Sarah McLachlan on Travel, Intermittent Fasting, and What Makes Her ‘Horribly Cranky’

Sarah McLachlan shares her love of travel and commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

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Beth Thompson: I know you travel a lot for work, but have you seen some of the world with your family?

Sarah McLachlan: We have, yeah. My little one more so because when I had her, I was still on the road a lot for work. From 18 months to three and a half years old, she was all over the world — through Europe, Australia, New Zealand, North America.

BT: Amazing! So, does she remember any of it?

SM: She doesn’t remember any of it! Of course, we took tons of pictures, like, “There’s you at the Eiffel Tower, sweetie!” She’s like, “Aw, so cute.”

BT: I do think those memories form a part of them though, even though they don’t really remember it.

SM: Oh, yeah! It’s part of their DNA, and they’re such great travellers. They can sleep anywhere, they know the drill at the airport, and they have the ability to change on a dime. I mean, the key to success and happiness is flexibility. (These are the best places to travel every month of the year.)

BT: Exactly!

SM: We’ve had to learn to be quite flexible when travelling. Like, well, there you go, we missed the plane or the flight’s cancelled. Great!

BT: Just gotta roll with it.

SM: Yup! I try to make it more of an adventure — find a museum, find something fun to fill the time. (Looking to take a solo trip? These are the best places to travel alone as a woman.)

On Wellness

BT: Are you able to make time for yourself?

SM: Oh yeah. I’m pretty selfish when it comes to that. I mean it’s tricky with kids and work and everything else. But I have a dog, so I hike about 50 km a week.

BT: Really? That’s great.

SM: Yeah, every morning and, you know, it’s multipurpose. It’s my exercise, it’s my walking meditation, it’s when I think and write. I have my iPhone with me, and I’m always manically dictating stuff into my notes. Other people probably think I’m crazy, although now it’s normal for people to be talking to their devices. It used to be an oddity, but yeah. I eat really clean. I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I don’t do drugs. I get at least eight hours of sleep every night.

BT: That’s awesome.

SM: I really, really try. Mostly because I’m just horribly cranky if I don’t. And I have kids, so I have to be lucid and clear. But yeah, I’m a homebody, and I eat really clean. And exercise, exercise, exercise.

BT: And when you’re on the road, are you able to keep up with that routine?

SM: It’s easier! It’s easier on the road because my being on the road is the very same every day. You’re in a different city, sure, but you wake up, and work doesn’t start until 4 p.m. If it’s horrible out, I go to the gym. If it’s nice out, I walk the city. Or I get a city bike and I bike the city. Then I start work at 4 and catering is great because I always have lots of healthy options, like a huge bed of spinach with a little bit of protein.

On Diet

SM: I’ve been doing intermittent fasting lately. I’ve done a little bit of research, and I just thought I’d try it. I turned 50 in January, and I took a lot of vacations. And when you’re on vacation, you’re like “I’m just gonna eat this and that.” And when you do that for two months, well…I gained ten pounds, I’m aching everywhere, I’m in flames. So I thought you know what, I’m just gonna try this.

BT: What’s your routine then?

SM: I get up at 6, but I don’t eat until 10. So I just go from 10 until 5, like in an 8-hour window, I stuff all my eating into that. And I’ve stopped eating sugar, as well. It’s just the devil. (Sugar could be the reason why you’re sleeping so poorly.)

BT: Yeah, for sure.

SM: Except for a little bit of fruit sugar. And dark chocolate. I can never stop with dark chocolate. But I’ve noticed a really marked change in my ability to focus because, you know, foggy brain during menopause.

BT: Oh my god, that’s the worst. The fog! It’s impossible.

SM: Well, it has helped. It’s tidied up my foggy brain a little bit and I don’t feel as achy.

The Sarah Experience

Marriott International recently introduced a unified benefits program across all its properties. The program allows members to book stays and earn/redeem points among 29 global brands comprising 6,500 hotels in 127 countries, such as The Marriott, The Ritz-Carlton and Starwood destinations. Additionally, the company has expanded its experiential offerings through its Marriott Moments. In total, there will be 110,000 new Moments experiences in 1,000 destinations, ranging from destination tours and day trips like shark cage diving in Gansbaai, South Africa to once-in-a-lifetime events like exclusive concerts and meet and greets, which is what McLachlan participated in. In July she performed with The Colorado Symphony at Red Rocks and two lucky Marriott Moments folks flew out, saw the show and then met up with McLachlan afterwards for wine and conversation.

Originally Published in Best Health Canada