FRESH Tips for Healthy Summer Trips
Besides all the flowers, sunshine and opportunities to eat watermelon, there's a great beauty in summertime. And that's the beauty of getting out of the office. It's not the same to escape the grind during a New York winter, because polluted piles of sidewalk snow just don't have the same charm as bright green vegetation sprouting in the sweet sunshine. But what's even better than simply getting out of the office is getting way outta town - and we at FRESH have been lucky enough to be doing a lot of that lately (Although we must admit our "office" at Physio Logic is kind of spectacular).
Since the weather turned, we've been from Philly to Milan to Brattleboro to Amman and Jerusalem. The hotter months will take the FRESH team to Palm Springs and Paris. So how do we stay FRESH on the road? Just because we prescribe Food As Medicine doesn't mean we're immune to a respectable cultural indulgence. Pizza and pasta in Italy? Buonissimo. Croissants in Paris? Bon appétit. Although Food comes first, in the end it's all about Happiness.
To travel FRESH, indulge in moderation and follow our FRESH Tips for Healthy Summer Trips:
- Snack smart. Make your own granola bars! You can customize them to your tastes and dietary needs - gluten free, vegan, paleo, general deliciousness - while dodging sneaky additives and excess sugar and salt. A FRESH tip: leave out chocolate chips on road trips to avoid a melty mess and try cacao nibs instead!
- Snack simply. For excursions, pack fruits with thick skin - nature's plastic wrap. Options like oranges, bananas and grapefruits can keep you going without the storage snag. These nifty peels also prevent washing with unsafe drinking water in areas of concern.
- Bring a reusable glass or stainless steel bottle for drinks. Plastic bottles are a no-go, especially in a hot car where the chemicals easily leach into your drink. It also pays to hydrate, since hunger is often thirst in disguise and water is not always easily accessible!
- Limit alcohol and caffeine. These two are jet lag's best friends. Plus, nobody likes a diuretic after Gas Station Bathroom Detour #6.
- Go nuts. Almonds, cashews, pistachios and pecans for a daily dose of protein and satiety.
- Call ahead for a vegan in-flight meal. Animal products require special attention whenever we eat them, for humane and health reasons, and we have our suspicions that most airlines are not serving up local, antibiotic- and hormone-free, pasture- and humanely-raised delicacies. When you're flying, call at least 24 hours ahead and ask for a vegan meal (FRESH tip: it's always better anyways and your food comes before everyone else's! Score!)
- Skirt the travel tummy with probiotics. Especially when traveling internationally, new bacteria can make itself at home in your very displeased gut. Act proactively to avoid too much quality time with the toilet seat - or worse, antibiotics - by taking probiotics on your trip (Not sure if your gut is primed for probiotics? Come see Dr. Graham to investigate your personal microbiome). Kombucha is a FRESH source!
- Eat out at Mom & Pops. When you're spinning in circles in a foreign city yelling at Siri (it's totally her fault) because you can't find your 5-star Yelp-reviewed dinner spot, the ease and familiarity of a chain restaurant is tantalizing. Avert your eyes from the McDonalds, yes, even the Panera! Your local spots offer cultural immersion and (hopefully) a healthier option with more carefully selected ingredients.
- Try new foods! As Dr. Graham says, eat the rainbow. But that means one thing at home and another away. Travel will introduce you to a thousand shades of each color - Who knew you could cook collard greens like that? Or that there were that many variations of a banana? The more you try, the more you might like, and the best diet is a varied diet!
- Bring your walking shoes. Though it might take extra time, opt to walk as much as possible during your travels. Besides being a foolproof way to explore a new place (navigating public transportation always seems to provoke at least one catastrophic experience), it's a pleasant way to put the E in FRESH.
- Know when Less is More. If your travel motto is anything along the lines of "I'll sleep when I'm dead," we invite you to refer to two of the FRESH pillars of health: Relaxation and Sleep. Decide whether you'd like to savor and enjoy a few key experiences or Do! It! All! Both strategies are perfectly acceptable, as long as you're left with Happiness.