The summer season is in full swing and with the school summer holidays approaching, we’re packing our suitcases and ready to embark on holidays, trips and adventures in the sunshine!
For most, travelling is the perfect way to unwind, relax and reset, but with all-inclusive food options, moving time zones and becoming a little more stationary than normal - we can often come back feeling worse than before we left, a vicious cycle! However, with preparation, a little extra room in your suitcase and lifestyle practices, you can feel amazing whilst on your trip & even better when you return!
Here are our healf tips:
1) Support your digestion
Complaints of constipation are common when we travel, especially if we’re flying - aircrafts are dry places with low humidity which can in some cases ‘dry out’ the colon, so it’s not just your skin that feels dry after flying! Not only can this make us feel uncomfortable and bloated, but it hinders our enjoyment of the delicious plates often on offer when we’re travelling.
- Fly, fasted - allow the muscles of your digestive tract to work without the distraction of digestion and opt for sipping lots of water and herbal teas instead throughout the flight. This of course depends on your flight time and ensuring you have some high fibre snacks such as nuts, seeds, lentil crackers, chia energy balls or collagen bars can help.
- Find your flow - our digestive system thrives off routine, which is why when we deviate away the norm, we have a freak out. Establish a regular eating routine, whether that’s a regular breakfast time for the first few days and schedule some time establish a flexible time near the bathroom too! It doesn’t have to be militant, but a sustaining meal every 3-4 hours should do the trick!
- Fill up with fibre - it’s easy to choose beige when loving life in the sunshine & that’s ok! Starting the morning with an extra serving of nuts, seeds or grains is the best option to enjoy the burger and chunky chips for lunch & then a large side of veggies with dinner!
- Find your fit - specially formulated supplements can give a kick start for bowel movements & can always be packed in the first aid kit for when things aren’t working. A last resort that we shouldn’t rely on but can give the kick start we may need.
2) Support your blood sugar
Dysregulated blood sugar can be the reason behind our energy crashes, cravings and then when we get home, that sluggish and fatigued feeling that we want to avoid! We definitely shouldn’t be saying no to ice cream when we’re away so here’s our healf hacks:
- Go Green with your Starter - whether it’s a buffet or a la carte, starting any meal with a green starter not only gets your serving of greens in for the day but also prepares your body for the main that’s to come. Stimulating our digestive juices and acting as a buffer for the sugars that might follow!
- High protein breakfast - that breakfast buffet can be a minefield & when there's the option to have cake for breakfast, it can be challenging! Opting between wonderful egg based breakfast or full greek yoghurt bowls with servings of nuts and seeds sustains blood sugar throughout the day, and you can always follow it with something sweet.
3) Get Moving
For some, holidays mean walking, hiking and running, whereas for others they may mean lying horizontally for the day. Both of which are essential for our health, but little movement CAN hinder our digestion, blood sugar, energy and our mind
- Morning movement - morning swim too, a post breakfast walk or a beach yoga class are gentle and enjoyable ways to embrace your surroundings! You could even pack some gentle resistance bands or ankle weights in your luggage to take part in a balcony flow too!
4) Set your cycle
Our bodies are tuned to a fine tune with our circadian rhythm being the base of our sleep-wake cycle, when we travel across timezones, we throw this off which can confuse our body.
- Set your rhythm - Professor of Circadian Neuroscience, Russell Foster is the author of the fantastic new book, Life Time: The New Science Of The Body Clock And How It Can Revolutionise Your Sleep and Health and shares how eating in accordance to our NEW timezone a few days ahead of travel trains our gut microbiome ahead of travelling and puts us ahead of the game.
- Light exposure - Being in the sun first thing in the morning is great for setting your internal clock ahead. As little as 15 minutes of daylight in the morning can be the boost you need and ending the day with darkness and as little light exposure as possible! We always have our eye mask packed in the suitcase for hotel rooms!
- Do the things that make you feel YOU - often, we say we’ll do all the things we read about and then never do them. Making a promise to yourself to do the things that make you feel good is the first step, plus - you’ll be the one feeling amazing at the end of the trip!
By Eleanor Hoath for Healf Journal