Nathan’s been living out of a backpack for the last three years. He’s challenged himself to stay on-track with his passion of healthy living while discovering the world through travel, not an easy task. It’s all going to be in his new show, Travel. Eat. Thrive. Here’s the preview:
I asked Nathan a few questions about his efforts, lifestyle, and lessons learned.
First of all, tell us a bit more about the show Travel. Eat. Thrive. How does it help people with cooking at home?
The show is designed to share restaurants around the world serving nutritious and delicious food, and then—how you can make those same meals at home! We connect with someone locally—someone who wants to eat healthier—taking that person out to different restaurants, and then to have him or her decide what meal to recreate in the kitchen at home. There are lots of ideas of how to engage and include the audience (something I think many current food and travel shows are missing)—from viewers directly contributing content to creating worldwide communities around food.
Why do you think it’s so hard to eat healthy when eating out? Is it an American problem? Or are there places where it’s not a problem?
Because there is so much JUNK out there!
Fast food, processed foods, sugar, and unhealthy fats have become such a part of the food available out there. This stuff is very cheap to produce, which is why it is EVERYWHERE. This is not just an American issue, though we do have some of the highest obesity numbers—lots of other places and cultures are struggling with the proliferation of “not-food” out there.
We’re also wired to enjoy sugary, salty, and fatty things, so what’s even more problematic is that many companies know this and design their products to be as addictive as possible. These types of foods provide such little nutritional content that we end up in a cycle of eating more because we’re not getting the nutrients we need, thus leading to serious issues like obesity, high blood pressure, heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
When I’ve traveled to Europe and South America, there are some of the same issues. Yes, there are places that focus more on locally-grown, whole foods, but then in these same countries, you can often find fast-food chains, local markets full of candy and processed foods, and sugary beverages as far as the eye can see. This is a global problem, and we need a global solution. Based on all the work out there around food and health now, I do think we’re headed in the right direction.
For a peek at what Nathan does to remedy those processed-food candidates, check out this video from San Diego:
Many people with a regimen at home, me included, relax the rules for the more uncertain circumstances they may encounter while traveling. Where did you get your driving impulse to stay fit and disciplined, even while traveling?
Even before I became a nomad, I had been learning about nutrition and living optimally, so it was really a question of integrity: if I *knew* what to do and what worked for me, did I have the character and strength to put this into practice?
Many people can skirt this issue while on the road because they’ll say, “when I get back home, I’ll eat better and get back to exercising.” Well, since I don’t have a home, if I’m going to do these things, I just need to start!
Really it’s a question of willpower, which is a muscle like anything else, and the more you develop it, the stronger it gets. Willpower is what will help you create and stick with new routines and going outside your comfort zone. A meditation practice (even 30 seconds per day!) is actually one of the best ways to develop your willpower muscle!
Much of the damage done while eating on the go could be attributed to the lack of control over one’s own routine, i.e. no kitchen, no fresh produce, no refrigeration, etc. How do you grapple with such big changes in routine?
Usually when you’re on the road, it’s not about dramatically improving your health or training for a triathlon; you just want to focus on what will help you maintain, sustain, energize, and inspire.
I like to say that you need to remember to pack two things: Commitment and Flexibility. Commitment is your pledge to yourself in terms of what you do everyday to hit the four words above; these are more general terms, like exercise, meditation, nutrition, gratitude, etc. Flexibility refers to *how* you can practice your commitment—you might only be able to squeeze in 10 minutes of yoga (instead of your usual 90) or maybe you can find a couple pieces of fruit for breakfast instead of a green smoothie.
The fact is you are doing something—which is WAY better than nothing, and you’re keeping up your routine, rather than letting it all slide, feeling guilty, and depressed (which can add to the stress you might already be experiencing from being in a different place).
Do whatever you can to keep yourself grounded and connected to your regular way of life—these habits will absolutely help you feel more present and energized during your travels.
Thanks to Nathan, our featured passionista this month, and a fellow WDSer, for living the life he imagines and being an inspiration!
If this kind of info is up your alley, I invite you to check out Nathan’s new show Travel. Eat. Thrive. Right now for the launch, you can enter to WIN a free meal for two at restaurants around the US (and Canada!)—check out the contest!