Your ultimate nourishing travel preparation guide.
By Amy Crawford
* Post edited Sept 2105 when in 2 days time I'll be heading for India, not as it says below, Noosa ;-)
I don't mean to rub it in, but tomorrow I'm jumping on a plane and going in search of warmer climes and bluer skies in Noosa. The only issue I foresee is the weather forecast (which isn't being generous in the temperature stakes). Nevertheless, it'll be warmer than Melbourne, I'll be by the sea and enjoying an entirely different change of pace - for that I am thankful. Some of you may've seen a post I popped up on Instagram and Facebook last night looking for the latest Noosa 'Best Of's'. I highly recommend you check it out if you're planning to visit because it is LADEN with amazing suggestions. Fresh juices, smoothies, raw treats, Melbourne quality coffee (really?!), organic produce...it's all there! Far out I'm going to be busy (and full).
But onto the purpose of this post, which is to help you all better prepare for travel, be it domestic or international, and to share a few essential occupants of my travel pack. So let's do this, let's dive into some travel tips.
It's all about preparation.
Nourishing your body while traveling is entirely about forethought and pre-planning. In the days and weeks before you depart consider the following:
Go on a market run: Plane food...need I say more? It can be challenging at the best of times. So go stock up on suitable travel snacks; carrot sticks, hummus, kale chips, nuts, superfood bars, raw dark chocolate, the healthy list goes on!
Do some home cooking: Boil a few eggs, poach chicken in coconut milk, cook up some quinoa, roast winter veggies. Ensuring your macronutrient needs are met while traveling is important to ensure you are raring to go once you land.
Keep it fresh: Acquire a cooler pack and some BPA free storage containers. Fill to the brim. I think that many people are confused as to the stipulations of taking food and drinks on planes. You can bring food on board, in most cases you just need to eat it (or discard) by the time you land. Liquids need to be kept to 100ml. Check out the rules of the border you intend to cross before hand.
Do some research: Educate yourself on the best places to acquire healthy meals. Get in touch with contacts in your destination and add a few whole food focused or organic cafes and restaurants to your hit list. Find out the location of the nearby farmers market. Ideally you have booked accommodation within walking distance, and you have kitchen facilities (or at least a bar fridge) to store some fresh food.
All aboard the (healthy food) plane.
Getting past security: If you are travelling to the US, be aware of TSA body scanners and do your own research to determine for yourself whether you feel being exposed to low level radiation is safe for you. TSA defends the scanners, stating that the radiation is harmless, and has removed some of these scanners from airports in recent years due to privacy issues. Why not opt for a full body pat down instead? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic.
Stay hydrated: So much of why we feel rubbish after flying is due to dehydration. The small plastic cups offered by airlines provide too few milliliters to get you through a flight. Bring a stainless steel water bottle and fill it up on board. Cartons of coconut water are also a great suggestion. Please don't be tempted buy the soft drinks on offer from cabin crew, they will do little to quench your thirst and if anything make you feel more restless. Water! Be that annoying person lined up multiple times for the loo!
Move if you want to: What's more, trips to the loo offer valuable stretch your legs time. Keep the circulation pumping, stay comfortable. Why not opt for an aisle seat to ensure you're not bothering fellow passengers; don't feel you need to stay cramped.
Don't be nervous: Feeling the pre-flight nerves creeping up on you? Conventional tummy settling pills or sleeping tablets can be full of synthetics. Valerian root offers a great natural alternative, promoting relaxation and even sleep; it shouldn't leave you feeling drowsy post flight either. Valerian can be easily acquired at your local health food store or pharmacy.
Hug a tree: We've spoken about the beneficial effects of 'grounding' before on the blog, but after being miles high in the air I'd very much encourage you to get back to nature, take off your shoes, wiggle your toes and sink your feet in the soil. Absorb the earth's natural energy and feel your mood lifting. Get a green juice into you too, and feel the nutrients coursing through your veins. Get excited for the trip ahead!
What's in my travel pack?
So down to business, this is EXACTLY what I have packed in my travel bag for this week's trip to Noosa, not just for the plane trip but for the empty pantry when I get there. (Again, this post was written for a domestic trip to Noosa, do your research for travel tips to Tasmania or overseas).
1. Maca - my energising daily go-to supplement. Loving Earth is my choice for this product, a great addition to smoothies, on-the-go breakfasts or mid afternoon snacks.
2. Protein Powder - for easy meals and snacks, blended with raw fruit and veg of course. I choose a natural rice protein given my food intolerances, I'd recommend looking at Think Vitality Nutrition range too, if you are not dairy intolerant.
3. Coconut Water - for the plane and my smoothies. I choose Natural Raw C, this coconut water is free from the additives and added sugars that can be found in many other brands.
4. Chia seeds - to make intolerance friendly chia puddings for breakfast, often the most challenging meal of the day when travelling I find.
5. Raw organic nuts - for plane snacks and during my stay. I really emphasise buying organic nuts if you can guys, the fats in nuts love to absorb the pesticides sprayed on conventionally grown nuts. I take my own activated nuts.
6. Coconut oil - my body moisturiser, make-up remover, sunscreen (yes, it's true, it has a small SPF!) and cooking oil in one. Bingo.
7. Carrot sticks with homemade hummus - perfect mid morning plane snack on route.
8. Spices - I like to continue to prepare some of my own meals, to keep me on the straight and narrow. I also don't want to have to buy a whole heap of my favourite spices when I get to a new destination so I often take my own in small packets. Cinnamon, turmeric, vanilla, chilli, cumin, paprika. That should do me this time!
9. Green juice stored in a stainless steel water bottle - to enjoy before I get on the plane, or during. I'll then ask the flight crew to fill my bottle with filtered water once on the flight.
10. A good book - I'm currently reading The Turning by Tim Winton, The Intention Experiment by Lynne McTaggart and I'm hoping to steal one of Mum's page turners.
11. Music or audio meditation - for when you want to close your eyes. My iPod has Chet Faker on repeat (oh his voice). Have you discovered any of the mindfulness apps like Smiling Mind? They're awesome if you need some gentle assistance to clear your busy mind.
What are your travel tips? How do you ensure you stay nourished on route and during your holiday? (If you've any Indian travel tips I am ALL ears!).