Travel and Gut Health: A Two Part Blog Series
Part 1: 3 Min read
I wrote this blog post for instagrammer @reclaimedhealthjayde, but thought it was too good not to share with my readers as well. I know we're not doing much traveling right now with covid :( , but a lot of us are dreaming about our next trip when it's safe to do so. Hope you enjoy!
I love to travel. Even more so, I LOVE to eat. So naturally, exploring the local cuisine while traveling is as good as it gets. I spent most of my 20s traveling, and upon returning home, immediately planning my next trip. I was outgoing and adventurous, never met a stranger or a food too exotic, and I ate and drank everything in sight -including sheep’s brain once in Marrakech!
Traveling naturally gets harder as we get older. There are many more obstacles and responsibilities like school, jobs, relationships, or children, but I had no idea I would also add food sensitivities and gut issues to that list. It took me a long time to recognize what the problem was, but after years of struggle, I discovered and followed the Autoimmune Protocol and experienced significant gut healing and relief.
As I began to consider traveling again, I thought about how much harder it would be now that I had to worry about everything on my plate. I am strictly gluten, dairy, and soy free. I also have to be careful with nightshades and eggs, as I seem to have a threshold that I will reach and cross without warning. At first I felt hopeless like I would never be able to enjoy traveling and eating again. But this just isn’t true, and I want to give you some tips on how to keep your gut healthy and stay true to your dietary protocols while traveling and still have an amazing time.
PSA: The number one most important thing is preparation. If you’re like me you know you can’t just show up at a restaurant, cross your fingers, and hope for the best. So I want to walk you through some steps that will hopefully ease your anxiety during the planning and traveling process.
Pre travel Packing
1. Pack early
This will decrease your stress before your trip, and we all know the intricate relationship stress has on the gut. We don’t want to add stress to the digestive system just before a journey.
2. Pack your food staples
While we’re talking about packing, here are a few things you should consider taking with you just in case. Pack only things you will actually eat, and make sure they are shelf stable items. Taking your favorite spices or flour is a good idea if you plan on doing some cooking, as they may be hard to find or unavailable at your destination.
3. Pack containers and lunch box
Taking a small cooler to keep in your room if you don’t have a fridge, or a small lunch box that will fit in your backpack is a great idea. They even make backpack coolers now! This way you can keep snacks or lunch with you and you don’t have to worry about eating something that may be contaminated with an allergen or irritant. I also suggest taking some small tupperware or ziploc containers to hold snacks.
4. Pack Probiotics
You may already be taking probiotics, but if not, you should consider taking them before you leave. Make sure they are not the kind that require refrigeration, so they don’t spoil while you travel. Collagen peptides are another great item to take to support gut health. Here is a link to some handy travel packs you can dump into your water bottle on the go. vitalproteins.com
5. Pack Digestive Enzymes
This isn’t something you should be taking everyday, as it will impede nutrient absorption, but if you plan on eating out and are concerned about ingesting something that could make you feel ill during your trip, pop in a digestive enzyme to help quickly pass that meal through your system.
Stay tuned for part two next week where I will be discussing Travel and Gut Health: Pre Travel Preparations! In the meantime, follow me @lifestyle_innovations on instagram and find my autoimmune and chronic illness facebook group Lifestyle Innovations Autoimmune Support Group. facebook.com