Summer is here – hopefully you have a get-away or two coming up.  While I absolutely adore going new places and visiting friends and family, traveling itself can be stressful. Plus, trips tend to disrupt the healthy routines I have in place at home.

Recently I flew to Dallas for a 3-day conference. Between airplanes, changing time zones, hotel beds, a packed schedule, and Texas’s reputation as not-exactly-a-hotbed of organic, plant-based eating, I was a little concerned about how I was going to take care of myself.

Here’s what I took with me to help feel my best while traveling:

  • My neti pot and some sea salt. When I arrive at my room, among the first things I do is take a shower and rinse my sinuses to rid myself of the skeevy airplane air.
  • Lavender and peppermint essential oils. I anoint points on my wrists and neck to give myself my own bubble of germ-killing air on the plane. A drop of peppermint on my neck and shoulders also helps me stay alert, relaxes muscles, benefits digestion, and treats headaches. A few drops of lavender on my pillow or inner wrist comes in handy for relaxation and sleep.
  • My breakfast-in-a-bag: Before I leave, I assemble the following  in a ziplock bag: 3 TB rolled oats, 2 TB chia seeds (protein), a sprinkling of shredded coconut (good fat), a handful of raisins or goji berries (antioxidants), ½ tsp. cinnamon (balance blood sugar, enhance digestion), pinch of salt, 1 tsp. hemp seeds or sesame seeds (protein and essential fatty acids, plus they’re intestinal moisteners that prevent constipation), a pinch of ground ginger or cardamom (or both) to kindle digestion. I actually multiplied this recipe by 4, one for each morning of my trip. Use the in-room coffee maker to heat water, and it cooks itself in 10 minutes.
  • A spoon and pyrex with which to eat my breakfast. They’re smaller and lighter than my Vitamix!
  • Some fresh food: A gallon-sized bag of cut up carrots, celery, and cucumber ensures I’ll have the vegetables my body’s used to getting while I travel.  A couple of apples and a small bag of almonds make easy, packable snacks.
  • Favorite Chinese herbs: I bring Free and Easy Wanderer to help adapt to the changes in routine, Suan Zao Ren Tang for sleep, and some emergency Gan Mao Ling in case I feel a cold coming on.
  • A few tea bags of tulsi tea for its stress-relieving and immune-booting properties
  • Good walking shoes so I could make sure to take a 15-minute walk during every break in the action. If you’ve ever spent a weekend in a conference room cave, you know how important it is to get outside and move.
  • Workout clothes – and I made sure to hit the workout room early each day.
  • My meditation and qi gong practices: no packing required, and  yet so essential for me to feel grounded and connected to myself

What helps you stay healthy when you travel?

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