I have just come back from a fantastic long weekend in Canberra, celebrating the upcoming marriage of a lovely friend of mine. Yep, I went to a hens, and no I didn’t repeat the mistakes my beautiful partner made a few months ago on his last bucks night! Read about his shenanigans and their long lasting effects here!
My hen-friend is one of those normal people, meaning she and her husband-to-be eat normal food like wheat and dairy products. Luckily, I was travelling with two other wheat/dairy intolerant Queenslanders from my own reactive tribe, and together we managed to navigate the weekend very well! This got me thinking about healthy tips for travelling within the country. I thought about all the tips and tricks I have picked up over the years regarding healthy eating, drinking and enjoying yourself while away from home and thought I might share.
- People who don’t suffer from any allergies, intolerances or specific dietary requirements often don’t know what to feed people who do, and nor should they. It can be a source of great stress for your host/hostess, and you might not even know about it.
- As I have mentioned in the post What’s Your Label? I never expect other people to know what I eat or how I eat, or change their eating habits for me if I am visiting. As a result I often BYO if possible, or make sure I can hit the shops when I arrive, so I can stock up on food I can eat.
- If your host/hostess wants to feed you, try to keep as simple as possible such as a home made vegetable soup, salad, baked veggies or stir fry. If you have to start telling them to watch out for gluten in stock, or MSG in stir fry sauce mix try to be specific, for example brand A is the one I can have.
- Personally, I think that is there are more than 2 clauses in your dinner request, it’s too much trouble for your host and you should politely offer to help out once you arrive, or cook them one of your delicious meals to celebrate your arrival.
- If you do have dietary requirements, make sure you investigate the area before arriving and Google places you will be able to eat. Again, if your host is not following your diet, they probably have no idea where you will be able to eat. When looking for places to eat also keep in mind that your host may not want to eat your way. Your vegetarian host may not appreciate going to the latest paleo café, or your white bread loving friend may not like you dragging them to a gluten free bakery. It’s best to check. Sometimes you may introduce your friend to a whole new eating style, but I guess introduce is the key, not shove it down their throats!
- Relax the rules a bit! This is unless you have a crazy allergy or autoimmune condition like Coeliac Disease. If you usually avoid certain items because of intolerances or for general health, then feel free to let your hair down and enjoy yourself while away! You might just be surprised how well your body tolerates the ‘naughty’ food!
- Don’t underestimate the awesomeness of rice thins and avocado for breakfast, lunch or dinner!
- Remove the rubbish from the mini-bar and stash your food in there if it needs refrigeration. Make sure to pick up some paper plates and cutlery from the supermarket (or food court!) so you don’t have to use the notepad as a plate.
The Subject of Water
- One thing I struggle with while travelling is most definitely drinking water. Sometimes (like on the weekend) it’s too cold to enjoy water. In this case I always say yes to tea/hot water when possible. I am not usually the biggest tea person, but knowing I won’t drink cold water encourages me to have a herbal tea whenever possible. Make sure you avoid caffeine though, that will just further dehydrate you.
- Sometimes the local water tastes nasty and you freak out about the chemicals. In this case I would suggest buying bottled water- a couple of big ones and a small one. This way you can stash your water at your accommodation and take the little water out with you when you explore. If you can’t do this, I would suggest always having a selection of herbal tea bags in your bag and flavouring your water that way. You could also use fresh lemon, lime, ginger or honey.
- At other times you might scared of not finding a bathroom so avoid drinking where possible. If this is the case, I would suggest loading up on water when you are home for the night. If you have been out all day and head back to your accommodation for the night, try to drink at least 1-1.5 litres then. That way you know you’re not dehydrated, and you have a lovely bathroom close at hand. Yes you might need to wake up and tinkle during the night, but it is better than getting a urinary tract infection, headache, migraine etc from dehydration!
- If you’re taking a long flight and need to be fed (or if you’re like me and enjoy having snacks available cause you never know when hunger strikes) avoid the plane food cardboard trash and BYO. It’s the great thing about domestic travel! You can BYO food and water on the plane! Your guts will thank you for it!
- Dancing feet- you all know the tips about preventing deep vein thrombosis. What I do is make sure I keep my feet dancing while I’m listening to music.
- Drink water, avoid alcohol and coffee. If there is one thing that will make you feel terrible, it’s alcohol and/or coffee at high altitudes. Keep hydrated with water or coconut water if you want a pick me up (BYO), but keep away from these bad guys.
- Many people are nervous flyers. Rescue Remedy or Emergency Essence can be a fantastic pocket remedy to use when needed on a flight. These flower essences can help calm and reassure you.
When you’re away sometimes you might start feeling a bit off. Maybe you ate too much, chose the wrong types of foods, had too much alcohol, or started coming down with something. Here are my top tips for common complaints and DIY help.
- Peppermint tea- fantastic for tummy trouble. If you have a gurgley tummy, wind, bloating or some loose motions, try peppermint tea. Most hotels will offer it- it is a staple- so feel free to search it out and give it a try.
- Ginger tea- this one is great for nausea, hangovers, and for aiding digestion. Also another staple, most places will have it, but if not, ask for a few slices of fresh ginger in hot water. Great to sooth and warm
- Epsom salt bath- if you’ve been walking and sightseeing and now have sore muscles, grab some Epsom salts from your local supermarket and pop them in the bath! Have a good soak and the magnesium in the salts will soothe those pains and cramps away.
- Lavender oil- I always take a little bottle of lavender oil with me travelling. It is first aid for cuts, scratches, pimples, and bites, plus it is also a sleep aid. Pop some on a tissue and put it inside your pillow case to encourage sleep.
I hope that has given you a few new tips to try out the next time you go adventuring this amazing country of ours! There is so much to see, and I am never going to let food restrictions or minor health issues hold me back for exploring it!