How To Travel As An Organic Health Freak
Episode 10 is here!
Traveling doesn’t have to be hard to navigate as a health lover. Get outside of your comfort zone with empowering hacks and hints from adventure enthusiasts, The EmPOWERment Couple. Use this podcast to inspire your next road trip, family vacation, or adventure overseas.
The number one reason people don’t travel is cost. So if that’s you, we do have some good travel hacks in this blog that will save you money and get you out adventuring on this beautiful planet we GET to experience.
But, once we figured out how to travel more frequently. The real question for us is always, how do we travel and still enjoy our organic lifestyle? For those in the health and wellness space, this produces extreme anxiety for traveling. There’s a fear of leaving their organic bubble. We know it’s possible to travel and not lose your health. You’d be surprised how many clean places are out there with better regulations and health than the U.S.
So rest assured, keeping the organic lifestyle going isn’t impossible while traveling we’ve narrowed it down to some quick hacks for eating, sleeping, exercising, supplementing, communicating, and capturing it all.
The number one tip is to research and then prepare ahead of traveling to your destination. You will need to know what to pack, how to dress, what you’re going to be missing like for example, we couldn’t find lemons in Costa Rica so we had to have warm lime water in the mornings. You have to prepare if you want to travel and keep up your lifestyle. But, take it from some jet setters, we have all the hacks to help you take flight.
Click on the product links in this section to find the exact products we use to make our organic travel easy.
- Determine how to find organic. Find out what it is called in that country. In Europe, you want to look for BIO and in the U.S. you want to look for certified organic.
- Determine what the country’s agriculture looks like. For example, do they use GMOs, neonics, or cropdusters in their food production?
- Locate the organic restaurants near your stay.
- Are there local farmers’ markets? If so, when are they?
- Google grocery stores ahead of time that caters to organic diets.
- Locate restaurants that cater to organic travelers.
- Does your rental have a kitchen? If not, bring a hot plate, a slow cooker, a moka pot, and an electric tea kettle to eat at least one meal at home. Having the tea kettle and moka pot help us keep our morning coffee and evening tea ritual going. We usually eat breakfast at the rental, pack a lunch, and then usually eat out at night. We also pack our own coffee and ingredients for our coffee ritual. To learn more about that go here.
- Does your rental have a refrigerator? This can be used for leftovers and to house your breakfast items or fresh local fruit.
- What type of cooking pans, utensils, and flatware do they offer? You’ll want to avoid non-stick, plastic, and aluminum kitchen tools. If they don’t have stainless steel, cast iron, or porcelain pack at least a pan, spatula, and two sets of flatware.
- Prepare smoothie protein packets full of protein powder, chia, and spirulina. We like to use this hemp protein from Nutiva. we also like to add this HealthForce Spirulina which is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory. Spirulina contains chlorophyll and algae to keep you alkaline while traveling. Spirulina regulates the immune system and is high in protein and vitamins. I also add in the Nutiva Chia seeds because they contain omega 3 fatty acids that help keep your body stay hydrated and are high in fiber. I will add this to fresh-squeezed juice, clean water, or coconut water for extra hydration.
- I will bring additional Nutiva Chia seeds separate from my protein smoothie mix to add to yogurt, oatmeal, or a salad.
- Pack essential spices that will keep your taste buds happy. Certain cultures won’t provide salt and pepper or hot sauce. I like to pack Himalayan salt, cayenne, black pepper, cinnamon, and Braggs sprinkle spices. I like hot sauce and ketchup and they can be harder to come by in certain countries so we always pack them.
- I also pack condiments that I know won’t be available or won’t be organic: maple syrup.
- We always pack Nutiva Coconut Oil not just for cooking but because it’s multiuse. If you’re new to coconut oil, we have a great blog here about beauty uses as well.
Organic Food To Go:
So what goes in the cooler? But, if you’re just looking for some teasers, I pack a few favorites like cut raw fruits and veggies. I also pack dips like organic hummus, tahini, or nut butter. My top spread pick for travel is the Nutzo butter packs. GAEA organic olives make a great plane snack because they improve circulation, help you stay satisfied, and are great paired with fresh veggies, crackers, and cheese.
Frozen fruit makes a great snack and takes the place of needing ice for a cooler. Organic cherries are great because they promote sleep.
If you’re extremely picky or need staples for your organic diet, you can freeze meals for arrival using silicone pouches.
Once At Your Destination:
Big meals with questionable ingredients are part of the journey if you decide to eat out and experience the culture. When traveling follow large meals with a glass of grapefruit juice if possible to avoid the insulin spike which will store fat in your body. The more energy you burn from that heavy meal the less it will stay on you and weigh you down. Second, take a walk after the meal or do some digestion yoga once back in your room. This yoga sequence will help you get to sleep on time.
- Hydration while traveling is key.
- Airlines cycle the air in the cabin of a jet about every two minutes. This leaves the air breathable, but also very dry. The cabin can end up being as low at 6 percent humidity, which is drier than any desert. We tend to be more comfortable around 50 percent.
- Don’t drink the hot water on an airplane! Instead, fill up with your hot tea at Starbucks or an airport restaurant. The EPA has tested the hot water from airlines and found a positive test for coliform which indicates possible contamination by soil or feces—neither of which makes good condiments for coffee.
- I like to make this ginger and turmeric tea recipe with fresh roots and just put them in a reusable tea bag and then fill up this Zojirushi Stainless Steel Mug once through security. This mug will keep your tea or warm drink hot for 12 hours and it has a lock on it so once it is sealed in your carry on bag you can lock it and don’t worry about it spilling.
- Other hydration hacks are coconut water in the airport and are usually easy to find these days. And some airports have filtered water dispensers. You won’t find glass bottled water at an airport for obvious reasons. But, if you’re needing bottled water Fiji has been found to be highest in silica but this isn’t the safest water because it’s served in plastic-leaching containers. It also has not been found to be consistently clean. I wish there was a clean water alternative for traveling, but the best case is to bring your water canteen and try to fill it up in a reverse osmosis machine. This Manna water bottle is the one we use and have great success with zero leaks and it’s a clean product as well.
- We also recommend using a steripen. This is a device we have that is tiny and used in a pinch to sterilize the water with a UV ray. Steripen water purifiers meet U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards for microbiological water purifiers.
- Research the water quality ahead of time. You don’t want to get to Mexico and face Montezuma’s revenge.
- Honor the importance of moving your body regularly.
- On long plane rides you can prepare by exercising in the terminal by doing a power walk, or by doing some yoga. It’s also important to move to while in flight. You can usually find space around the restrooms to stretch a bit and do ankle rolls, wrist rolls, forward folds, shoulder rolls, and get all your joints moving.
- Practicing yoga ahead of your flight or some sun salutations once in the rental can be extremely helpful.
Once At Destination:
- Put your feet on the earth as soon as you can. This helps regulate your circadian rhythm
- Take nature walks and aim to walk as much as possible to offset the travel days.
- Hiking, biking, swimming, or stretching in nature will help your nervous system and immune system thrive.
- My favorite moments on a vacation are always when we are in nature doing something physical from hiking on the hanging bridges to dancing on the beach in St Barths to swimming in the hot springs in Costa Rica to Ziplining to jet skiing in Miami, to riding scooters in Paris, to walking through the fields when we visited the organic farmers in India, to hiking and finding that church inside a cave in Santorini to seeing turtles and rainbows in the Caribbean.
- Exercise creates endorphins and you need all the happy hormones when traveling to offset the dip in your adrenals.
- Planes, trains, buses, and basically all public transportation are not cleaned prior to you getting in them. To combat whatever the person before you had going on before you, it’s good to wipe down the surfaces with water wipes.
- Small travel container of hand soap. We like to bring branch basics with us when we travel to avoid the harsh chemicals used in public restrooms.
- I use Dr. Bronner’s hand sanitizer that has essential oils and no antibacterial chemicals in it. I only recommend hand sanitizer when a sink with warm water and clean soap is not available. Research shows that water and soap are healthier and safer.
- There’s a company called Pure Room that offers purified air, a hypoallergenic environment, and allergy-friendly bedding in their rooms. This is an excellent resource for chemically-sensitive travelers.
- Plane sleep requires a nice neck pillow. This is the one we recommend because it also includes an eye mask.
- We recommend these noise-canceling headphones from Bose. Noise pollution from a passenger airplane is around 80 decibels, which is enough to trigger your stress response. This stress response links prolonged airplane travel to things like hypertension, cardiovascular disease, and even psychological disorders. Noise exposure can lead to cumulative hearing loss over time, meaning the more exposure, the more hearing loss will continue to grow.
- This is where a good sleep app helps you to sleep on a red-eye or nap on a flight. We like the Calm app, and Beatfulness
- We recommend bringing a travel blanket because flights tend to be cold.
- Purchase and bring magnesium lotion to help you sleep and reduce anxiety. We use Ancient Minerals magnesium lotion.
- We always travel with our Swannick blue blocker glasses. We put them on as soon as we get to the terminal and then we wear them on the plane.
- We also recommend herbal teas such as Nighty Night tea and Chamomille to ensure restful sleep.
Hotel or rental sleep: You can usually talk to a concierge or host ahead of time to ask about bedding if you have allergies. We don’t have allergies but we sometimes pack our own pillowcase.
- We always travel with this Dr. Mercola Melatonin Spray because they are great for regulating your sleep. Melatonin is a hormone made by the pineal gland. That’s a pea-sized gland found just above the middle of your brain. It helps your body know when it’s time to sleep and wake up. Normally, your body makes more melatonin at night.
- Expose your eyes to sunlight first thing in the morning and also don’t wear sunglasses the entire time. Spending time outdoors, in sunlight. According to the 2008 study, exposure to sunlight can increase the production of both serotonin and endorphins. Serotonin. This hormone (and neurotransmitter) helps regulate your mood as well as your sleep, appetite, digestion, learning ability, and memory.
- To combat jet lag we recommend simulating your new schedule before you leave. Adapt to your new schedule while in flight. Arrive early. Stay hydrated. Move around.
- You want to bring your own beauty products (BYOB) because hotel and rental products are going to be full of chemicals.
- Bug spray to keep bugs off of you while outdoors. We have a homemade recipe that got us through the rainforest of Costa Rica without one bite. Get that DIY recipe here.
- If you’d prefer purchasing an effective and safe bug spray, use this one.
- Sunscreen is always super expensive and never clean in tourist towns, pack your own. Here is the cleanest sunscreen that travels well in luggage.
- The physical and emotional stress of travel means your immune system is working in overdrive, which may lead to a quick depletion of your master antioxidant glutathione and a subsequent immune system crash. Vitamins A, D, and C, plus zinc and glutathione will help to keep your immune system strong.
- Magnesium is excellent for travel In a 2012 study published by the National Institute of Health, magnesium was shown to improve symptoms of insomnia or a terrible night of sleep.
- We also like to bring liquid vitamin D2, B12, and a good liquid multi
- We also pack digestive aids like enzymes, bitters, or fennel.
- We also like to bring a probiotic to maintain a healthy gut while traveling.
We really like adaptogenic herbs like Ashwagandha is a traditional Indian medicine that has been used to help the body adapt better to stressful situations and Western medicine has recently taken notice of its magical effect. A 2012 clinical trial showed that ashwagandha can help reduce the blood levels of cortisol.
We also like another adaptogenic herb, Rhodiola, it has been used for 3000 years as part of traditional medicine in Eastern Europe and Asia to help you feel more alert and decrease stress, it can also improve your mood. This combination makes Rhodiola an unbeatable travel companion for any trip. It also improves endurance while exercising, as well as assisting in recovery afterward so it’s truly essential on any trip where outdoor activities are involved.
- Immune: According to an Australian study on international travelers in 2016, taking an elderberry supplement can be an excellent way to help support your body’s defenses while traveling
- Mike olive leaf: Research shows oleuropein, the main component in olive leaf extract, has antioxidant, antibacterial, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and immune-stimulating properties.
- Sickness: If you happen to get food poisoning or feel crappy take an organic coconut-based activated charcoal will do wonders to speed up recovery. This is the activated charcoal we recommend.
- Our other homeopathic recommendations for travel are Boiron Oscillococcinum for the first signs of flu. We also pack Boiron Leedum for bug bites. We pack Boiron Arnica for inflammation, joint pain, or injuries. Lastly, we pack Boiron Nux Vomica for an upset stomach.
Emotional & Mental health:
- Practice gratitude by using this mantra “I ‘get’ to travel” instead of “I ‘have’ to travel.”
- Get your meditation apps ready or use our guided meditations.
- We always bring this gum to help with relaxing our minds when we travel or dealing with motion sickness.
- We use these wrist bands for boat travel or motion sickness.
- Our pick for a homeopathic option for motion sickness is this Boiron Cocculus Indicus.
- Our pick for a homeopathic option for anxiety is Boiron Ignatia Amara.
- Audible books are also amazing for occupying the anxious minds.
- Track how you feel:
- Bring a journal and pen to keep track of your health or food journal.
- Travel is great for lyric writing or getting ideas out for your business.
- If you start feeling a tad off, do this guided body scan meditation.
- Relax about things not all being organic, or healthy, there is no such thing when you travel to certain places. If you prepped food and places to shop you’ll be eating very clean.
- Occupy yourself with books, journaling, playing a game, watch a plane movie, working on a project, and always bring a deck of cards.
- Use Google translate to determine how easy it will be to communicate at your destination. You’ll want to download the language ahead of time to ensure you have full access.
- You can also use Google to scan a menu once there.
- Another app we like to use is Duolingo to learn the language some of the most used words quickly ahead of traveling.
Communication is important if you’re wanting to understand the language to better navigate as an organic traveler. Know what the words “organic” are in that language. In Europe the word is Bio. Ecologico in Spain and Organic in the U.S.
Download the app Whatsapp because you can communicate with people back home for free and it’s commonly what’s used for those that are hosting you as a guide or at your rental, these hosts can let you know about organic options ahead of time and places you may need reservations for prior to your stay.
Research your transportation options ahead of time. Are there taxis, Uber, metro, subway, city bikes or can rent scooters? For example, in Paris, we rented scooters through Bird and Lime apps. Then you’ll need to locate how far are the organic restaurants, farmer’s markets, and stores you want to visit are from your rental.
The best part of traveling is you’ll experience new cultures, cuisines, languages, places you never knew existed, and most importantly it will get you out of your comfort zone, or work out, and put the gifts that we have in our daily lives into perspective for greater appreciation. The adventure of traveling is always full of stories. You are likely to come back with beautiful memories, new friends, and a zest for life unlike anything else.