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Stay healthy on the Expo West 2012 show floor

Stay healthy on the Expo West 2012 show floor

Heading to Natural Products Expo West this week? I’ll be there, too, sprinting from booth to booth, sampling too much chocolate, meeting clients, introducing speakers, and reporting about trends in sustainable and organic foods, among other healthy-living products from pet supplements to caffeine-infused beef jerky.

I’m thrilled to be part of the biggest event in this thriving industry, but I also know how easily that thrill can turn to exhaustion and deliriousness after a day or two on my feet. Over the years, I’ve had to learn the hard way, combating blisters and dehydration (OK, I admit, not just from dry convention-center air), sore throats and stomach illnesses. My colleague who does Cross Fit training may be best prepared of all, because let’s face it: Expo West is an endurance sport.

Hydrating with plenty of plain water is a good idea (sugary drinks will make your energy levels sink mid-day, just when you need it most, and too much caffeine will just make your eyes pop out and send you to the bathroom). So is eating a decent, protein-rich breakfast (poached eggs and toast, oatmeal with nuts). Taking the following measures can also help you maintain energy levels and feel your best.

  • Avoid overscheduling.
    If you're not stuck in one spot all day and, like me, you're sprinting from one place to the next, try to keep your “must see” or “must do” list for the day short; often the best things happen when we leave room for spontaneity. If you’re stuck to a pretty tight schedule, try to carve out at least one hour each day to explore without agenda. And if you're stuck in a booth, also try to carve out an hour to explore, or at least try to take frequent walks to refresh yourself.
  • Practice safe sampling.
    Try not to eat too much salt, which can make you headachy and bloated. And sugar certainly won’t help your stamina or mood over the long day. The more unadulterated fresh food you can eat, the better.
  • Rev up.
    Take an adaptogen-based energy supplement after lunch. Better yet, take a break outside for at least 20 minutes at midday to get natural sunlight, fresh air, and a release from the overstimulation of the show floor.
  • Don’t drink the Cool Aid—or any strange drink.
    And if you don’t already take probiotics, don’t start taking them now—resist the temptation to try supplement samples! Your stomach may react with gas and bloating, or worse. On the safe side: digestive enzymes might lessen your chances of indigestion and fiber can keep all of those odd things you’ve been eating moving through.
  • Keep an immune formula on hand.
    Ibuprofen and homeopathic nux vomica (for stomach issues) are also great to have on hand.
  • Relax.
    Rushed to eat something? Feeling squeezed by all of the input? No problem. Take a deep breath, connect with your senses, pause … then run back to the booth or to your next meeting. 

What are your tips? Share your Expo West survival strategies in the comments below!

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