Alison asks, “What are some wellness routines to add in addition to our normal routines while traveling? What additional supplements should I take while traveling?”
I travel a lot; in fact, 50 percent of my time is spent traveling. If I didn’t keep myself healthy while on the road there is absolutely no way that I could perform optimally. There are a few basics that you must maintain while traveling in order to stay healthy. Let’s take a look:
- Eat real food. So many people tell me that they cannot control the type of food they eat while they’re on the road, and to that I say, nonsense! Do a little research before you travel. Most cities have a Whole Foods Market or their local version of a natural foods market and most have salad bars. This is great for making a gluten- and dairy-free salad that you can munch on in store, in your hotel or on the road. I also like to make a list of restaurants that I want to check out before heading to my destination.
- Prepare for emergencies. If you are road tripping, carry along a cooler in the backseat to stash your favorite snacks. You can pack dry goods like nuts and seeds or canned salmon, but also have fresh goodies on hand – such as celery, carrots, snap peas and radishes. All of these tend to hold their fresh crunch, especially in the cooler. Apples, berries, pomegranate, avocados and lemons also fare well on the road. Hard-boiled eggs, nut butters, hummus and tahini are special treats when you need to nosh. If you’re traveling by plane, nut butters, grass-fed jerky, some fruit, kale chips, nuts and seeds are good options. Here’s more information on how to prevent a food emergency.
- Supplement wisely. Taking supplements to keep you strong and help prevent infections and adrenal fatigue are highly recommended. I take vitamin D, a multivitamin, vitamin C, a stress hormone stabilizer (such as Cortisol Manager) and medicinal foods like reishi and cordyceps. You can also take Siberian ginseng or Rhodiola. These are wonderful herbs that help balance your adrenal and stress response. I use Adreset. If I am feeling jet lagged or fatigued after a trip, I usually use melatonin and make sure to exercise, relax and take a steam or sauna. I highly recommend the book, The Circadian Prescription by my mentor, Sid Baker, which has ton of tips for traveling.
For those of you who don’t know what intermittent fasting is, it’s a way of eating where you incorporate time restrictions into your eating schedule. Now, I don’t normally recommend skipping meals – especially breakfast . However, with intermittent fasting, you’re not just whimsically skipping meals, which can mess with your blood sugar and energy levels, you are employing a strategized way to miss meals.
I often recommend intermittent fasting to patients who are really resistant to weight loss. When you combine this type of fasting with my Eat Fat, Get Thin program, you can get really impressive results.
With intermittent fasting, you basically create 16-hour windows of fasting time and stimulate the benefits of fasting, namely speeding up metabolism to burn more fat. Numerous studies show this technique can be very effective for weight loss and overall health.
Some patients find skipping breakfast hard. For those folks, I recommend having a cup of Bulletproof Coffee in the morning, which contains healthy fats and puts your body into ketosis, or the act of shifting the primary fuel from glucose to ketones (or fat). Ketosis actually helps people with fat burning and fueling their metabolism.
There are no hard and fast rules except that during your fasting hours, you consume zero (or close to zero) calories. You’ll find numerous types of intermittent fasting online, including alternate-day fasting and fasting one day a week.
For many patients, I find a 16-hour window becomes that “magic” number. It isn’t as unpleasant as it might sound, since you’ll be sleeping about eight of those hours.
Here is an article by my friend Dave Asprey on intermittent fasting.
So, if you are a diabetic who is treatment-resistant or you’re just not losing the weight that you want to, intermittent fasting can be a great experiment for you. But remember to make the calories you do consume count – include lots of colorful veggies and high-quality protein to nourish you.
Now I want to hear from you. Do you have any tips for staying healthy while traveling? Have you experimented with intermittent fasting? Post your comments on my Facebook page. If you liked this video, be sure to share it with your friends and family on Facebook and Twitter, and send your video submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org and maybe next week I’ll make a house call to you.
Wishing you health & happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD.