Travel, it's (gut)terly amazing
Travelling, it's supposed to be a time for new experiences, exploration, & relaxation! & although our mind & body may be ready to throw caution to the wind & step out of our normal routine (aka indulge unfamiliar foods at irregular times & take a break from the gym), digestive problems can be particularly gut wrenching (pun intended) when we don't pay attention to our digestive health.
As the saying goes, follow your gut, but on the contrary, sometimes adhering to a few tried & tested travel habits is just what you need to stay healthy & regular while travelling!
travelling took kit to promote gut health
Whether it's light movement or you go hard (no rest for the wicked), staying active while travelling will help keep things regular! If you LOVE trying out new workout studios, do your research prior to travelling & scout out your 'must go to' classes. You can even reserve your spot online to help keep you accountable! Don't want to spend extra money on a gym membership (fair enough). Pack workout gear (your favourite tops bottoms & cross-trainers), & go for a walk, run or bike! Some hotels even have wicked gyms & offer on site classes, like beach yoga, group runs, water aerobics, etc. Not one for working out in front of an audience? Exercising in your hotel room is always an option! Download some good music & hit up google for some quick & effective hotel room circuits to target specific areas of the body! Movement is KEY to maintaining health metabolic & digestive processes, so get after it!
Travelling can throw off your sleep patters & waste elimination! New time zones, too hard or soft of a bed (first world problems), or just a jam packed itinerary (why sleep when there's so much to see & do), can lead to exhaustion & sleep deprivation! To help ensure that you catch some zzz's to help keep things moving down there, here are a few of my must haves:
lavender essential oil: shake a few drops on your pillow to help ease the problem of insomnia & promote relaxation
Chamomile tea: a natural sleep aid with anti-anxiety effects & can help calm soothe an upset stomach, relieving digestive stress.
Travelling can be stressful! Getting to the airport on time, remembering your passport, packing all the right clothes, planning the perfect itinerary ... Or if you're like me, knowing which food spots you simply can't miss out on (the list is always long). Regardless of what's triggering your stress, having coping mechanisms is key to reducing the effect of stress on your mind & body, maintaining energy & keeping the nervous system healthy. Maybe it's movement (yoga or meditation) or perhaps you de-stress with magnesium. Magnesium is a powerful relaxation mineral (helping to relax those intestinal muscles), it's needed for your cells to make energy, improve your mood, & optimal digestion. All good things, especially while travelling. Whether its through supplementation or incorporating more magnesium rich foods into your travel diet, it may be the perfect mineral to keep your bowels from rebelling.
Here's a magnesium rich trail mix thats perfect for airport noshing:
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds
3 dried figs, chopped
2 squares dark chocolate, chopped
1/4 cup dehydrated banana chips
BYOE (bring your own everything)
How many times have you gone to the airport & been underwhelmed by the selection of food & snacks? This happens to me every time (& yes, I'm picky AF). Or maybe you planned to grab some fresh fruit & nuts, only to have a long security line eat up your all your time & leave you hustling to the gate. To reduce your exposure to processed, sugary & sodium-heavy foods, & to stop yourself from falling into the 'i'm travelling so it doesn't matter what I eat trap,' pack familiar nutrient dense foods! When I can be in control of what I eat, I choose to be in control! So, for the plane, I like packing a piece of fruit (for its fibre), nuts & seeds, rice cakes with single packet of nut butter, kale chips, home made energy balls, greek yogurt or chia pudding, hummus & veggie sticks, etc. It's important that you choose foods that you know you can stomach & that won't cause unwanted bloating & indigestion! These are also some of my hotel room must haves because they can be stored in a mini fridge, take only a few minutes to prepare & can be enjoyed when you're on the run!
tip: pack that magnesium rich trail mix in a mason jar so that you can eat it on the plane & then use the jar once you arrive at your destination. Mason jars are great for food storage since they won't leak in your bag, they are environmentally friendly & better for your health than plastic containers.
Foods to eat
When travelling, make sure you're including some (or all) of the following foods to promote the growth of good bacteria, keeping that gut working optimally.
tip: I always request a mini fridge in my room so that I can stop in at the local grocery store (whole foods is my favourite) & stock up on healthy nourishing food & drink to keep me on track.
fibre: both insoluble & soluble fibre add bulk to your food, helping you to feel full without consuming additional calories. Fibre is also important for regulating blood sugar & digestive health because of its ability to add bulk to stool, relieve constipation and help foods to pass through your digestive system.
prebiotics: help support your microbiome since they feed probiotics, acting as fuel for the beneficial bacteria that live in the gut. How to get it:
raw dandelion greens (salad)
raw garlic (hummus)
raw asparagus (smoothie)
probiotics: these are the good bacteria that line your digestive tract! They facilitates digestion & intestinal mobility, boost immunity, enable your body to use food nutrients, is the gatekeeper to our bloodstream, help starve candida, are involved in enzyme production! How to get it:
apple cider vinegar
Foods to avoid
processed food (anything with ingredients you can pronounce)
high sodium food
other foods you may have an intolerance to
These foods can disrupt our gut & promote the growth or harmful pathogens, leading to unwanted bloating & constipation (ugh). Sometimes you cant avoid some of these, or you just cant say no to that local made doughnut (I get it), so be selective as to when you're going to indulge, & perhaps take a digestive enzyme so you don't completely hate you life!
Don't forget to hydrate
water! Dehydration does not do the body good, & as obvious as it may be, people often forget to sip on h2o. staying hydrated is one of the simplest ways to stay regular! Yes, it's easy to forget to hydrate, but that's why I always travel with a water bottle (I like swell bottles) since it works for both hot & cold beverages, fits in my carryon & is looks trendy (perfect for all of those class you're going to hit up).
I hope this inspires you to travel a little more wellthy! What are some of your travel tips to stay on tract & keep feeling your best?
spread the wellth