Over the past couple years I have definitely become a work travel veteran. Traveling about every month or so, I have had to make a system in order to remain happy, healthy and fit on the road… not so easy to do. We have long flights, jet lag, exposure to a million germs, and then there is food. Let me see what all the fun factors of food life is for a health-conscious vegan: no-vegan friendly restaurants, fried food, white flour, terrible oil use (canola, soybean, vegetable…), and the worst part, no Vitamix. While I am all up for mixing up the food scene once and awhile, this is not a possibility for a frequent traveler. And I know, I have tried, I have failed. Stomach ache, headache, low energy and grumpiness! So the following are 10 healthy travel tips that have made this lifestyle possible.
10 Healthy Travel Tips
1. Bring your Own Plane Food: Lets face it, I don’t care if you ate beforehand, you will always feel hungry on a plane. I think it must be either the boredom of sitting still or the altitude… either way, you must always pack your own food. Never rely on finding something at the airport. Those convenient stores and restaurants are never going to magically have something good to eat. I usually will pack something I make from home, or I will swing by Whole Foods and grab a salad. Favorite Tip: If you tend to have a sensitive stomach bring along ginger chew candy or real black licorice.
2. Do Not Go through the Full-Body Airport Security Scanners: The studies that TSA claimed to show that these scanners are safe are inconclusive at best. The fact that they most definitely put out more radiation than the regular scanners is enough to be wary. There is absolutely no safe dose of radiation and each exposure is additive. So opt out, man up and get the pat down. To read more go to naturalnews.com
3. Drink Green Tea Extract: Concentrates of Green Tea have shown to be very effective against radiation exposure. One flight from LA to NY exposes you to as much radiation as you would be exposed to in 1 year on the ground. Yikes! That is a lot my friends. I usually take about 1 tsp of Premier Research Labs’ Green Tea- ND since that potency would be equal to about 22 cups of green tea. I just take a little bottle and sip on it throughout my flight.
4. Pack a Potent Antimicrobial for Immune Protection: One of the easiest ways to get sick is to travel on an airplane. All of that re-circulated air and tight conditions is sure to be a breeding ground for the bad bugs. So I like to travel with a small bottle of Oregano oil since its active ingredient, carvacrol, is bound to kill anything in sight. Believe me, take a few drops and you will know what I mean… Spicy! This is definitely going to be your insurance plan for traveling not only for the plane but throughout your trip as well.
5. Bring your Breakfast: This is my favorite part because it has essentially saved me from being a cranky upset travel partner. It is virtually impossible to rely on the fate of the road to find a good healthy breakfast. For one, when I get up I am ready to eat! I certainly do not have time to go seek out food, nor are most places open at 6 am. While I could always opt for oatmeal, it’s unlikely that the quality will leave me feeling that great. Therefore, since I will be missing out on my morning superfood shake, I have turned to my go-to superfood bowl. This bowl will most definitely keep you feeling good all day, plus… it will remedy any travel constipation. All you need is hot water and the following (yes, they are all travel friendly):
Chia Seeds (take 2-3 tbs and put in a bowl. Add about 4-6 ounces of hot water and stir. They will magically turn into an oatmeal- like consistency)
- 1 tbs Tocotriene Complex (for a creamy vanilla flavor packed with Vitamin E and nutrients)
- 1 tbs Maca (awesome adaptogenic root for improved energy, mood and hormone balance)
- 1/2-1 scoop Brown Rice Protein Powder
- 1 tsp Coconut Oil (great fat for sustained energy and improved metabolism)- I put some in a small mason jar in advance
- 1 tbs Bee Pollen (bioflavonoids, protein and nutrients)
- 1 tbs Goji Berries (super tasty and a super vitamin C boost)
- 1 tbs Cacao Nibs (packed with magnesium and crunch)
- 1 chopped up Banana, granola and fresh blueberries
6. Look up Restaurants Beforehand: If you’re anything like me, one of the best parts of traveling is finding local organic vegetarian and/or farm to table restaurants. You will be pleasantly surprised about how many are popping up around the US, so you should definitely be able to find some. If not, you can also check out the sides of the menu or find local markets as well. I have put together a list of some of my favorites.
7. Stop by Local Health Food Markets: Many cities have a Whole Foods or an independent market where you can purchase some snacks and clean water for the road. Always having something healthy on hand is important to prevent desperate purchases and it is necessary to always have clean water.
8. Bring your Digestive Insurance: This is probably one of the most important tips of all. Even if you find great health food restaurants and markets, you inevitably will be exposed to not the best oils and not the best food combinations, leaving you with bloating, fatigue, gas and aches. I always travel with digestive enzymes, essential fatty acids and limonene oil. While the digestive enzymes will help you digest the food (yes, obvious I know), the limonene will help with fat digestion (great if you have gallbladder issues- and most of you do), and the efa’s will offset the harmful effects of any poor oils you consume. They say that if you eat any bad oils with good oils, your body will choose the good oils over the bad.
9. Food Poisoning Protection: If you are traveling, you must be wary of bugs in the food. While we would like to trust our fellow chefs, the conditions are not always the cleanest, and bugs, especially parasites, can be present. If you have ever had a parasite or food poisoning you will heed my advice. Take HCL, hydrochloric acid, with every meal. HCL will kill any bugs lingering in your food, so this is a must. If you are traveling out of the country, I would also bring along probiotics in case you do happen to catch something. About 12 of these while you are sick will help to significantly reduce the recovery time.
10. Melatonin for Jet Lag: We all know that sleep is one, if not the most important component to health and feeling great! So I always travel with a small liquid melatonin, take a couple drops before bedtime, in order to reset my circadian rhythm and to get a great night sleep. This will help get you on the local time as well as adjust to any foreign bed. You can learn more about circadian rhythms here.
So go forth, travel the world and be healthy!