After months of counting down, tonight I am officially jetting off to France for a holiday! I’ll be taking a much needed break, to rest my hard working adrenal glands (stress glands) and take some time out to relax, be present, soak up the sunshine and the incredible scenery of Paris and the French countryside. The best part is I lucky enough to share this incredible experience with my Mum 🙂
The general response I receive after mentioning my upcoming trip to the France, is in regards to the abundance of bread and cheese and how I will personally struggle to keep up my healthy routine.
Sure, I am well that cheese and bread make up a traditional part of the French diet, but I am determined to learn how their food quality and manufacturing processes differ to the Australian standard. I want to show that healthy travel in France is possible.
Planning is key to a healthy holiday, so I have jotted down some of my favourite holiday planning tips, for your next getaway.
Mum has been on the main research duties and we’ve both used many resources to come up with a list of healthy dining hot spots in the areas where we will be holidaying.
Look for a variety of organic supermarkets, health food stores, farmers markets, cafes and restaurants to cover all meal times. Get ideas from the trusty Lonely Planet guide, google, your travel agent (that’s what they’re there for right?) and asking for recommendations from locals and health conscious friends who have traveled to the areas.
Being active should begin on your flight. Get up, go for a walk down the aisle, do some quick exercises and stretch away. Our bodies aren’t designed for sitting down over long periods of time, so moving will help promote circulation, prevent blood clots and help you feel mentally and physically energised.
While designing your itinerary, aim to include a combination of de-stressing, relaxing activities such as healthy sun tanning, fishing, beach and garden walks, along with others which will contribute to your fitness levels. Cycling, walking, swimming, snorkelling, diving, shopping and sight seeing (on bike and foot) are some ideas of how you can achieve this, while having fun.
I have prepared a meal to take with us, along with healthy flight snacks, to enjoy on my flight. I am yet to find an airport which serves nutritious food, so I always aim to come prepared to avoid the last minute ‘do the best with what you’ve got’ decision. The on flight food is also under my food quality radar, so while waiting for my flight and/ or on the flight, I will make the effort to nourish myself with a homemade meal.
Good options for you, include light vegetable or salad and plant based protein options. You can find some recipe inspo over here. Homemade meals and healthy snacks such as nuts, seeds, chia seed puddings and superfood bars are allowed on the flight, but can not be taken off the plane again. If this is not practical, ask for the ‘gluten free’ option.
STOP THE JET LAG
If you are travelling overseas, these simple steps may help to reduce the chance of jet lag, when crossing time zones in a short period of time:
Aim to get into the new time zone as soon as possible while on the flight. Mimic nighttime, if it means a sleep is best when it is still light. Darkness is the trigger for your body to produce the sleep hormone, Melatonin. Using an eye cover and drawing the curtains helps, as any bit of light can disrupt the ability of your body to produce adequate Melatonin and therefore feel sleepy.
Its a good idea to wear comfortable clothing on the plane. I’ve been caught out FREEZING a few times and struggled to get any shut eye, so be wary that the temperature can drop with everyone using their air vent. Take something warm for these times.
On arrival of the destination, seek out some grass to go barefoot and ground yourself. Stay awake until night time and avoid having a nap, as this will only confuse the body more. Organic coffee or dark chocolate, is another treat that can be used to push through the tiredness.
Once it is time to sleep, use herbs and nutrients that can help promote sleepiness, get a decent amount of shut-eye and reduce the next morning jet lag. Valerian, hops, passionflower, Theanine, GABA and Melatonin are my personal favourites. Some of these may need to be sourced from a Naturopath or Integrated Doctor before your trip. More tips on sleep here.
Personally while on holidays, I still want to be feeling my very best. Some important supplemental support I recommend while travelling, include:
- Non refrigerated probiotics (to enhance gut health, which can turn sluggish while travelling).
- Glutathione antioxidant and liver support (due to the radiation exposure when flying and assist any detoxing from rare holiday indulgences).
- Digestive enzymes (to support the digestion of foods).
- Sleep support supplements listed above (for the plane trip).
- Natural antimicrobials such as Wormwood, Barberry, Grapefruit, Rosemary, Thyme, Pau D’arco, Garlic and Oregano. Pine needle extract. If you come down with travellers diarrhoea, a particular healthy strain of yeast called Saccharomyces Cerevisiae (Boulardii) can be helpful. It works by irritating the bug, preventing it to adhere to the intestinal wall and therefore encourages its elimination from your body.
It is recommended to always get a letter from your health care practitioner for any practitioner only products, or prescription medicine, to avoid them being confiscated.
If travelling alone, use the time you have on the plane as ‘time for you’, to relax and unwind. You don’t have to be anywhere, do anything or speak to anyone- if that is how you feel. Taking your iPod and listening to a meditation, reading a magazine, or book, or simply kicking back and enjoying the online entertainment, will help you to promote a state of ‘rest and digest’ instead of ‘fight and flight’ -excuse the pun 😉
HEALTHY JET SETTING
Next time you’re jet setting off from your home town, or city, plan ahead to nourish your body physically, mentally and emotionally and you will enjoy a happy and healthy trip away.
Learn how you can nourish little ones while travelling over in this post.