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5 Inspiring Reasons Why You Should Dare to Be a Vegetarian Traveler

5 Inspiring Reasons Why You Should Dare to Be a Vegetarian Traveler

The world is shifting, and if in the past the number of vegetarians and vegans was at a minimum, nowadays this is no longer the case. People are becoming vegetarians for all sorts of reasons: to lose some weight, for health reasons, or for ethical reasons related to animal rights and ecology. And for some, being a vegetarian traveler is a scary thing.

Yoga, natural medicines and a balanced, alkaline diet are becoming huge around the world, but many vegetarians and vegans are still reluctant to travel, believing they might not find suitable food options.

What if I could prove you wrong? What if being vegan or vegetarian is not a limitation at all? Here’s why you should grab your passport without fear!

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It’s Much Easier Than You Think

Nowadays, being a traveler who only eats vegan or vegetarian foods is quite easy. Most major airlines across the world offer gourmet-like vegan and vegetarian meals, some even offer raw and gluten-free options. The days when vegetarians would have to pack their food for those long flights are gone. Airlines are very conscious of their customers’ increasing demand for vegetarian food, and most of their meals are absolutely delicious.

Basically every regular restaurant offers a few vegetarian options, but the number of vegan and vegetarian specialist restaurants all over the world will amaze you. From simple, filling meals to absolutely amazing and expensive gourmet dishes, there’s no shortage of options to eat meat-free while you’re on the road.

The information available is wider nowadays too, and you can access forums and websites that specialize in providing you with information from around the globe.

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Half the World Lives On a Vegetarian Diet

Believe it or not, half of the world is primarily vegetarian, especially in Asia. If you’re used to the limitations back home where you’re a minority, you’ll be thrilled to find out you can actually travel around easily and stress free—without starving—in most Asian countries.

India, Thailand, Nepal and Malaysia are a paradise for veggie lovers. The Buddhist philosophy has shaped the traditional foods in those countries. Malaysia, although a Muslim country and therefore not predominantly vegetarian, has been voted as Asia’s food mecca and has been hosting numerous food contests and events thanks to the incredible diversity of immigrant communities from other Asian countries who have strongly influenced the local cuisine.

A full, home-cooked meal can cost you as little as one dollar, so get ready for a food extravaganza while abroad.

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Certain European countries, such as Italy, Germany, Greece and Portugal, also have a huge diversity of vegetarian dishes.

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    It’s Actually Fun

    Experiencing new ways of living is always fun when you’re traveling. Experiencing the local gastronomy is part of understanding a culture. When abroad, try to eat at local restaurants and learn how each culture uses the ingredients, textures and flavors.

    Delight yourself with the most amazing curries in India, the dhals in Nepal, the stir-fry dishes of Thailand, the rich, hybrid foods of Malaysia. If Europe is your destiny, you’ll find out how some traditional dishes are quite ancient, and some of them are surrounded by incredible myths and legends, like the Portuguese “stone soup” or the Swiss “cholera pie.”

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    Get Some Inspiration

    Why don’t you take cooking classes while you’re abroad? They’re fun and usually very affordable. You’ll not only be able to taste new dishes and flavors, but actually actively engage in the preparation of these dishes, being able to take this new knowledge back home with you. Think how much fun it will be to make dinner for family and friends and share your new skills.

    Life is Short, Enjoy It to the Fullest

    The truth is that life is too short and none of us knows how long we’ll be living on this earth. If your wanderlust is stronger than anything, then you should go ahead and conquer the world.

    Traveling exposes you to new situations, new ways of living, new ideas. You’ll meet people from all walks of life who will probably share many of the same interests, but you’ll never meet them if you aren’t traveling.

    Traveling pushes all your boundaries and takes you out of your comfort zone. And that’s when growth takes place. Being exposed to new realities will broaden your horizons and inspire you to live with more appreciation for what you have and where you come from. You might learn a new language, or a new skill like scuba diving, cooking, or surfing. You might even fall in love and come back home with a suitcase filled with great memories.

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    Last Updated on October 16, 2018

    The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

    The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

    It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

    If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

    One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

    Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

    In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

    Why you can’t sleep through the night

    The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

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    Stress

    If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

    Exposure to blue light before sleep time

    We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

    While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

    Eating close to bedtime

    Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

    Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

    Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

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    Medical conditions

    In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

    The vicious sleep cycle

    The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

    Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

    You get a bad night’s sleep
    –> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
    –> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
    –> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

      You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

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      How to sleep better (throughout the night)

      To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

      1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

      What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

      Here are a few suggestions:

      • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
      • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
      • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
      • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
      • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

      2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

      What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

      • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
      • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
      • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
      • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

      3. Adjust your sleep temperature

      Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

      Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

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      Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

      Sleep better form now on

      Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

      I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

      As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

      Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

      Reference

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