Imagine this: You just started a new nutritional protocol, diet plan or recently focused on getting healthier and staying that way. Your dear aunt calls you asking to bring your family out to see her while everyone has some time off. Immediately you worry that you won't be able to stick to your plan.
Sound somewhat familiar?
Traveling doesn't mean you can't stay on track toward your health goals. While some less-than-ideal decisions might be made, you're in control of more than you think. Maybe you're wondering:
What would be the most significant item a nutritional therapist would HAVE to have while away from home?
I asked my NTP friends Lori McClurg at madewonderful.me and Andrea Orona at www.eatsbydre.com (also @eats_by_dre_nutrition on instagram) to help compile a list of their absolute favorite travel essentials. These are the things they wouldn't be caught dead without and the reason why they bring it along. (Think beyond phone charger, PJs and a toothbrush!) Buckle up and add some--or all--from the list below!
1. Supplements, prescription meds and other remedies
Don't travel without your necessary supplements. Staying consistent means a faster path toward healing. Lori imparts some awesome tips in this area, "I keep a travel pillbox with my supplements. I hate bringing all the bottles so those large weekly supplement containers are great to simplifying my packing.
I bring small containers of Himalayan pink salt, Mag Calm, magnesium capsules and some potassium (in the form of cream of tartar) on trips that extend past one night. Dining out means an excess of sodium, so the potassium helps reduce bloat. I take magnesium nightly to aid in sleep and bowel regularity. Best yet, the three can also be combined with water to make an electrolyte drink to ensure I'm well-hydrated.
Lori doesn't leave without Celtic Sea Salt..."I actually have a small salt grinder in my purse every day."
Other supplements, prescription medications and homeopathic remedies
My digestion is less than ideal while away from home, so I carry extra Betaine HCl and digestive enymes, as well as elderberry gummies for vitamin C. I also take L-Glutamine daily for blood sugar support, muscle and gut health.
Lori's must-have supplements include probiotics & enzymes, "but I also make sure I pack all my personalized supplements, too. Oscillococcinum...I never travel without this homeopathic remedy. I usually take a dose pre-flight and post-flight to make sure I don’t get sick."
"Cause no one wants the stomach flu while traveling. I’ll bring a few of these in a small stasher bag or small container. This is also great for taking before indulging in a little happy hour or wine night while on vacation." -Lori
Can't forget about keeping your skin and gut healthy! Every nutritionist I know includes collagen in their diet. Lori agrees: "On the go collagen packets are a must. I add a package to my coffee every morning. I like Vital Proteins or Further Foods. Both companies make great travel friendly packets."
2. Extra bottles of water
I learned this the hard way when we took a family trip several years ago. The kids were much smaller and although we drank tons of water, we found ourselves incredibly thirsty at night after our long day. Our hotel had vending machines, but each 16.8 oz bottle of water was $2.50! We now ALWAYS have a small ice chest filed with plenty of extra water bottles for our hotel room.
My mornings begin with warm lemon water, even before I'm fully up and dressed! Bringing my own lemon (or two if I'm away for awhile) ensures I can continue this habit while getting ready in the room.
4. Coconut oil packets
Keto'ers know that coconut oil is their BFF to bump up fat in their meals. Handy packets are great for taking out to eat or adding to coffee, but also serves as a great moisturizer for face and body as well as a thrifty makeup remover.
"Whenever traveling I make sure to take some portable source of healthy fats. It’s usually fairly easy to find decent protein sources but healthy fat can be hard to come by. I like these packets of coconut oil from Trader Joe’s because I can easily transport them with me and they’re so versatile! I can use it as a salad dressing, pour it over veggies, put it in my coffee, I can even just squeeze and eat on the go! Bonus, healthy fats help keep you satiated so you can keep cravings to a minimum!" Grab a few packets and go!
5. Indoor Air Support
Sometimes I like to bring my oil roller with some lavender essential oils or On Guard, doTERRA's protective blend to use on my wrists, feet or behind my ears while away.
Lori brings her doTERRA diffuser & doTERRA Breathe. "I love freshening up a hotel room with essential oils."
Get your essential oils here: https://www.doterra.com/US/en/site/your180health 6. Skin Hydration
Keep your skin radiant and glowing during your travels.
"Beautycounter Rosewater Mist is essential for keeping my skin hydrated on flights. The smell is divine and light and perfect for a quick pick me up mid-flight." -Lori To purchase: https://www.beautycounter.com/lorimcclurg?goto=/product/nourishing-rosewater-mist 7. Snacks and treats
When traveling, I like to bring little goodies like a low sugar chocolate bar, nut butter packets, or make some snack-sized baggies with pre-portioned single servings of things like pork rinds, macadamia nuts (so as not to overeat them), organic beef or turkey jerky, or homemade trail mix with unsweetened coconut flakes and nuts. When I'm out and about these have been great when healthier options are unavailable.
8. Blue light blocking glasses
These may look a bit silly, but help minimize blue light exposure once the sun goes down and the artificial lights, devices, TVs are on in the hotel room. Why block out blue light? These light waves disrupt sleep hormone production and cause unneeded stress.
9. Stevia packets
It's not always easy to find alternatives to sugar for your morning coffee. Many coffee houses offer Splenda or other artificial sweeteners, sometimes you can get lucky and find one made from monkfruit. Bring some of your own stevia packets to be sure you're covered.
10. Sun protection
Overcast beach days are the worst times to forget sun protection. Pack a lightweight hat, some thin long sleeved shirts, and EWG-approved toxin-free sunscreen (be sure to test it for yourself in advance...some on the list work better than others). Check the list here.
Love these tips? Did we miss anything? Feel free to drop a comment and let us know!