My digestion is somewhat finicky on the best of days so travelling is often one of those ‘close your eyes and hope for the best’ scenarios. Will I feel bloated from constant travel? Will my skin breakout because of poor digestion? Will I be able to find meals my stomach is familiar with? Let’s be honest, I don’t skip the authentic Napoleon pizza experience while I’m in Italy and we all know I believe in the ‘gelato a day’ rule. I prepared myself so I would be left with lots of energy to continue exploring till the end of each long summer day. I avoided the foggy and lethargic feeling that comes from sluggish digestion. These are my go-to supplements to maintain a strong and healthy system while travelling, each of these gems were carefully packed into my suitcase and carried around Italy with me.
First things first, I always pick up some citrus fruits when I arrive. Fresh lemon water, 1/2 grapefruit snack, or orange slices with breakfast keeps the digestive juices flowing. No matter where you’re travelling, you should be able to pick up some fresh citrus at the local market or grocery store. If kombucha is available, grab a couple bottles to keep in the mini fridge as well. This bubbly fermented tea is great at relieving some discomfort if you overdid it at dinner. I couldn’t find kombucha in Italy but to be honest carbonated water works just the same for me and has a fraction of the price tag. Winning!
Digestive Bitters – I always have this on hand, travel or not. The trick is to have it before your meal, just a few drops will stimulate the liver and tell your body to get ready for digestion. Perfect for indulgent meals or eating foods you don’t regularly eat (going out to a new restaraunt, etc). It can also help relieve bloat, heartburn, and indigestion.
Probiotics – These shelf stable probiotics are ideal for travel! Foreign foods = foreign bacterias. Help your gut by loading it with healthy bacteria. Start taking the supplement a couple weeks before you go and continue during your travels. Having healthy bacteria will help maintain strong digestion, clear skin, and healthy immune function. Silver Fern probiotics are formulated to survive through the acidic environment of your stomach and have been DNA verified. I personally take these everyday.
Collagen – Yes, the trendy latte ingredient. Call me crazy but I actually packed a Costco sized tub of this in my suitcase…lol. Collagen helps to rebuild the gut lining so you can tolerate more foods. It decreases bloat and gas caused from food sensitivities. It’s also full of protein and works wonders for glowy skin and nails. I like to swap the complimentary stale donut breakfast provided by the hotel for a protein packed collagen latte and some fresh fruit. It mixes so easily with water, you don’t even need a blender. Just hot water, collagen, and a few ingredients listed below will set you up for an energized day of adventure. More questions on Collagen? Lee Tilgham put together an awesome article, check it out.
Spirulina – It can be hard to get your daily greens depending on where you’re travelling. This Hawaiian spirulina is an extremely high quality source of greens! It will help to boost energy levels, provide support to a healthy immune and digestive system (supporting nearly every organ system in the body). Add the powder to your morning latte or bring the pill capsules for convenience! Spirulina is considered a bitter food, great for digestion. (Greens + digestion = win!)
Digestive Oil – This popular roll-on oil called ‘Eater’s Digest’ is made by Saje Wellness. Apply directly on stomach and massage gently. Stomach massage is really beneficial on it’s own, with the addition of this oil the benefits are even better. A soothing remedy if you forget about all the supplements above.
Licorice Tablets – I love these! Pure licorice tablets are wonderful as a digestif after a meal. It works as a subtle digestive herb as well as curbing the sweet craving we often have after enjoying a savoury meal.
Two More Tips:
1 | Keep moving. Even when you’re not in your regular workout routine, walk when you can. Take a stroll after dinner or skip the Uber ride once in a while to get in some steps. Your digestion will thank you.
2 | Do like the locals. Each culture has their own practices and routines/rituals around food and digestion. Italy is known for having a digestif liquor or espresso after a meal and a glass of red wine with lunch. This might not be a ‘health trend’ you find on some wellness blog back home but it sure does the trick. Embrace the local culture, they know their cuisine the best!