Ah, plane trips. Most all of us take them and need them in our lives, at least from time to time. So since we know they are part of our existence, from work trips to getaways and vacations to family visits, etc. we can apply a little strategy to make our plane rides the best possible and most supportive!
I just recently flew back and forth to New York. Gone are the days when I used to brag about how “amazing” Lil Bub travels. Well he is still pretty great as far as babies are, and thankfully he’s never been colicky or anything, but it’s not like he just latches onto my boob and chills or sleeps the whole time, like he did on the plane when he was around 3 months old. Oh no. It really started really turning at around 7 months.
Now that he is almost 11 months, he is grasping for everything, and I admit I am now that mom- wiping down the handles of all the chairs and the window, etc. with wipes! Oh how times have changed from my backpacking days where I was sleeping directly on the seats of third class trains zipping through China and drinking out of dirty chai cups in Indian rail stations.
I think germ exposure is good to an extent to help build up immunity… but still. Planes seem not the place where I want Bubs touching everywhere then eating his hands. And I’m sure he gets plenty of healthy germ exposure from other places!
Now on flight, whether they are 1 or 6+ hours (like coming back from NY), he constantly wiggles around like a little happy piglet in the softest, most amazing mud on the planet. There is no more reading or sleeping or watching movies on the plane…it’s all taking care of him and feeding him and watching over him pretty much the entire time!
Okay. Enough of my diatribe about my personal flight challenges….the point is that flights are challenging for all of us. And whether you travel with a baby or not, plane rides can be super intense on your body, your rhythms, moods, sleep patterns, everything. But there are things you can do to help minimize the challenge of plane rides!
Here are some tips on how to minimize the effects of plane rides and air travel:
1 – Get in some Glutathione
Flying creates oxidative damage. It’s unfortunately the way it goes. That damage then requires antioxidants to come in and repair or prevent free radical damage and aging. One of the most important nutrients in this fight is Glutathione. It is the master antioxidant in the body; in part, because it allows our bodies to reuse other antioxidants like C and E, to continue to fight free radicals.
Asparagus is a leading source of glutathione. Broccoli, avocado and spinach, garlic and onions, contain critical pre-cursors like sulfur-containing amino acids that the body converts into glutathione.
It’s helpful to consume these foods before and after flights. So if you can eat a Dharma’s Kale Salad massaged with avocado and asparagus and broccoli added on top (or a spinach salad), and down a Glowing Green Smoothie® before your flight, you are doing amazing on this front!
2 – Adjust to the time zone you land in
This one can be brutal. Depending which way you are going, you may want to pass out right away while people are starting to think about starting breakfast or you feel like skipping off to dinner while everyone else has been asleep for 3 hours. Either way, try to push a little on that first critical day and blend in, time zone wise. This will help the whole assimilation process of your trip go more smoothly.
3 – Focus on Elimination
Back to good old poop talk! Which seems to be a regular in our community, right?! :) Well it’s critical to feeling your best during travel, because if your digestion gets thrown off your energy and many other functions in your body will be also.
And when our circadian rhythms are disrupted, not only our meal timing and hunger gets affected. We also experience inconsistent elimination. Because elimination is so critical to detoxification and overall health, it’s ideal to take additional measures to promote regularity during travel.
I highly recommend taking an oxygen product like Detoxy+, which is non-habit forming and non-laxative. I take it every single day I’m traveling (and 3-4 times a week normally). The oxygen helps naturally and gently get between the old waste and your colon wall, and also helps bring oxygen into your entire body- which is great for anti-aging.
4 – Eat happy sleep foods
As we discussed in Radical Beauty, there are great foods that can help boost better sleep, such as hemp milk, which contains a great deal of the amino acid tryptophan to help your body with serotonin, and better sleep. Some other great foods are potassium-rich bananas, and whole, healthy carbs like sweet potatoes.
5 – Stay off screens
If you’re not sleepy, still avoid staying up to watch TV or be on your computer at all costs! Screens will be stimulating. And watching reruns of Law and Order or perusing the disturbing news headlines of the day is not what your brain needs to be Zen.
Read a hard copy of a book instead, until your eyes start to get very, very droopy. Old school and simple is best sometimes!
6 – Welcome the sun
Once in your new environment, get as much natural sunlight as possible—with the obvious caveat not to burn or overexpose. Sun helps signal and reset our circadian rhythms, and your body will adapt more quickly with exposure.
7 – Avoid the in-flight wine (sorry!) and the coffee
Avoid alcohol and caffeine prior, during and after your flights. Both are dehydrating and affect the nervous system in less-than-ideal ways.
If you must have coffee, save it for the next morning, especially if you’re getting up early to match the new time zone you’re in.
8 – Take a cold shower
Okay, this might not sound like the most fun, but if you can bear it for a short while it can actually help you out on the travel front. Cold showers help dilate blood vessels, which can be helpful for boosting circulation and helping you feel more energized after your flight.
9 – Be strategic about dinner the night before
Be sure not to eat a protein/fat rich dinner the night before, which can keep you feeling super heavy the night before going into the flight, directing energy into partially digesting through the night and thereby preventing you from being fully rested before going into an already tiring situation.
10 – Best plane fare
Keep it simple, and stave off hunger with easy to eat foods that will keep you from caving into the cookies that get passed over and over again up and down the aisles.
Hope this helps you with better, easier, smoother travel.
Wishing you a wonderful day. Stay in each moment, and you will feel more joyful! Easier said than done, but a good one for all of us to work on.
Sending you love,