Wellness Beets – Episode 5: Nutrient Boot Camp, Travel Foods, and Fighting the Flu

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Travel Tips

Things to buy at the airport: Starbucks has Kerrygold Butter so you can ask for a bulletproof coffee, large salad (or buy 2 small ones!) with protein on top (like chicken, steak or beef jerky/sardines you bring), nuts, soups (just make sure they’re not thickened with flour), bunless burgers with guac on top, or chipotle. Buy duty free if the airport options are slim abroad.

Things to bring with: Wild Planet tuna packets, sardines, salads, wraps, snack pack nut butters, olives, guac. Alex’s top travel foods can be found in this post.  Brittany’s top travel foods can be found in this post. (Brittany’s philosophy: everything can be made portable with some planning.  Alex agrees.) Take a small insulated lunch bag and throw away containers and utensils.

Click here to get your free  PDF of The 15 Best Travel Fruits and Veggies. I keep mine in my pantry and take it to the store with me to make sure I’m not missing anything.

On the plane: most airlines have gluten free options that are rice based. But we recommend bringing food along anyway.  You can look up specifically what foods the country you’re traveling to allows.

Traveling and Food Thoughts: While traveling, we’re much more flexible. We will try foods normally outside our typical diet as long as it’s not something that we’re severely intolerant to. We’re only in those countries for a small time…make the most of it!

Attitudes Abroad That We Might Consider Adopting:  Food regulation is more strict with fewer additives overall. For more on this, check out Brittany’s pictures on Instagram.  Much more concern for the environment. Signs posted everywhere for water conservation, limited use of paper items, and well-labeled recycling bins.  People are more understanding of the seasonal aspects to food availability and make the most of what they have at the time.  There’s not a sense of everything-is-available-all-the-time.

 Click Here for Brittany’s Self-Care Tips for Traveling

Natural Flu Fighting

This episode is when both Brittany and Alex were sick…so excuse the nose sniffling and hacking cough.

Brittany got sick while traveling and resorted to Vitamin C rich smoothies and new medications/nasal spray to get through.  Biggest traveling while sick lesson learned:  Let your body rest, even if you’re missing a few things.  Brittany’s plan at home includes chicken soup, sipping bone broth, and a honey/cayenne pepper/lemon/ginger throat soothing cocktail.

Alex also does a lot of bone broth, liver, and soups with loads of vegetables while sick. Warm water with lemon and lime juice squeezed in (vitamin C).

But mostly Alex does herbal remedies that include a virus fighting gargle rinse, ginger lime tea, oregano oil steam bath.  See the complete list and other natural interventions here.


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You can get your free 15 Best Travel Fruits and Veggies by clicking here.



Self-Care Tips for Traveling

Spring break is over and signs of the new season are popping from the Earth. Bits of green grass and flowers are persevering over the lingering cool weather. The sun is lengthening the days. And my body is going through adjustments. After a bitterly cold winter and traveling throughout March there is much I want to shed before stepping into the new season.

The cold drove me indoors more than I like, leading to less socializing and the travel has left me depleted. Between juggling time differences, healing from the flu, shocking my system with new foods and changes in weather, I’m ready to embrace spring and a new routine.

I’m incredibly grateful for the past month’s travel experiences. With the amazing Mexican restaurants in Los Angeles, explorations across Italy with my sister and ending with discoveries in urban and rural Malaysia, I learned a great deal about the world and I’m excited to share all that I observed. This means making time to record the journey, scheduling dedicated writing time, getting into a work flow that speaks to my energy levels and learning how to manage the anxiety that comes with wanting to share it all at once.

The past few days I’ve pondered what to share first. And I keep coming back to the stress of traveling. Travel is a beautiful gift. To have the opportunity to practice world citizenship should not be taken for granted or bemoaned. That being said, travel does present certain stressors on health. For me that includes, motion sickness, worry over available foods, mistakenly eating an  allergenic food, irregular sleep schedule, constipation and triggering my eating disorder. Recognizing this list helped me prepare for all the situations.

Issue: Motion Sickness

Solution: Mostly due to recycled air and lack of sunlight on the flights, I try to sit in a window seat so I can sneak peaks of light when I need it. Eating ginger chews and drinking ginger tea both helped to calm my nausea and distract from the queasy feeling.

Issue: Worry over available foods

Solution: Airlines are accommodating to dietary restrictions. They have vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, egg-free, kosher, gluten-free and other options depending on the airline. I selected the gluten-free meal and was impressed with the offering. The foods were mostly rice-based and less vegetables than I typically eat but not bad for an airline meal. The best option is to pack your own meals and bring snacks. I brought a sardine salad for dinner and sweet potato mash for breakfast in throw-away containers on the flight to Italy. The return flight is where I had to get creative. I still had packed sardines and a few other snacks to supplement the provided airline meals.

Issue: Mistakenly eating an allergenic food

Solution: Always have an EpiPen if you have a severe allergy. If it’s more of an intolerance then drinking lots of water and supplementing with l-glutamine help.

Issue: Irregular Sleep Schedule

Solution: Both of my outbound flights were overnight so my regular sleep schedule told me to sleep as soon as I boarded the plane. It was smooth sailing on my flight to Italy and I was out for six straight hours. An eye mask, ear plugs, neck pillow and blanket contributed to the sleep success. Unfortunately I was more restless on the flight to Malaysia. When we arrived to our layover destination, my energy had hit rock bottom. Then we discovered the coolest offering at the airport, a full service spa with gym, lap pool, which is kept clean with the best pool pumps, hop to these guys to find more about this too. I booked myself a massage then parked myself in the lounge for a few hours of sleep before our next flight. Many international airports offer comfortable reclining seats for rest during layovers and spas are becoming popular as well.

Issue: Constipation

Solution: Whenever my routine is altered, my digestive system is the first to notice. I use a few tricks to alleviate these symptoms and get things moving again. Hydration is priority. I start upping my water intake a full week before planned travel. Taking breaks for movement helps as well. I’ll do squats and certain yoga poses in the bathroom or back of the aisle, anything to get my body out of the seated posture. 

Layovers are helpful ways to get in exercise too. Some airports have gyms and there is even a yoga room in the San Francisco airport that I love. But really walking is all you need and most   concourses are long enough. If you have the time, find a spa and schedule a massage.

Issue: Triggering my eating disorder.

Solution: The importance of scheduled meals is the first thing I learned from my eating disorder therapist. When you’re on a path of breaking poor habits in exchange for healthy behavior it’s critical to have a set routine. I’ve been married to this principle ever since. To maintain a healthy relationship with food I need regularly scheduled breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Once I deviate from this it’s challenging to right the path.

During the flights I was bombarded with food. The airlines have determined that the best way to pass the time on lengthy flights and keep customers happy is to keep the food flowing. To deter myself from falling into dangerous food patterns I set a meal timer. When the timer beeped I knew it was time for the next meal. I set the timer for every five to six hours. I knew that if I ate enough food at each meal I would not be hungry or tempted to snack in between. And it worked. I was able to stick with my regimen and not have food regrets. 

Self-Care Tips for Traveling

It has been almost been a year since I accepted my eating disorder and sought progressional help to begin the healing. I’ve learned that I’ll always be mending my distorted relationship with food and that’s okay. Acceptance and therapy have given me the tools to manage it. Travel is just one of the challenges I face and with these solutions I’m a healthier woman.

What helps you practice self-care when traveling?