$200 discount on tickets to St. Lucia’s Health and Wellness Retreat

For those craving some nutritious and active fun, St. Lucia will be hosting a Health and Wellness Retreat from November 17-November 20, 2011. While tickets are priced at $1,000, attendees can receive a $200 discount if they buy their ticket before October 15th.

Taking place in the “Eden of the Caribbean”, Soufriere, the retreat will bring together experts in yoga, nutrition, and lifestyle coaching.

So what can you expect at the Health and Wellness Retreat? Yoga and feng-shui workshops, classes on art, pottery and photography, lectures by experts in the field, and active adventures such as hiking, climbing the nearby Piton Mountains, cycling, snorkeling, bird-watching, and more. Spa treatments, including a local therapy favorite using Soufriere’s mineral and mud baths, is also an option. Even lunch becomes a learning experience as chefs give participants demonstrations on nutritious cooking.

Make sure to buy your ticket while you can still get the early bird special. To book a room at a participating hotel, click here.

White Collar Travel: Five step to healthier road warrior diets

Sometimes, it seems like the road warrior‘s diet is relegated to the extremes. When a company executive is in town for a meeting – you’re taking your clients out – it’s hefty steaks, heavy cabernets and always more appetizers than a third-world country could consume in a lifetime. When there’s no occasion to shape the meal, on the other hand, you’re looking at suburban Chinese food illuminated by the glow of your dashboard.

It’s tough to strike a balance while you’re traveling … a problem that’s multiplied when you do it all the time. Fast food factors into at least one meal a day, and often, it will be your only meal. Caffeine (and, in my case, nicotine) replaced countless breakfasts, lunches and dinners back in my consulting days. Weight fluctuations were obvious. I’d usually drop 20 pounds in a month and a half when switching from a travel-intensive project to a local one.

Though the pressures of the job and the claims on time can impede proper nutrition, it isn’t impossible to eat well when you live the life of a wandering white collar warrior. You just have to be smart, plan ahead and commit to keeping yourself healthy.

Here are five ways you can avoid the fast food pits and fattening side-effects of client dinners when living the life of a road warrior:1. Choose an extended-stay hotel when possible
Now, what does this have to do with nutrition? Everything! These hotels have small kitchens, and you can stock the fridge with fruits, vegetables and other healthy snacks. When you get back to your room after 14 hours of meetings and deadlines, reach for an apple instead of a snickers bar (or a mini-bottle of bourbon).

2. Don’t always go for the steak
I know this sounds insane, but steakhouses carry other dead animals … not just cows. Would it kill you to opt for the salmon every now and then? While you’re at it, a salad can be savored; it isn’t something you have to endure.

3. Watch what you drink
Hey, I still enjoy a glass of wine or two with a nice dinner. But, you don’t have to kick off the evening with two martinis and close it with a cognac. At some point, switch to club soda or water. You can drink socially without going overboard.

4. Give up fast food
Or, at least cut back on it. When you have to dine and dash, your options do become limited, and not every city has an array of healthy quick-service dining options. When possible, find an alternative to fast food fare. It may take some work, but you should be able to come up with something.

5. Multitask for an extra meal
Breakfast is the first casualty of life on the road. Whether you’re up early to work or you’re trying to squeeze in a few extra minutes of sleep, the morning meal soon becomes a fantasy. Make time for breakfast. Bring some work down with you, and turn it into productive time. Hell, take your laptop to the table – it’s not like anyone’s eating with you.

Click here for more White Collar Travel

[photo by Steve Zak]

Healthy travel: a tip list

You can never have too much travel advice, in my opinion. You can have bad travel advice, but the folks at online travel news site eTurboNews have compiled a great list of tips designed to help you keep your arteries unclogged and your spine in alignment while you fly or road-trip this summer. Nothing new or ground-breaking, but definitely worth repeating.

Part of the list is dedicated to finding more nutritious alternatives to fatty, sodium-laden airport and airline fare. Since childhood, I’ve possessed a deep phobia of airline food, so I’ve always brought my own in-flight meals. Now that tight-fisted domestic airlines are depriving passengers of even a bag of pretzels, all the more reason to hit the grocery store the day before you travel. If you frequently travel last-minute, make sure you keep a stash of healthy snacks, such as unsweetened dried fruit, granola bars, or nuts in the pantry so you can grab-and-go.

There’s good advice, too, on little things you can do to avoid tweaking your back or neck, and preventing those unsightly varicose veins. I would add that deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a much more serious, life-threatening issue on long-haul flights. Get up once an hour and take a lap around the plane, and move your legs by doing some stretches in your seat. Happy, unbloated, limber travels!

[Via shine.yahoo.com]

Gadling product review – You Bars customizable nutrition bars and trail mix

Today’s quick product review is going to introduce you to You Bars. You Bars is a line of completely customizable nutrition bars, trail mix and protein shakes.

Portable snacks have passed through Gadling before – back in March, Annie reviewed Jerky for us, so it only makes sense that we keep that trend going with other travel friendly snacks.

For the review, I ordered a box of “Gadling Trail Mix”, and a box of “Gadling Bars”. The You Bars web site is of course where you’ll start the order process.

For the Gadling Trail Mix, I ordered the following ingredients:

Almonds, Macadamia nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pistachios, organic coconut, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sweetened blueberries, mini pretezls, oat bran, crystallized ginger, organic cacao nibs, sun drops chocolate candies, pineapples and cherries.

Needless to say that this is way, way more impressive than most store brand trail mix products.

For the Gadling nutrition bar, I ordered the following ingredients:

You Bar base (almond butter and organic dates), organic clover honey, whey protein, chocolate chips, almonds, blueberries, cherries, coconut, organic brown rice, cocoa nibs and a vitamin infusion (adds vitamin A and C)

So, how did the final product taste? Since I am the one that picked the ingredients, it would be silly to say anything other than “great”. And I am happy to report that the trail mix and bars do indeed taste fantastic.

The trail mix has all the items I selected perfectly balanced, and every single bag had all the ingredients I ordered, which is quite an impressive feat considering how many items I had picked.

The trail mix I ordered came in 45g bags, and I found each portion to be more than sufficient as a snack, or to keep me going till my next meal.

The trail mix contained more of the kind of ingredients I like, and probably not enough of the kind of stuff that is really good for me. Because of that, a full serving comes in at 233 calories. In addition to this, it also has 16g of fat and 20 of carbs. It provides very little in the way of vitamin A or C, but does serve you 40% of your RDV of iron. The recommended “enjoy by” date is 4 months from the production date.

The You Bar nutrition bar is equally impressive. Each bar is also 45g, and my “Gadling Bar” had a very dense consistency, making it the perfect snack for keeping me going. It was sweet, but not too sweet.

As with the trail mix, this bar was put together with some less than healthy ingredients, the serving contained 203 calories and 11g of fat. The bar also provided 8g of protein, with decent levels of calcium (24% RDV) and iron (18% RDV). The recommended “enjoy by” date is 2 months from the production date.

The order process is about as simple as it can get – you start at the top with the base ingredients, and make you way down through fruits, nuts, canides and other ingredients.

Each ingredient section shows how many items you can add, and allows you to tweak the portion of each section (more or less of each). As you build your product, a nutrition facts counter shows your progress in the right, allowing you to build your bar based off its nutrition, rather than how tasty it’ll be.

This nutrition information is printed on a label, along with all the ingredients, and is attached to every product you receive.

Once you are satisfied with your selection, you can place the order. Each bar, trail mix or protein shake you design is assigned a unique code, making reordering much easier.

The name you give your product is also printed on the bag (trail mix and protein shakes) or wrapper (nutrition bar).

Trail mix can be ordered in three sizes; small (33g), regular (45g) and large (55g). Each order ships in batches of 13 bags, and costs $24.57 for the small ($1.89 per bag), $25.87 for the regular ($1.99 per bag) and $28.47 for the large ($2.19 per bag).

The nutrition bars also come in three sizes; small (35g), medium (45g) and large (55g). Each order ships in batches of 13 bars, and costs $37.57 (for the small ($2.89 per bar), $38.87 for the medium ($2.99 per bar) and $41.47 for the large ($3.19 per bar).

Protein shakes also come in packs of 13 pouches, and ship in the same three sizes as the other products. The price of the shakes is the same as for the nutrition bars.

Shipping is $7.99 for the US, $19.99 for Canada and $39.99 for international destinations. Orders can be set to ship on a recurring basis, with new batches being sent bi-weekly, tri-weekly or monthly. Customers who take advantage of the recurring shipment program also receive free gifts with their order.

I’m very impressed with the product and the ordering process. There is something extremely cool about going online to build your own trail mix, nutrition bar and protein shake, and have your personal selection show up on your doorstep. Of course, if you screw up, and mix really lousy ingredients, you can only blame yourself for the end result.

Building your own personal product is perfect if you just want a really tasty snack for on the road, or if you need a specific selection of ingredients and nutrition from each snack. The price is on the high end of what I’d be willing to pay for on-the-road snacks, but it sure as hell beats paying $10 for a lousy snack box on your next flight. Best of all, you get to snack on something filled only with stuff you like.

You Bars can be ordered from Youbars.com.