Posts tagged #travel yogi

Hacks to travel fit during the peak week of your bikini competition

Sometimes travel just happens. Even, in the middle of peak week. It may be work related, a trip you scheduled before knowing about the show date, an emergency... Life happens and it doesn't care about your competition diet. Well, in those cases you may have no choice, but coming out of house arrest and traveling during peak week. But, how are you supposed to survive in the real world when you cannot eat any fat? How about staying within your macros? Don't worry! I can share with you the creative hacks I used to travel fit and keep those unwanted inches away.

If you are traveling domestically, you are in luck! You can actually prep and pack all of your meals and then place it in your checked luggage. TSA allows you to travel with some food in the carry on, just not 3 days worth of it. So pack your food into large containers - don't worry about portioning them till you get to the hotel... It will save you some space and money - since you won't need to huge pieces of luggage. Just make sure you freeze your food and pack your cooler with ice packs so that your food doesn't spoil en route. Also, you may want to favor veggies and meats that travel well.... Chicken and beef travel well, fish not so much... trust me... Also some veggies travel better than others - think spaghetti squash, eggplant, onions, celery, cucumbers, peppers.... Zucchini turns into a watery mess - so stay away from veggies that get too watery after cooking.

Here is how I traveled clean and and still rocked my bikini on my way back:

1) Pack all of your food! Seriously. I pre-cooked and packed all of my meals for the three days I was out of town. This means you have to call the hotel in advance and request an empty fridge in your room. In some hotels, this incurs a charge, but it is well worth it. Then, I packed all of my veggies and protein into a cooler and placed it in my checked baggage with a TSA approved ice pack. Attention - not all ice packs are TSA approved. Check that yours is. Then I brought my trusty six pack bag that I love so that I always had my meals in hand for the day. I know it is expensive, but I am obsessed with my super cute 6 pack fitness bag. It is well worth the cost... 


2) Bring your mini crock pot: You are already being super restrictive with your diet, so the least you deserve is the comfort of warm food. I cannot stand eating cold food. YUCK! Since not all hotels have microwaves, I recommend you get a mini crock pot, like I did. This tiny wonder heats up your food in about 15 minutes so that you still feel like a human while restricting your macros. It will make you feel right at home with your warm, home cooked protein-filled goodness :)


3) Bring your measuring tools: If you want to save space in your luggage, instead of packing your food into meals, bring them in bulk containers. Then pre your meals in your hotel room with your mini pocket scale and collapsible cups. It saves a lot of space to do it this way. I have done it both ways - taking pre organized meals and bulk veggies and meat and then separating. The second scenario saves so much space. On top of that you will be able to rbing your tools to a restaurant in case you decide to splurge and go out for a meal. 

4) Monk  fruit sugar: I cannot survive without my monk fruit sweetener.  I am not a big fan of stevia because of the bitter after taste. Monk fruit sweetener is calorie free, all natural (comes from a fruit), and has the same taste as sugar. Oh! You also use the same number of tablespoons too! I like to bring it with me in case a craving hits and I need a tasty glass of 'sweet' tea, coffee , or hot tea. It feels luxurious and calorie ladden, but is calorie free :) 

5) Bring your Tea: I highly recommend you bring some tea along. When we are far away from home, we are more likely to be hit by cravings and need a sense of comfort. A warm beverage like tea will give you a series of benefits like antioxidants and make you feel comforted. For, me there is nothing quite holding a hot mug of tea. It may be silly, buy whenever I have a craving for sweets at the end of a day peppermint tea simply kills it. It is sweet, helps with digestion, and makes you feel calm. Try it! I love the brand traditional medicinals - it provides you with a high quality of tea in sachets that are easy to transport during travel.


I hope my hacks will help you as much as they helped me! If you have any questions or comments, write them down and I will answer!

God Bless you!


Traveling Yogi: Where to Practice in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro, my hometown, is also known as Cidade Maravilhosa or the Wonderful city... And the name is not a mistake. There are so many amazing things to do and see there... Seeing the sunset from Ipanema Beach, watching the sunrise from a morning run in the Aterro, admiring the city from the Christ the redeemer mountain,  doing stand up paddle board at the Praia Vermelha at sunset... But, if you are a yogi and visit Rio, make sure you add to  to your to do list a morning practice with Dany Sá ( Dany Sá is an advanced practitioner of Ashtanga that regularly visits Mysore. She is authorized to teach the primary and secondary series. Her demeanor is calm and light and she is a gentle, but make no mistake: she is also a thorough teacher.

Practicing with her made my yoga practice blossom. She was the first teacher to tell me that "inhaling is everything" in yoga. Years practicing and no one bothered to tell me that before... Through her detailed driven instruction I was able to reconnect with my core after having a c-section. I learned to inhale when jumping through and going up in more challenging poses. She calmly took her time to show me each of the vinyasas correctly. She really changed my yoga practice. And for that, I thank her from the bottom of my heart.

Dany teaches at oito tempos in Ipanema every morning. The place is very easy to find because it is across from the General Osório subway station in Ipanema. So, even if you are staying elsewhere in Rio, all you have to do is catch the subway, get off in General Osório, cross the street and you are there. You don't even need a mat, they provide you with one if you need it. If you are a tourist in the wonderful city, or just a local aiming at going deeper in your practice, add her class to your list of to do things while in Rio! 

Traveling yogi: Practicing when visiting the Las Vegas strip

I recently went to Las Vegas and had the challenging task of finding a good yoga studio near the Las Vegas Strip. I could practice Ashtanga in my hotel room, but I prefer practicing in a group setting because I love the energy of a group (what that really means is that I am prone to giving up and leaving class early and need other people to frown on me to prevent myself from doing so). Upon a Google search, I found Vegas Hot - which according to their website is the closest studio to the Vegas Strip. I packed my mat and towel and off I went in a cab. Upon first look, I was not impressed. The studio is located in a weird strip mall meet fake Greek Parthenon type of a building.

The premises of Vegas Hot are fragmented, in that each strip mall's store became a studio. The premises felt very strange to me. I have to confess I was not a big fan. On top of that the employees don't inform newcomers of the studios protocols when you first come in, which caused me a bit of confusion. Before the class even started, I had to go up and down the stairs back and forth between the studio and the front desk 3 times. The first time I went up, I thought I was going into the studio. However, they don’t allow you to bring your bags inside. Therefore, I had to returnto the front desk to borrow a lock. Once I made my way upstairs to the locker room and back to the studio, I found out I had to return a second time to the front desk to get a slip to be able to attend class. Only on my third ascent from the front desk, I was finally ready to get into the class… But, now I was late to class.

I took a class in the Venus studio. The studio had a strange plastic carpet and was really hot. I am guessing the temperature was about 105F. That in conjunction with the stereotypical bikram poses led me to think that it was a Brikam class, except it wasn't. The class was a copycat version of a Bikram class. It used a lot of the Bikram poses, but also incorporated asanas that were not part of the traditional Bikram series. I am not a big fan of Bikram, I think of it as torture... But, having grown up in the Brazilian heat, I always respected the guy for bringing the heat component to the studio and making yoga more mainstream. However, knowing we were copying another class really bothered me. If I wanted a Bikram class, I would just walk into a Bikram studio. So, throughout the whole class I was not only bothered by the 105F temps, I was also bothered by the whole copycat situation. Talk about setting an intention for class… Mine at that point was not walking out.

Upon the end of the class, I called a cab company to have them come get me. Except they didn't. In fact, they didn't pick me up till 2 hours after the class ended and after 4 phone calls. I felt trapped and even though the studio advertises itself as "the closes yoga studio to the Vegas strip", I couldn't get back without a cab. It was way too far...  The only silver lining that day was trying some amazing raw vegan fare at Fresh Mamma, the studio's cafeteria. I loved the food, but still not worth the two hour wait for a cab, and the horrible class. Bottom line is, if you are visiting don't bother going to this place. You are better off doing your own thing in the comfort of your own room.

The next day, I was ready for a better yoga experience. I was convinced that a place like Vegas, with all its glory would have an amazing yoga class. Due to my traumatizing two hour wait from the day before I was determined to find a place to practice on the strip. I called the Wynn's concierge service and asked them to find me a yoga class close by. They didn't have a yoga class on the premises till a few days later, so they recommended the yoga class at the Mirage hotel. Off I went to the Mirage hotel for my much needed world class yoga experience.

The Mirage hotel offers a popular yoga class, but I didn't know until I got there that the class experience involves dolphins.... Yes - live Dolphins. The whole class takes place in this room which has a viewing window into a dolphin tank. The class itself was pretty good, however the whole watching the dolphins thing really bothered me. Yes, they are cute. Yes, they are adorable, but why in the world would you keep them in captivity? Talking to the yoga teacher, she had all sorts of excuses for the yoga with dolphins... They were there strictly for research (but then she wasn't really sure what kind of research nor who was the funding agency, nor which university the Mirage worked with), they were there because they were all born in captivity... Blah blah blah. Bottom line is... No matter the entertainment value, yoga is not supposed to hurt others. The principle of Ahimsa is quite clear. I am not even sure why someone that has a yoga teacher gaining certificate would teach this class. 

The verdict is: If you go to vegas, save yourself some trouble and practice Ashtanga in your own room. If you don't know the Ashtanga sequence,  bring a dvd. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find anything worth my time in the Vegas strip.

Posted on October 6, 2015 and filed under Travel Yogi.