Look, life is full of unexpected moments (like that traffic jam after work and that line at the grocery store). But if there’s any truth throughout the chaos, it’s that snacks—and a thoughtfully packed arsenal of essentials—can help you through any jam.
That’s the central idea of a wellness-aid kit, AKA, your carry-around survival pack of essentials to deal with all of the little things life throws at you (including a stalled subway train at rush hour).
Kate Van Horn, a Los Angeles-based yoga and meditation instructor who travels at least once a month to lead retreats around the world, knows the power of being prepared.
“Being busy is a gift—especially having many moving parts of your life related to a business and career you’re passionate about,” says Van Horn. “That said, when you’re being pulled in many directions, traveling frequently, and connecting with new people all the time, it can feel draining. Accepting we are never really in control is made easier when you take small steps (like building a personal kit) to support yourself in the beautiful chaos.”
Building your own kit is personal—so if keeping your nose in a YA romance novel helps you ditch stress, it belongs in your tote. But one thing Van Horn says is an essential? JUSTIN’S® Squeeze Packs (because there’s no such thing as a bad time for nut butter). We hit up Van Horn to find out what else makes her tried-and-tested list.
Keep reading for two essential rules for creating your own wellness-aid kit.
Rule #1: Always be snacking
Van Horn’s typical morning reads like a wellness dream scenario: Wake up, meditate, and read her tarot cards. But if yours isn’t quite as Zen, there’s one pointer we can all use: Stay fueled.
To that end, she starts her morning with cold brew with oat milk plus toast with sliced fruit and JUSTIN’S® Nut Butter. “I love the simplicity in JUSTIN’S® ingredients, with no shortage of taste,” Van Horn says. “The honey peanut butter and maple almond butter are just sweet enough they taste like a treat, but I can enjoy it every day.”
As The GOOD Fest co-founder moves about her routine, keeping her bag stocked with snacks is a must, including apples and bananas for nut butter vehicles. “I also have an odd fear of being without a snack or water, so I’m always stocked with something to eat,” she says.
Liquid chlorophyll for on-the-go immunity boosts, a reusable utensil and straw, and her trusty bkr water bottle all make the cut, too. Plus, she loads up on natural remedies like ginger tea and peppermint oil in case she’s dealing with a worked-up stomach.
Rule #2: Be prepared for the unexpected
You can’t always predict where your day will take you—especially when you travel from coast-to-coast as frequently as Van Horn.
HUM Daily Cleanse and Silver Fern probiotics give her a baseline starting point, but she loads up on remedies for when anxiety hits, too. “Supplements like CBD and grounding techniques are very important for me on days I have to head to the airport,” she says.
For on-the-go workouts, she brings resistance bands and her Yoga Hustle mat. “They take up very little space and are a fun addition to my yoga practice to up the intensity and add in a bit of strength,” she says. Pro tip: JUSTIN’S® Squeeze Packs and granola will always make it through TSA (and are clutch when the line’s too long at the coffee shop near your office, too).
“Know that it is trial and error in finding the best products and tricks for you,” Van Horn says about cultivating your personal stash of must-haves. “Some will work for you and others just won’t. Don’t judge the products, routines, or rituals you need to feel your best.”
In partnership with the JUSTIN’S® brand
Photos: Kate Van Horn
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