The time has finally come! I am on vacation and on my way to Scandinavia and Belgium for 10 days and could not be more excited.
Over the next 10 days I will be doing my best to post about my travels through a fitness and health filter. I am doing all of these posts from my phone so I apologize in advance if the desktop presentation is less-than appealing.
If anything becomes clear over the next few days, I hope you see how much I love this. Putting myself outside of my comfort zone is something that I have committed myself to and so far it has been incredibly rewarding. Travelling and challenging myself to maintain some semblance of a healthy lifestyle will be interesting. Thankfully I have done this before (sorta).
Last summer my sister and I went on a 6-week backpacking trip to Europe. Before leaving I was a bit stressed about food and changing timezones and how that would affect things. I started to practice intermittent fasting 2 months before my trip and I credit IF for some of my sanity while travelling. You don't always know when you'll have a quality meal available, or how many timezones you'll be changing. IF took the craziness out of not eating "at the right time". It showed me that I can last many hours without needing food and it saved me a ton of money! Money that I could then spend on a really good quality meal.
Fast forward to this year and I am really putting my IF to the test to help with this trip. I have mentioned before that I do 24hr fasts. These are normal for me now and I love how I feel after a 24hr fast. For this trip it is going to be especially helpful.
10 days is not a long time for travel and I am going to see 5 countries in that time. I jump 6 hours ahead and spend 2 nights on a plane and a bus. If I want to survive these very intense days of travel and not have jetlag slow me down too much, I need a little help from my hormones.
Thankfully international flights are set up well so I leave at 7pm my time and arrive at 6:30am London time. So the light aspect of my sleep cycle will be taken care of. My brain will register sundown here and then when I arrive in London it will register sunrise light. So my melatonin should be on a good cycle.
Melatonin has a few friends, though, that I need to take care of. Leptin and ghrelin control your hunger and satiety signals in the body and it is their natural cycle that plays into the melatonin release cycle. So as of 9:30pm last night (Thursday) I have not had anything but water today. So my body is running on fat stores for energy (the purest kind - gotta' stay sharp on the road) and melatonin will just be waiting for sunset to start prepping me for sleep.
Shortly before my flight boards I will break my fast with something that has lots of protein and fats. I don't need a ton of quick energy, I'll be sitting on a plane for 6 hours after all, so I can keep carbs low. This will eventually cause a release of leptin. A few hours later I'll be sleeping (hopefully) on the plane. When I wake up it will be morning in London. Although it will be the middle of the night in Canada, I will have a small breakfast to set my body onto my new time zone.
This in conjunction with a good night's sleep (again - hopefully), should set my internal clock to my new timezone and give me the energy and mental clarity to push through my first day in Denmark!
And hey, if I can't get to sleep right away there's apparently free wine on the plane.
Do something good for your body today everyone and stay tuned for more travel excitement!
Riri's Discoveries blog documents Riri's most recent research, her travel adventures, and her personal fitness journey.