Healthy Travel Tips!
Happy 4th of July! My son and I did something very patriotic last week. We visited Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown and Yorktown. A must if you have children/grandchildren in the 5th and 6th grade when this time period in American history is being taught in school! It really solidifies the learning to be there and see the enactments. I learned so much and we had fun.
I was also reminded how challenging it is to be healthy while traveling and was inspired to do a blog on my top 5 Healthy Travel Tips!
Before you leave, your best bet is to maintain adequate sleep and a strong immune system. Keep your body nourished by minimally processed foods and sugars and stress management. If your immune system is suppressed before you take off by long work days, packing at midnight and junk food, you are optimizing your chances for catching the virus from the guy coughing next to you on the plane! Prior to figuring this out, I always caught a cold when traveling. Now, I take VitD3 at 10,000IU the day before, day of travel and the first day at your destination to boost your immune system. Vit C at 500mg daily is a must as well.
- Pack “Good Food”
The airlines generally do not provide food beyond junk food snacks these days. I recommend packing some healthy snacks for the entire trip. Nuts, nut butter, cut up veggies and homemade granola (see recipe below) pack easily and keep you going. Consider putting the dry ingredients for your morning smoothie in a zip lock and packing your Nutrabullet. If you have a refrigerator in your hotel, find the nearest healthy grocery store and stock up the fresh ingredients and Wha La, you have breakfast daily!
Air travel and changing time zones cause dehydration. Make sure drink good clean water prior to leaving – at least 16oz. Plan to drink 1 liter for each hour while on the plane (Probably want to choose an aisle seat!). Avoid alcohol on the plane, as that will further dehydrate you. Pick up bottle of water upon landing. And purchase some for your hotel room. The BPA in plastic water bottles is not healthy but probably better than the water from the bathroom faucet – Yuck! Use filtered water to brew your coffee or tea in your room.
It is essential to get a good night’s sleep prior to travel. I no longer book 6am flights for this reason! And make sure to practice good sleep hygiene while on the road. Shoot for 7-8 hours per night. I like to pack a sound machine or use an app on my phone for white noise. If you are traveling overseas or crossing time zones, try Melatonin 3mg one hour prior to planned bedtime. Begin the day before you leave and continue for 2 weeks upon your return. There is good data to show that Melatonin helps regulate your circadian rhythms to mitigate jet lag.
Book a hotel with a fitness center/gym so you can maintain your workouts while on vacation! If that is not an option, check out the local YMCA for a day or week pass. You can also pack fit bands or a yoga CD to exercise in your room. Pack running or walking shoes and see the sights. A hotel concierge can direct you to the best paths or even a jogging trail nearby.
Happy July 4th! Spend a few minutes this week to be thankful for all of the freedoms we enjoy!
Recipe courtesy of @healthyhappyhourwithShari
ENERGY BOOSTING GRANOLA
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 3 Tbsp pure maple syrup
- 4 Tbsp honey
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1 vanilla bean, scraped or 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 cups gluten-free oats
- 3/4 cup raw cashews
- 1/2 cup raw slivered almonds
- 1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
- 1/2 cup raw hazelnuts
- 1/4 cup flax seeds
- 1 Tbsp sesame seeds
- 1/2 tsp coarse salt
- 1/2 cup shredded unsweetened coconut
- 1/2 cup dried fruit like raisins, dried cranberries, dates, apricots
- Preheat the oven to 300°F and line a large baking sheet
with parchment paper.
- In a small saucepan over low heat, combine the coconut oil,
maple syrup, honey, brown sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla bean.
Once the brown sugar has dissolved allow the mixture to simmer
for 2-3 minutes.
- Combine all of the remaining ingredients, except for the dried fruit,
in a large mixing bowl and stir well to combine. Pour the wet
ingredients over the dry and mix well.
- Spread the mixture evenly over the baking sheet and bake for
30-40 minutes, stirring thoroughly every 10-15 minutes. *Be sure to
bring the granola around the edges of the pan into the center and
push the granola at the center of the pan towards the edges each
time you stir.
- In the last 10-15 minutes of cook time stir in the dried fruit.
- When done, allow the granola to cool in the pan. As it cools it will
harden and you can break it up into clusters. When completely
cooled, store in an airtight container.