I woke up on the second day of my beach vacation after a rather gluttonous night of pasta, bread, and ice cream. Ready to head out on the town, I slipped on my adorable new bodycon dress. I stepped in front of the mirror and winced, because it looked (and felt) like a balloon was inflating inside my stomach. My typically unwavering confidence was shattered, I changed into a t-shirt.
Travel bloat, as I have come to know it, got the best of me that day– but I vowed that I would figure out a way around the dreaded digestive issue. I texted my dietician, googled some home remedies, and tested methods to make sure bloating never burdened me again. Here are 5 ways to combat that bloated feeling and enjoy your trip.
1. Fast on Your Flight
A packet of free peanuts is hard to resist, but fasting on your flight keeps your gut ready for the trip ahead. Being suspended in the air forces our bodies to work extra hard to digest, leading to bloating, constipation, or IBS flare-ups. According to Ayurveda, being disconnected from Earth disrupts our Vata (air + space energy), making our insides cold, dry, and airy– not the ideal atmosphere for digestion. Support yourself during the fast by drinking tons of water and bringing along herbal tea bags.
Treat yourself to a fresh, delicious meal with healthy fats once you land in your destination.
2. Take Digestive Enzymes
Supplement the natural enzymes in your body by taking an enzyme caplet with your meals. Enzymes lower the amount of energy needed for chemical reactions in our body, so they are extremely beneficial for taking stress off of your GI tract. Less GI stress means you won’t experience digestive issues such as bloating, acid reflux, and constipation. They are especially helpful in digesting gluten and lactose, so before you dig into that stack of buttery pancakes, pop an enzyme pill. I keep a small bottle in my purse at all times so that I can indulge without having to worry about the after effects.
3. Stick to Your Routine (Kind of)
Deviating from your typical food routine throws your body for a loop and strains your digestive system. Making a small effort to stay within the lines of your normal diet will be appreciated by your body. If you are typically someone who eats a lot of fruit and vegetables, order a side salad with your dinner and a bowl of fruit at lunch. If you drink smoothies every day for breakfast, find a great local smoothie spot. There is definitely room for indulgence during vacation, but being mindful of how changes in diet affect your body will help you stay feeling healthy.
4. Mg is Key
Up to 80% of Americans are magnesium deficient. Magnesium decreases whenever we are stressed, consume sugar, or have caffeine: three common occurrences during travel. This is bad news for our gut, considering that magnesium is vital in staying regular. Magnesium is also indispensable in detoxing, which is important to keep you on your A game while away from home. Before your trip, pick up a bottle of magnesium supplements or drink mix at any drug store. I always take the supplements half an hour before bed because magnesium naturally calms your mind.
5. Drink Tea
Tea’s power duo of herbs and warm water is a godsend for digestion. The warm water will help to break down your food faster as herbs soothe your stomach and reduce inflammation. For bloating, try mint, fennel, rosemary, chamomile and lavender teas. To treat indigestion, try ginger or licorice root. Tea takes up very little room in your suitcase but will make a big difference for your body.