I got the idea for this post after a recent overseas journey which spanned around 36 hours of flights, trains and buses. Whether on a journey as long as mine, or something less intense, traveling has a definite impact on our physical well-being – time-zone changes, cramped conditions and limited food options disrupt our natural cycles, so it pays to be prepared. With the holiday season winding down this is perhaps a little belated, but keep these tips bookmarked for next time!


  1. The day before you travel, move around a lot – go for a long walk or gentle jog, go to a pilates or yoga class or simply stretch.
  2. Buy some healthy snacks to eat on the journey – avoid plane/train/ food if you can. I tend to pack leftovers (fritatta and salad is easy to pack) nuts, nut butter, coconut oil, dried fruit, healthy snack bars, crackers, bananas, avocados, kale chips, crisps, dark chocolate, bake some muffins or a loaf. You should be fine taking this food onto a plane but anything left after your flight you may have to declare on entering a new country (transit should be fine).
  3. Eat and hydrate well on the day you are flying so you can fill up on good quality produce and won’t be tempted by any nasties onboard. Try to get in a vegetable juice or smoothie before the flight –  google beforehand to find out if your airport has a juice bar. Green tea will help with tension headaches – I take the tea bags with me and just ask for hot water.
  4. Pack your probiotics to help keep your tummy happily digesting and to help support your immune system (being stuck in a confined airless places with loads of people can be a germ breeding ground!).
  5. Prepare your travelling outfit – choose your most comfortable clothes, soft fabric that is loose fitting or nice and stretchy. Pack an extra pair of socks or some slippers or flip flops/jandals to walk around in as you want to take your shoes off as soon as you begin your journey.
  6. Make sure you have a good sleep the night before – no last minute packing or panicking

While travelling:

  1. Choose an aisle seat so you can get out of your seat easily to walk around (without your shoes), or if travelling in a car take regular breaks to get out and walk around and stretch: turn your head from side to side, squeeze hands together behind your back, twist, sit in a low squat, lean forward to stretch the back of your legs, point and flex your feet, and so on (images below).
  2. Drink plenty of water (double the amount of water offered to you if on a plane) this will make you get up to use the toilet at the very least! Avoid alcohol and caffeine as these can disrupt your sleep patterns.
  3. If you have more than one flight then use the transit time to find a juice bar, or guzzle some good quality water. If you’re hungry choose fresh vegetables/salad or fruit.
  4. If you feel tired then sleep! Or at least close your eyes and rest. Take the opportunity to practise some calming breathing exercise or mindfulness. If you are transiting and need sleep then lie down rather than sit to sleep. If you’re wide awake then walk around or stand as much as you can.
  5. Eat your own packed food. Or if you have to eat the food served to you then definitely avoid the bread and dessert – ask for a piece of fruit or a bag of nuts instead.
  6. Brush your teeth! or at least swill your mouth out with oil or fresh water! This won’t only make you feel more refreshed, but will also help keep your immune system boosted. Remember the major importance oral health plays in well-being!

After travelling:

  1. Stretch, twist and move around! The cat stretch is a great one to do if you have the floor space. Massage your feet on a tennis ball to help rebalance the different reflex points that may have been affected by the travelling.
  2. Hydrate – plenty of fresh water perhaps with a pinch of good quality salt to help balance your electrolytes.
  3. Eat well to help you sleep well – fill up on any food groups you may have missed out on during your travels.
  4. Go to bed at the local time (between 10 and 11pm is ideal) and get 7-8 hours sleep if possible.



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Do you ever get a bloated sore tummy, or perhaps a little stiff in your joints, or just feel plain tired and spaced out after eating a meal loaded with grains, legumes, nuts and seeds? If you’re unsure, then pay a bit more attention to the feedback your body is giving you – try taking a break from these foods for a few days, or if that’s too tough, follow my suggestions below and see if you notice any difference. We often don’t realise how small changes to the way we prepare our food can make quite remarkable transformations to our digestive health.

What’s in them then?

Grains (like wheat, rye, barley), legumes (like beans, chickpeas, lentils), nuts and seeds are all coated in toxins that are difficult for us to digest: phytic acid, enzyme inhibitors, lectins, polyphenols and goitrogens. In nature these substances are there to keep them safe from predators until they come across ideal moist and warm conditions to germinate. However, because we eat these foods before this natural process has taken place, our bodies have to break down the exterior toxins. Whether we are aware of it or not these toxins cause undue stress on our bodies – deplete our essential mineral and vitamin stores, block the absorption of calcium/magnesium/iron/copper/zinc in the intestinal tract, take loads of energy to break down, interfere with protein absorption and deplete amino acids. This can manifest in symptoms like digestive upsets, tooth decay, immune deficiency, skin irritations, mood irregularities, thyroid issues, stiff and swollen joints, sluggish energy levels and anxiety.

I am not a huge advocate of eating grains especially those containing gluten (wheat, rye, barley, oats…) as there are no nutrients in grains that are not found in other foods. Vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, fish, meat, eggs etc. are all easier to digest and offer many more nutrients. However, if you are going to eat grains then it is very sensible to mimic nature’s germination process by soaking them.

Soaking your grains, legumes, nuts and seeds overnight in warm water is harking back to yet another age old way of preparing food – “activating” them in this way allows for the following benefits:

  • Increased nutritional content that is right and ready for absorbing = better energy levels and less water retention/cellular inflammation
  • Less digestive tract inflammation as the toxins have been neutralised and released = less digestive pain and bloating. A healthier gut means you’re less likely to suffer from anxiety, depression and irregular mood patterns.
  • Increase of naturally occurring digestive enzymes = increased metabolism and reduced use of our own body’s enzymes so they can be put to use for a whole host of better things!


Cover with fresh warm water, add between a tsp and tbsp of good quality salt, or apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice to help break down the toxins even further. Store in a warm place. After soaking, you drain them, rinse them, then either cook or dry them out. If you want to get even more out of your grains you can let them sit out for a couple days so they sprout (rinse and drain them a couple times each day until sprouts emerge).


Soak for 24 – 48 hours. Change the water 2-3 times.


Soak for for 12 – 24 hours. Change the water once or twice.

Nuts and seeds

Soak hard nuts for 12 – 24 hours, drain off the water (do not rinse them) and pat dry. Lay the nuts out on a baking tray and dry in a dehydrator or an oven on the lowest possible setting* for 6 – 24 hours (until all moisture is removed). *Less than 65 C; for gas ovens – on the pilot light.

Soak seeds and soft nuts for no more than 6 hours, drain (do not rinse them), pat dry. Lay the nuts out on a baking tray and dry out at room temperature, in a dehydrator, or in an oven on the lowest setting.

If you are struggling for time to dry out your nuts and seeds then go to your local health food store and seek out some activated nuts and seeds – here are my favourite brands I’ve tried from London, New York, New Zealand, Australia. Please message me if you can recommend good quality activated nuts in your area so I can add them to the list!