Do you know that old quote by Benjamin Franklin, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”?
That is quite true for staying healthy while traveling. We enter the world of the unknown while traveling and if we don’t prepare to safeguard our health on the road, there's a good chance it will suffer for lack of being able to find the same healthy fare we are accustomed to at home.
On today’s Food as Medicine episode, we’re hitting the road with healthy supplements and tons of delicious, easy snack ideas.
Jet lag changes your gut bacteria, so it's easy enough to take one probiotic per day during your trip to keep your immune system healthier.
“Researchers in Israel have shown, in both mice and humans, that the bacterial assemblages inhabiting the digestive tract are vulnerable to the ravages of circadian rhythm alterations. And when the gut microbiome is disrupted, they found, a suite of maladies, including glucose intolerance and obesity, result.
Immunologist Eran Elinav of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot led a team of researchers that subjected mice to a disruption in their sleep cycle that mimicked jet lag from an 8-hour time difference in humans and surveyed changes to their gut microbes. The researchers also studied the microbiota of two people who flew from the U.S. to Israel, and found similar compositional and functional changes. ‘We saw that in the presence of jet lag, their microbes were completely messed up,' Elinav told Time.”
If you frequently travel for work or have a job that disrupts your natural day-night circadian rhythm, taking high-dose probiotics will do wonders to support your health.
“Your body treats melatonin as a darkness signal, and generally has the opposite effect of bright light.”
Time-released melatonin is a lifesaver when traversing time zones because it helps to reset your circadian rhythm quicker, which gets you over jet lag faster with better-quality sleep. Take it 20-30 minutes before you’d like to go to sleep. .
Enzymes help us digest our food better to prepare for proper assimilation.
They increase nutrient uptake into the body and prepare food for better utilization by the gut microbiota, which in turn support assimilation and production of our vitamins. This is especially important when our food quality lowers while traveling. They also provide overworked, weary digestive processes a vacation so that digestive cells, such as the stomach's parietal cells and the pancreas' exocrine cells, can rest and rebuild their integrity. Do not leave home without excellent, quality digestive enzymes!
The antidote to bacteria, viruses, and fungus while traveling. One a day (away from food) keeps the doctor away. My favorite brand for quality can be found here.
Charcoal is great to keep on hand if you eat something that upsets your stomach or if alcohol consumption is going to increase. It will bind to toxins and pull them out of your system to keep you feeling better.
I love pre-packaging my daily dose of supplements in Ezy Dose bags to avoid having to bring full bottles on the road.
Bringing something fresh is always a great idea since fresh foods can be difficult to find while traveling – and even when we do find them, most of the time they’re not organic.
Organic tangerines, carrots, and green apples are my go-to with a packet of to-go nut butter. This snack provides all the protein, fat, fiber, and carbohydrates to keep you satiated for a few hours in between meals and could save you from eating the dreadful airplane peanuts or pretzels filled with poor-quality oils and preservatives.
Trail mix is always a crowd pleaser. My favorite mix contains goji berries for sweetness and immune boosting properties, cashews for their magnesium content, pumpkin seeds for the omega-6 fatty acids and parasite-killing component, walnuts for omega-3 fatty acids and cacao nibs for antioxidants, crunch, and the feel-good brain chemical release that only chocolate can provide.
Travel packs of coconut oil, coconut aminos, or tamari. These are easy enough to keep in your purse. The coconut oil can go into your coffee or tea while traveling or on top of your food for a dose of healthy medium-chain fatty acids. The aminos or tamari sample packs are great when eating Asian food and not wanting to take in added sugar or gluten.
Bone Broth for the Keurig – Lono Life is a local company, but their K-cups of broth can be found on Amazon. While I'm not a huge fan of the Keurig because of the plastic and potential for mold buildup, it is quite comforting to have some hot broth at night in your hotel room before bed. When not traveling, however, a higher-quality broth like The Flavor Chef’s broth is always preferred.
Electrolyte balancers – traveling can be quite dehydrating, and my favorite way to beat that is GoodOnya's Hydrate Powder. This electrolyte powder is much healthier than EmergenC and easy to add to your travel bag.
Bars – a good-quality bar can save you from making poor decisions out of hunger. My two favorites are Primal Kitchen Bars and PaleoValley Collagen Bars because they both contain collagen and are high in protein and healthy fats while being low in sugar without preservatives.
Then there are PaleoValley grass-fed beef sticks which are the ONLY beef sticks I would even consider consuming because there is so much junk in all the others. I normally don’t like processed meats or jerky, but PaleoValley manages to make these as delicious as they are healthy.
Now we’d like to hear from you. What are your favorite ways to stay healthy while traveling?