Traveling in Ukraine: How to have an energizing trip

Traveling for a long period of time requires lots of planning beforehand, so if you are planning on traveling in Ukraine for at least several weeks, this is the right blog post for you today.

  • Don’t miss out on street food in Ukraine!

Popular Ukrainian street foods include many types of dumplings and stuffed buns, e.g. pyrizhky, perohy and varenyky (they are either fried or boiled) and served with a sour cream dill sauce. Common fillings include onions, mushrooms, ground meats, potatoes and cabbage. Holubsti, cabbage rolls with rice or meat filling as well as a tomato sauce are also served frequently, especially around Easter. Kvass is a fermented beverage made from rye bread, water and yeast. Dried plums and apples are steeped in sugar water which is sold as uzvar (a beverage) – this is very popular during fairs and festivals.

  • Take care of your health – you are what you eat.

I remember my nutritionist told me that sugar is the biggest evil in our diets because sugar creates advanced glycation end compounds in our bodies, which destroy collagen and neutralize antioxidants. In general, sugar is bad for your skin and health. This is beyond candies and cakes – in fact, sugar hides in white bread, dressings and sauces all the time as well. Therefore, you may even want to switch white bread for whole-grain, pasta for sweet potatoes, white rice for quinoa. You should make your own dressing if you have time. In time you will notice the difference.

However, it’s okay to have some guilty pleasures. It’s very normal. Totally giving up beverages and foods that make you happy actually sucks. So, I think you can make some adjustments. For example, if you absolutely must have sugar in your coffee every morning, then you might sweeten it with stevia or agave nectar (natural alternatives to sugar). If you really, really need a dessert, then you can eat organic dark chocolate (70% cocoa or above). This is an antioxidant which has much less sugar. Dark chocolate in Ukraine is commonplace!

If you also have to drink alcohol in Ukraine, you can choose less processed / sugary and more natural options. Instead of drinking white wine, you can drink organic red wine. Those who can’t give up sweet cocktail may choose soda, vodka and dash of cranberry juice – this won’t give you a hangover.

Like fried chicken? Skip the batter in favor of coconut oil in the skillet. Actually, this is the best oil to cook with because it’s considered to be the healthiest cooking oil in the world. I think when you go shopping, it’s better to stick with foods which still look like their original state, when they were picked from the tree or the field, as food is also information – you become what you eat (if you eat too much processed food, that’s not going to help).

  • How to feed yourself for a radiant face:

A personal trainer of mine eats an avocado every single day (on salads, as a dip, mashed on toast, etc.) He loves it due to its unique taste. Of course, he knows avocado is the most nutritious fruit in the world. Better still, eating avocado daily is good for your skin – your face will become radiant as a result. That’s because the healthy fats in avocadoes can help skin stay plump and hydrated in the long term. No matter how many masks you use on your face each week, real hydration and mineral absorption must come from underneath.

Therefore, when you go to Ukraine, remember to order food with avocado on the menu in sophisticated restaurants. This habit will improve your health and your skin dramatically.

Also, it’s very important to drink at least 2 liters of water each day. You may add some unsweetened coconut water every few days if you can afford that. The level of electrolytes in coconut water is much higher than regular water; thus, you will rehydrate yourself much faster.

It’s okay to start a detox when you travel internationally. In this way, your skin might break out on the second day, for the toxins must come out somewhere anyway (that’s the only concern if you want to take a lot of photos of yourself for your Instagram). Yet don’t worry – by Day 6 your skin will be clearer and your eyes will become brighter. Just let your skin excrete its rubbish before it looks fresh and clean again & eat healthy food only from now on.

Some luxury hotels in Ukraine offer high-quality breakfast options every morning. Here is my experience: I start off my morning with lemon and hot water, which kick-starts my system and helps flush out toxins from my body, so it clears my skin. Then I drink a skin-brightening smoothie (I asked the celebrity chef from the luxury hotel in Ukraine for this recipe):

This smoothie can make a big difference to your energy levels and the brightness of your skin. Its consistency should be that of a milk shake and it tastes like a cinnamon-vanilla milk shake, to be honest.

  • 3 cubes of ice
  • 1 teaspoon goji berry – goji berries have been used in ancient cultures for centuries as a very powerful antioxidant which improves circulation because it contains vitamins B1, B2, B6, C and E. These are all contributing to better skin.
  • 1 teaspoon acai powder – Acai is a fruit from Brazil, a potent antioxidant which boosts energy and improves digestion.
  • 1 teaspoon chia seeds – chia seeds are the richest plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids help make up the cell membrane which allows nutrients to enter skin cells. They are considered as the protection mechanism which is responsible for letting nutrients inside.
  • 1 teaspoon ground flaxseed – flaxseed offers more omegas, especially alpha linoleic acid which keeps your hair and skin hydrated. The body can’t naturally produce omega-3 fats; as a result, you have to get them from your diet on a daily basis.
  • 1 teaspoon greens – powdered greens are available in supermarkets in Ukraine as well as most health stores. Nevertheless, the most important ingredient is chlorophyll, i.e. the green pigment in plants and vegetables which harnesses the sun’s energy in photosynthesis. This ingredient fights free radicals, helps remove toxins and improves oxygen supply. Hence, you will have younger and clearer skin.
  • 1 teaspoon raw cacao powder – Don’t throw a bar of chocolate into the blender, please. Raw cacao is very different from cocoa. Yet cacao tastes really good. It is full of magnesium, vitamin C as well as omega-6 fatty acids that are skin-friendly – this ingredient will increase blood flow & support cellular healing.
  • 2 walnuts – walnuts can reduce breakout-causing acidity in your diet.
  • 1 teaspoon maca root – maca is a plant which has been harvested for more than three thousand years. It is known to reduce blemishes and acne, apart from many health benefits.
  • ½ cup almond milk – choose unsweetened almond milk as an alternative to diary, please.
  • ½ cup coconut water – coconut water has cytokinins and antioxidants that can prevent your skin from ageing.
  • Sprinkle of cinnamon – cinnamon can balance your blood sugar levels. Better still, it can fight off sugar craving like a winner.

“You can switch up between juices and smoothies throughout the week when you travel internationally – this will give you more variety and more energy.”