I’ve been flying back and forth from London to the East Coast at least four times a year for the last seven years now. So, I’ve learnt a thing or two about how to stay healthy when traveling, especially on long haul flights! It’s always my aim to land at my destination feeling energized and ready to go. This is important since my trips to London are a mixture of both work and spending time with loved ones. And when I return to Boston I’m back at work the next day, so I need to feel refreshed and revived. No time for jet lag here!
But travel can be tough on the body. There’s stress associated with deadlines and delays. You breath in germ-filled recycled air and are exposed to many toxins (planes are one of the most toxin-filled environments you can experience). Your body experiences changing time zones and being in an electric light, wi-fi enabled confined space. None of this is conducive to optimum health.
Below are the exact steps I take to stay healthy and avoid jet-lag when traveling, no matter what the journey entails.
I ask my clients to think of their health like a bank account – if they know they are going to make ‘withdrawals’ in the near future, then now is the time to add to their account! I use my 90/10 principle for nutrition, make sure I am getting in 4 structured workouts and moving my body at least 30 minutes a day. I minimize alcohol consumption, moderate my caffeine intake, take my daily supplements and prioritise healthy sleep. My new Less Stress, More Sleep Online Program guides you through all the daily steps I take for optimum energy, stress relief and incredible sleep.
If you are staying in an AirBnB or with family or friends, I highly recommend organising a healthy food delivery to be there when you arrive. This allows you to re-nourish your body after a stressful, tiring and probably nutrient deficient day of traveling. It also means you are less likely to order takeout or head to the nearest fast-food restaurant. If you are staying in a hotel, call ahead and request a refrigerator in your room. Then scope out the nearest healthy grocery store so you can grab some staples. I usually choose hummus and veggies, plant-based yoghurt, clean deli meats, avocado, nuts and seeds.
I always choose a day flight if possible when traveling to London. It makes it so much easier to get onto UK time, and I get so much work done on the plane. The day before I’ll make sure I work out, prep my breakfast smoothie and a salad, and pack my supplements and clean beauty products in my carry on. I’ll get to sleep as early as I can, and ensure I fast for 12 hours overnight (which may mean finishing eating at 4.30 pm just for that day).
When I head to Switzerland for our Peak Health Retreats I take an overnight flight. For this, I again ensure I fast for 12 hours overnight, which means I don’t eat on the plane. I’ll limit caffeine intake during the day and make sure I’m super hydrated. These are essential for staying healthy when taking a red-eye fight.
As soon as the sun sets, I’ll put on my blue-blocking glasses, as airports are a nightmare for night-time light exposure). I ensure I’m wearing warm, comfortable clothes, and have my eye mask and earplugs. I take New Chapter Zyflamend Nighttime as soon as I get on the flight, and pack a portable blender bottle with New Chapter Plant Protein+ and Fermented Maca Powder for breakfast.
If possible, I’ll try and workout before the flight, but with early morning departures, that’s sometimes a challenge! At the least, I’ll jump up and down on my rebounder for 2 minutes. I also make sure I have time for a quick stretch and foam roll. I’ll have my usual breakfast smoothie, but add in extra chlorella powder for the detoxifying benefits. I’ll drink a ton of water, and fill my water bottle to drink at the airport before going through security. I’ll use my Human Charger (use code ‘jennyh’) to give myself a boost of circadian rhythm regulating blue light (I’ll also use this at least once on the flight).
At the airport, I try to do some laps of the airport to get some movement in! I’ll refill my water bottle and buy two extra-large bottles as hydration is key to staying energized when flying.
To stay healthy when traveling, it’s important not to use flights as an excuse to snack for hours on end! We wouldn’t do this in real life (I hope), but it seems the second we take our seats to travel (or in a movie theatre) we break out the treats. Whatever the situation, I recommend a simple time-restricted eating pattern. Have at least 3 hours between meals and snacks for optimum circadian rhythm, body composition and digestive health. However, as nutrient-dense food is hard to find on a plane and delays are common, I do pack some healthy snacks. Epic Bars, Vital Protein Collagen Bars and nuts or nut butter packets are my go-tos. (Click here to save $25 at Thrive Market, where you can buy lots of travel-friendly healthy snacks).
I also pack a fresh salad to take with me! I usually make a big chicken salad with a ton of leafy greens, sauerkraut and fresh herbs (cilantro is great for detoxification). I pack it in an insulated lunch box with an ice pack. I order the airline’s gluten-free meal but only eat the ‘fresh’ food such as the salad or fruit. Keep in mind that highly processed plane food is lacking in nutrients and can be hard to digest and stressful for the body.
I am that crazy person you see doing squats in the aisle! Keeping your body moving is essential for staying healthy when traveling. This supports your energy and digestive health and helps make sure you feel good when you land. I make sure I move before and after I eat. Plus I do 10 squats every time I use the restroom (which is a lot, as I drink so much water when flying).
Flying can be really tough on your skin. I prepare by applying a Vitamin C serum, a light moisturiser and SPF45 before I fly. During the flight I keep my skin hydrated with Josh Rosebrook’s Hydrating Accelerator Spray. I also love Tata Harper’s Energy Treatment (a roll-on essential oil blend). I love Follain for all my clean beauty products (use code ‘ref_jenniferhanway’ to save 15%).
Typically I won’t eat after flying if I am trying to stay within my 12-hour window. But if I do, its something light and easy to digest such as a soup, smoothie or yoghurt. I’ll rehydrate with more water and herbal teas. Then I take a shower, take my sleep supplements, and aim to get to sleep in my destination’s time zone. These are all easy tips for staying healthy when traveling.
The next day I’ll set my alarm to wake up at my usual time (around 5 am). Then I recommence my usual healthy routine; organic coffee, lots of water, daily reading and gratitude, a breakfast smoothie and I’ll always workout. I love to take a hot yoga class or go for a run the day after traveling—anything that will get the blood flowing, the lymph moving and help me sweat out the toxins from the plane!
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