What to bring with you when you travel overseas to eat healthy

Travelling on a restricted diet can be rainbows and unicorns with good planning

Travelling on a restricted diet can be rainbows and unicorns with good planning

Hi food travelers,

I have now enjoyed two separate holidays while on my new eating approach.  Today I will focus on my trip to Thailand and Malaysia as it involved international travel and has more restrictions on what you can bring to support your eating approach.

What did I pack to ensure my success?  Here is the list.

Powdered Green Juice – As most of you now know, I make Green Juice every day to power my day.  When you travel, making fresh green juice is not always possible.  Sure I could bring a small blender and find organic greens wash them and then blend them but that is not an easy task.  The first challenge is space in my baggage and the extra weight for the blender.  The second challenge is finding the right veggies to blend and the final challenge is fresh water to rinse the veggies.  So I make it easy for me and my fellow travelers by bringing dehydrated green powder with me.  Most hotel rooms provide you with a bottle of drinking water so each morning I start my day with a glass of green juice to power my day.   If I can find a juice bar later in the day I will supplement my veggie intake at that time.  Starting my day with my green juice in my hotel room gives me freedom to work with the plans of the group I am in.

Extra Fibre – when I travel, my digestive track like to play tricks on me and let’s just say I have challenges with regularity.  By bringing a fibre powder solution with me that I also consume each morning, it ensures old faithful delivers.  Who wants to be bloated in all your pictures?  Not me if I can help it.

Peristalsis Activator – As an added precaution, I also took a “Cleanse More” capsule each night that creates peristalsis 10-12 hours after consuming.  If you have no troubles with being regular, you are lucky.  Many people I know get what we call “stage fright” when travelling and it feels awful.  The combination of the fibre and cleanse more meant happy days for me and for many of my friends who travel internationally for business.

Digestive Enzymes and HCl – to ensure the food we consumed was properly digested and bacterial was killed off during digestion, both my hubby and I took digestive enzymes (plant based and pancreatic based) along with HCl (Hydrochloric Acid).  We were eating lots of foods we don’t normally eat and we were not sure about food preparation methods so we wanted to ensure we were providing our bodies with all the tools they needed to fight off food challenges.  I also equipped both my kids with digestive enzymes on their travels to India and Thailand.

Saccharomyces boulardii – we brought this probiotic along with us in case we got traveler’s diarrhea.  On a few days, when we felt that we might be on our way to enjoying too much time in our hotel room bathroom, we started taking Saccharomyces boulardii.  This was recommended to me by the staff at WholeFoods Market and also a Registered Holistic Nutritionist.  It worked.

Vitamins – the hubby and I have taken vitamins for years so when we travel we usually bring vitamins with us.  For this trip I focused on stress vitamins as travel can leave you stressed and tired.  We brought Vitamin C, a B-complex and B-12 for me.  As I usually eat a plant-based diet with almost no meat, I need to supplement with B12.

Our travel regime might seem a bit excessive to most.  My father almost died from a parasite he picked up in South America so I would rather be safe than sorry.  I can happily report we are feeling great upon our return – but a bit jet lagged.

Other eating tips we did on our trip

Buy food at local markets.  We also stopped by local markets and purchased rice cakes, humus, organic salads, limes and an avocado for dressing.  This was a cost effect lunch, dinner and snack solution and helped me transition into a new country and food choices.

Find great Juice and Smoothie bars – In both Thailand and Malaysia fresh juices and smoothies are sold everywhere – it seemed like every street corner had a vendor that could sell you a cold juice drink.  We did have some concerns about ice so took the advice in the travel blogs that state get your smoothies and juices from more reputable locations or we went ice free.  Many of the vendors add sugar so we asked for no added sugar.  Fresh juice made with local ripe fruit is amazing.  I know I had way more than my 3 cups of fruit per day but I was not worrying about it.

Drink lots of Water – we made sure we drank bottled water.  Our hotel provided bottled water and it was very cheap to purchase everywhere you went.  And with 30+ Degrees Celsius weather every day, you needed lots of water to stay hydrated.   We usually pack an empty disposable water bottle to fill up at the Toronto airport once we go through security as the water in Canada is very expensive to buy and the fountain water is drinkable.

Pack Cutlery – I packed in a plastic baggy two forks, two knives and two spoons so I had utensils for when we purchased food.  I did not tell my hubby about my utensils for fear of being teased but once we brought the salad back to our hotel room and needed cutlery, I got full points to pulling them out of my suitcase.  I actually picked that tip off a travel blog as well.

Experiment slowly  – When you are in a different country and culture, eating the local food is part of the experience.  If you have been eating a restricted diet, going too quickly a new food regime can be very hard on your digestive system.  I would suggest you try one new food a day and see how you feel the next day – just like all allergy elimination diets suggest.  If you did not have a negative reaction, then go ahead and try a new item again.  If you know you are allergic or sensitive to a particular food, stay away from it.  A vacation is not the time you want to feel sick or have headaches if you can avoid it.  For me that meant ensuring I did not eat papaya as I am very allergic to it.  At the beginning of the vacation, I hesitated to try new foods but by the end of our trip I was super pleased I did as the food was amazing – very flavourful and spicy.

May your next travel allow you to fully experience the culture and foods of the place you are in while celebrating your food restrictions to feel amazing.

To your travels with food and feeling great each day.

Jo-Ann Blondin, your 9CupChallenge partner

5 thoughts on “What to bring with you when you travel overseas to eat healthy

  1. Pingback: My favourite posts of 2012 – A year of amazing growth « 9 Cup Challenge

  2. man, this girl knows what’s in my rubbermaid box when I travel. Except I also pack occilococcinum (for colds), activated charcoal, tryptophan and calms (for sleep). And I also never go anywhere without essential oil of peppermint, tea tree and lavander! BON VOYAGE!

  3. Thanks for the travelling tips because wherever I go to,I have to make sure I’ve got access to some healthy treats ; thanks for suggesting how to make our trips a lot healthier ;))

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