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10 Tips for Healthy Travels

© Elson M. Haas MD

The following is one in an ongoing series of columns entitled Staying Healthy Tips by Elson M. Haas MD. View all columns in series

Also, be sure to wash all produce before you eat it. (See article for more ideas.) Avoid excessively salty foods and alcohol when on airplane trips as they cause further dehydration. Bear in mind that too much sugar can also may weaken your immunity and put you at greater risk of infection.

  • Picnics – Picnic foods should be safe and healthy. Use a cooler or ice to keep items cold. Watch out for eggs and mayo and other foods that could become contaminated away from refrigeration. Some picnic food ideas include bean salad, tabouli, or fruit salad. What are your favorites? Take some protein foods as well, such as nuts and seeds, yogurt, cheese, or tofu salads.

    Also, make fresh choices, such as grapes, watermelon, apples and further fresh fruits. Pack your foods separately in Ziploc bags, then place in your cooler. Sandwiches and other finger foods like cut vegetables and dip are easy. Make your sandwiches fresh once you arrive and keep the spreads and fixings on ice. Even if you're just carrying healthy snacks in a purse or backpack, you can include a pack of "blue ice" that will safeguard your food and avoid mess. By not mixing ingredients in advance, you'll keep the spoilage to a minimum. 

  • Inner Healing and De-stressing – Prepare for the enjoyment of outdoors. Plan a fun trip of hiking, camping, playing at the river, or a few days resting at the ocean. Rekindling your Earth connection has benefits that last beyond this season, continuing to enrich the whole of your life. Relax and breathe. Enjoy yourself. Practice letting your stresses go, leaving them at home or the office when you're on vacation. Find a great book to read on your trip. Get out in Nature.

    Be aware of vacation burnout. You don't need to see every attraction or experience everything a new place has to offer to have a fulfilling trip. Build some time into every day for rest and replenishment. This might entail letting yourself just sit for awhile watching the clouds, the surf, listening to music, or reading a good book. Try being a wave or becoming the sky. I love an affirmation used for relaxation when I lie down, especially in a meadow, "My mind is the sky, and the clouds are my thoughts; I just watch them float by."

  • Hygiene for Travel – Wash your hands often with anti-bacterial soap; you can carry some in a small container in your travel kit. Avoid jumping in water in the wild unless you get a safety report and be ready to wash off with your antibacterial soap after you do. And what about all those door handles, ATM machines, store pens, and gas pumps that you handle? There could be potential germ contamination, so make sure you wash your hands with antibacterial soap.

    Consider carrying a small first aid kit. Available at camping stores, they are compact and easy to use. "Don't be scared, be prepared." If you already know how to use homeopathy, the homeopathic home kits are very practical.

    Shared oxygen/air space is also a challenge. You can take an aromatherapy spray (that won't chemically violate others air), such as rose water to make a protective aroma barrier around yourself when journeying in public.

  • Nutritional Supplements – All the anti-oxidant nutrients are helpful for the stress of travel; vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, and selenium are the main ones. Others are alpha-lipoic acid, pycnogenol, and L-cysteine. I use B-vitamins as tablets or sublingual drops as well for balancing travel stress. Also, it may be helpful to have some spirulina or blue-green algae tablets for energy support.
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    About The Author
    Elson M. Haas, MD is founder & Director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin (since 1984), an Integrated Health Care Facility in San Rafael, CA and author of many books on Health and Nutrition, including ...more
     
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