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Gut Healthy Travel ‒ How To Maintain A Healthy Gut While Jet Setting

Written by: Chelsea Haines, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

Picture this – you've saved and planned all year for your tropical trip, and it's VAYCAY TIME, BABY! You get on that plane and immediately start daydreaming about all the fun things you have planned. But instead of sipping on something delicious besides the pool, you're stuck inside for the third day in a row.

Woman standing behind Eiffel tower during day time.

What started out as constipation converted into full-blown runs. You let out a sigh of relief because you're sure it's finally done; your exhale of relief turns into a rather audible burp that almost leaves you talking to the toilet. Great. Indigestion. While you might be casting your eyes and silently screaming - this is actually rather common. Best news of all -there is something (a few things) you can do to lessen the effects (or prevent them altogether). Research is revealing just how powerful our guts are. And with the holiday Vaycay season upon, I thought it was the perfect time to share my tips and go-to habits for gut-healthy travel.

What causes an unhappy gut while traveling:

There are various reasons why you might have an unhappy tummy and bubble gut while traveling. A change in routine, new cuisine, and disrupted sleep cycles could all play into it. Experts suspect it's also the air pressure in the plane that causes indigestion and discomfort! There are a few things to omit and add to your travel routine, so you don't miss a second of your well-deserved vacation.

What to avoid for gut-healthy travel

Stress


It's well known just how stress wrecks us – especially our gut function. And while traveling can be stressful, using tools like meditation and deep breathing can help remind us that this is the time to surrender to the moment and create opportunities for spontaneity.

Ultra-Processed foods

Ultra-processed foods can have a negative impact on your gut health, and thus overall health, on any day of the week. But, out of convenience, we definitely tend to eat more of these when on holiday. I'm not here to be a party pooper, either. Food is meant to be enjoyed – especially new cuisine you may have a chance to try! While on holiday, try to avoid exclusively junk food if you don't want to feel like... well -junk.


Overeating

Again - I am not here to tell you not to savor all the delicious new foods. But remembering that overeating could lead you to feel bloated, sweaty, and heavy, and disturb your sleep, might remind you that two slices taste just as good as 6. Choosing to notice the taste and textures as you chew each bite and breathing between bites, instead of immediately thinking about or going for the next morsel, is a nice easy way to stay present and mindful with your food.

What to include for gut-healthy travel

Grounding

Let your body know where in the world you are through grounding. Gut-healthy travel should take a holistic approach as it does in our life. The process is simple, get your skin in contact with the earth. As soon as you are able to remove those shoes and socks, get those feet to the earth, and ground your energy there. Take in the moment and the space. You may even realize that we are rarely barefoot. When we are, it's usually not in nature but on cold tiled or concrete floors. This process of grounding will help your body acclimate to this new place-in-space before you even take your first bite of foreign cuisine!

Plenty of water

I once asked an air hostess what her secret was to feel good and function at peak performance while she was always traveling. She was delighted to tell me that it's common practice among air hostesses to pre-load on water. And I'm not talking a glass or two- this air hostess, in particular, was drinking1 to2 liters before her long flights (12+ hours). Plus, you have to ask for more tiny water bottles on the plane (helloBPA). To be safe, rather pre-load on plenty of water before your flight. Bonus hydration points by adding Trace Minerals (linked for 10% off) or other hydrating elements like Organifi's collagen support hydration beverage called Glow.

Movement for gut-healthy travel

Have you heard the saying that sitting is new to smoking? Whether not you subscribe to this thought, we can not deny that movement is something your body not only loves but craves. While the thought of a window seat is romantic, an aisle seat is a real love. Being able to get up and stretch your legs and go to the bathroom whenever you need to is ideal. Joyful movement before and after your flight also helps to keep blood circulating and your gut at ease. Sneaking in a few extra steps before you fly (a perfect chance to explore that new airport!) will help you feel a little more settled while you fly, but it'll also set up your body to be able to rest on the plane. Flight after-care is also imperative. Having even a 5-minute post-flight stretch will help.

Bonus Tips for gut-healthy travel:

Snacks


Pack snacks for a healthy go-to nibble while you travel. I also make sure to pack some lightweight essentials, like a homemade granola bar or a bag of nuts, that I can snack on while I'm on vacation. Pack a snack and water every morning of your trip, and you'll keep “hangry you” at bay all vaycay long.


Sleep


Sleep is one of the most important pillars of good health. If you want to soak up every precious moment of your trip, then this is not the time to be messing with it ‒ especially if changing time zones! Utilizing these tools like proper hydration, grounding, and movement will help you reset your circadian rhythm.


Enjoy the variety


Your gut loves many things, but two of its favorites are plants and variety. Take advantage of the new place you're in and enjoy the variety of foreign cuisine wherever you are! You’re doing your gut a favor.


I hope these tips help to keep your belly at ease while on holiday. Bon Voyage!


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Chelsea Haines, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Recently featured "The Gut Health Coach" by Yahoo!, Chelsea Haines has a unique way of helping high-performers heal. She doesn't claim to know best. Her mission: to remind you that YOU are the expert on your body, only you know precisely what you need, and you are not "crazy" for feeling how you feel. Her expertise stems from personally healing autoimmune disease paired with formal degrees in psychology, gut health, and mindfulness. She’s the Founder of The Gut Health Agency, where a team of health coaches & Registered Dietitians merge health coaching with clinical testing for increased patient compliance and lasting habit change ‒ a needle-moving combination not otherwise seen in the gut health space.

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