of The Healthy Chef

1. What additional stresses are on your body when you travel for work?
Our body goes through quite a bit of stress when you travel for work – your adrenals are sky high, you don’t eat or sleep properly, your biorhythms are often interrupted, which can impart on your energy levels, suppress your immune system, how you perform at work and basically your overall feeling of wellbeing.

2. What foods/drinks should you avoid when you’re travelling for work and why?
The week before I fly I make sure to drink a daily vegetable juice as well as fresh salads to help boost my immune system and energy.

When I’m flying, I always make sure I fuel myself well before I leave home to the airport and have something light and energising like a power smoothie made from strawberries, banana, almond milk and protein powder.

When I’m on the plane I make an effort to stay hydrated and drink plenty of water. Take a water bottle and fill it up when you can; keeping hydration levels up is the simplest thing you can do to ensure you stay healthy when travelling. I never leave the house without water.

I always pack a few healthy snacks like dry roasted almonds or a trail mix in my hand luggage and try to avoid any heavy or spicy food on the plane.

I don’t sleep that well on airplanes and prefer to rest up when I get to the hotel in a comfy bed. Stress has a lot to do with people not getting enough quality sleep when travelling and learning how to prepare and nurture  your body into a restful state is one of the keys you can use to get a good night’s sleep.

When I get into the hotel I always like to relax, drink some passionflower or Gaba Oolong tea which helps to relax and calm the body.

3. What foods/drinks are good for flying? Helping with sleep? Dealing with jetlag?
The best foods for flying are light, protein-based foods like fish or chicken as well as fresh leafy salads. Make sure they are steamed or poached and not covered in creamy spicy sauces.  If there are no other options then go for a few slices of cheese on the cheese board. The best drink is water – just plain water or a herbal tea like chamomile, passionflower which has a calming effect on the nervous system and mind. No fizzy drinks and no alcohol.  That way you’ll stay hydrated, prevent jetlag afterwards and feel great.

4. What exercise routine would you recommend that can be performed in a short time in a hotel room?
The best exercises for a hotel room are your basic compound exercises such as free squats and push-ups. I super-set them both together with high repetitions and then do some floor work like crunches and leg raises for my abdominals and make sure I stretch afterwards. This sort of routine can be done in about 10 – 15 minutes. If the hotel has a gym I often do cardio on the stationary bike and maybe some light weights.  I don’t like to push it too hard as I just want to feel energised and agile for my business meetings, not exhausted.

5. What common mistakes do people make when they are travelling for work?
The most common is alcohol and drinking excessively. They go out with their business colleagues, stay up late and miss out on adequate sleep. The next morning they are generally hung over and not so sharp.

6. And what foods should everyone keep handy when they are working at a trade show?
We do trade shows all the time, all over Australia showcasing our Healthy Chef Functional Food Range to health professionals. I make sure we pack cases of filtered water for our staff, as well as portable healthy snacks like nuts and trail mixes (make sure they’re not coated in lots of sugar. Just keep them plain, roasted or scented with a little sea salt). When I get into the hotel near the convention centre I often head out to a local grocer or supermarket where I pick up supplies and always have a stash in my room. I’m lucky that our products are protein and superfood based, so we like to fuel up on these during the day.

Teresa Cutter has developed a range of fresh and healthy menu options exclusively for the MICE market in Crowne Plaza Hotels and Resorts across Asia, Middle East and Africa.

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