How I stay healthy whilst traveling
Whilst traveling and staying healthy isn't the easiest thing when you don't live in Europe, it's still doable. It just requires commitment.
If you know what America is like, you know that food is cooked in an abundance of vegetable oil, crops are sprayed with carcinogens, and animals are fed who-knows-what and kept in horrible living situations affecting the quality of their muscles. So, you're eating that unless you go out of your way to do otherwise.
So, depending on the travel, it depends on how I eat and stay alive (LOL), so I'm going to break this blog post into two categories...America and Europe/Australia. Whilst Australia still has a lot of unhealthy food, healthy food is easy to come across if you are in a main city like Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, etc.
Firstly...I'm celiac and have been gluten-free forever.
Here are some general tips no matter where you're going:
- Drink filtered water as much as possible. I find that drinking filtered water at home, and then in new cities/countries, helps to reduce my stomach getting irritated from such different tap water. Your gut gets thrown off as it is with travel, so try to reduce added irritants (and notice what really throws your gut off).
- Keep the same morning routine. Our bodies are cyclical beings that like to do the same thing at the same time every day for optimal health. WE LOVE a rhythm. I drink green tea every morning without a doubt at home, so I do the same when traveling to keep my bowels moving and my body knowing it's morning time 😉
- If you're feeling bloated/constipated when you arrive at your destination...eat simple foods that are easily digestible and don't overeat. You want your bowels to be able to clean themselves out (and if you snack a lot it disrupts its cleaning process) quickly and easily. So I prefer to eat lighter foods when I arrive like fish and greens (with a TON of water) until I've taken a high-five-worthy shit 💩 and then I'm grabbing the pasta and gelato when in Italy!
- Drink a lot of water. In 2022 when we were flying to Greece, I started getting a UTI on the 3rd flight, and I was like no, not available for this. Well, I put it on my IG story, and I had a flight attendant share with me that you get so dehydrated on flights that you need to be essentially drinking so much water that you feel sick ..... 😳. I mean, I was drinking A LOT of water, but flying from Melbourne, Australia to Greece was a long-ass trip, and being asleep for 8 hours probably didn't help. Now, I'm the woman asking for 4 bottles of water when getting in my seat and getting up every hour to pee. And I have no shame.
- Pack some snacks for your flight home in case you're dying of starvation with a delay or couldn't find any food that you could bring on your flight home. Just don't eat it while you're away! You HAVE to keep this as your emergency food for your way home!
- I wash my face when getting on the plane to sleep (for day flights sometimes I will, but I don't worry as much) and put this oil on my face to protect my skin from intense dehydration.
- Make sure you're getting your normal amount of sleep (7-9 hours) every day (even if it means naps because of jetlag) to help support your cortisol and adrenals so that your cycle doesn't go completely out of whack.
- Take plenty of Magnesium, Vitamin C, and Elderberry to keep your immune system strong and hormones balanced.
- If you struggle with your cycle going out of whack badly when traveling (don't stress about a few days, it's seriously okay and normal! You're changing A LOT when you travel). Keeping a regular sleep/morning/sunlight routine will help a lot. You can take Vitex too if you want, but that's something that should be taken consistently before/after travel to help keep your hormones balanced. As with everything though, fix the root of hormonal imbalances ;)
Traveling within America:
- When eating out, opt for grilled (it'll have much less vegetable oil if they use that), and steamed veggies. When we're going to restaurants, I push for farm-to-table, Japanese, and Mediterranean because they often use EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) with nice Mediterranean restaurants, farm to table should be well, and with Japanese, I eat raw so I don't have to even worry (or it's often some sesame oil which is fine in moderation).
- Wherever we go, I'm googling "Wholefoods close to me" and going to get Guac, Siete Chips, cashew milk (I get Elmhurst, but if they don't have that, then I get Almond MALK as the ingredients are simple and clean), and Seven Sunday's cereal for breakfast. Plus berries, bananas, and anything else that is easy to keep in a hotel room. American breakfasts are so unhealthy and, in my opinion, just gross.
- When we are skiing, we always have kitchens, so I cook for us, and when we aren't skiing, my Wholefoods haul gets me through having very high meals (if there isn't much that's good). At the end of the day though, a little bit of vegetable oil isn't going to kill me. When you have an anti-inflammatory diet 98% of the time, take your high-quality supplements and eat high-quality food when you're at home, you're going to be okay. The stress of food anxiety is worse than a bit of canola oil, trust me.
- If we're flying somewhere over a mealtime (like lunch, breakfast, or dinner), I'll always bring food. Most of the time (except in my luteal phase), I can last 8-9 hours without food. (Thanks to balanced blood sugar), but I always like to bring something because if the flight is delayed…it will be hell on earth for myself and my fiance if I'm stuck without healthy food in an airport. I'd rather bring more and not need it than not have anything at all.
Traveling to Europe/Australia
- Obviously, on these long flights, I'm bringing my food and meals. I'll bring a meal to eat a few hours after we take off, and then I'll fall asleep. For Europe because it's just 7-10 hours (depending on where we're flying to), I'll bring dinner and then a snack for the morning. For Australia, because it's about a 24-hour journey, I'll bring dinner and then LOTS OF SNACKS. I'll be sure to share on my social media (and if I have time, I'll record a Youtube Video) what I pack for these long trips because they can be a nightmare if you don't want to eat plane food. And while some people fast on the plane (good for you), I cannot. The high altitude and stomach acid on an empty stomach turn me into a bloated balloon who feels like her stomach acid is eating the lining of her gut. Not a happy camper.
- The food quality is obviously impeccable in Europe, and in major cities in Australia, it's the same. Fresh food is what people live on, and you can rest assured that every restaurant has a healthy option. I don't worry about what restaurants we go to when traveling here because everything is something that I can and want to eat. Gluten-free options are the norm, and veggies cooked in EVOO is the standard.
- Breakfasts in European hotels are the best in the world, and every Australian cafe has poached eggs and smashed avo, so you're literally set for the day.
- In Italy, I eat dairy, and I'm completely fine. There's no need for restriction because the quality is impeccable, so my stomach can handle it without a blimp. In Australia, I'll avoid dairy in large quantities like ice cream, heaps of cheese, and milk, but a sprinkling of parmesan or some feta in a salad is fine.
- When in Europe, I still enjoy doing some Pilates when I can, but I walk so much that I allow myself to have a break from my normal workout routine so that my body gets a shake-up (it's good for it) and so I'm excited to get back into my routine upon returning home. When in Australia and America, I'll do Pilates daily or a long walk (unless skiing) to keep up my exercise routine. When I'm visiting Sydney, I'm often walking around Bondi beach a lot, so I'll do like a 15-20 min toning class in addition to walking or visit a Pilates studio instead of a long walk. I don't stress about my exercise when I'm traveling because taking a break from routines is always a nice thing.
So that's it friends! Nothing crazy special, just a commitment to my health and desire to feel good.