‘Tis the season for beaches, lakes, roller coasters, hikes, baseball, and sun! That also means that most Americans will have to travel to get to their respective destinations. While travel can be a blazing with fun, it can also be stressful. In order to stay healthy, have the least amount of stress and the most fun, and avoid your plans going up in flames, follow these 5 Travel Tips that will help you stay in control of your health naturally!
Planning your trip puts you in control of your health. In order to stay on the offensive, you must set up your travel day for success. Success can mean different things depending on if you are flying or driving. If flying, schedule your flights a little later in the morning if possible. If you are not accustomed to waking up at 3 or 4 am to drive to the airport for your 6 am flight, your circadian rhythm will be thrown off; leaving you scrambling to catch up for days ( I know, the thought of having to sleep just kills you inside). Vaca gets a little bit less fun when when you’re crabby. Especially for your family! Not only that, but the loss of sleep can lead to blood sugar imbalances- leaving you reaching for sugary snacks to stay awake and alert. If you’re driving, maintaining a more normal sleep schedule will help curb the temptation for those gas station sugar fixes. You know: Milkyways, Twix, the unmentionable Red Bull…and you just rattled off another half of a list of your go-tos, didn’t you? Thought so.
The sleep loss will also spike your cortisol, the stress hormone (the one that likes to help you collect weight in your hips and belly), leading to other hormone imbalances. The more someone does this, the more deleterious effects on the body. While flying, you should plan out where and when you are stopping for lunch. See, these tips aren’t that bad. I want you to get sleep and think about food! No one likes to be stuck in an airport while they’re starving. If you plan ahead, you could see which terminals or gates have healthier snack or meal options.
If you are driving, make sure to plan where along the route you will be stopping for lunch. Obviously fast food is lousy quality, nutrient-poor, inflammatory, sugar- filled ____. If you can find a health foods market, or store where they have a salad bar or fresh food, that is a more desirable choice. You can also pack healthy snacks (see recommendations below for ideas).
2. Good breakfast
Traveling in general is a stress on the body. What’s more stressful is waking up early, grabbing a cup of coffee, and hitting the road or going through airport security. Starting the day on an empty stomach and only introducing caffeine will spike cortisol, the stress hormone. For the rest of the day, you will be fighting an uphill battle of blood sugar imbalances, stress hormone surges, and sugar cravings. That’s not going to make it too easy to make healthy food choices the remainder of your day! Not to mention, you are more apt to store fat when cortisol is elevated. Seems like an unappealing thought if you’re dashing off to the beach, huh?
Plan your morning so you have time to make a good, fat and protein-filled breakfast. This a fantastic natural way to help stabilize your hormones all day. This way you are full longer (and you won’t be apt to reach for those chips, cookies, or candy bars), and so you are prepped and ready to take on the day! A couple examples of a good breakfast would be an avocado with eggs, or sweet potatoes with pasture raised sausage and berries. Typical breakfast foods like cereal and oatmeal are higher in carbohydrates; which can spike blood sugar and lead to fluctuations throughout the day. Remember, blood sugar imbalances are one of the biggest stressors on the body, and can lead to immune, thyroid, and gut issues…just to name a few.
3. Snacks (Who doesn’t like snacks?! Come on, the tips keep getting better and better!)
Jerky- Beef jerky, turkey jerky, and even salmon jerky are easy snack options for traveling. Watch out for gluten from soy sauce. The lowest amount of processing is better.
Fruit- An apple is a healthy, and easy snack to pack.
Bars- Certain bars are loaded with carbohydrates and sugar. Look for bars with higher protein and fiber to make it ideal as a healthy travel snack.
Nuts and seeds– Super easy to make your own trail mix. Nuts like macadamia nuts and cashews are my personal favorite, along with sunflower seeds. If soaked overnight, the raw nuts and seeds will be more even more nutritious and easier to digest.
Avocado- One of the absolute best foods for overall health..so easy to throw in a bag.
Carrots and celery- Cut these ahead of time and pair them with some delicious nut butter. This works out as an amazing healthy snack option for kids while traveling.
Nut butters- Cashew butter, almond butter, and sunbutter are great choices. Read the label to avoid added sugar or oils. Peanut butter can be high in aflatoxins; which is a type of mold and has been considered a carcinogen.
Protein powder- Plant-based protein powders are easy ways to get nutrition wherever you are. Preload in your shaker bottle and just add water!
While traveling, it is important to not only protect yourself from radiation and EMF exposure, but to fuel the body with vital nutrients. Here are a few that I always travel with:
Vitamin C- A potent antioxidant, anti-histamine, bowel-regulating, and immune-boosting vitamin. Taking 1500 mg 3-4 times a day prior to travel and on the travel day is ideal. Liposomal Vitamin C will raise blood levels even more than powdered.
Magnesium- A mighty mineral that the majority of Americans are deficient in. Magnesium is responsible for over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body and aids in bone health, anxiety, bowel regulation, energy production, and blood pressure regulation just to name a few.
Multivitamin- A good quality multivitamin with activated B vitamins is great for filling in the holes missed by meals eaten on the run, or in restaurants.
Silver- Silver is like the Terminator of potential sickness; it is a potent antiviral and antibacterial source. While traveling, we are exposed to excessive amounts of bacteria and viruses on surfaces such as door handles, seats, and trays. Using oral silver during the entire travel day can boost the immune system and can kill off pathogens. You can also spray silver into ears and nose, as that is where many pathogens enter the body.
Adaptogens- Adaptogens are a group of herbs that act like a buffer for stressors on the body. They are unique in the fact that they can balance certain processes in the body; particularly helping the adrenal glands. Adaptogens like Ashwagandha, Rhodiola, Eleuthero, and Panax Ginseng can aid in balancing the nervous system: lowering cortisol, and helping with sleep.
Charcoal- Activated charcoal has the ability to bind to different toxins in the body and help excrete them. While traveling, one may be exposed to different bacteria from food or water, or pollutants in the air, or viruses or bacteria. All of these can be neutralized to a degree by taking charcoal. Activated Charcoal is also great to have on hand in case of traveler’s diarrhea or suspected food poisoning. No one wants to spend their vacation running to and from the bathroom!
Probiotics- As we get further away from home, we are exposed to different strains of bacteria. This can mainly be from the drinking water and food. In order to help boost the immune system, fight off viruses and bacteria, and prevent travelers diarrhea, take a probiotic daily.
When traveling, we are exposed to many different toxins, and it is important to be able to detoxify these. The solution to pollution is dilution. Urine is one of the few ways the human body can detoxify (the others are through exhaling, sweating, and having a bowel movement). The more water consumed, the more toxins are flushed out through the kidneys. Look for spring water as it will be the purest. Purified or ‘drinking water’ sometimes has different chemicals such as fluoride in them. At a restaurant, you could ask for a sparkling water with no ice to avoid tap water.
Much more than ½ oz per pound of body weight (the normal recommended amount of water to consume) is needed leading up to and the day traveling. (If you weigh 200 lbs, you will need much more than 100 oz per day). You may need to use the restroom frequently, but at least if you’re staying hydrated and prepping with some supplements and sleep, you won’t be sick on your summer adventures!