Do Bad Things Always Happen To You? A Balinese Lesson In Embracing Negativity

How many times have you said, “Why do bad things always happen to me,” or, compare yourself to someone else saying, “Nothing bad ever happens to them”? I’ll admit, I’m guilty of this at times. Many of us believe that in order to live a happy life, there can be no negativity.

But, what if instead of fighting the negative things in our life we embraced them?


That was a lesson I learned during my most recent trip to Bali. Our guide took us to the Tirta Empul (Holy Spring Temple) near Ubud where we watched locals go through a series of ritual baths. As we walked around, the guide explained the significance of the various baths, alters and areas of the spiritual compound. At one point I was asked to tie my hair back so as not to be confused with Rangda, the demon queen who has wild crazy hair. I obviously obliged.

Later, I saw a statue of this demon queen and people leaving offerings the same way they were for Barong, the leader of the hosts of good. Confused, I asked our guide why people were praying to this evil spirit. “It’s important to recognize and praise both the good and evil in our life,” he told us. “Life doesn’t come without negativity and without it, we wouldn’t be able to recognize all the good. If you fight Rangda, she’ll get fiercer. But, if you acknowledge her, she’s not as scary.”


He was so right. So often when bad things happen or negativity comes into our life we try to fight against it through anger and fear. If we instead simply acknowledged that bad is just as much a part of our life as good then it can prevent us from falling into the rabbit hole of “everything bad always happens to me.” There will always be ebbs and flows, highs and lows; none of us are immune. But, rather than make things harder when those lows do happen, simply acknowledge the negativity, pay it some respect, and know positivity is not far behind.  

How To Stay Healthy (And Sane) On A Plane


If you’ve been following my Instagram account recently, you’ll know that I just got back from a trip to Australia. So, when I was thinking about what I could write about in this month’s newsletter, I thought surely I would talk about all of the healthy food option down under and how the phrase “no worries” was just a part of Aussie life. And while I could easily spend paragraphs writing about my kangaroo and koala encounters (they were awesome by the way), it seemed more beneficial to chat about the downside of my trip: the some 52 hours I spent on a plane.

Obligatory koala picture.

Obligatory koala picture.



Yup, as if you didn’t already know, Australia is really far away if you live on U.S. eastern seaboard. It took approximately two 13 hour flights each way to get there and back, a fact I tried to avoid until I had my passport in hand ready to head out the door. But, whether you’d traveling for a couple of hours or a couple of days like me, flying can wreak havoc on our bodies (and minds). Think swollen limbs, a sore throat, headaches, heavy legs, dehydration, dizziness and dry skin.
 
But, traveling is obviously so worth it. So, how can you make the trip a little less painful?

Here are 10 tips to surviving a long-haul flight:

1. Get some extra sleep the night before you have to travel.
Even though you’re sitting a lot, getting from point A to point B can be exhausting. Some quality shut-eye will help you make it through the travel day.

2. Drink a ton of water
I know it’s not ideal to get up often to use the airplane bathroom, but staying hydrated is key to not feeling like crap when you land. The lack of humidity in the air of the plane means you’ll get dehydrated much faster.

3. Don’t drink alcohol
It might be tempting to throw back a few, especially on a long-haul flight, but you’ll pay for it later. Alcohol (and caffeine for the matter) are diuretics and will make you get dehydrated faster.

4. Avoid junk food and sugary items
In higher altitudes it’s harder for your body to digest foods that are high in fat and sodium and can make you feel sick to your stomach.

5. Opt for the vegetarian in-flight meal
Apparently, the high cabin pressure and dry air make our sense of taste more dull, so the airlines pack their in-flight meals full of salt. While it’s ideal to bring your own healthy snacks, the vegetarian menu option on board tends to have less salt according to AARP.

6. Eat yogurt
If you can only handle carrying one snack, purchase a yogurt. Why? It’s packed with probiotic bacteria, which helps with your digestive and immune systems. Just be sure to stick to the basic like Greek yogurt of kefir. Ones with a lot of sugar don’t have the same effect.

7. Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize
Again, that lack of humidity means your skin will be drier. To combat this, pack a small face moisturizer, lip balm and eye cream to apply every few hours. Try a face mask if you dare!

8. Leave the makeup in the checked-luggage
Unless you’re an A-list celebrity, no one expects you to walk off the plane looking red-carpet-ready. Leave the makeup in your luggage and use the time of the plane to give your skin a break. This will help prevent skin problems like breakouts.

9. Shower before your flight
This is especially important for long-hauls. No matter how hard you try, when you step off the plane after sitting for hours you’re going to feel greasy and gross. By showering right before you leave, you can help grossness stay at bay for longer. Also, it’s a great way to relax before the flight and can help make you a bit sleepy.

10. Think in two-hour increments
Trying to figure out how you’re going to fill 6, 8, 10, 14 hours of flying time can be overwhelming. Instead, break it down into bite-size chunks and figure out what you want to do for the next couple of hours and don’t look at the clock until you finish the task. This was life-saving for me on my recent trip.

Julianne Hough’s Secret To Staying Healthy On The Road: “I’ll Do Squats On The Plane”

Actress, singer, dancer: Julianne Hough is one of those triple threats that makes your head spin. When she’s not acting in her latest flick or dancing up a storm on tour with her brother Derek Hough, the 28-year-old is planning a wedding with fiancé Brooks Laich. Not surprisingly, this means she’s on the road a lot. But, she still maintains one of the most enviable bodies in Hollywood. I had to find out her secret.

Q: Obviously, you travel a lot. How do you stay healthy while traveling?

JH: It’s sort of become my lifestyle now. It’s what I eat, it’s how I live. My fiancé always says “the next time you say you don’t have time, change the word time to priority.” Once I started doing that, I knew I need to make the time for health and fitness and I need to make it a priority. Now, I will take an earlier flight so when land so I have time to work out and get a good night’s rest.

Q: You’re hitting the road again with your brother this spring. What’s your wellness regimen while on tour?

JH: Before we even go out, we see the cities that we are performing in and then we try to see what kind of workouts are in the location. We’ll do the same for food. After show food is usually so disgusting, so I’ll ask the caterers make me double of whatever healthy foods they are making for lunch and then I will just save it and heat it up later. Otherwise, we are ordering pizza every night. Super glamorous, right?

 

Q: Do you work out or is dancing your go-to on the road?

JH:: We find places around town to mix it up and do different things. But, it’s funny, I don’t get super skinny on the tour. In rehearsal and the first couple of weeks, I drop a lot of weight and I get like shredded and then my body gets sort of used to the tour. I burn a lot, but I also eat a lot. So, I just get really muscular and then I get home and then I sort of have a little break and then I lose a little bit of the muscle.

Q: Do you allow yourself to indulge at all?

JH: A thousand percent. My fiancé makes fun of me because I eat so much. On vacation, he has multiple pictures of me just like with food in my mouth. I think the first trip we ever went on together – I was like it’s the last day, I am going to do a buffet. I had everything – there are pictures of it. He is like how does your little body fit all of that?

Q: Is there a particular culture you turn to for healthy living advice?

JH: I really follow more of a Mediterranean diet I don’t really cook with butter. I cook with olive oil or with coconut. I love my pastas and pizzas, but I love my fishes and my chickens and my vegetables and fresh stuff too.

Q: Do you use any devices to help keep you on track?

JH: I love my Fitbit Alta HR because it tracks everything from my sleep to my heart rate. First thing when I wake up, I’ll track my sleep patterns. Then it registers my workouts and steps, so I know how much activity I got in. My favorite part is the fact that it buzzes – it’s like get up and move! I am in the car and going to different places, so it will remind me I need to walk. If I’m at the airport, I will walk around and just get my steps in before I sit down on the plane. Or, I will get on the plane and do a couple of laps and just walk down the aisles, stuff like that. Sometimes I will stand in the front if nobody is up there and talk to the flight attendants and just pace or do my squats. When I am at the airport, I am shuffling and doing squats and lifting my arms. I only have a certain amount of time to do something and I want burn as much fat as possible; the Fitbit tracks it all. All of those little things add up.

 

Q: Where is strangest place you have ever worked out or danced?

JH: We danced on a plane once! On our first tour, they played “Happy” because that was in our show and we did the dance down the aisle. Also, we would be in outdoor amphitheaters so we would be working out on the steps and going around the grass and running around. My sister and I did a beach yoga, but we called it drunk yoga because it was like a girls’ trip and we had a few tequilas and margaritas before. It was a lot harder, I will tell you that!

Q: Do you ever eat airplane food?

JH: I eat it every time! I know that if I don’t eat when I’m hungry, then my body goes all weird. I did this when I was shooting Footloose and I was on this really weird diet where my body got messed because I was not eating enough. Ever since then, if I am hungry, I have to eat because I can’t mess up my body like that again. So, on a plane I will have a few bites to at least suppress that so I am not pigging out on Mentos.

Q: You pig out on Mentos?

JH: The cinnamon Mentos and the fruity Mentos, that is like my jam. I love those! But I eat the whole thing on a plane, it’s so bad. I know, so weird and so random.

‘Project Runway’ Judge Nina Garcia’s Healthy Travel Advice: ‘Learn From The French’

Nina Garcia is one of those enviable women where you have to ask, “How does she do it all?” The 51-year-old is the Fashion Director at Elle and Marie Claire magazines, and has been a judge on Project Runway since its premiere season. Here career and personal passion for travel have brought her all over the world (she just traveled to both Peru and Paris) and the fashionista seems to do it all with ease. Luckily, she opened up to me recently about her secret to staying healthy (and sane) with seemingly no free time. Hint: her dog has something to do with it.

Q: You travel so much, how do you stay healthy on the go?

A: That is a great question that I think many people struggle to find the answer to. Here’s what I’ve found works for me: walk as much as possible and don’t give yourself a chance to fall into the slump of jet leg. The best cure for tired travelers is to hop on a treadmill and get that blood pumping. Otherwise it’s a downhill battle.

Q: What’s the hardest part about traveling and staying fit?

A: That’s an easy one. All the eating. Who doesn’t want to eat all of the amazing fare when they are traveling? Certainly, I do. Since I usually cook at home with the family, it is disruptive to my diet and my overall health. But I try to make up for it by doing some extra walking around the city.

Q: How has being on the road so much changed your health routine?

A: It’s changed it quite a bit. I’ve learned that it’s okay to get on the health wagon and occasionally fall off from time to time when you find yourself in a new place with amazing food and little time for a formal workout (it’s hard to justify not taking a bite or two). But I’ve learned that we can use technology as a tool to help us keep track of our overall health. When I was in Peru, for example, I wore my Huawei Fit [a light weight fitness smartwatch] while I climbed Machu Picchu. I never would have guessed that I was capable of taking that many steps.

Q: Have you learned any wellness advice from other cultures?

A: Yes, the French. Everything in moderation.

Q: Where are some of your favorite places in the world and what’s still on your bucket list?

A: It’s too hard, even to name a few - I really love exploring and seeing new places. Last year was filled with some incredible trips. I went to Alaska, Macchu Piccu and Cuba. Every place was breathtaking. I’d love to visit Africa. Going on a safari sounds like a dream. Patagonia is on my list, too

Q: What about when you are home, how do you maintain a healthy regimen?

A: I got Titan, a golden retriever, in March 2016 and he has been a huge part of my life. Titan has actually made my whole family healthier because we all get out and walk him together. Any pet owner knows that it’s all about routine, and dogs absolutely must get their exercise. It has also been great for my sons to feel a sense of responsibility for him as well. It keeps us all on track.