The holiday season is fast approaching and I, for one, am looking forward to visiting my lovely family and friends in the UK.
Much as I love hopping on a plane to far-flung destinations, air travel doesn’t quite go hand-in-hand with health and hygiene. So, here are some tips that I’ve picked up along the way to make travelling by plane as stress-free and healthy as possible. By sharing them with you, I hope you arrive at your destination feeling fresh and raring to go!
Boost your immune system
Seven days before I head off for my holiday, I make a point of boosting my immune system with some extra Vitamin C, 1000mg of Vitamin A, and 40-50mg of Zinc. It gives my body the much-needed protection it needs, especially on the plane ride.
Blast those germs
Tell me I’m not the only one who does this! Once on board, I head to my seat armed with my trusted wipes and essential oils. I clean the armrests, seat belt areas, tray, movie screen and remote controls. Once I’m confident I’ve zapped as many pesky germs as possible, I sit back, relax and enjoy the ride.
Lemon Oil smells good and works great. My all-time favourite, however, is Young Living’s Thieves Blend.
More essential oils
My mini selection of essential oils accompanies me on every single trip. Essential oils are a natural alternative to over-the-counter relief for all sorts of ailments including headaches, upset stomachs, and sleep deprivation. They are especially useful when you are travelling with young children.
Lavender, for example, is calming and relaxing. It helps to promote sleep, which is exactly what you need on a red eye flight. Place a couple of drops on your tissue and breathe in its soothing scent.
Peppermint oil and ginger oil help to calm motion sickness and bloating. Just rub a couple of drops in your tummy button or put one drop in some water and sip slowly. You don’t need much as the oils are super
strong – one drop of peppermint oil is equivalent to over 20 cups of peppermint tea! Peppermint is also great for in-flight headaches and to cool you down if you find yourself getting hot and bothered on the plane.
Rub a drop onto your forehead (be careful not to get into your eyes as it can sting) and a drop on the back of your neck.
A word of caution: I recommend using only high quality pure essential oils such as the ones by Young Living, which have been independently tested and are safe for ingesting. For young children, dilute the essential oil with a carrier oil (olive, coconut or almond oil are good options) and apply to the soles of the feet.
Tip: Young Living Oils can be purchased at i-Detox (visit i-detox.com for more information). Mention my name when you’re in there. It is cheaper to join and purchase online, especially in the long term. The lovely staff at i-Detox can help you out with setting up an account.
Eating and Snacking
Airplane food is typically calorie-rich, nutrition-poor and pretty unkind to our taste buds!
I limit the amount I consume on the plane, which means I don’t suffer from stomach discomfort or bloating. Before boarding, I enjoy a light and nutritious meal with protein to keep me full for a few hours and if I’m on an overnight flight, I skip the meal service, switch off and sleep instead.
Here are some of my ‘go to’ snacks for when I do get peckish:
· Hard boiled eggs in their shells, as a good source of protein
· Fresh berries such as strawberries and blueberries, which travel better than raspberries. Cherries and grapes are good too though it’s best to limit grapes due to their high sugar content
· Nuts and seeds. To create a delicious trail mix for children, add in some dried fruit. We love goji berries for their sweetness and antioxidants
· Apples, as they are or ready sliced. Whilst I’m not a fan of plastic, for lightness and convenience, wrapping apples in a sandwich will help them to last longer
· Carrots, celery sticks, sugar snap peas, edamame and radishes are great choices to snack on and team them with
· Nut butter! I love the convenience of mini sachets. Check out Artisana’s raw almond, pecan and cashew butter sachets at Just Green stores. Hummus is also a delicious option
· Kale chips
· Protein and/or greens powder. Some brands come in single portion sizes, which are great for travel. I love NuZest vegetable protein shake sachets, which come in different flavours – strawberry, vanilla, cappuccino and chocolate. They can be found at IMI. Go Green sachets are good too for your veggie intake. They can be found at Just Green and other health food stores too. If you can’t get your hands on sachets, simply decant into a small container. I usually add take my empty green smoothie shaker on board. When I fancy a smoothie-fix, I throw in my powder, fill it up with water, give it a shake, and knock it back
· Oatcakes and rice cakes. They’re healthier than crisps and other crackers and are nice with nut butters and hummus too
It’s important to drink loads on the flight to avoid dehydration. And no, sorry, I don’t mean alcohol! I usually take an empty glass bottle with me, fill it up with water once I get past security, and add a couple of lemon oil drops to it. It’s a delicious, refreshing and cleansing drink to sip throughout the journey.
You could even make a game out of this. If you are travelling with young children, each family member can take a bottle of water with them. (I like the glass bottles covered in protective rubber that are available at i-Detox. Not only are they kinder to the environment, they’re safer too for this purpose. Essential oils can break plastic down, which we definitely don’t want!) Put four rubber bands around each bottle. Each time a bottle is emptied and refilled a rubber band is removed. Make it a competition to see who gets rid of all their rubber bands first.
I have found the most wonderful Sleep Master eye mask. Check it out on Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Sleep-Master-smblu01-Mask/dp/B0015NZ6FK. I love its luxurious silk feel and the fact that it covers my ears.
I also take a light scarf or wrap and tend to wind that around my mouth and nose with a few drops of lavender and thieves oil on it when I settle down to sleep on the plane and will usually keep that wrapped around me for most of the journey. It’s soothing and I like to think it acts as an extra layer of protection against germs.
I always have a natural lip balm to stop my lips from drying out and a tiny container filled with coconut oil to moisturize my face during the flight.
Finally, when I’m bored of the movie channel, I read a good book on my Kindle or listen to soothing music.
Almost there! After a long-haul flight, Cedarwood and Peppermint essential oils are my go-to pick-me-ups guaranteed to clear any lingering grogginess. A sniff of the bottle or a couple of dabs on my forehead are enough to get me feeling fresh. Oh, and a dab of peppermint oil on your finger and placed on the roof of your mouth helps to banish traveller’s breath!
If you’re staying in Hong Kong or heading out, we wish you all a fun and fabulous summer break. Stay healthy, be happy, and enjoy the holiday.
The time has come to move on to our next adventure. This summer, my family and I will move back to Europe, Lyon in France.
Before I say goodbye, I’d like to thank all my wonderful clients and partners for your support over the years. It has been a pleasure to work with you all.
You’ll be pleased to know that Nutrition Nation HK will continue its good work with wellness ambassador Alison Middleton at the helm. As an accredited health coach, a student at the School of Applied Functional Medicine, and a soon-to-be qualified hypnotherapist. Alison is as passionate about health, nutrition and wellbeing as I am.
Some might know Alison as the founder of AM1Health where she shares tips for overcoming health and life challenges based on her own experiences in her blog. Others may recognise her from the Double A Health Team YouTube series and workshops where together with her 11-year old son, Alex, she endeavours to educate and inspire children to live healthier, happier lives. Or, you may have crossed paths with Alison in her capacity as a HR, training and development professional with a long history of designing and implementing highly impactful corporate wellness programmes.
I have no doubt that Alison's experience, expertise, and enthusiasm will take Nutrition Nation HK from strength to strength.
Alison is excited to be leading the Nutrition Nation team and to working with you all. They will be making the most of the summer break to get up to speed and to meet everyone. Watch this space for new and exciting updates.
Once again, I’d like to thank you for your contribution to Nutrition Nation’s journey!
Tanja, Alison and the team at Nutrition Nation HK!