A friend recently asked me for some tips for staying healthy while traveling, and I thought that perhaps our savvy readers here at Green Upgrader would be interested too! Admittedly, it's been years since I've traveled internationally. But since I live in Hawaii, island-hopping is a very good, affordable substitute, and I am not complaining!
Whether you are traveling on short island trips or international adventures, even a few days away from home can disrupt our dietary patterns and mess up our digestion and nutrition. Here are few tips that have gotten me through international travel to Southeast Asia, mainland United States, and Europe. If you are staying closer to home this summer, here is another post about healthy backpacking foods. Hopefully you will find all of them useful!
Drink your Veggies
Green drinks are an easy, simple way to ensure that you get some daily greens into your diet. My favorite brand is AmazingGrass, which is a dry powder that includes barley grass, wheat grass, spirulina, veggies, flaxseeds and probiotics. Simply mix the powder into some water and drink! This oddly colored beverage gives you a nutritional boost when you are not eating your best. You can buy single-serve packs or larger containers in various flavors. There are many brands on the market– ask your health food store for some samples, they should always share! But be careful, some are sweetened with fructose (PowerPak) and others have dairy (Spiruteen), so I recommend avoiding those.
Get your Vitamins
When we're at home, most of us probably eat a pretty balanced diet and get adequate amounts micro- and macro-nutrients. But when traveling, we might be missing out on some important stuff (in Germany, I subsisted on beer, pretzels and Kaesespaetzle, the German version of macaroni and cheese!). In addition to greens powders, you might want to bring along some simple protein or meal replacement powders. The really good ones are Vega, Garden of Life and Sunwarrior– these all feature a variety of plant-based proteins, vitamins, minerals and more. These can often just be mixed or shaken with water for a quick boost to make up for all that beer! Check out the Lunchbox Bunch and Choosing Raw for some reviews of protein powders.
Make Quick Superfood Snacks
Granola bars, Larabars and other snacky foods are helpful both for long travel times (air, train, car, what-have-you), but they can also come in handy when there is just not enough food around. If you have time before your trip, make up some healthy superfood snacks like Homemade Larabars or these Mango Sunshine Cashew Bites. If you don't have time to prepare your own, stock up on Larabars, WaiLana bars or similar. Always be sure to bring along nuts, seeds, kale chips and dried fruits too, for some snacky fun. And be sure to restock anytime you can along the way– sample the local versions of trail mix, granola and get fresh fruits whenever you are able. These foods will get you by in a pinch, and keep your sweet tooth happy! And if you have even more time before your trip, prepare some wholesome, homemade airplane meals– an important start for any trip. Start your holiday off healthfully with pre-made salads, trail mixes, and wraps. My New Roots and 101 Cookbooks both have some great suggestions. As long as there is not liquid, most foods can be taken on the airplane without a problem.
Keep your Belly Healthy
During my time in Indonesia, I often found myself with 'Bali Belly'– an unhappy tummy from unclean food. To avoid all that awfulness, take probiotic supplements before, during and after your trip to keep your intestinal flora happy and balanced, which can decrease the likelihood that you might become ill. Additionally, acupuncturists and naturopathic doctors recommend liquid collodial silver and grapefruit seed extract to keep our tummies happy on international trips. These supplements kill off the bad stuff that makes us sick. Check with a practitioner to find which method is best for you.
Hopefully these tips will help keep you well on all your holidays! Happy trails!