As part of finding the BETTER YOU in 2017, I’m focusing on how to keep your tummy happy while traveling.
I don’t know about you but I LOVE traveling. I get excited about new people, new places, new cultures and of course, new foods.
But I HATE bloating, constipation, diarrhea, gas, head and body aches. All these ailments that can happen while traveling, sometimes more than one at a time.
We cram ourselves into smaller and smaller transportation seating. We eat strange new foods. We don’t drink enough water. Or we over indulge because we’re traveling.
So in the end, our tummies rebel and give us all kinds of issues.
Believe me, I know travel is hell on the tummy. After two years of constant travel, Hubby and I have experienced it all with tummy issues. It’s one of the learning curves of a location independent lifestyle.
We’ve also learned how to keep your tummy happy while traveling. These six what to do and what not to do tips are also great advice for home life as well.
1. Drink Lots of Water
Your body NEEDS water. After all, it’s made up of 50 to 75% water.
Drinking alcohol dehydrates you. Sports drinks, sodas and juices are full of added. sugar, dyes, artificial flavors and other crappy stuff.
There’s a long list of reasons why you should drink water, including:
- Flushing toxins from your system
- Delivering food and nutrients around the body
- Preventing headaches and body aches
- Keeping you feeling good
- Reducing bloating and constipation
Did you know that over half the time that you feel hungry, you’re actually thirsty? So next time you feel hungry, try grabbing the water bottle first and see if it helps you stop overeating.
When traveling, only drink the tap water in countries with high sanitation standards. Drinking tap water and using refillable bottles is better for the environment. It’s also cheaper for you.
BUT don’t take risks. Drinking bad water can cause serious problems including putting you in the hospital.
Do your research before leaving home. Many third world countries have unsafe drinking water. Drink bottled water anywhere the water is unsafe or if your tummy is sensitive to changes.
Water is cheap, don’t skip it. Dehydration causes all kinds of issues. Plus, drinking water will keep your tummy happy.
2. Eat Yogurt
Eating yogurt regularly helps keep your tummy happy while traveling.
Handling strange new foods and environments, keeps your tummy working hard. These things also wreak havoc on your tummy’s eco-system balance.
Do try to avoid yogurts with high amounts of added sugar. But if that’s all you can find, eat what you can get.
Eating one helping yogurt a day helps to keep your stomach in balance and keep you feeling GOOD.
3. Eat Your Fiber
Fiber keeps you regular. As in regular poops and not getting stopped up.
Of course eating too much fiber without enough water can lead to those issues as well, so that is another reason drinking water is important.
Fiber also helps you lose weight, prevents bloating and overeating.
I get cranky when I don’t have my regular poop or I feel bloated.
There’s no good excuse for skipping out on fiber because it’s so easy to get.
Choose menu items with whole grains, beans and vegetables. Buy vegetables and fruits at the local markets for snacks. Eat lots of leafy greens.
4. Eat Local
I realize a lot of the travel advice recommends avoiding eating local but it’s just not true. You SHOULD eat local.
Eating local, usually, means fresher food because local restaurants tend to use local products. And because the food is less processed, it means less salt, added fats and sugar.
Commercial chain restaurants tend to offer more processed foods filled with added salt, fats, sugars and preservatives. They also use less fresh local ingredients, using shipped in ingredients instead for consistency.
And remember you’re traveling. It’s about experiencing the local cuisine and culture. Forget eating at the closest Starbucks or Burger King because it’s familiar.
Travel is supposed to make you feel a little uncomfortable because it’s new. It’s the same with the food. Just because the menu isn’t in English, doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy the food.
Finding a local restaurant is easy. Go where the locals go. Local restaurants are rarely in the popular tourist areas. Instead walk a couple of blocks away from the site to find local places.
Generally, you’ll need to walk a few blocks away from a popular tourist location to find a local restaurant. Pick one which is crowded with locals. Also, eat at the local meal times so that you get the freshest food. Freshly made food is less likely to bother your tummy.
5. Get Out and Exercise
Exercise is an extremely important way to keep your tummy happy. It improves digestion while burning fat and calories. It reduces stress and improves your mood.
Exercising tends to help you make better food choices, prevents bloating and keeps you feeling better about yourself.
You don’t have to exercise hard to receive the benefits. Walking will do just fine. Or try taking a walking tour or walking one way and taking the public transportation back. Rent a bike or visit the hotel gym. Go out dancing. Exercise doesn’t have to feel like exercise to make you feel better.
6. Get Plenty of Rest
Take a break. Rest. Relax.
Traveling is rough. You’re experiencing new places, cramming into small seating spaces or trying new foods. It’s easy to get stressed out and over exhausted.
Getting a good night’s sleep works well or try scheduling in a nap or two during the day. Take breaks just to relax.
Your tummy benefits highly from resting because when you relax it gives the stomach and body time to work their magic without having to keep up with you on the go. So slow down a little for a happier gut.
A happy tummy means you’re more comfortable and able to enjoy yourself more while traveling. I promise you’ll ache less and have less stomach and bowel issues if you follow these six steps.
I’ve included a simple recipe for Granola with Yogurt and Fresh Fruit. It’s a great way to start your day out right with fiber, yogurt and healthy antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. You can eat it almost anywhere and find the ingredients at any grocery store.