Preparing for a trip involves more than throwing some clothes in a bag and jetting off. There are other things to consider, like, what will my body require when I am away from my normal food and health supportive routine, away from home?
I have seen hundreds, maybe thousands, of photos all over the web showcasing the healthy arsenal of goods that many people in my industry travel with.
Just a few weeks ago I let out an audible “You've got to be kidding me!”, when I saw one such photo on Instagram. A hyper dedicated healthy girl, had 30+ food items all tucked away in her carry on bag; kale chips, protein bars, homemade chia pudding (I have no idea how she snuck that one through security), nuts, seeds, fresh fruit, bags of veggies (literal bags of vegetables), the list goes on. She was going on a long weekend trip to PARIS. WT to the you know what.
Geez, are we taking this health thing too far?
Or do we all just travel differently?
Clearly some would look at this bit of goods that is in my carry on and think, who's the wacko with all of that weird stuff?
I am not an innocent in this game of traveling with healthy tools. After all, I coach my clients to always set themselves up for success, to preplan as much as possible, and develop a super strong sense of what their body requires in all situations.
It's just that my healthy arsenal looks a lot different than a huge bag of food, let me show you.
Healthy Travel Essentials for the Plane
Hand Sanitizer – I detest hand sanitizer, normally, I am all about introducing my body to germs. Germs are good. Go play in the dirt, it will build your immune system. Traveling by plane, however, is a different story. I get a little creeped out by the germs lurking on a plane, so I love this little spray bottle of essential oils. I spray down my tray table as soon as I get into my seat. Bonus, it smells amazing! You can get Eco Kindness entire travel collection here.
Peppermint and Lavender Essential Oil
I started flying with essential oils about a year ago and I am so sad that I didn't think of it earlier. My life is profoundly better because of peppermint and lavender essential oil. Seriously.
I am the weird girl, in the aisle seat, sniffing peppermint oil to settle my stomach, and lavender oil to calm me down. Sometimes, I will even rub a little lavender oil on my scarf, so I can sniff it through the whole flight. This is also beneficial if you have a smelly seat mate.
Flying bothers my stomach, I am not alone in this. Flying, as it turns out, is actually really difficult on digestion. I try to eat light on the day I am flying. When my stomach is really queasy I simply spray some bitters in my mouth and PRESTO! I feel so much better. My favorite brand is Urban Moonshine, and naturally I love the travel size. You can read more about the benefit of bitters here.
The air is dry, dry, dry on a plane, I get crazy dehydrated and constantly reapply Cinnamon Chapstick. SW Basics is my all time favorite brand, it's the bomb, with only 3 ingredients and super silky.
Digestive Enzymes – my pick Zypan
I NEVER leave home without my enzymes. Traveling to foreign countries and eating unfamiliar food can spell disaster for my belly. I take 3 with every meal and feel fantastic!
This is genius, magnesium the calm down mineral, helps your body relax and also helps to keep you regular. Do you ever get constipated when traveling? Well, meet your new best friend – his name is Calm, he will make everything better. Just mix it with hot water at night before bed, and drink up.
When traveling I may not be able to eat as many leafy greens as I am used to, so I like to travel with a greens powder to assure at least a daily dose. I'm currently loving this brand but I tend to mix it up. Simply stir into some water and drink on down 🙂
Vitamin D and Min-Tran and maybe a few more supplements 🙂
I am actually terrible at remembering to take supplements daily, except when I travel, for whatever reason I rely on them and find that I adapt much better to the added stress of travel when I bring them along. My supplement arsenal for this trip? Vitamin D, Min-Tran (more magnesium to help my body handle flying anxiety), probiotics (I travel with this probiotic, it's shelf stable so doesn't need to be refrigerated), Cod Liver Oil (for a good dose of Omega 3), and finally an herbal vitality supplement for increased energy and va-va-va voom!
So what's missing?
I don't pack bags and bags of food, and snacks, and emergency snacks, and whatever- else- you- want- to- call- them- snacks.
Experiencing another culture through food is EVERYTHING to me. Eating food where it was born, understanding how food is a part of another culture, teaches me so much more than a protein bar in my purse ever will.
I figure it out when I travel, there are always options. This morning at Laguardia there was not one, but 3 healthy dining options, and Laguardia is known as one of the “suckiest” airports!
With that said, airports can be rough, so try to eat before you get there if possible. I know plane food has not improved much over the years, (I have been known to throw an avocado in my purse at the last minute for the best airplane food ever known to man) but having bags and bags of snack food for a trip? Nope. Not me.
Disclaimer: I do need to mention here, so I don't piss anyone off, I know some people struggle with very serious dietary restrictions and because of this bringing your own food is necessary. You do you, that's great and I am in full support, but for the rest of us without dietary restrictions read on.
I remember while touring through Egypt, one very hot August afternoon (because only really really smart people travel to the Sahara desert in August) my friends and I were getting a little peckish. Our incredible tour guide, Haani, pulled over to the side of the road and came back to the car with bags of fresh dates and baby pears. We were all in bliss. I can't imagine missing out on that experience for a handful of almonds I brought to Egypt from Trader Joe's.
My favorite meal ever in Paris was a happenstance meal. If I had a bag of kale chips with me, I fear I would have never tasted the best Cassoulet ever and since.
While wandering through a small town in Provence a few years ago, Jordan and I stumbled upon a butcher shop. We were struggling with the language a bit so decided to just copy exactly what the person in front of us had ordered. After grabbing a baguette from the bakery next door, we rested on a ledge and tasted the world's most incredible cured meats. 10 years later we still talk about how we have never tasted anything like it.
What if I had a macro bar in my bag? Would this moment ever have happened?
Well, you get the point.
I travel because I am madly, deeply in love with this world. I am in awe of how others live, and interested to the point of obsessed with how food functions in each culture.
So, no, I don't bring food along with me.
Living a healthy life is much much more than a bag of organic Superfoods, it is being open to growth and experience, and that little butcher shop that you stumble upon in Provence.
I taste and experience what my adventure has to offer.
I do all this, while sitting in an aisle seat with a lavender scarf around my neck sniffing peppermint oil, spritzing digestive bitters in my mouth, reapplying coconut oil chapstick, and spraying down my seat mates' tray table with essential oil hand sanitizer.
I've still got plenty of “healthy” weird in me and I like it that way.
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