If you think that the minute you leave your house, your ability to be healthy is thrown out the window- think again!
Here are three must haves for healthy travel. The bonus? They take little to no space in your carry on.
Have you ever lost your luggage? That hollow pit that forms in your stomach as the luggage carousel goes around and around...and no joy. You trudge to the baggage help desk, cursing everything in your bag that you wish you had with you.
My first tip, is actually a bonus tip: keep these must haves in your carry on. Rest assured that you will never be without the items that really can keep your health foundations, and enhance the experience you have whilst you're away from home.
Pre- Meditated Protein
Your body needs protein, whether you're engaged in physical aesthetic goals, physical strength goals, or not. Protein is responsible for supporting enzyme production that helps with food breakdown, and maintains DNA integrity.
Protein supports your muscle tissue, which requires more energy in order to function.
I say "pre meditated" because I want to challenge you to think inside the box. The box being- real food. Where are you traveling to? Where will you be staying? What do you expect food availability/ meal timing to be like?
Let's take two examples to show you what I mean.
Example One: you're heading to your family home for a long weekend. You're SO excited to have your Mom's lasagna, you know you're going to *that* café for breakfast in the morning, and you'll be back to your fridge in no time. You've already thought about the food that you'll have. All you have to do is take it one step further, and ask the follow up question: "will I get protein at each meal?" If the answer is yes, don't panic with the protein. If the answer is no, commit to buying the necessary food sources at your destination.
Example Two: you're packing your bag for a work conference. You'll be living out of a hotel room; you've already checked the website, and you know you have coffee/ tea making facilities and a mini fridge in the room. Breakfast is continental (who gets excited about stale blueberry muffins anyway?), but you know you have to have breakfast because lunch is going to be much later on in your work day. You've thought about what food you won't be getting. Not only are your meals potentially more spaced out, but you aren't in a "dine on demand" situation where you have the liberty of opening the fridge whenever hunger strikes. Don't be tempted to give the hotel the benefit of the doubt; you will need to make sure your protein needs are met!
What can you pack?
Your go-to protein powder
Do a bit of prep work and hard boil eggs
Turkey, beef, salmon, or chicken jerky
A sweet snack protein bar
Canned tuna or salmon- just make sure you opt for the easy open lids!
Gut flora diversity does more than supporting your gut health- beneficial flora plays a role in your immunity and mood support.
Your immune system needs the added support especially when traveling in order to appropriately defend from pathogenic bacteria as well as increased demand of processing environmental toxins (airplane fumes...yikes).
Where you're going is different than where you've been. Even if you're going home, where your Mom still diligently serves two different vegetables with every dinner, your gut flora has a serious turnover. If you're headed to hotel accommodation for the working week, it's equally as imperative where food choices aren't as diverse as what you'd shop for. If you can't guarantee diversity, you can (and should!) support it through a trusty probiotic.
Feel like the probiotic world is overwhelming? Check out these top tips on picking the best probiotic for you!
A Pair of Sneakers
Let's revisit the two examples from above:
Example One: long family weekend. The main purpose of your visit is to enjoy celebrating your Dad's retirement, or your cousin's bridal shower, or you just want to escape your weird roommates. Either way, putting time in at the gym might not be top of your priorities.
Example Two: work conference with the debatable continental breakfast offerings. You may very well need to look and feel your best for any potential networking opportunities that arise in your time away! Your hotel might have a gym; it's not great, but you can use it (need a programme to follow? Empowered Fitness has got you covered). OR your hotel might not have a gym, yet you need the headspace that you get from pounding the pavement.
In any of the above situations, you hold yourself back if you don't facilitate your own opportunity. Regular movement has been shown to support gut motility, cardiovascular stimulation, and more positive reflection of self. They can go in a backpack, carry-on case, or duffel. They're literally your lifeline to sanity; to lower stress; to improve self- confidence; to enhance productivity.
So. There ya have it. The three must haves for healthy travel!