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7 tips for healthy travelling…

15 Jun 2014 4:28 PM - How to enjoy your holiday without damaging your health…
Healthy travelling in Brooklyn

I have just come home from a month-long holiday in the United States, having a wonderful time playing tourist as well as attending a conference on functional medicine in San Francisco.

Before I went away I checked my body composition (weight, muscle and fat distribution) and checked it again on my return.  While there was no change to my weight, I had managed to lose a little bit of muscle and gain a small amount of fat…not surprising as I include weight bearing exercise in my normal routine when I am at home and much of that ceased while I was away.  It is a wake up call though as it might have been relatively easy to prevent these changes by incorporating some simple exercises into my travel routine without much difficulty….note to self for future travels…

Anyway, here is what I have learned about travelling. Seven tips so that you don’t undo the results of your health efforts.

  • If you can, organise your own breakfasts. Being able to start the day with a healthy, nutritious breakfast can make a huge difference to your energy during the day and will help you to resist temptation either at breakfast or later in the day.  It’s pretty easy to get together some fruit, yoghurt and muesli or even to whip up a chia seed pudding.  If you have cooking facilities then your options are even broader.

  • Eating out is often a necessity and one of the joys of travelling to new destinations.  However, it can be a real trap and you can find yourself missing out on all-important vegetables and overdoing the calories in fat or sugar-laden meals.  To avoid this, try to order soups or salads whenever possible.  I managed to do this for most lunches and sometimes for dinner as well.  Avoid the breads, get any dressings or sauces on the side and you’ll be many steps ahead of the game.

  • Don’t over-order.  If you are like me and you love your food, it is easy to fall into the trap of ordering too much. Order small serves, knowing that you can always order something extra if you need it.  Maybe even start by choosing your vegetables/salad and then decide if you need something else in addition.

  • In, the same vein, ask for smaller serves.  Many restaurants will be happy to oblige and while it might seem like better value for money to get the bigger serves, in the long run this is a false economy.

  • Make use of one of the many apps/websites available these days to find places offering healthier food. (Happy Cow is just one that comes to mind).  Often we make bad food choices when we are in a strange place, we're hungry and we just wander into the first place we see. We found some fabulous places by doing a little homework.

  • Carry nuts or seeds or a protein bar for emergency snacks.  If you do this you’ll be better able to resist temptation and you’ll avoid those hunger pangs that see you reaching for the (inevitably sugar or fat-filled) quick snack.  This is especially handy on those days when you will be travelling.

  • Before you go, get yourself an in-room exercise programme.  It doesn’t have to be vigorous if you don’t want it to be. Even if it is some simple stretches/yoga poses, these coupled with lots of incidental walking will help keep your health in check.


Don't forget to pack a travel health kit

Pack a travel health kit according to your needs and where you will be spending most of your time.  This might include some magnesium or herbs for sleep, anti-inflammatory herbs for pain, a good quality echinacea to boost your immunity, treatments to keep you regular or prevent travellers’ diarrhoea or maybe something for your liver (if you do over-indulge) as well as anything you normally take.  If you need help putting together a travel kit to suit your needs, let me know!


Of course, this isn't meant to be a complete list.  There are lots of other things you can do and many people need to go to great lengths to ensure their health isn't compromised while they are travelling. However, follow these tips and you'll be well on the way to avoiding post-holiday health issues and you'll have a great holiday.

If you have a great tip for healthy travel please pop it in the comments below. I'd love to hear it.


In good health,


Kaye Wright
Naturopath
Melbourne CBD

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