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The travel warrior’s nutrition guide: 5 easy steps to be healthy on the go

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U.S. residents logged 1.7 billion trips for leisure purposes in 2016, according to the U.S. Travel Association, and this number will likely grow in 2018. Whether you’re traveling for leisure or business, you shouldn’t lose sight of nutrition. It’s common to think, “Hey, I’m on vacation, so I can throw my healthy diet out the window.” Wrong. Traveling can throw the body for a loop with time zone changes, shifts in sleep schedules and the availability of fast, convenient and highly processed foods.

Use these five easy steps to make sure you stay healthy on the go this year.

1. Pack healthy snacks.

Dining while on the go usually translates to getting a quick hunger fix that involves processed, high-fat foods. Make a conscious effort to pack healthy snacks. Apples and nut butter, pretzels and hummus and dried, no-sugar-added fruit are a few healthy options.

2. Lighten your luggage.

It’s all too common for travelers to try to max out the weight of their checked luggage, which often weighs in at 50 pounds. Carting around heavy luggage and bags can take a toll on the body.

One easy way to lighten your load is to condense cumbersome toiletries. For instance, look at the prescription medications and dietary supplements you’re packing. A 2018 Wakefield Research study, conducted for Vitamin Packs, found that more than half — 51 percent — of respondents tote along five or more different types of pills when they’re traveling. And with age comes ailments. Baby boomers are the pill pack mules, with 64 percent taking five or more types of pills along for the ride when they travel, compared to only 35 percent of millennials who bring the same amount.

The good news — you can leave dietary supplement bottles and days-of-the-week pillboxes at home. Look for personalized vitamin subscription services, like Vitamin Packs (www.vitaminpacks.com), that combine customized dietary supplements into individual daily packs that can easily tuck into your carry-on luggage.

3. Don’t forget essential nutrients.

The introduction of personalized nutrition has made it much easier (and lighter) to bring your vitamins and supplements with you when you travel. It may not always be convenient to grab a bright orange pepper or a bowl of fresh spinach while on the go. Therefore, your body may be craving folic acid, vitamin C, vitamin A, lutein, and just about every other phytonutrient.

“We shouldn’t sacrifice our nutrition simply because we’re away from our kitchen,” commented Elizabeth Somer, registered dietitian, author of “Eat Your Way to Happiness” and Vitamin Packs medical advisory board member. “I always pack nutritionally rich go-to snacks when I’m away from home and pack a multivitamin that delivers the essential nutrients my body needs to perform at its best.”

4. Keep your blood flowing.

If you’re planning a U.S. cross-country flight this year, direct flights can leave you sitting for five hours or more. These long periods of sedentary travel can lead to blood clots. Before you go, check with your doctor about adding an omega-3 supplement to your diet to maintain healthy blood flow.

5. Hydrate. Hydrate. Hydrate.

Water should be your No. 1 travel companion. Pack a reusable water bottle, so you can quickly fill up at water fountains located in many airports, train stations and bus stops.

As you take to the air, road or track this year, make nutrition a top priority. Your body will thank you and it will give you the energy you need to enjoy your time wherever your travels take you.

Health & Fitness

Meditation on a Full Moon

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Every month, the striking impression of a moon in its illuminated fullness has held a profound space in marking the passage of time as well as in matters of spiritual and religious importance. Many Eastern religions follow ceremonies to coincide with the moon’s phases. The spiritual development of the Buddha, for example, is believed to track with full moon days.  From the fullness of the tides to the deeply held religious beliefs across cultures, the full moon continues to inspire as a time to reflect and receive clarity on internal conditions.

Located among all the exciting happenings in Central, and facing the stunning Victoria Harbour, the Spa at Four Seasons Hotel Hong Kong offers an authentic and relaxing Full Moon Meditation experience. A natural sanctuary of peace, guests can feel an extra release of tension when entering its soothing environs on full moon days.

Director of Spa Shoshana Weinberg has crafted a unique full moon ritual ideal for newcomers or seasoned practitioners. Weinberg leads the full moon meditations, channeling a universal energy that is both soothing and powerfully healing. The meditation is broken in two parts: one is a guided deep meditation, or savasana, while the other is a seated meditation in silence. Using aromatherapy oils, authentic Tibetan singing bowls, crystals and organic copal, a sacred resin from Mexico, guests can get in touch with a higher sense of focus and consciousness.

Weinberg says, “We call our authentic self to join in ceremony with others in our community to illuminate the deep meanings and messages that life has to offer. The Full Moon Meditation is a safe place to find a quiet moment to discover the silent world that lives in all of us.”

Guests wishing to extend the sense of community are invited to linger over a delicious spread from Executive Chef Andrea Accordi. Chef Accordi tailors dishes to the theme of the full moon and the rhythms of the seasons sourcing the highest quality ingredients from the most trusted, sustainably suppliers.

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Health & Fitness

Don’t have time to walk and meditate? Try them together

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The mental and physical merits of walking are well established, from helping ward off depression to preventing heart disease. Meditation, likewise, can help reduce anxiety symptoms and improve sleep quality. Have you considered combining these seemingly very different activities?

Walking meditation, which doesn’t take much of an investment in time or money, can be a good way to reap multiple benefits.

Walking meditation isn’t a stroll in the park or an hour in the lotus position, rather something in between. The goal is to be self-focused and mindful of your body in motion. To get started, consider these steps from UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center:

* Find a place that’s relatively free of distractions and where other people won’t make you self-conscious. Your path — whether it’s a hiking trail or a little-used hallway — doesn’t have to be long; the whole point is to go nowhere, slowly — and safely.

* Relax your hands and arms, stand up straight and take a few deep breaths. Take 10 to 15 small, deliberate steps, counting them in your head. Be mindful of the way your feet feel as they rise and land on the ground, weight shifting from heel to toes.

* If your mind wanders, try to push out extraneous thoughts and focus on your breathing or the sights and sounds of your surroundings.

* Pause for a breath, turn around and start again.

Why meditate in the first place? Meditation may help cancer patients by relieving their stress and fatigue. It may reduce blood pressure and alleviate some symptoms of menopause and IBS. There is also evidence that it improves the quality of life for female patients struggling with fibromyalgia by helping them deal with depression and conflict, according to the National Institutes of Health.

Meditation can be good for people of all ages. A Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease study found that meditation may help slow the cognitive decline that leads to Alzheimer’s and dementia. When college students added meditation to walking, they had lower levels of anxiety than when they merely walked for exercise, according to a study in the American Journal of Health Promotion.

As you take a moment to slow down and practice walking meditation, keep in mind that the results can also be slow. Studies have shown benefits after as little as 10 minutes per session, but most were based on practicing four to six days per week for several weeks.

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Health & Fitness

Beyond Calcium: 5 Proven Supplements for Women over 40

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Aging is one of life’s inevitabilities. We don’t have a choice in the matter; it happens to everyone. But how we age is a choice people make every day. While it’s true that there is no fountain of youth, the choices we make in diet, exercise, and lifestyle can and do affect the quality of our health and ultimately, the quality of our lives.

Women over a certain age know they should be eating right, exercising, getting enough sleep, and doing all they can to reduce stress. Calcium and vitamin D supplements? Those are a given. But there are a whole host of other supplements women should think about taking after age 40.

Here are five supplements that can enhance and improve women’s health at age 40 and beyond.

* Optimized Resveratrol: Resveratrol is a plant compound that is associated with slowing down aspects of the aging process. You’ve heard about it in red wine, but to get the full benefits of the compound, you’d have to drink a lot of wine. Enter the Optimized Resveratrol supplement from Life Extension®, which also contains quercetin, fisetin, and a grape and wild blueberry fruit blend. This nutrient combination promotes youthful gene expression, similar to calorie-restricted diets, helps with healthy insulin sensitivity and mitochondrial function, and provides powerful antioxidant benefits. Other side benefits include greater endurance while exercising and enhanced mental sharpness and vision.

* Menopause 731: This new supplement by Life Extension, fresh off four clinical trials, is made from a Siberian rhubarb root and has been shown to provide significant relief for 11 menopausal discomforts, including hot flashes, depression, night sweats, mood swings, sleep disturbances, and vaginal dryness. This unique extract selectively activates ER-β, a specific estrogen receptor, which is why scientists believe it provides such comprehensive relief. Menopause 731 is designed for perimenopausal and postmenopausal women who are experiencing discomfort and who want relief, but do not want to take hormones. It’s the first plant supplement proven to help with the many menopausal discomforts that can plague women throughout the rest of their lives.

* Curcumin: Found in turmeric root, a culinary spice, curcumin gives curry its unique flavor and yellow color. A member of the ginger family, turmeric’s Ayurvedic medicinal use dates back over 6,000 years in the Middle and Far East. It is a powerful inhibitor of inflammatory factors and a strong antioxidant that supports heart, brain, joint, immune, and digestive health. Most of us don’t eat much turmeric, however, so supplementation is a great way to experience curcumin’s numerous health benefits.

* Pomegranate: The pomegranate tree is native throughout the Mediterranean, Asia, Africa, and Europe and has been cultivated since ancient times. Pomegranates are a powerful antioxidant and support whole body health, including breast, heart, kidney, and liver health. It also helps promote already-healthy blood pressure by regulating LDL oxidation. Until now, the vast majority of research has focused on extracts from the fruit juice alone. But scientists have recently identified the synergistic action of compounds specific to other parts of the pomegranate — notably its seeds and flowers.

* Milk Thistle: Used medicinally for more than 2,000 years, milk thistle is a plant native to the Mediterranean region and is related to sunflowers and daisies. It powerfully supports liver health and the body’s detoxification pathways. Milk thistle also fights free radical damage.

For more information about these supplements, including new Menopause 731, visit lifeextension.com/meno731.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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