EASY TRAVEL TIPS!

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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!

Preparation:

  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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STRETCH!


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THE JUICE ON JUICING

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Drinking vegetable and fruit juices is something I have gone through phases with over the years. I should point out here that I’m certainly not talking about yucky, pasteurized “freshly squeezed” bottled juices, but rather freshly pressed vegetable/fruit juices, usually made with a home juicer. Despite the apparent healthfulness of the latter, I always encountered two schools of thought on juicing: the most dominant was on its numerous benefits, but I was also disillusioned  after reading reports about the high levels of (natural) sugar content, which could cause spikes in insulin levels, and made me question how “primal” juice really was. Thus, I sipped in and out of daily juices until more recently… and I’m proud to report I’m now a firm advocate of the daily, freshly pressed vegetable juice!

I had a number of questions and concerns about juicing, and after conducting a bit of scientific and personal research here’s some answers to my earlier questions:

Why not just eat the vegetable or fruit in its whole form?

Because most people don’t eat enough vegetables and fruit, and because our produce just isn’t as nutrient dense after being grown in depleted soil. Juicing means you get massive amounts of concentrated nutrients without having to consume huge amounts of fruit and veg. You would never eat a pound of carrots but you could easily drink the equivalent in a glass of carrot juice.

Don’t we need the fibre?

Yes, but you can get fibre from everything else you are eating. Consider your juice like a supplement – a concentrated amount of nutrients in a glass. And if you do suffer from intestinal and digestive issues taking out the fibre can help heal the gut and allow you to better absorb nutrients.

Isn’t fresh extracted juice high in sugar and won’t it spike insulin levels?

Yes, if you juice a lot of fruit. No, if you mainly juice vegetables. The low amount of sugars present in vege juice are perfectly balanced with enzymes, minerals and other nutrients which the body instantly recognises and turns into energy. They act totally differently to those sugars found in nasty pasteurized and processed bottled ‘fresh juices’.

What about the oxalates in green vegetables that can cause digestive upsets?

These vegetables are great to juice but in small quantities – you don’t need more than a few leaves of spinach/kale/collard greens/mustard greens/dandelion greens per glass of juice to get the benefits without the discomfort.

What about adding fats like raw milk / eggs / avocado / chia seeds / ground flax seeds / coconut oil to make the juice more filling like a smoothie?

Absolutely a great idea (especially if you are a protein type), as natural fats won’t interfere negatively with the nutrients available in the juice but will provide more sustenance if that’s what you’re after.

A bit of history…

The pioneers of juice therapy in the late 1800s were Dr. Norman Walker and Dr. Max Gerson – they brought juicing to the medical world by using it as a method to help cure all manner of ailments. Despite numerous cases of curing people from terminal illness, skin tuberculosis, cancer, migraines and headaches, and Dr. Gerson being awarded a Nobel Prize,  juicing was still regarded as “radical”. Dr Walker died at age 99, while Dr. Gerson died under suspicious circumstances – with many suggesting the results of his juicing research were  too much of a threat to major drug companies. Jay Kordich, a disciple of theirs, is the most current and loudest voice in the juice world today. Having cured himself of cancer as a young man through juice therapy he continues to spread word to the masses.

… And there certainly is a lot to spread! Freshly pressed juices:

  •  Remove heavy metals, toxins and poisons from the body without any side effects
  •  Provide all the goodness from loads of fruit and veg in a very concentrated and bioavailable form
  •  Allow people who suffer from digestive issues, whereby fibre impairs absorption of nutrients, to easily digest and soak up all the beneficial vitamins, minerals and so on
  • Are easily absorbed and fed around the body in as little as 20-25 minutes
  • Are perfect for fussy children who don’t enjoy eating vegetables to get all their nutrients
  • Are rich in magnesium (cellular functions, muscle relaxant), selenium (immune support), zinc (hair, skin, eyesight health) , amino acids (memory, metabolism, cravings, brain energy) and many more nutrients.
  • Prepare the digestive system for coming meals, stimulating stomach acid production and pancreatic enzyme production
  • Come in endless variations and flavours!
  • Increase energy levels and feel good hormones

After a week of having a juice each morning people report: increased energy, better digestion, clearer skin, brighter eyes, incidental weight-loss

After a long period of time people report: lower blood sugar, decreased hypertension, decreased inflammation in the body such as arthritis, better sleep

Ditch that conventional bottled juice!

The vast majority of bottled juices have been pasteurized: a heating process that destroys much of the nutrients, enzymes, vitamins and phytonutrients of juice, and creates a high sugar environment which feeds abnormal bacterial and fungi in the gut. I recently came across this (admittedly sensational) list which nevertheless provides some pretty disgusting facts on a number of popular “health drinks”…

HOW TO JUICE RIGHT!

Buy lots of fresh organic vegetables! Organic is definitely preferred for juicing, because you’re ingesting such a strong, concentrated dose of veges/fruit so you don’t want any residual pesticides or other nasties in the mix. If cost/access is an factor, at least do your best to avoid The Dirty Dozen

  • Wash
  • Cut off any bad bits
  • Leave the skin and the seeds on
  • Throw in the juicer! (Here’s a couple of quality models)

WHEN?

  • First thing in the morning, or 2 ½  hours after a meal

WHAT TO USE:

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Use 70% of these most therapeutic ingredients:

  • carrot
  • celery
  • cucumber
  • white/red cabbage
  • lettuce
  • beet and carrot tops
  • fresh nettle leaves
  • basil
  • spinach
  • kale
  • parsley
  • fennel
  • dill

… and the remaining 30% on these tastier options:

  • lemon
  • lime
  • ginger
  • apples
  • cranberries
  • grapefruit
  • grapes
  • mango
  • pineapple
  • orange

RECIPES:

Great for liver cleansing 

  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 2 carrots
  • ½ apple
  • ½ a small beet
  • ½ a lemon including skin

Great for heavy metal detox 

  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 1 cucumber
  • handful of spinach
  • handful of parsley
  • 1 tomato
  • ½ a lemon
  • 1 small beet

Great for carb-types

  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 celery sticks
  • ½ a beet
  • ½ an apple
  • 1 lemon (skin included)

Great for protein-types

  • 2 celery sticks
  • handful of spinach
  • 2 carrots
  • ½ an apple
  • blend w/ a spoonful of avocado, coconut oil, ground flaxseeds

My favourite green juice

  • 4 stalks of celery
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 carrot
  • handful of spinach
  • knob of ginger
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp turmeric
OTHER HANDY TIPS:
  • To cut out a bitter taste add: lemon, lime, cranberry, ginger
  • Feel free to dilute juices with purified water
  • A green juice w/ tomato + lemon is full of magnesium and iron: great chelators of heavy metals
  • Cabbage and celery stimulates disgestive enzyme production, and are great kidney cleansers
  • Freeze juice in popsicle molds – great ice lollies for children
  • Use leftover carrot pulp in baking
  • Smoothies: blend with avocado, eggs, pressed flaxseeds, chia seeds etc.