Here are my 10 best PCOS travel tips:
1. Plan for when you return
Before you even leave the house for your trip, write out your Meal Plan for the week you return. Prepare your grocery list and have it ready on the kitchen counter. You will be able to hit the ground running and take the already prepared list to the grocery store upon your return. This by far is my #1 tip for traveling. Even if you fall off track while away, you can quickly get back to your routine with a prepared plan.
2. Prepare family/friends
I don’t like to surprise family and friends upon arrival of my dietary restrictions. I let my hosts know well in advance that for my health, I must avoid gluten, cheese, milk and other dairy products. I let them know that butter is okay. I ask if they would like me to email recipes that work ahead of time and offer to shop, cook or help in anyway I can when I arrive. This is one area that you might need to be a Diva.
3. Pack protein-rich snacks
Don’t leave home without a protein-rich snack to stave off hunger. Trailmix with a piece of fruit is another good choice. I also like gluten-free crackers or sliced apples with single serving packets of Justin’s Maple Almond Butter. If you can pack a small cooler, hard boiled eggs, single serving packets of organic hummus and veggie sticks are nice options.
4. Stick with a healthy breakfast
I find it is almost impossible to find a PCOS friendly breakfast while traveling, so always carry “Power Oats” with me. I mix some PCOS Diva Power Protein, rolled oats, nuts, dried fruit, seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg and a little coconut sugar and store in single serving sandwich bags. You can always find a cup of hot water to mix your oatmeal when you are at the airport or even on the road.
5. Have blender will travel
I love my Vitamix Blender and really hate to part with it when I go away, but my Magic Bullet is great while traveling. I pack my PCOS Diva Power Protein and this handy compact blender, and I am able to make my Diva Smoothies away from home.
6. Remember to pack and take your supplements while away.
In addition to my usual supplements, I always travel with Bach Rescue Remedy. It really helps calm me down when things get a bit stressful (and they often do when traveling with my three kiddos). When flying, I always take and use Flight Spray. It helps to ward off viruses because the nasal spray is lined with turmeric, a natural antibacterial and has spearmint to clear congestion. I also like Source Naturals Wellness Formula to strengthen immune system while traveling.
7. Exercise away from home
Get some exercise the day before you travel. Adjusting to time changes and jet lag is never easy, but a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise (via Men’s Fitness) shows that working out before you go on a trip helps the body function and acclimate more effectively.
Wear comfortable shoes so you can walk around the airport terminal instead of sitting down to wait for boarding. And try to make a few trips up and down the aisle during your flight. In the car, take breaks every two or three hours for a quick burst of fresh air and brisk walk around the service station. Skip the moving sidewalks and trams in the airport and take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Use your sitting time to your advantage. During those long stretches in planes, trains, and/or automobiles while traveling: Puff out your stomach as you inhale, then pull your stomach muscles in toward your spine on the exhale tightening your abs. You’ll get a great core workout (no crunches required!).
While away you have no excuses when you have Gaiam TV streaming exercise videos. This is one of my absolute favorite services, and totally worth the $9.95 a month. You can get tons of streaming yoga and fitness videos on any device. I can do a quick 30 minute yoga session anywhere.
And finally, plan family activities around active activities.
8. Drink lots of water
This really goes without saying. It is important for immunity too to stay hydrated. Tote along an empty bottle and fill it up at a water fountain after you pass through security. I like to use a BPA-free bottle with a filter like Water Bobble. I also always pack a small 4 oz. travel size vial of Apple Cider Vinegar to splash in my water. For more info on the benefits of ACV see this post.
9. Grocery store run
When I am on the road, I find that the healthiest food is often to be had at the grocery store rather than in fast food restaurants. Often grocery stores even have salad bars. When you reach your destination, stock up on fresh produce and Diva friendly items.
10. Progress not perfection
Avoid thinking, “I’ll eat healthy when I get home.” By eating well while traveling and on vacation, you will be more fully engaged in life and lessen the chances of getting sick. For lots of tips and tricks on managing holiday temptations, see my Holiday Survival Guide.
I like the 80/20 principle during the holidays. Load up your plate with 80 percent fresh or steamed vegetables and fruits and clean protein and complex gluten-free carbohydrates and 20 percent everything else. In the worse case scenario, know that you can always begin again with your next choice, whether that is a deep breath, a glass of water, or your next snack or meal.