How-To: Travel Smart
We’ve all been there- it’s dinner time and your stomach is starting to get your attention, but you’re miles away from your destination, stuck in a car or an airport.
You look around and see fast food, coffee shops, and a stand selling a variety of candy. You’re torn. You want to avoid eating the greasy, sugary food that you know will make you feel tired, sluggish and inflamed, but you still have many hours left before you’ve gotten where you’re going, and you’re hungry! This is a common experience for all of us travelers, especially in the back-and-forth rush surrounding the upcoming holiday season. In my experience, a little bit of planning is all that it takes to avoid getting sick when you’re traveling. I throw a few easy items in my carry-on before I leave and I know I won’t have to worry for the rest of the trip. Here’s what I recommend for when you’re on the go:
If you eat meat, jerky is a quick and easy source of protein that doesn’t need to be refrigerated, making it the perfect travel companion. Unlike sugary snacks that give me headaches and make me crash soon after eating them, jerky is delicious and sustaining. With the abundance of organic beef, turkey, salmon and tuna jerkey on the market, it’s easy to find something that tastes good and leaves you satisfied. There’s no reason not to demand efficiency from your travel food!
*Note: If you prefer not to eat meat, try packing nuts and nori (dried seaweed). The nuts are easy and portable, but still pack in plenty of protein for lasting energy. The nori is rich in minerals and fiber, which will keep you full and help your digestive system to function properly.
Almond meal and ground flax seeds:
There’s nothing worse than starting your trip with your digestive system in a fit over what you ate in the airport. I’m sure you know what I mean- maybe your train is slow in leaving the station (or it doesn’t leave at all), maybe you’ve got excess gas or bloating, or just general discomfort. It can be hard to find a good source of fresh veggies when traveling, so we often just end up not getting the fiber we need to keep our digestive systems happy. My solution is to mix almond meal (a powder made from ground almonds, which you can buy from most grocery stores or make yourself in your food processor) and ground flax seeds in a two to one ratio. I’ll toss a jar of this powder into my purse, and when I grab a cup of coffee or tea, I’ll mix in a few spoonfuls. The protein keeps me full, the fiber keeps my system regular, and I stay hydrated at the same time.
It can be tempting to reach for a sugary energy drink when you’re on the go and exhausted, but it will just end up making you feel worse down the road. Instead, I recommend cutting a lemon into wedges and bringing those wedges with you in a small container or plastic bag. When you fill up your water bottle past the security checkpoint, squeeze in one or two wedges. The lemon juice packs a powerful punch for your adrenals, giving you a burst of sustainable energy. Plus, it can help detoxify your liver, allowing your organs to recover from whatever unusual stress you’re putting on your system as you travel.
Hydration is key when you’re on the go. The pressurization in the airplane means that you end up breathing lots of dry, recycled air for however long you’re on the plane. This dries out the tissues throughout your body, leaving your immune system more vulnerable to catching the colds and flus that you encounter. To stay hydrated, be sure to drink plenty of water with electrolytes, which is easy to do by adding a pinch of Himalayan pink salt to your water bottle each time you fill it. Additionally, soak in the bath before you leave so that you arrive at the airport fully hydrated.
Staying hydrated will help keep your circulation functioning optimally, but it’s still a good idea to make sure you’re moving around while on the plane or in the car. Keep your legs and feet happy by gently rotating your ankles while sitting, or kicking your feet softly back and forth. If it’s possible, get up and walk back and forth in the aisle so that you can keep your lymphatic and circulatory systems from becoming stagnant.
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