As you might have seen on my IG, I recently travelled to Paris, Hong Kong and Phuket with friends. I had been to Paris (lived there for 3 years) and Thailand (Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Ayyutaya) before, but never to Hong Kong and Phuket, so I took great pleasure in exploring these new destinations. Who doesn’t love to discover new cities, new cultures and new food ?
Before I go into detail about what the title promises, I want you to know something : Travelling used to be extremely tricky for me. Not just because I was away from my beloved Vitamix or couldn’t go to the gym whenever I pleased. It was a bit more complicated than that.
Travelling can be extremely difficult for people with an eating disorder (or for anyone trying to be healthy, for that matter). You are being ripped out of your normal routine. You are no longer in the safety and comfort of your own home. You are torn between wanting to discover the local food, but not wanting to indulge too much. You can’t stick to your workout routine.
It used to be a big battle for me. Holidays used to equal eating like crap and feeling guilty about it afterwards. At the end of every holiday I would plan out in extruating detail how I would « hop back onto the bandwagon » once back home, how I would eat twice as healthy and work out double as hard. How I would discipline myself and be stricter than ever before to make up for the wasted time. Oh, what a struggle it used to be…
These days I am more relaxed when holiday time approaches. I still plan and prepare myself in order to stay healthy & active as much as possible, but I no longer obsess about it and let it put a shadow over my travel experience. I accept that I will waver away from my usual eating habits and that I will not be able to work out as much as usual. I will try local dishes whenever I please, but never compromise my food philosophy for it. Moderation and balance has become my travel motto.
That being said, I want to share a couple of tips on how to stay healthy while traveling with you.
On the plane
- Try to stay away from airplane food as much as possible. Did you know that our tasting senses get less and less the higher the altitute ? That is why airline catering companies have to add crazy amounts of salt into the dishes in order for them to remain tasty. Salt deydrates you, and combined with the already dry air in the plane you will come out of that plane drier than a stranded fish. Instead, bring your own food such as nuts, bliss balls, boiled eggs, cut up veggies and homemade hummus, healthy snack bars, kale chips etc. If you are on a really long flight and you cannot bring enough food to survive the entire trip, I suggest contacting the airline beforehand and at least order a vegan/vegetarian glutenfree option.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. The moment I am through security, I buy a big bottle of water and ask the crew to refill it for me whenever it is empty. I also bring my own herbal tea’s + stevia to make my own tea. I suggest bringing chamomille tea for relaxation and peppermint tea for when you want to energise yourself.
- Light, sound and comfort play a huge role in your ability to sleep. I make sure to always bring a scarf, eyemask , fluffly socks and earplugs with me to cancel out the outside world and doze off.
- Essential oils are a healthy traveller’s drug ! I like to take lavender and peppermint oil with me, to calm me down and energise me, respectively.
- During the flight you are even more exposed to toxins than usual. Once landed, you should take chlorella/spirulina tablets to flush out all the nasties and drink some electrolyte & potassium - rich drink such as coconut water.
- Bring your favorite superfoods in sachets. I normally use superfoods in my smoothies/juices, but while travelling I will just mix them with a glass of water in the morning for that shot of vitamins.
- Give probiotics a try. I used them the first time during my recent trip and felt that they really helped. I would take them right before a meal that I knew would not be good for my stomach, to help my body digest the food better and faster. I only twice had stomach issues during my two week trip, which I consider a new record.
- Inform yourself about healthy food options in the area. Obviously you will want to explore the local food culture, but it is nice to be able to go to a restaurant in which you understand the menu and are familiar with all the ingredients every now and then. Scout for nearby juice bars, organic supermarkets and vegetarian/vegan/raw restaraunts. HappyCow is a pretty good website for this.
I hope these tips help and let me know if you would like to learn even more about my travel routine.