3 Ways to Stay Healthy While Traveling

My mom and sister were packing for their business trip to Australia when they asked me how they should stay healthy while away for so long. I made a few suggestions based on a few common trouble areas.

Here are 3 ways to stay healthy while traveling:

  1. Sleep: Melatonin is a traveler's best friend. Using it before bedtime after changing time zones will help your body readjust its sleep cycle and ward off jet lag. Magnesium can also be used as a natural muscle relaxant to help encourage sleep, too.
  2. Digestion: Tummy troubles can be a scary thing while on holidays. They can easily put a damper on anybody's good time. I tend to be a bit too adventurous on holidays and have wound up with food poisoning too many times. Aside from encouraging you to play it safe, I will also let you in on a few secrets: Gentiana lutea is one of my favourite herbs and just a few small drops 15-20 minutes before a meal will get your digestive juices flowing to improve resilience and digestion. Magnesium (as mentioned above) not only helps you sleep, it also relaxes the bowels to ease the discomfort of constipation that often occurs when traveling. Shelf-stable probiotics are also extremely helpful for balancing gut flora so your tummy can fight off the bad.
  3. Immunity: A simple increase in Vitamin C with Emergen-C or Sisu to Go can help manage exposure to viruses while you're away on travels. Don't forget to wash your hands, too. But my favorite thing to have in my carry on is a bottle of St. Francis Deep Immune packed full of herbs to keep your immune system chugging along even in the face of travel.

What are your favourite ways to stay healthy while on vacation?

You can find more travel tips here.

 

5 Healthy Travel Tips

Finally, vacation is upon me. I have 1  more shift in clinic and then I am off to Portland and Santa Monica for my summer vacation. I'll certainly be missing my patients, but 1 week of vacation is definitely what the doctor ordered for this tired intern! I'll be packing my things tonight and wanted to share with you a couple of my favourite, healthy travel tips.


  1. BYOP. Bring your own protein, that is. I purchased a new bag of Sun Warrior Chocolate Warrior Blend just for the trip. This will help me stay on track during my travels. I never want to wind up hungry!
  2. Double Up on C. I'm sure to get 1000mg of vitamin C each day, but with travel on the horizon I will be sure to double that dose. Little travel packets, like these by Sisu, are the perfect solution. They even include other important vitamins and minerals and taste yummy without added sugary junk.
  3. BYOO. As in - Bring Your Own Oatmeal. Once again, you don't want to get stuck hungry so bringing your own little oatmeal bags is a sure-fire way to make sure you've always got something on hand. Just mix with water & you're set.
  4. Boost your Immunity. Concerned about catching something while you're away? Take an adrenal support along with you. This will help you manage your sleep, better handle stressful travel situations (they're inevitable), and stay healthy. I like Deep Immune by St. Francis. They even have a travel-size bottle.
  5. Watch your Portions. Somehow vacation becomes an excuse to eat whatever, whenever, however. I see no harm in trying new foods (trust me, food-truck fish tacos will be on the menu in Santa Monica), but watch your portion sizes. Do your best to stick to your healthy eating plan and your system will thank you!

Interested in more ways to travel well? Check out this post on long flights and travel.

Bon voyage!

The Big Deal with Vitamin D

It really is a big deal.

I remember having a conversation years ago with my close friend, and orthopaedic surgery resident, Susan, all about vitamin D. She was still in medical school at the time and was telling me all about the magic of vitamin D. I had yet to enter my naturopathic medical studies and was wowed by what she had to say. Now, years later, after studying for way too long it really is clear that vitamin D is a superhero. In fact, even with North America’s poor nutritional state it’s rare to find a vitamin deficiency like that of vitamin D in a developed country, especially for those of us living above the 49th parallel.

So what is the big deal with vitamin D. MS, breast cancer, depression, immunity, bone density – you name it and vitamin D likely has a hand in making it better. But with the advent of sunscreens in summer and the inevitable grey of winter blocking the sun’s rays, getting enough is hard stuff.

Vitamin D is created by the body. When sun shines on the skin 7-dehydrocholesterol is converted into pre-vitamin D3. After passing through the metabolic processes of the liver and the kidney we wind up with active 1, 25-dihydoxyvitamin D3. Confused yet? Check out this helpful picture from Medscape.

Us northerners need at least 10 minutes outside each day with sunscreen-free bare arms and legs to get the right amount. This is difficult even on a bright, summer day because of our on-the-go lives so the addition of healthy foods and a supplement can come in handy.

Vitamin D is a pillar of health and it's just what the doctor ordered! Talk with your naturopathic doctor about the right amount for you.