How to Stay Healthy When You Travel
I love to travel and learn about new people, experience new foods and just get out of my own usual comfort zone. I just got back from an amazing work/vacation trip to Europe! It started with a week cruising on the Baltic sea, visiting new places I’d never been and then a week in Paris studying a different way of using ear acupuncture and walking around that beautiful city! I had never been there before! It was incredible!!
On my first day there I got the first bladder infection of my life!! OMG! I spent my first two days looking for toilets every 5 minutes! Paris doesn’t seem to believe in public restrooms. My travel companion kindly drank a lot of espresso so that I could use the restroom in various cafes!! Thank goodness I used my new acupuncture techniques on myself and was able to heal it.
If you’re sensitive like me, or have particular diet concerns, keeping yourself balanced and eating in another country can be challenging. I often find myself going off of my usual diet in new places. Things like foreign food, jet lag, pollution, and unknown risks will come up on any trip. But of course, while having a great adventure, you certainly want to have fun and feel great. I’ve come up with a few tips for you to continue to maintain your health while enjoying your time away.
Be as healthy as possible before you go. I take really good care of myself before a big trip to make sure that my health is in it’s optimal state. Then when I travel, I have more flexibility for things that may come up. My philosophy on my diet is an 85/15 rule. I eat what’s good for me 85% of the time and allow myself 15% leeway to enjoy forbidden foods, then, while I’m traveling, I usually go off the rails a bit and my body can handle it.
Do your research. Figure out where the good places to eat are. Be prepared to be exposed to foods that might trigger a reaction. If you have strict food allergies such as celiac disease – you can not eat gluten no matter what – so you will need to research where the gluten free places are in the cities you plan to visit. If you are merely gluten intolerant, you might have some leeway to eat things like pasta in Italy or a baguette in Paris (:)).
Take special enzymes with you. Many supplement companies make special enzymes to help process foods such as gluten in case you get exposed. One such example is Designs for Health – Protectzyme and Allergyzyme, which can help you digest gluten and dairy and process carbohydrates better.
Make sure to pack your supplements and additional “just in case” items. I have an extra supply of vitamin C, D, and probiotics, along with my usual supplements in case I get sick with anything. Vitamin D can boost your immune system when it’s challenged and so can vitamin C. Probiotics can protect your gut from the stress of new foods. I also bring pepto-bismol along with me, because it’s good for traveler’s diarrhea. Since I had never had a bladder infection, I couldn’t be prepared for that. But the vitamin C, D and probiotics helped boost my immune system and kept the infection from getting worse. Fortunately, I carry my needles along with me everywhere and was able to help myself with that.
*Here’s a list of “necessary” supplements to support your health in addition to your usual needs:
- Vitamin C – immune system
- Vitamin D – protects immune system
- Glutathione – helps detox
- Peptobismol – can heal traveler’s diarrhea.
- Host defense mushrooms – help fight off a cold or flu, protect immunity.
Get Grounded to Prevent Jet Lag. When you arrive in a new place, try to adjust to the new time zone by going to bed and getting up at the new time. Don’t go to sleep just when you’re tired, get yourself acclimatized to the new time by waiting to go to sleep until their time. Taking off your shoes and stepping onto an area where there’s grass or nature with your bare feet can help you get grounded in your new time zone. You can also buy special sheets that are called earthing sheets online, for people who travel a lot.
Stay hydrated. When you travel, your body uses more of it’s resources to stay balanced, making sure you’re hydrated helps protect your cells from injury and stress, so keep a bottle of water on hand. Especially when you are on a plane, the recirculated air and stressful environment can make you more dehydrated. Drink up!
HAVE FUN!! Make sure that your needs for comfort are taken care of, whatever they are, and then enjoy yourself! You’re on an adventure.
Wherever your travels take you, I hope you enjoy your time and that you come home healthy, refreshed and recharged. Let me know if you have questions that I can answer.