Get Vacation-ready like a nutritionist

You’ve purchased your plane tickets, booked your hotel, and if you’re anything like this fiery half-ginger, you’ve stocked up on enough sunscreen for a journey to the sun itself. It seems you’ve thought of everything in planning for your upcoming trip, but have you considered whether your body is truly vacation-ready? Find out how you can be boosting immunity.

Let me clarify – when I say “vacation-ready” I’m not talking about stressing over a “beach bod” or lack thereof (because haven’t we established that we come in all shapes and sizes?!). What I’m speaking to is whether your body is functioning in order to allow you to feel vibrant and energized for your vacation. With my own travel plans rapidly approaching, here’s what I’m doing right now to prepare:

Boosting Immunity

Whether it’s the frenzy of preparing for your trip in the weeks prior, or the actual travel day where you and a plane full of potential “patient zeros” are forced to breath recirculated air for hours, chances are your immune system is going to be taking a hit.

In order to give my own immune system a much-needed boost, I’ve been taking Ashwagandha. It is an ayurvedic supplement renowned for its health restoring and anti-inflammatory properties. This ancient herb is an adaptogen, meaning it aids the body in adapting to stress. Ashwagandha contains immune enhancing properties so powerful that it is often referred to as “the strength of the stallion”, so saddle up my friends!

Looking for an even simpler way to dodge the sniffles? Don’t underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep. Sleep deprivation is no friend to your immune system, as it significantly reduces the body’s ability to fight off infection. Bedtime is your body’s opportunity to rest and repair, so be sure to catch anywhere between 7 to 9 hours daily and save those sleepless nights for something more interesting like a holiday fling!

Promoting Gut Health

I’m going to go ahead and make a bold claim here, one that I dare you to disagree with: the fate of your vacation’s success can be determined by your digestion. Think about it – going too much (or too little for that matter), has the potential to turn your dream vacation from fairytale to scary-tale, from happy to crappy…need I go on? Luckily, there are ways to prevent digestive issues even before you leave home!

Personally, I’m a probiotic once daily kind of gal; however, in the height of this year’s fermented food craze there are plenty of opportunities to incorporate your daily dose of health-enhancing bacteria into meals. Try sipping on some kombucha, topping a stir fry with kimchi, or incorporating my personal favourite, genmai miso paste, into soups or salad dressings. The goal is to crowd out and replace harmful organisms residing in the gut with beneficial, digestion-enhancing flora so that you and your tummy have a fighting chance against any holiday indulgences, or even traveler’s diarrhea.

Enhancing Liver Function

Like most practitioners working in the natural health field, I do my best to minimize my daily exposure to toxins, which includes limiting my alcohol intake. But when I’m in vacation mode, my personal mantra has a funny way of switching from “My body is a temple,” to “Rosé e’ry day!!!” at a remarkable speed. Maybe some of you can relate?

Enter Milk Thistle. This powerful herb is used for supporting liver function, boosting immunity, and promoting liver cell regeneration. Milk Thistle is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that encourages detoxification and protects the liver from damage induced by various poisons and toxins (ahem…alcohol!) It takes about a month to truly reap its therapeutic benefits, so start supplementing well in advance of your trip.

Interested in other ways to prime your favourite drinking buddy (aka your liver) for the big trip ahead? Why not incorporate a simple Detox Tea blend into your morning routine. I’ve been enjoying a mixture of Stinging Nettle, a natural detoxifier and anti-inflammatory, and Burdock Root , an herb that supports and strengthens the liver while enhancing it’s ability to remove waste from the body. These days, there are a wide variety of deliciously detoxifying teas out there, but always read the labels carefully. Choose organic blends that are free from artificial flavours and contain nothing but the herbs themselves!

(Keep in mind that while incredibly beneficial, the aforementioned herbs are by no means a silver-bullet remedy to drinking your face off. Be responsible and do your best to limit those beachside bevies!)

Image by @marcymedia

For more travel tips, check out our Well Travel Guide here.


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Tannis Grauer is a clean-eating, dark-chocolate-loving, Certified Nutritional Practitioner from North Vancouver. Armed with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and a Diploma in Applied Holistic Nutrition, Tannis is a passionate coach/writer dedicated to fusing evidence-based lifestyle recommendations with a touch of sass and hippie wisdom.