Wellness and Travel Tips
Holiday season is almost upon us and if like many in Hong Kong, you will soon be faced with long haul flights, travel days and jetlag, Laura Paul, Founder of Healthy Living Asia, shares her top tips for landing at your destination feeling rested and ready to go.
1. Special Meals
Most airlines make accommodations for travels with special dietary needs. Fruit plate, low-lactose, and gluten-free meals are just a few of the options many airlines offer. My top favourite meal is the raw vegan/vegetarian option (a.k.a RVML). This usually includes a spiralised mix of salad and vegetables plus a small side of fruit. Dressing is always included on the side, so you can add exactly what you want to your plate of greens. The best thing about this meal is that you won’t land at your destination feeling heavy with the salt overload of processed meats and heavy carbohydrate-based meals.
Our second favourite option is the gluten-free meal (a.k.a. GFML) as the main meal consists of steamed meat and vegetables with gluten-free bread and a gluten-free cookie. According to Cathay Pacific’s website, “This meal excludes wheat, buckwheat or wheat flour, rye, oats, barley, bread or any flour-based products.” Be careful, as this is not normally okay even for those with Celiac due to potential cross-contamination.
2. BYOF – Bring Your Own Food
In our house we do a combination of special meals and bringing our own food. My number one favourite airplane treat is an avocado. Avocado can be added to any special meal, eaten on it’s own, spread on top of toast/bread or scooped up with crackers. Other family favourites include organic applesauce, a variety of nuts and seeds, green-juice crackers, toast with almond butter and organic strawberry jam and popcorn. Nut butters can be purchased in individual packets from Just Green under the Artisan brand including almond, cashew, macadamia and coconut butters. Choose your favourite and then pick up a handful of travel-sized organic jams from City-Super under the Fioretti brand.
3. Stay hydrated
Most everyone has heard of watching your liquid intake during a long flight. If you do decide on a glass of wine or alcoholic beverage, be sure to include an extra couple of glasses of water on your journey. We always bring a few bottles of water on with us, unless travelling to the United States where all drink bottles are disposed of before getting on the plane. St. John’s University in Taipei recommends approximately one litre every five hours.
4. Amenities kit
Find your favourite items around town or have them delivered to you from www.iherb.com. In my carry on, I always pack:
- Alcohol-based sanitizer for hands, wiping down the seat and tray-table area and also wiping down the toilet seat
- A couple of storage sized plastic bags (in case of air sickness or for garbage in flight)
- Tootbrushes to maintain good oral hygiene. If you don’t have a travel sized toothpaste, brushing with a bit of mouthwash or water is better than nothing
- Hand-lotion and lip balm keeps your hands moisturized and lips fresh.
- Melatonin can help you avoid jetlag by artificially inducing sleep. Normally when you get tired, your body produces melatonin. According to some sources, taking melatonin a couple of days before your flight can make this remedy even better. (Be sure to check with your practitioner for the correct dosage).
- Charlotte Douglas, homeopath, creates individual remedies to prevent and help jetlag. You can find her at www.lovelifehk.com for more information.
5. Digital Detox
According to DigitalDetox.org, “By disconnecting from our devices we reconnect with ourselves, each other, our communities and the world around us.…becoming more present, authentic, compassionate and understanding.
Long haul flights are the perfect opportunity to de-stress and reconnect with yourself with 8-17 hours of uninterrupted you time. Ideally, take some time to a couple of days before your flight to plan our your time on the plane without using any digital devices. If you don’t have time to plan, before boarding, think about a book you have wanted to read, pick up a newspaper, write in a journal, indulge in some adult colouring or practise meditation skills by downloading the Headspace app. When you land, you’ll find you are more rested, peaceful and ready to tackle your destination.
To find out more about natural health and wellness in Hong Kong contact pick up your free copy of Healthy Living Asia Magazine at over 100 locations including your favourite practitioner’s office, health food store or spa. If you can’t find a copy, just email and have one sent directly to your home. You can also join the Healthy Living in HK community by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Join Health Living in HK.”