Travelling + healthy eating can be a challenge for many, not to mention the stress that it can put on our bodies.
Long distance flying can also create a whole host of problems, from poor dietary options to nervous tummies and jet lag.
Here I will outline my 12 Top Tips for keeping healthy whilst travelling and flying so you can enjoy a stress-free, health-filled, energy pumped holiday!
Before you set off
No. 1 – Research where to eat before you go
Preparation is the key here.
Seek out healthy options where you can using the internet beforehand, and have a scout about the area once you’re there. This is especially true if you’re vegan, vegetarian or a health nut in a foreign speaking country. It’s always a good idea to look up the translations if you can as well.
Even in a new part of your own country you might find it difficult to find a good spot to grab something to eat in, so researching before you go is a great help. I always check online for veggie/vegan-friendly cafes, bars, restaurants and even health food shops before I get on the plane. It’s saved me a lot of stress and hunger-fuelled arguments!
One of my favourite sites to check for these places is a site called happycow.net where you can search by country or city – very handy!
If you already have a list of good food places to go to, you’re less likely to fall off the health wagon when you’re away, so research research research!
No. 2 – Sleep
Prioritize your sleep before you go.
If you’re organised beforehand, you won’t be running around at 4am before the flight wondering whether you’ve packed everything or realising that you forgot to renew your passport.
A lot of people get so stressed before they set off on holiday that they deplete their immune systems and burn out their adrenal glands, winding up sick once they arrive at their destination.
Keep yourself calm with plenty of sleep the days leading up to your holiday, and ensuring you keep yourself relaxed.
If you’re struggling to wind down, try taking some Passiflora herbal tincture *. This herb is particularly useful for supporting those who are prone to worrying, feeling under pressure or stressed. It’s very good at helping you to maintain a healthy response to stress meaning you won’t run yourself down.
Taken alongside a good B-complex vitamin to help support your nervous system, immune system and your body’s stress response. Soon you’ll start to mellow out.
If you’re struggling to sleep because of a whirlwind of thoughts, try Nordic Naturals Melissa Dream capsules which combines lemon balm, l-theanine, camomile, magnesium and b vitamins to calm you down during the day, or prepare you for sound, deep sleep.
Alternatively, some people find valerian tincture to work out better for them, taken 30 minutes before bed.
Pack some essential supplements
No. 3 – A broad spectrum probiotic
Pack in some probiotics when traveling to help maintain the good bacteria balance in the gut, ensuring they contain Lactobacillus andBifidobacterium strains such as Optibac, and take them daily to optimize your digestion.
A lot of people find their tummies go a bit haywire when they go away, whether from nerves, the travelling or the holiday diet slip, but you can support them with the right supplements, and a probiotic is a great friend to have at this time.
Probiotics can also help with the travel bloat, common after a long flight so keep them handy if you’re flying away!
No. 4 – Digestive Enzymes
You’re likely to eat different foods you’re not accustomed to, or even just over-indulge on the foods you are used to when you go away somewhere new.
Because digestion has a tendency for going a bit askew when travelling, try taking a digestive enzyme before each meal to help support and aid the digestion of your food.
These are also great for people who suffer from gas and bloating, especially if you’re consuming different foods and travelling.
I religiously carry digestive enzymes in my bag at all times, just in case I end up somewhere that has no gluten or dairy free options. This way if I end up with something I know I won’t digest well, I have help in the form of my enzyme friends!
No. 5 – Greens powder/tablets
Packed full of nutrients and antioxidants, greens powders and tablets such as synergy supergreens help to optimise health, boost energy and vitality levels, support the immune system and fill in any nutritional gaps.
A heads up if you’re planning on a cheeky drink when away, 8 x chlorella tablets before and 8 after alcohol consumption with plenty of water can help remove toxins from the blood and help relieve a hangover. This does not mean you should drink in excess, but it will support your body and especially your liver in clearing out the toxins, ultimately easing your hangover.
Some evidence suggests that chlorella may increase skin sensitivity to the sun so make sure to apply your sunscreen and keep it at hand if you’re going out in the sun.
No. 6 – B vitamins
Travelling puts a strain on the body, so you need to make sure to top up on your B-vitamins to help support your nervous system and to help promote energy metabolism. They are great for helping your body respond to stressors better, promoting energy and reducing the effects of jet lag.
They are also fantastic for supporting the immune system, especially when taken 1-2 weeks prior to travelling to really whack up those levels.
No. 7 – Vitamin C
Fantastic for immunity and a powerful antioxidant, this vitamin helps counteract the effects of free-radical damage on the body. This can come from anything, from water, sunshine, food choices and even radiation from aeroplanes.
It’s a great option to add into your diet before and during your holiday to keep your immune system happy and give your body an extra protection from the harmful effects of UVA and UVB rays.
No. 8 – Organise your snacks
Plane food is more often than not a no go. The food is ready-made in mass and is loaded with processed denatured ingredients and high amounts of sugar, salt and preservatives.
Occasionally on a long flight I have been lucky enough to get a raw vegan fruit platter, but even I, a fruit lover, needs more than some melon cubes to survive!
Pack some super healthy snacks before you go so you can snack guilt-free and know what you’re putting in your mouth.
Pack some healthy treats that are travel-friendly, like sliced veggies, raw fruit e.g apples, pears, peaches or bananas; homemade granola bars or protein bars or balls. Even a bag of nuts and seeds to munch on throughout the flight is handy enough.
I often throw in a couple of raw chocolate bars too!
During a flight
No. 9 – Keep yourself hydrated
If you’re flying especially, hydration is key.
Keeping yourself sufficiently hydrated helps to prevent water retention, dehydration and loss of energy.
If you’re flying, make sure to begin your journey fully hydrated as it’s not hard to become dehydrated quickly whilst on a plane. Aeroplanes are incredibly dehydrating so it’s best to avoid further dehydration from caffeinated beverages, alcohol or soda the day before and the day that you fly.
Drink plenty of pure water, coconut water, green juices, watery fruits and veggies and herbal teas.
When travelling, either bring your own glass bottle or filter bottle with you to bring on your journey or buy a bottle that you can refill throughout your journey.
You can even bring your own herbal tea bags with you and ask for boiling water on a flight.
Ginger tea can help with nausea and aid digestion, as can peppermint.
Other options would be chamomile to help you relax, lemon balm or valerian.
No. 10 – Lavender or May Chang Essential Oil
Some people get very anxious and stressed before and during travelling. Try dabbing some lavender oil on your temples at intervals to help induce a sense of calmness, as well as before sleep to encourage a restful sleep.
Another option is May Chang essential oil, also known as ‘Oil of Tranquillity ’. This oil has a refreshing, stimulating uplifting action which makes it useful oil for relieving fatigue, lethargy and may aid with jet lag.
It also has a tonic effect on the nervous system and may help to provide clarity of thought when you are feeling nervous, stressed or anxious.
I like to put a few drops on my jumper or scarf so I can breathe it in regularly to keep me calm.
No. 11 – Eye patch and ear plugs
If you’re going on a long flight these two things are essentials.
To enjoy a restorative sleep it is important to be in darkness in order to support the sleep-wake cycle in our bodies. Too much light can affect our hormone cycle which prevents us from having a regenerative sleep.
Ear plugs will help to block out the sound of the engine as well as people around you hustling and bustling about.
In the long run, it should help to prevent a bad case of jetlag.
No. 12 – Keep Moving
If you’re travelling for a long time, such as a long haul flight, ensure that you keep moving. Get up and stretch every hour or 2 to keep blood flow moving effectively around the body. (Unless, of course, you’re trying to sleep on an overnight flight and have successfully managed it! Just get up and stretch as often as you can during your awake periods)
Flying can often cause blood to thicken as a result of increased pressure in the cabin and a dehydrating atmosphere. This gives rise to a higher risk of blood clotting, therefore it’s advisable to keep the body moving and well hydrated. It also helps prevent any soreness and stiff muscles once you get off the plane.
So there we have it! Now you have my 12 Top Tips for keeping healthy whilst travelling and flying.
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Twitter – @nourishstores
*Please note that while we are knowledgeable about our products and nutrition, this blog should never be a substitute for medical advice and attention
**Please check with your doctor if you’re on any medications before taking passiflora or any other supplement recommended.
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