Health & Wellness Lifestyle

Summer Travel Health Hacks

by Meg Gerber July 26, 2019
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Summertime and the livin’s easy, but the eatin’ with all that travel can be tricky! Have a road trip, long flight, or trip overseas coming up? I’ve got you covered with my fav on-the-go tips for travel!

Fasting in Flight

The dryness and decreased air pressure in flight can cause slowing of gastric motility and delayed digestion. Flyers aren’t alone! Extended amounts of sitting in a car can put stress on the lower abdominal organs contributing to slowed gastric emptying and abdominal transit. In addition, research on fasting has been linked to a number of health benefits including improved digestion, cognition and energy levels (1). 

  • Pro tip: For flights or long car rides that are 6 hours or less, trial intermittent fasting-especially if you get bloated, unwanted gas, or acid reflux while flying-this means nothing to eat or drink except water or herbal teas!

BYO Breakfast!

Grab and go breakfast at a coffee shop or cafe are typically high carb, high sugar and IBS-unfriendly! Think: muffins, donuts and bagel sandwiches.

  • Pro tip: Plan the night before and bring hard-boiled eggs with some chopped up fruit and a handful of nuts or seeds. Looking for a zero prep option? I love these low sugar grain-free hot cereal cups from Wildway – I usually pack these with a container of fresh berries-ask for hot water once on the plane and add your berries once “cooked”.

Snack Smarter

Blood sugar spikes can make fatigue and jet lag symptoms worse-choose snacks wisely to keep blood sugar and energy levels balanced throughout the day.  

  • Pro tips: When snacking, always make sure to combine a higher carb food with a source of plant-rich fat to balance out blood sugar spikes.  Some great options include:
  • Plantain chips dipped into ½ an avocado (think:on-the-go chips/guac)

Choose veggie or bean-based options whenever you can to pack in the fiber! Some of my favorites include:

Bring a travel lunch bag to keep your produce/perishables cold! I love these freezer insulated Packit lunch bags.

Go Green

Travel can make for increased waste production – think: more plastic water bottles, to-go coffee cups, and utensils. Go eco-friendly and bring your own travel cups/utensils and napkins to minimize waste.

  • Avoid wasting multiple plastic water bottles in flight-ask your flight attendant to fill up your reusable bottle and make sure to fill it after getting through security!
  • Avoid getting cups at a coffee shop for 2 reasons-extra waste and hormone disruption-the plastic top can release carcinogenic chemicals into your drinks due to the hot temperature-bring a stainless steel cup like this one to your barista instead.

Concerned with clean water sources? – get this to-go water bottle that is refillable and filters out heavy metals like mercury and lead, pollutants and is even recommended to be used in foreign countries with sub-standard water supplies.

Keep Things a Movin’

Most of us can become more bound up or constipated when we travel (see #1 for reasons why); think preventively and support constipation before you leave.

  • Pro tip: Utilize magnesium citrate in a powdered form before and throughout your travel (especially if you get very bound up and tend to skip days when traveling); start with 1-2 tsp of mag citrate or CALM in hot water 1-2 nights before travel and each night that you’re away.
  • Prefer food support? Bring along ground up flaxseed-sprinkle 1-2 T to your breakfast each morning-it will support stool hydration to keep things moving along (but also, see next tip!).

Beyond The H20

Plenty of water, herbal teas and electrolytes will help keep you energized and your digestion happy as flights, car rides and long days on your feet can be particularly dehydrating!

  • Pro tips: Tryout nuun or ultima electrolyte packets-both sold @ Whole Foods.
  • Choose hydrating foods like lettuce, melons, citrus, cucumbers, celery and berries to keep water intake up.

Source: Mattson, Mark P et al. “Impact of intermittent fasting on health and disease processes.” Ageing research reviews vol. 39 (2017): 46-58. doi:10.1016/j.arr.2016.10.005