5 Healthy Travel Trips from a Globetrotting Model

 

Moving to Asia hasn’t been easy. Cultural differences, a different language, being so far from friends and family. None of it has been easy, but there’s one thing I have figured out: Keeping fit and eating right.

 

I thought following my nutritional plan would be impossible in Bangkok, where I’m working as a model, but I managed to figure it out, despite it taking a little creativity and extra work (there are no super-convenient pints of pre-separated egg whites or Trader Joe’s stocked with pre-riced cauliflower).

 

On Day One, I arrived in Thailand jet-lagged and with only two concerns— where’s the supermarket and do they have chicken breast? This was my first trip, so I had no idea what to expect. I was worried about how I would fit my diet and lifestyle into this new culture, but my trainer, Heather Marr, assured me that we’d figure it out together. My first mission was to scope out the supermarket. The most common way to eat in Thailand is to go out for street food, so the local supermarkets aren’t overly stocked. I remember going back to my apartment my first day with a can of tuna, some semi-familiar looking vegetables, and a desperate feeling wondering how I could keep this up for three months. The next day (while very lost on our way to castings), my roommate and I stumbled into an international supermarket. I found all the essentials—chicken breast, egg whites and olive oil spray.

 

My next mission was to scope out the gym situation. Our apartment fitness center was no Equinox, but luckily my workouts don’t require much equipment. I had a treadmill, my jump rope, and an open space—I was set.

 

While still being able to keep a version of my old routine, I really began to enjoy all of the new experiences Thailand had to offer. I was introduced to tons of new fruits and vegetables, which definitely made food prep exciting, and I got more creative with my exercises: No Step Mill means getting to climb up and down the stairwells of Thai skyscrapers for an hour. One of my favorite things was to enjoy a treat meal and eat like a local, then create my own version of the recipe that fits into my everyday diet.

 

 

Writer and Model @connermurphy
Writer and Model @connermurphy

 

 

But just as I was getting the hang of Thailand, my work took me to Taiwan and China. Most apartment buildings in Taipei and Guangzhou don’t have fitness centers and gyms aren’t overly popular. Healthy imported foods are difficult to find and, unless you read Mandarin, good luck deciphering those ingredient labels. Still, I do my best, which is the most important thing. Wherever you are—making smart food choices and getting exercise may not be easy, but it is possible. Here are my top tips for maintaining your healthy lifestyle while traveling for work (or fun).

 

Tip One: Before you go, do a Google search for international supermarkets. Local markets are great for shopping for fresh fruits and vegetables, but the international ones tend to have better quality meat and are stocked with some items that are tough to find in local stores.

 

Tip Two: Pack a jump rope and a compact foam roller. Neither take up much space. The jump rope lets you get in your cardio anywhere, anytime, and the foam roller helps keep muscles loose after your workouts.

 

Tip Three: Find the nearest gym and ask the manager if they offer day passes or week passes. Many gyms do even though it isn’t advertised.

 

Tip Four: Pack plastic containers (you can fill them with clothes) and measuring cups for easier food prep.

 

Tip Five: Pack the non-perishable food items you can’t live without. I’ve had trouble finding Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and no-sugar nut butter overseas, so now I know to pack that.

 

The Cool Girl’s Guide to Refreshing Your Gym Look

The author in a favorite gym look.
The author in a favorite gym look.

Look better, lift better: All the reason we need to invest a little time and dinero in our workout wardrobe this season. And since everyone (even non-fitness-fanatics) want to channel that sporty, cool girl vibe these days, consider shopping for pieces can do double duty as daytime staples or even date-night go-tos. Here are my top tips for building a gym look that can go the distance.

 

 

  1. FIT COMES FIRST: Nothing looks good unless it fits properly. Anything boxy, loose or that resembles a tent should be saved for sleeping or camping in remote areas. On the other side of the spectrum, if you can’t bend or breathe in it (a.k.a., jeans, Spanx, a bombshell push up bra, or booty shorts) then it’s also a pass. You want to find pieces that hug and hold rather than drown or strangle.

 

  1. GO THE DISTANCE: No matter how excellent the brand (trainer Heather Marr favors Lululemons because of their comfort and fit), I always recommend the full length pants in the darker colored options, because, though cropped or “loose fit” pants may appear cute on Instagram, they actually chop the body’s proportions. That means your legs will appear shorter, and that’s never flattering, right? Meanwhile light colors can make the body look wider and also don’t pop against the skin, depending on your skin tone. Bottom line (no pun intended): Stay dark, fitted, and full length for the pant, especially for a clean look at the gym.

 

  1. SHORT STORY: There is but one rule when it comes to shorts: Try them on! Unless you have a style you love and you know are flattering, do not attempt to buy these online (or buy them online but be prepared to send most of them back). I personally like gym shorts that are tight at the hip and looser over the backside, rather than the tight-all-over shorts as they tend to make me feel very self conscious and rarely looking good on anyone (except for Michael Phelps).

 

  1. TOP IT OFF: When it comes to tops, it starts with your bra. I trust Nike, as they have all different levels of support, with a lot of design details like fun straps, cut outs and zippers. But whatever brand and style you settle on, the real fun comes with coordinating your bra with your top. “I like to wear one of Nike’s strappy racer back style sports bras with a basic scoop down tank, so the cool strap details poke out. Its also extra fun if the bra is colored or printed and the rest of the look is black; it’s an unexpected pop of color and fun,” says one of my model friends. But don’t verge to far on the cray-cray scale: “If your outfit is mismatched you will be perceived as disorganized, and more importantly, that’s how you will start to perceive yourself,” says another friend.

 

My fall shopping game plan? I’ll be replenishing some of my clean-lined basics that have gotten worn out (like the Nike Pro Indy Cross Back sports bra and Women’s Training Tank) and investing in some pants and tops with sheer cut outs. Specifically, I have my eyes on the Inspire Tight II Lululemon pant in black and Onzie Women’s High Rise Bondage Leggings, which are full length with seam details and mesh inserts to keep things edgy. And Alala’s Mesh Tank or Trina Turk’s Lazer Cuts Solids Jacket are perfect for throwing over a bright bra top for a pop of color.

Back-to-school shopping? Nah. It’s back-to-gym shopping for me.

 

Trina Turk Lazer Jacket
Trina Turk Lazer Jacket

 

Onzie Bondage Leggings
Onzie Bondage Leggings

 

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 8.02.09 AM
Alala Mesh Tank

 

Need Motivation? Try This Pumped Up Playlist

Eniko Mihalik gets her sweat on, @mreniko

Top model Eniko Mihalik is no slouch in the gym. Keeping those runway-ready curves takes work—and sometimes a little inspiration in the form of a kick-ass playlist. She shared with us what’s currently playing on repeat in her headphones when she’s crushing her super-sets.

 

 

Eniko Mihalik’s Kill-Your-Workout Playlist

  1. Bossin’ Up by Kid Ink
  2. Lean On by Major Lazar
  3. Cheap Thrills by Sia
  4. This Summer by Maroon 5
  5. Move Your Body by Sia
  6. You & Me by Disclosure
  7. Not Gonna Get Us by t.A.T.u.
  8. Unstoppable by Sia
  9. Middle by DJ Snake
  10. Ass Drop by Wiz Khalifa