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Overcome temptations that make work, life onboard a health struggle

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It’s a scenario we all know well: Getting ready for a guest trip over a long and exhausting week, being down to the wire to make it to the pick-up location, a long, bumpy passage where you haven’t slept or eaten much, and then hours of squaring away the boat before you can finally relax a bit, eat a proper meal and have a good night’s sleep.

When we are overly tired and hungry, it’s easy to indulge in comfort foods, drinks and other stimulants to change how we feel. It’s also easier to talk ourselves out of exercise for the day or become irritable with our crew mates.  

While working long hours and in often less-than-ideal conditions for good health is a part of yachting. But we can prepare for those tempting moments and get back on track toward a goal of health, happiness and fitness. A big part of how we feel is a result of our choices, not just our circumstances.

Don’t skip meals. Doing so lets our blood sugar get so low that we will eat anything, and then we get upset about everything.

Reduce or eliminate caffeine. Replace it with 2-3 liters of water a day. Consume the first liter upon waking, before consuming anything else.

Get at least 10-30 minutes of exercise a day. Even if it’s only 10 minutes of squats and pushups in your cabin, your mood and energy improve significantly.

Make the best food choices (even if it’s not optimal) in the moment. Choose whole foods versus processed foods, at a minimum. To feel even better, choose whole plant-based foods. To feel even better, choose whole, plant-based, high carbohydrate foods such as fruit, potatoes, rice, gluten-free grains and as many veggies as possible as staples.

Resolutions to stick to

New Year’s resolutions tend to fall by the wayside by March. This happens because we either make unrealistic resolutions or they are too vague. If a resolution say anything like “lose weight and eat better,” it will be hard to reach those goals.

Instead, use the following criteria to get healthy:

  1. Set realistic and measurable goals.
  2. Get specific.
  3. Know why you want it, and have a reason big enough to follow through with it.
  4. Write in a positive voice. Instead of “Quit drinking soda”, write “Replace soda with water and fruit juice.”
  5. Write in present tense
  6. Put these resolutions or goals somewhere to see them every day, such as in the front page of a journal or inside a cupboard.

Here are my top picks for every healthy, savvy stew and crew member:

  • Eat a diet of whole, plant-based foods, based on an abundance of fresh, ripe, raw fruits and vegetables. Eat an abundance of water-rich, whole, ripe, fresh fruit for breakfast.
  • Find a variety of fun fitness activities to incorporate into my day 3-5 days per week. Make sure they are activities I love such as running, dancing, swimming, surfing, etc.
  • Find an activity outside of being online that feeds my soul, and do it each day, such as writing, drawing, knitting, reading a book, etc.
  • Make sleep a priority. Get to bed early and sleep 8-10 hours when possible,
  • Drink less alcohol. Find a way to have a great time with people without excessive drinking (the best way is to feel exceptionally, healthy, rested and hydrated before going out.
  • Be kind to myself when I make a mistake, pick myself up ASAP and keep moving forward with my goals.
  • Spend as much time as possible in nature.
  • Spend more time having real conversations with people. Nurture only the relationships that feed my soul. Say a loving goodbye to those that don’t. Call my family more often and see them this year.
  • Volunteer some of my time and money to a cause close to my heart.
  • Save my hard-earned cash and put some in investments that will set me up for when I leave yachting one day.

Angela Orecchio is a chief stew and certified health coach. This column was edited from her blog, Savvy Stewardess, The Smart Girl’s Guide to Yachting. Contact her through www.savvystewardess.com.

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About Angela Orecchio

Angela Orecchio is a chief stew and certified health coach. This column was edited from blog, Savvy Stewardess, The Smart Girl’s Guide to Yachting. Contact her through www.savvystewardess.com.

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