Updated: Feb 7, 2019
5 Tips To Honoring Your Body While Traveling
Jet lag sucks.
And in the spirit of just traveling 33 hours via plane, I thought you may want to know how I stay so centered and healthy after incredibly long journeys.
Spending a half day or more of traveling, only to arrive feeling like a bag of horse poo is not my idea of fun. I feel the same way about jet lag as I do about hangovers; completely intolerable & unnecessarily miserable! I refuse to make either one my norm, so after many years of overseas travel and even living out of a van, I have mastered the art of optimal health despite the challenge of planes, trains, and automobiles. I quickly realized I was unwilling to forfeit my love of travel for my love of wellness, so I intentionally choose to honor both.
Whether you’re an adventurous wandering soul traveling for pleasure or a hardworking global business babe traveling for work, you DON’T have to sacrifice your body.
I see the way people treat their bodies when they travel (head shake). They add an extra cup of a coffee or 5, binge on sugar and sweets, avoid fresh foods, and feel totally entitled to do so because “hey, I’m traveling!”
If you want to show up to your destination feeling refreshed, ready and energized than read on for simple secrets to traveling like a health goddess. And when I say simple, I mean SIMPLE! You’ll be the envy of the entire plane & your colleagues, I promise!
1. STAY HYDRATED!
This is my number one tip for travel because it literally transforms your experience. There are 2 reasons you want to stay super hydrated. First, not to totally freak you out BUT you are exposed to 1000’s of toxins, chemicals, germs, and bacteria from around the world at airports and on planes. Water supports your body by flushing out unwanted intruders so they don’t linger in your body and accumulate. If you find yourself catching colds post flight, this is why! I totally understand wanting to avoid the plane toilet at all costs, but it's all in the name of detoxification!
Second, flying at high altitudes is very dehydrating and can cause grogginess, fatigue and headaches upon arrival. Drink 1 liter of water BEFORE your flight, and then bring 1 to 3 liters of water on the plane WITH you, depending on how long your flight is. Long haul flights, 10+ hours are best supported with 2-3 liters of water DURING the flight. Buy water or fill up reusable jugs and bring with you. Having it handy means you don’t waste 15 plastic cups, annoy the flight attendants, or risk not having enough water. I can’t tell you how many times flight attendants have refused me water because there wasn't enough. I’m not kidding! Once you’ve landed be sure to drink another liter of water within first 2 hours for added benefit.
2. MAKE YOUR OWN FOOD!
I am the envy of the entire plane (including flight staff) when I bust out my homemade snacks and meals. Seriously, eyes wander, mouths salivate and I am the one laughing in yummy bliss! When I was suffering with severe gut problems, traveling became a terrifying event. What would I eat? How would I avoid getting sick on the plane? Nutritious meals and bad ass snacks, thats how!
I’ve continued the routine even after my gut healed because it has made such a huge impact on jet lag & overall flight experience. I know you’re probably running through your list of excuses about why you’d never do this, but it is so easy it’s ridiculous. And you’re body is worth it girlfriend. First of all, I choose foods high in fat like macadamia nuts, avocado, and almond butter, which keep me satisfied and full for long periods of time. I bring dried and fresh fruit for a quick carb boost & sweet treat. The real show stopper is my roasted chicken and veggie dinner box that usually provides 2 meals so I can eat one during my connection and one on the plane. So while everyone else peels open their tiny container of chemicals, I’m feasting on high quality protein and organic veggies! AND I avoid spending the remainder of my flight in bodily agony.
Yes, you can absolutely bring fresh fruit & veg on the plane but must get rid of it before entering the next country. So eat it or give it to the flight staff before exiting. Other delicious treats include tea bags, mushroom elixir sachets (for energy & immunity) rice cakes/crackers, and Lara bars. My carry on does get a little crowded but it’s so worth it to avoid stomach pain, chemicals, and jet lag. My experience is significantly more pleasurable because of my Mary Poppins bag of goodies.
3. Avoid Caffeine & Processed Sugar
I know what you’re thinking, “you’re crazy, I need coffee to survive the travel.” Wrong. Caffeine will further dehydrate you, causing more jet lag & crash-like symptoms. Your morning cup is not the problem, it’s the 2-3 other cups you smash “because you’re traveling” that are the issue. Yeah I know all about those secret cups you sneak because you fear the exhaustion. I also know it’s easy to cave & live on processed sugar & foods while traveling. If you want to feel like a vibrant goddess when you land, don’t even look at the Starbucks cake & frappucino. Substitute with a raw nuts, plain yogurt, cold pressed juice, or fresh fruit. And of course, water galore!
I know it can be a struggle to sleep on flights but good sleep hygiene on flights is the same as good sleep hygiene at home. It’s a habit that must be built and practiced. So if you’re a frequent flyer you’ll want to master this step so traveling doesn’t constantly destroy your routine. This tip particularly lends itself to the long haul trips that reek the most havoc on our systems. Here’s what you want to do. If you’re flight leaves at 5pm, then eat your dinner on the plane, do some reading, work and limit one movie. Do not sit in front of the screen watching movie after movie. Check the time and aim to get to bed 5-6 hours after you took off, which would be no later than 11pm if you were home. Take melatonin, valerian root, or any other gentle/natural sleep aid and accept it wont be the best sleep of your life, but its still sleep that can support a long journey!
If you’re flight takes off later around 11:00pm, grab a quick snack, wash your face, and get comfy. Don’t turn your screen on and stay up watching a movie as that will wake your brain up and disrupt your natural circadian rhythm. If you’re not 100% tired then do some reading; that usually gives the sleep aid some time to kick in and knock you out. I recommend investing in a sleep mask and good quality neck pillow. You will more than likely wake up several times, but try to sleep at least 6 hours. If you’re lucky and willing to frequently adjust, you may even snag 8-10 hours of sleep!
I highly recommend adding a few quality supplements to support your journey. These 3 warriors will help protect you from bad bacteria, keep your bowels moving & relax your nervous system for better sleep.
1. Zinc & Vitamin C (for boosting your immune system prior to flight)
2. Probiotics (for fighting bad bacteria)
3. Magnesium (for healthy bowel movements & sleep support)
If you're new to supplementing these are 3 great options to add to your medicine cabinet anyway. They are gentle very effective. If you're unsure, check with your doctor or trusted health provider for information on dosage.
There you have it. It's not hard, but it does take some perspective shifting and habit breaking to begin truly living like the goddess you are. I love working with women who travel because I know how stressful and challenging it can feel to keep up the wellness routine. And once you've empowered your travel with these easy hacks, you will never again go back to dunkin donuts, belly aches and jet lag :)
Aloha & Healthy Travels,