Travelling can take its toll on all aspects of our lives, particularly wellbeing. So often a new place can upset your inner balance, and diet is integral to maintaining this equilibrium. Having spent a lot of time on the road for work, I've developed a sort of "survival kit" to keep me on the top of my game while I'm away, whether for work or play.
Common side effects of travelling
Dry/oily skin and breakouts, low energy, fatigue, low immunity, dehydration, insomnia, mood swings.
Combat them by filling your carry-on suitcase with...
Water goes without saying; drink regularly and infuse with citrus or herbs to liven it up
Melatonin; a tincture aids sleep on the plane without leaving you feeling groggy when you wake up
Snacks; avoid processed plane food that will dehydrate you in favour of natural products such as:
- fresh fruit and vegetables for essential vitamins and minerals and a natural sugar boost while aiding digestion; bananas are particularly good thanks to high levels of potassium and magnesium
- raw nuts and seeds are high in protein, keeping you fuller for longer and helping your body to repair after a long flight; coconut chips are always a winner too
- sugar-free/vegan chocolate
- natural smoothies
Pack your holdall with...
Taking ambient produce abroad will ensure you're not caught without your usual nourishment, helping to avoid a mid-trip wipeout. Of course, half the fun of travelling is kissing goodbye to your usual routine and getting stuck in to the local cuisine, but a few well-chosen items will ensure you're able to keep enjoying yourself throughout.
Herbal tea bags / matcha sachets - these have a variety of benefits including balancing mood, increasing energy levels, aid sleep, encourage relaxation, reduce stress and anxiety, aid digestion and support the immune system - I like maca, spirulina and cacao
All-natural snack bars - look for those containing the fewest ingredients, ideally with no sugar; they're a great snack for long journeys
Activated charcoal powder - add to water and drink in the morning or evening to aid digestion, reduce toxins and generally cleanse your system
Rice cakes or natural vegetable crackers are also a good snack; pack nut butter as an accompaniment (it's handily available in sachets)
Qnola or gluten-free granola is an excellent back-up for a quick breakfast if you've got an early start
And look out for these ingredients when you arrive...
This one's pretty self-explanatory - it goes without saying that you'll find the best bits in local markets and family owned stores away from the tourist-trodden path.
Fresh fruit and vegetables - one of the most exciting things about being in a new place is the array of exotic fruit and veg on offer, all of which seems to be bigger, juicier and more colourful than what's imported back home. Take advantage of your temporary Garden of Eden and don't hold back; those with a high water content will help stave off dehydration
Locally reared meat and fish - avoid packaged supermarket fare and head straight to the market; if I'm by the sea I tend to stick to seafood
Homemade bread - how is it that the bread is almost always better when abroad? Homemade baked goods will generally be lower in additives, while local bakers in larger destinations are likely to have gluten-free options
Alcohol - choose wines that are locally produced and, where possible, organic and biodynamic. The same goes for beer and other alcohol; you'll thank yourself in the morning as it will dramatically reduce your hangover (which is just as attributable to sugar as dehydration)