Who is traveling this summer and trying to keep up with their healthy habits? Traveling not only comes with different food options, but it seems to impact just about everything – including your sleep, skin health, menstrual cycle and your digestion – who else has struggled with the whole vacation constipation?
Here are 4 quick tips and ideas for your next traveling adventure.
1.) Fast from food while flying. I don’t always bring up fasting with my clients because I often am trying to reframe the amount of food we need to eat in a day. Reframe as in not restricting. Therefore fasting isn’t my go to dietary suggestion, however when it comes to traveling I almost always suggest fasting. It has become a habit in our society to snack in the car or during a longer flight – it “kills” time. However, while in the air I suggest digesting small amounts of food or none – depending on your flight time, flight distance, and your personal health. I have searched for facts on why digestion is altered in flight… welp, there isn’t much. But through people’s experience they state things such as “not eating in flight helps with jet lag,” or “it keeps me regular while on vacation.”
Even though we do not have hard facts, it seems flying has an affect on our digestion for a couple of reasons.
One being that flying dehydrates us therefore there is less water to enter the bowels and flush out the stool.
Secondly, cabin pressure change can effect how well our bowels digest food, and can cause extra gas.
I recommend eating very minimally on a plane. If you do need to eat, make it something easy for your body to utilize and digest. Think – cooked foods, and high fat foods. Avoid large amount of vegetables and definitely stay away from raw vegetables. I know – shocking!
2.) Bring a cooler bag. If you have long layovers or you are not sure where you are going to eat once you land at your destination, carry a cooler bag as your personal bag or carry on. Yes, they will make you take the food and ice packs out during TSA check, but it is totally worth it.
Make wraps – my favorite way to wrap up a protein, fat and veggies is with wRAWps, or Siete Almond Tortillas. Other options are hard boiled eggs, or bring stir fried veggies. I have been known to bring tuna salad or veggie sushi – yeah, I slightly feel bad for the people who have to smell my tuna;)!
Bringing food is totally allowed through TSA, but here are a few tips to not get your food taken away.
For just domestic flights make sure you are not bringing yogurt, applesauce or even canned meats like Tuna (the can has liquid in it). You can bring tuna, but it has to be taken out of the can. Really dumb, but it is the way it is.
International flights you must follow the liquid rule the same as domestic, but also if you are bring fresh vegetables or fruit – check with where you are landing so you do not have to “claim items.”
3.) Carry a homemade hand sanitizer. I don’t use hand sanitizer regularly – even this homemade, natural, essential oil one; however flying is the time I do. I really hate washing my hands on planes and in airport bathrooms. You are also touching arm rests, seats, magazines, etc that a million other people have. It’s time to try and fight the bacteria!
4.) Increase your Probiotic, Vitamin D, C, and magnesium intake before flying. This can come in supplement form, especially if these supplements are already apart of your routine, but some of these can be increased with food and beverages.
Probiotics: If you do not take a probiotic capsule, I hope you are regular consuming foods like sauerkraut, kimchi, sheep yogurt, coconut yogurt, kefir or kombucha. If you are supplementing I suggest adding in a little bit more probiotic rich foods then you do not regularly. Starting about a week before make sure you are getting at least 2 tbsp of fermented veggies, or 4 oz of kombucha/day.
Vitamin D: Depending on your levels in normal intake. Since I do not know these facts for you, I suggest getting 10-20 minute of mid morning sun without sunscreen – depending on your skin!
Vitamin C: Increase your fruit intake, any fruit is a good vitamin C source or take a vitamin C capsule/drink (that isn’t too sugary, please!).
Magnesium: I hope you are supplementing with Magnesium Glycinate* already. If not, flying is a great time to start -especially if you are anxious around flying (which also effects your digestion). You can take up 500mg of magnesium, this will help with your stress response, sleep, and bowel movements.
*I do not recommend Mag CALM. Actually I STRONGLY discourage taking this brand. It is not made with magnesium that is very bioavailable for your body and it has been found to have high levels of arsenic.
enjoy your travels,
(photos by travelherco.com)