Nutritionist Lauren Slayton Shares Her Travel Essentials

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by Lauren Slayton

It’s hard enough to be healthy when you’re at home, being healthy while away is a whole other ballgame. After years of clients sharing their travel woes, we created a Food First Aid Kit. Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure you don’t want jet lag, digestive woes or illness to get in your way. Once you key into your personal travel essentials, you don’t have to scramble for the right things, before each trip. A little pre-planning can leave you feeling a lot better during your trip and when you get back home.

Jettison Jet Lag

Some people struggle with jet lag more than others. The key is not to wait until you’re headachy and suffering. Vitamin D is a precursor to melatonin. Taking vitamin D with your breakfast at your destination can start to reprogram your body by the time its bedtime. You always want to take vitamin D with food, specifically with fat in order for it to be absorbed. Light is also crucial in resetting your body clock. Skip the blackout shades and allow light to get you up, at a normal time, in your new destination.

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De-Puff

Ever try to put your shoes on, after a long flight? Not so easy. The air pressure makes you retain water. Thrown in a little booze and sodium-bomb airline food and you can feel ick before you’ve hit the ground. Our favorite solution for this is dandelion. We like this dandelion tincture. But you can also do dandelion teabags (Yogi makes a nice detox tea). And while dandelion goes in my body, I use compression socks for longer flights.

Fight Vacation Constipation

Travel can do all sorts of things to your digestive system. Some people can’t stop going, but it’s more common to be stopped up. Your vitamins and supplements, in many ways, are more important when you’re away than home. Magnesium supplements can help. Magnesium citrate in capsules or these gummies are useful. Or, if you need something more potent, there’s a form of magnesium that really helps you go, It’s called magnesium oxide, we bottled it as our “No. 2” pills, for a reason.

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Hard to stay healthy

When you travel, you’re exposed to even more germs. Vitamin D, I mentioned above for jet lag, is one of the best immune boosters. But you want to take a probiotic too. I suggest doubling up on your probiotic supplement, on travel days. You can do a capsule. Or, raw apple cider vinegar is a great source of probiotics. Fire Brew and Fire Cider make minis for travel.

Nix the Mini Bar

For some people, being away from a kitchen is helpful and less access to food is a good thing for grazers. But that minibar doesn’t do anyone any favors. You can ask that it’s emptied, prior to your arrival, if contents tend to call to you. But, it’s less expensive and healthier to BYO snacks. Jerky (I like Field Trip and Vermont Smoke) is a great protein snack. Nuts also always work, I’ll fill our Foodtrainers’ nutcase with walnuts or almonds. And single squares of dark chocolate are your best bets for sweetness.

Lauren Slayton, MS RD is the founder of Foodtrainers and the author of the book The Little Book of Thin (Perigee 2014).

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