6 Healthy Study Abroad Hacks + a VLOG

Today I am finally sharing some healthy tips...it's about time! I wrote about some of my "health/wellness" fears going into study abroad in this post, but I've gotten some questions on Balanced Baig about staying healthy while actually being abroad. Being abroad, in general, is a learn as you go situation. I'm constantly proving myself wrong and learning new things. I've been working on strengthening my relationship with my body and shifting my perception of what it means to be healthy (go read my recent post on wellness if you want to hear more about this). I am so grateful to be healthy and able to travel and push myself out of my comfort zone physically, mentally, and emotionally during this time, but it never hurts to figure out how you can eat and move to feel your best.

First things first, I shared a what I eat in a day vlog on Youtube a few weeks ago. I was waiting to write this post to share the video, so that I could link the video and have all my tips in one place. This vlog is just a quick little glimpse into my day, but hopefully you can see how I put some of these tips into action!

It helps that I have a kitchen in my building and can cook during the week, but I've definitely picked up a few tips and tricks along the way that I'm going to share. I'm only sharing these tips because I feel most confident when I know I'm doing what I can to feel good. Am I at the top of my fitness game right now? Not really, hahaha. But whenever you're traveling for a long period of time, you do what you can to make it work while still indulging and exploring new places and cultures. I freaking love food. Last week, I think my mom and I ate gelato 5 nights in a row and it was incredible. 

TIP #1 // Movement
This might be boring/common sense, but moveee! It's easy to call an Uber or ride public transport around, but I think walking everywhere has helped me the most. Obviously sometimes it thunderstorms or places are far away, but so far, I've only ridden the metro to class one time! It does take longer, but when you're in a new place, it's fun to explore new streets and get moving. I share this way too much on Instagram stories, but I am in love with Melissa Wood Tupperburg and her workouts. Any time I feel like I've been way too overindulgent, I do her workouts (in my tiny little room with zero equipment) and my mood is instantly elevated. Not that this is the most important thing (although it never hurts), but I feel like I see a change in the appearance of my body almost immediately.

TIP #2 // Intermittent Fasting
Did you read my latest post with Kelsey Boudreaux all about intermittent fasting? I love what she is doing with the FASTer Way to Fat Loss program and I may have signed my boyfriend and I up for her New Years round...I love weaseling him into little fitness challenges with me hahaha. Anyways, I mentioned in the post that I try to do it casually. Basically, I try to wait at least 12 hours in between eating meals, but ideally, like 14 or 16. If I eat dinner at 9, I try to wait to have breakfast til like noon. I think the most important thing to note here is to listen to your body and eat if you're starving. For me personally, something about getting my walk to school in on an empty stomach really makes me feel good. Read Kelsey's post to learn more about the science behind IF. 

TIP #3 // Greens, greens, greens
I try really hard to get my greens in every day. Even if it's a handful of spinach on an egg, cheese, and avocado bagel, I add it in. Travel is tough because sometimes greens either aren't on the menu or Nutella pancakes sound so much better. I'm guilty. Do what you can here. If you're a student/have access to a kitchen, fresh veggies are so cheap in Europe. I like to add tons of greens and veggies to scrambled eggs, pasta, or salads when I'm home.

TIP #4 // Buy Tupperware
I've been horrible about budgeting being abroad. Every time I check my bank account, I think I kill a little piece of my soul. Buying tupperware helps me to a) save money by not eating out every day and b) make healthy meals to pack and throw in my backpack. I share a lot of my Tupperware meals on Insta stories, but I could do a blog post on some of my fave "recipes" if it's something you're interested in. I also bought a to-go coffee cup last week to save money on my morning coffee. I kind of think it might be too little too late on that one, but do what you can, right?

TIP #5 // Supplements
If you go to my "Gut Health" highlight on Balanced Baig, you'll see a series of snaps where I got super into supplements this summer. My two faves that I'm pretty sure you can just pick up at Whole Foods are Oil of Oregano and Digestive Enzymes. I ran out of my probiotics and, like I mentioned, my bank account is a scary place these days, so that is unfortunately taking a back seat right now, LOL. Oil of Oregano is really good for inflammation and is a natural antibacterial product. This is great if you feel like you're getting run down or when you've been really indulgent. I take the Digestive Enzymes after I've had a huge meal and it helps me feel better. I'm not a scientist, but I feel like these are really helpful.

TIP #6 // Stay Present
I've mentioned my Headspace obsession, but I feel like being abroad and traveling has helped me to value the present moment so much more. Getting to see new places and make memories has been the most beautiful experience. I get emotional at least twice a day about how grateful I am to be able to experience this life the way that I have. My past fears and obsessions about being "healthy" are so small compared to how incredible our world is. Listen to your body and do what makes you happy. Memories and experiences are so much more important, so I have really tried to just embrace and enjoy every moment of this season that I'm in.

Thanks for reading xx.

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