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Nutrition Tips for Travelling

My secrets to staying well when I travel so that you don’t need a holiday to recover from your holiday when you get home!

Eat Well 

It is hard to eat on the road, but eating well is your best defense. While some airports and hotels offer “better” options now, it can be slim pickings:

  1. Keep an emergency snack with you that contains nuts and seeds which store well, provide a high level of energy and are better options than something you might turn to in desperation. Munchy seeds are a good option or Pip and Nut do almond butter in a small tube. Other options are oat cakes filled with a nut butter and wrapped with some fresh fruit.

  2. Avoid the party in my mouth phenomenon! When we travel, it is tempting to just “go for it” – especially when traveling to wonderful foodie places. Instead, try to find the foods on menus that are as close as possible to the healthy, simple foods you eat at home whilst enjoying more exotic flavours.

  3. Follow the 95/5 rule. It is really nice to enjoy a dessert at a great restaurant or something special while you’re traveling. Keep it to 5% of your total food intake for that day (or week). Keep in mind that sugar immediately inhibits immune function, which can then stay suppressed for hours, making you more susceptible to picking up bugs while you travel.

  4. Be prepared. Before you head to your destination, look online for the healthiest food places in town so you know where to go to get the foods that are going to keep your immune system, digestion, mind and mood at their best (so you can enjoy your trip). Tripadvisor is so good for this.

Stay Hydrated

The canned, freezing air in planes, hotels and restaurants can dry out the sensitive mucous membranes in your mouth, nose and throat, making you more susceptible to viruses. Drink lots of water throughout the day.

Pass on the alcohol or keep to a minimum

Alcohol suppresses your immune system. Drink a glass of water for each alcoholic drink and avoid mixed drinks that are loaded with sugar (cocktails!).

Pay attention to sleep needs

It is so easy to stay up late on holiday but you still need your 8 hours of beauty rest while you travel. On top of this, jet lag can really throw you. On short trips of less than 3 days to other time zones where jet lag is a risk, try to stick to your own natural rhythm as much as possible; for longer trips let yourself slowly acclimatise by either sleeping later or getting to bed earlier, depending on the time zone.  Try to avoid the help of caffeine because it adds to the jet lag. Coffee is also dehydrating, which adds to fatigue. In fact, water is surprisingly good for an energy pick-me-up.  Natural light is the best possible cure for jet-lag ( try going for a walk – see below).

Support with Supplements 

A number of supplements can help you to support your immune system while you travel.  My top immune supports while traveling are:

  1. Zinc: 30 mg/day (take with food to avoid nausea).

  2. Echinacea: 500 mg three times daily (or 3-5 mL of tincture in water twice daily).

  3. A medicinal mushroom blendcontaining any or all of the following Reishi, Shiitake, Turkey Tail, or Cordyceps for immune support. Take daily as directed on the product

  4. A gentle adaptogen blend containing Ashwagandha and Holy Basil, plus the medicinal mushrooms above, which are also adaptogens.

  5. A probiotic containing Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium strains, daily (you can take these 2 weeks before you travel).

Make Time for Bathroom Breaks 

Constipation is common for travellers, leaving you feeling bloated and uncomfortable and it can also impact your immunity. Make sure that you make time to go to the bathroom each day and get a lot of fibre in your diet. If you do tend to get blocked up when you travel, bring magnesium citrate with you and take 800 mg each night before bed for an easier morning BM. Lepicol also have travel packets of psyllium husk (soluble fibre) that can help (remember to have plenty of water with it).

Walk a Lot

Travel can involve a lot of sitting, so make sure to mix it up with movement. For every 90 minutes you are sitting on a plane, car or train, get up and walk around. Airports are a good place to get some walking in too!  When you get to your destination, take a walk to re energise!

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