In the last few weeks I've travelled from Tokyo to Germany to Florida and staying healthy while travelling is something I've gotten used to over time. What are you up against with your food options?
Here are the things you want to watch out for (especially when travelling long distances):
- Dehydration (dry air)
- Poor Circulation (from sitting and also from the cold airplane temperatures)
- Constipation (from lack of movement and processed airplane foods)
- Jet Lag (aka crazy sleep cycles)
And here's what you can do to minimize how travelling can affect your body:
1) Order a gluten-free meal (on the airplane)
Avoiding gluten is not the reason why I choose gluten-free meals on the airplane (I'm not a celiac or 100% gluten free). I choose it because the meals are usually much healthier overall.
For example, the options for the rest of the passengers for our first meal were cream pasta or steak with potatoes. For me, it was grilled chicken and rice with vegetables.
For a snack, everyone received a cheese danish but I received fruit and nuts.
And for the second meal, everyone else received burgers (first time I've seen a burger on an airplane!) but for me, I received fish and rice with vegetables.
Other than nutrient content, I like this because it's really important to stay hydrated on flights because you can get dehydrated very easily -- receiving rice and fruits are much more hydrating than having the bread staple. Hellooooo great bowel movements.
2) Keep yourself warm with these items:
Leg Warmers: I love to bring leg warmers with me and just put them on on the airplane. The coldest part of the plane can be on the floor so your feet can be especially cold compared to the rest of your body. I recommend picking up leg warmers from a ballet dance studio because the material they use are really comfortable and super effective as opposed to just buying long socks.
High waisted underwear: Totally warm (and totally NOT sexy :( ). I'm not just talking about granny panties that are large - I mean finding underwear that comes up to your rib cage and covers your whole stomach. Keep your belly area warm will really help with digestion and circulation.
Scarf: It's so easy to get sick on the airplane with all the stale air and people coughing and sneezing. Keep your neck warm to prevent catching a sniffle!
3) Opt for Herbal Teas instead of Caffeine
Whoa whoa whoa...I'm not saying cut the coffee out of your life forever...but it could really help you with travel if you avoid caffeine since it'll dehydrate you (which isn't helpful when it's so dry on the plane and your skin is flaking off) and it'll also mess with your sleep cycle and make it tough for you to get on the right circadian rhythm.
When you have herbal teas, especially something like ginger, you can keep your body warm while also boosting your immune system which is just what you need in a high-sick-risk environment.
4) Stretch your body, massage your calves
Body care post travelling is super important for your circulation. You've been sitting for so long so you want to stimulate your flow. Do some stretches to open your hip area and loosen up your back.
And, before you go to bed, massage out your calves (soak them in hot water will help immensely!) so they don't cramp up when you're sleeping and make you wake up feeling like you're carrying two fish tanks on your ankles from all of the swelling due to lack of poor circulation.
So, there you have it!
I wanna know: do you feel like your cultural environment prevents you from eating healthily? Share with me a comment on what obstacles you face (could be anything from large portion sizes to lack of variety, etc.).