Raise your hand if you hate to fly? I’m not talking about TRAVELING - which is awesome - but specifically flying which, pardon my French, sucks ass.
Everything about it from the long security lines, to the hoards of people, the cramped seats, the $14 Starbucks lattes at the airport (WTF Starbucks!?) …I could go on.
By the way, I was approved for Global Entry this year, and no joke, best $130 I ever spent just to breeze through TSA. If I was jet-set I’d call it a 'pro tip', but I’m not. Here’s the link for the application: https://www.cbp.gov/travel/trusted-traveler-programs/global-entry/how-apply
Ok, so in addition to generally sucking, flying also wreaks havoc on your body, and the resource links at the tail end of this post prove it.
Even a relatively short flight can leave your digestion out of whack, your skin and body dehydrated AF, and don’t even get me started on the gross viruses and bacteria you’re exposed to.
So unless you’re jetting off to Majorca with Gwyneth in her private jet, I’ve curated a list of the steps that I take before, during and after a flight to minimize the affects of air travel.
So, where are you all off to next???
BEFORE THE FLIGHT:
1. Take a Probiotic
You should be doing this anyway every day, der! And if you’re not taking a probiotic daily, please do! This is the #1 way you can support digestion and also - immunity! If you’re traveling, make sure to start taking a probiotic for at least 2-4 weeks prior to travel to support gut bacteria. I take Love Bug Probiotics daily (specifically Here’s the Skinny and Yeast is a Beast every day). They have one specifically formulated for immunity called Colds Suck. So if you’re prone to catching colds and other bugs, that’s the one for you. I always recommend Love Bug to clients because it’s formulated to survive the trip through the intestinal track, giving you maximum probiotic benefits unlike most other probiotic companies. They also have an amazing line specifically formulated for little ones, and another for babies. Use the code REFORMATION10 for month free and $10 off per month after that!
2. Bring a Reusable Water Bottle
This may sound like a no-brainer to some people, but I’m amazed by how many people are surprised when I tell them I travel with my refillable water bottle. First of all, buying water is expensive. But the environmental cost of purchasing water bottles when you travel is where the real implications lie. You can travel through security with an empty refillable water bottle, and then fill it at one of the food vendors at the airport pre-flight. Lots of airports like LAX and PDX also now have water bottle filling stations near their restrooms! I LOVE Healthy Human bottles. They are insulated, keeping water cold for 24 HOURS! (and hot drinks hot for 12 hours!) And they also free of BPAs and Phthalates - both of which are endocrine disruptors. If you don't own a Healthy Human bottle but want to, use my discount code HEALTH15 for 15% off site-wide!
Flying already slows digestion and metabolism, and dehydration just compounds the problem, so make sure to drink constantly as you fly. Have you ever noticed that you get backed up on trips? It’s not always just from eating poorly or eating foreign food, it’s typically because you’re dehydrated and your digestion is slower from the flight.
Keeping skin and organ tissues hydrated will also decrease the chances that you get sick on a flight. The airplane cabins are extremely arid which can cause micro-cracks in cell walls in the lining of your nose, mouth and throat, allowing cold and flu viruses to enter more easily. Staying hydrated can help to prevent this cracking.
And staying hydrated is also key for weight management. As seen in my post with Dr. Leo Treyzon, when you get dehydrated, your body goes into stress mode and conserves the energy you intake.
So take your water with you everywhere!
3. Hydrate Your Skin
This is more of a vanity thing, but have you ever noticed how your skin looks terrible after a flight? It’s because the air in the plan cabin is so arid. But you can keep skin plump by laying down a layer of a hydrating serum like this one or this one underneath your sunscreen. Reapply throughout the flight and you’ll land looking celebrity-fabulous! I have a 15% discount code for readers on the You.Skincare serum! Use REFORMATIONHEALTH15 at checkout.
You also want to avoid drinking alcohol or coffee in-flight. It dehydrates you more in the air. And also, another insider tip - the coffee is made with some gnarly water that sits in drums collecting all sorts of bacteria. You’re much better off skipping hot drinks in flight, and if you HAVE to have a coffee, spend the money to buy pre-flight. But it’s just best to skip altogether to keep your system at it’s best.
3. Pack Some Healthy & Hydrating Food & Snacks
Another tip that people are surprised by. Airplane food is the worst. Really, and I know. I used to work on an airlines account in my advertising firm days. Air travel affects your taste buds, so airlines meals are loaded with sodium to enhance the taste. And quite frankly, it’s just not great food unless you can afford business or first class. And buying food at the airports is definitely getting better these days, but you’re going to pay 2-3 times more what you would outside of the airport, AND you can bring healthier options from home!
I like to pack my own snacks like apple slices, raw almonds, and snap peas in reusable Stasher Bags. You can rinse these upon arrival, and refill them for snacks on the go during your trip!
I also always travel with these protein bars which have 15g of protein, only 2g of sugar, and collagen which helps to keep skin plump!
And I also use a Stasher Bag to transport a blend of Root & Bones Chaga, Cordyceps, and He Shou Wu. I’ll mix this into a hot drink in the morning to boost immunity during my stay! If you want to try Root & Bones longevity tonics, use the code RH15 for 15% off site-wide!
4. Wipe Down Your Armrests, Remote and Seat Backs
As soon as you sit down, give your armrests, remote (if there is one), and seat backs a swipe with these. I swear by them. These are two of the areas that collect the most foreign bodies, exposing you to viruses and bacteria. I usually offer them up to my seat-mates and they eagerly accept. And they also smell nice!
1. Keep Staying Hydrated
Fill up that water bottle again before you leave the airport! Between de-planing, baggage claim, and transportation to your lodging, it can be 1-2 hours before you’re settled in. So fill that water bottle and keep sipping!
2. Eat Smart
I love to find the nearest Whole Foods (or other healthy grocer), and stock up on snacks for the trip. I typically bring bars with me from home, and purchase apples, raw almonds, snap peas, and maybe splurge on Siete Foods chips too.
If I’m staying at a rental that has a fully equipped kitchen with a blender, I’ll purchase individual serving size packets of Vega protein powder, individual packets of Justin’s almond butter, organic spinach, organic bananas, and unsweetened nut mylk to make green smoothies for breakfast!
If you like savory snacks, I am OBSESSED with Jewels of the Forest Shroom Snacks. It's all of the best things about traditional beef jerky - chewy, savory, salty - but these snacks are made with vegan-friendly mushrooms, which actually contain 3g of protein per serving! They are also high in Vitamin D and antioxidants. But don't say I didn't warn you, once you start eating this, you will be totally addicted to both flavors.
Need something for a crowd? HOPE Foods Hummus comes in many different flavors, ALL delicious, and it's my favorite because it's one of the only truly raw hummuses available mass market. They have a unique process for removing bacteria that doesn't kill off the nutritive enzymes, unlike most other mass-market hummuses which contain macros, but not micronutrients because they are heated to kill of bacteria, but the enzymes and nutrients also get killed off. So unless I can't find it - which is rare - I always purchase HOPE Foods Hummus and eat it with Simple Mills gluten-free almond flour crackers. Rosemary is my absolute favorite. I buy this 3-pack on Amazon and it doesn't last long!
Once you’re out and about at your destination, try to maintain the same 80/20 eating plan you have at home. 80% of the time, eat the normal healthy way that you would. Lots of water, salads and fresh fruit will keep your digestion moving, and keep you feeling energized for touring around. The remaining 20% of the time, you’d better have a glass of wine, a piece of pizza, or an ice cream cone in hand!
WHEN YOU’RE BACK HOME:
1. Keep Up the Probiotics
You may experience constipation upon your return home. A few days to a week is normal, and maintaining the probiotics regimen should get things back to normal within a few days.
If you go about a week and you’re still experiencing gastrointestinal issues, try a 6-pack of Bio-K. One daily for 6 days should do the trick.
And if it’s persisting after that, try 8oz of prune juice in the morning, and 1T of olive oil before bed. Trust me. This will work!
2. Keep Drinking Those Mushrooms
Traveling is fun, but with exposure to foreign colds and other viruses, sleep deprivation, and that plane flight back, it’s a perfect storm of getting sick.
3. Keep Rehydrating Body and Skin
Keep that water bottle handy and keep sipping. I also make sure to drink lots of warm tea to help with digestion and to stay hydrated.
If your skin is looking tired, which mine always does even after a short flight, I use a hydrating sheet mask like this one to plump skin back up, and then apply a layer of hydrating serum on top!
Did you all find these tips helpful? I hope so! What are your go-to tips to stay healthy while traveling?!