Tag: travel

Worried About Traveling Again? Here’s How To Protect Yourself…

traveling healthy

Are you about to take your first trip in a long time? Excited but still a little nervous? Then keep reading because I have some tips to make your travel experience a little more easy-going.

Or maybe you’re not nervous at all to travel because you’ve been vaccinated for COVID-19….

If that’s the case, you shouldn’t let your guard down even if you’ve been vaccinated. 

That’s because there are well over 200 viruses that are known to be able to infect humans. Obviously, COVID-19 is the one that’s still on everybody’s mind, but it’s clearly not the only one that can make you sick if you’re flying. 

So let’s dive in and explore how to keep your immune system strong and balanced before you trip.

virus particle

Start Taking Care of Your Immune System Now

Suppose you’re meeting close friends for dinner before you trip. Your friends order a bottle of wine. Toasts are made to being fully vaccinated and returning to life, and to your upcoming trip.

One glass of wine quickly goes down. Then another. And another. And by the next day, you’re all congested and your energy is way low because you couldn’t sleep (the wine and the congestion interfered with your sleep cycle). 

At this point, your immune system has taken a huge punch to the gut. (No pun intended; 80% of your immune cells are in your gastrointestinal tract.) The congestion can then lead to a cold or sinus infection. 

If you’re sensitive to sugar and gluten like I am, all it takes is one celebratory meal to make yourself sick. 

Or suppose, you’re going to a birthday party shortly before your trip. Allow yourself one tiny square of birthday cake but no more. It’s not worth jeopardizing your immune system for what may very well be your first significant trip in over a year. 

In addition to limiting alcohol and added sugars, start supporting your immune system now by fueling your cells with nutrient-dense superfoods. If you don’t have time to prepare meals with green leafy veggies, you can drink them down and have it delivered to your home

Because of COVID, in addition to green, leafy veggies, I’ve been getting more edible mushrooms in my diet. Mushrooms are one of the best foods for immune support. Just like my Organic Green Drinks make it easy to get green leafies in your diet, mushroom powders make it easy to get ‘shrooms. 

Organic Hand Sanitizer

Are you still using hand sanitizer after every time you go out in public? I can’t say I blame you. However, I am concerned about the long-term health effects to the gut microbiome when using conventional hand sanitizer so often. 

This is especially true if you’re frequently disinfecting your hands with antibacterial soap. 

And when I travel, instead of antibacterial soap, I use organic hand sanitizer or an essential-oils based disinfectant like Thieves spray. 

Another thing you can do is carry some extra napkins on you when traveling. If you have to open a bathroom stall door, whip out the napkin and use it to grab the handle. I know it may sound wasteful, but, hey, as the saying goes, reduce, reuse, recycle. Don’t grab a huge wad of napkins next time you’re getting coffee to go. But if you already have napkins or tissues on hand, why not put them to good use for the rare times when you fly?

Take a good Probiotic

 Especially important before I travel, I make sure I eat probiotic-rich foods and take a high-quality probiotic supplement to colonize my gut with friendly bacteria. I recommend the brand probiotic I take it’s called Bio-k. They have dairy and non dairy fermented options. To me it’s the best source because it’s fresh not a pill. I have one bottle for three day’s servings, each day, on an empty stomach. Then I wait 15-30 minutes before having my Green Drink. 

probiotic

Nasal Spray

The bone-dry air of an airplane is the perfect breeding ground for viruses. Now, in fairness to many airlines like Southwest, they have done a great job installing high-tech air filters that, according to Southwest’s website, offers “a full exchange of cabin air with fresh, outdoor air and HEPA filtered air every 2-3 minutes.”

But even so, the dry air on an airplane can cause microscopic tears in your nostrils. This makes it more likely for any potentially-pathogenic virus to penetrate the mucosal barrier in your nose and infect you. The antidote to this is moisturizing your nose with a saline nasal spray or nasal lubricant gel or oil, as soon as you get on the plane. (Or better yet, apply it before you enter the airport.) 

Viruses Aren’t The Only Concern When Traveling

COVID-19 is the predominant health concern for those traveling. But don’t forget about traveler’s diarrhea, food poisoning and other digestive maladies that arise. 

As I mentioned in a previous post I wrote about traveling with kids, I always make sure to bring remedies that will soothe an upset tummy. Read it to find out why I like yeast probiotic and Oregon Grape Root the best as well as tea tree oil for other health mini-crises that may arise while traveling. 

child on plane

Stress Management

And perhaps the best advice I can give is to not give into fear. 

One excellent way to keep negative or fearful thoughts at bay is to maintain a daily health-manifestation practice. Repeat a simple mantra a few times a day that you’re healthy and your immune system is supporting you and well-balanced. 

You can recite the mantra mentally so the person on the plane next to you doesn’t think you’re kooky. 

And don’t forget to take long, deep breaths several times per day. If you’re currently not doing that now and your trip is coming up, start a breathing/meditation practice today, especially if you’re somebody who experiences a bit of anxiety before a big trip. 

Chef V and kale

Traveling With Kids? These 5 Essentials Will Keep Your Kiddos (And You) Safe

SIBO - snacking

Disclaimer: As the parent of a furry kid named Coconut, it might seem disingenuous for me to be writing about traveling with kids. However, a couple mommy friends of mine recently came back from overseas trips with their little ones (one family went to Ecuador, the other to Cancun). Unfortunately, in both families, the kiddos got sick. So it got me thinking, if I were a momma to a human kiddo, what would I do to protect them?

The answer: the same way I protect myself when I travel, regardless if I’m going away for a weekend or to the other side of the world. And the remedies and tricks I’m about to share with you are totally safe for kids.

If you’re traveling with kids, bring these essentials along….

probiotics

Probiotics

More and more people are aware of the importance of gut health. Your gut not only dictates the well-being of your digestion, it’s closely connected with your brain. In fact, the gut is often referred to as the second brain. If you have poor gut health, your won’t be as happy. That’s a fact!

Green leafy veggies, such as the 7 different kinds in my Organic Green Drink are great for feeding the good bacteria in the gut. However, the bad news is that there are so many different probiotic supplements, it’s hard to know which one to get.

So what does this fact have to do with traveling with kids? Here’s what….

saccharomyces

There is one particular kind of probiotic that’s an absolute must when you travel. You see, not any probiotic will do. Not even the one you use everyday that might be working great for you.

When you’re on a trip you need Saccharomyces Boulardii. Sounds like a mouthful, right? When you take a mouthful of this probiotic it’s the best thing to either prevent or treat diarrhea. As this article on a children’s hospital website says, “Saccharomyces boulardii is  effective in treating diarrhea in babies and children.”

A mainstream medical institution wouldn’t dare conclude that unless there was enough evidence to back it.

Any brand of S. Boulardii will do. It’s easy to take. You just take a couple capsules a day when you’re travelling. I like Jarrow formulas. Jarrow is a trusted brand.

S. Boulardii is the only probiotic that’s a yeast strain. All other probiotics are bacteria. This means that this special probiotic can help kill harmful fungi that your kids’ immune systems aren’t used to.

oregon grape root

Oregon Grape Root

Sometimes you need to call in the big dogs (no offense to you, Coconut). If you’re travelling to a developing country, S. Boulardii will protect you and your kids from travelers diarrhea. But if you develop something more serious like a stomach bug, Oregon grape root is the natural remedy you need. The medication, Cipro, is famous for treating stomach bugs. Oregon grape root is the natural equivalent.

Studies have shown that berberine, a compound in Oregon grape root, kills parasites like amoebae. It can also be used for treating giardia infections (which can be picked up by ingesting untreated water). OGP also kills harmful bacteria. And if you’re eating rich food that causes heartburn or indigestion, OGP can help with those conditions as well.

tea tree oil

Tea Tree Oil

Essential oils are Mother Nature’s first aid kit. There are lots of essential oils that have therapeutic benefits, but if I’m taking one specific oil with me that’s highly versatile, it’s gotta be tea tree oil. Tea tree oil is good to carry with you at all times when you’re traveling because God-forbid your kid gets a bad cut or wound, tea tree (also known as melaleuca) is great for wound healing.

The oil will help kill any harmful bacteria that may otherwise lead to an infection. There’s nothing wrong with taking regular antibiotics when you really need them. But you can also use tea tree oil for extra protection.

Plus, TTO is great for relieving itchiness from insect bites. Your kids will think you’re a hero for making them feel better!

sugar free lollipops

Sugar Free Lollipops

Besides being a somewhat healthy snack for kids while travelling, there’s a more specific benefit of carrying these with you.

Because kids have developing ear canals, they are more vulnerable for experiencing ear pain when flying. Especially when landing.

Licking on a lolly activates the muscles that open up the eustachian tubes in the middle ear. Another helpful thing for your kiddies when flying is earplugs. Filtered earplugs equalize the pressure against the eardrum when the plane lands (and during takeoff; usually, though, ear pain is more of a problem during the landing phase).

The company, EarPlanes, has plugs for both kids and adults.

And besides lollipops, you should stock up on healthy snacks before you go. Bring a carry-on suitcase full of them. You don’t know if where you are traveling will have healthy snacks for kids, especially if it’s a developing country.

I’m not including obvious essentials like a first aid kit, baby wipes, sippy cups and entertainment. I’m only including a few essentials here that aren’t common knowledge. But if you bring these with you, you’ll feel secure that should a bout of traveller’s belly or flying ear strikes you’ll be well prepared.

Happy, safe traveling!

P.S. My favorite TSA secret is that you can bring anything frozen through. So freeze your green drink overnight and bring it through TSA to your destination.

Chef V and kale

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