Travel-#2-blog_feature

Well here we are, back with another post on a topic so uncomfortable it feels like your Grandmother could have wrote it. Today we’re talking travel and #2, or lack thereof. Getting backed up, deer poop, the ever dreaded constipation – sometimes travel and not going #2  just seem to go hand in hand. Anyone out there know what I’m talking about? Don’t feel like you have to raise your hand, just nod in silent agreement. Well, today it comes to an end. Let’s talk about why it happens and what you can do about it.

First of all…why is this happening?

  • A sudden change in your diet?  Hey it’s not so easy to eat your usual greek yogurt muesli combo, green smoothie, veggie scramble or high fiber breakfast bowl on the road right? Sometimes experiencing traveler’s constipation is simply because of the sudden nutrient (think: fiber) withdrawal.
  • Your body isn’t down with this new routine. Believe it or not, our bodies are conditioned to the time of day and environment  just like the Pavlovian dogs were conditioned to the bell. So, if you get the urge ‘to go’ and it’s not your normal time or favorite bathroom where you normally ‘to go,’ you may just suppress the urge until you feel at ease and the time is just right. Well, holding it in – even once- is your worst enemy. It makes them impacted, dry out, jam up…and honestly, it’s just downhill from there. So whether you don’t want to go ‘there,’ or you are sharing a bathroom with your new partner and they don’t think you poo yet, well, it’s time to break the news.
  • Going across the world? Lucky.  But when jet lag kicks in your body may just want to go #2 while you are snoozing, and then refuses to relieve itself while you are suffering from jet lag throughout the day because of the above point.
  • Over indulged? Stuffing yourself with all ‘must haves,’ doesn’t help either…we’re not saying don’t try it, but know what’s going on if things stop working. Too much food can result in your stomach failing to digest protein fast enough, which will then begin to rot. This can result in getting sick {vomiting}, diarrhea, and then disrupting things overall. What do you not want to do? Take any kind of laxative, which may start yet another cycle of diarrhea with all that follows.
  • The icing on the cake: Dehydrated after a 3 day outdoor musical festival? Too much booze while in Moscow? Riding high in Amsterdam?  Well, indulgences are part of life sometimes, just know they can play a very big role in dehydrating your body and throwing off balance over all.

Travel-#2-blog_1

Well, that was a buzz kill. What can I do to help myself have normal movements?

  • Hydration is key. Water, water, water, and coconut water (if you tolerate it well). Before, during and AFTER, sip it slowly and don’t go crazy, but never let yourself get the tiniest bit thirst. And then when you’re up for it? Yep, some more water.
  • Since a majority of your immune system is housed in your gut – make sure you’re regularly taking your probiotics for weeks before your flight. Keep that gut in tip top shape to keep a strong immune system!  Any probiotic that is ‘enteric coated’ will be totally fine out of the refrigerator for a while, so bring a good stash with you. Take away from food if possible.

Travel-#2-blog_2

  • What are some silver bullets? My favorites are chia seeds, aloe juice, ACV and dark leafy greens.
    • Chia seeds are ideal because they’re easy to pack and can be added to any liquid  and some food. I pour them in water, coconut water, sprinkle in oatmeal or even make a little “chia pudding” with a touch of almond milk. They are packed with fiber and essential fatty acids which will keep your gut happy. Extra fiber requires water, so drink up!
    • Aloe juice is will cool off your digestion track and act as a gentle laxative. I’m not talking about the sweetened aloe drinks, but the real deal, 100% aloe juice. Grab some at the health food store and bring a little bottle with you, 1/4 cup may just solve your problems.
    • Apple cider vinegar!  Take 1-2 tablespoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar (you may want to dilute with water, and yes, you may curse me after) 2-3 times a day, preferably before or with food. This will help you break down what you’re eating for better absorption and easier elimination.
    • Kale, spinach, Swiss chard, or any dark leafy green. They’re packed with insoluble fiber (which act like a scrub brush for your intestines), and also high in magnesium, which relaxes your muscles and helps you eliminate.
  • Some items you should say sayonara to: Even if just for a few days, do your best to ditch dairy all together, go easy on foods with gluten like bread, pastries, cookies, pizza (double whammy) and pasta. Both of these foods can be very constipating. Instead opt for as many veggies as possible, fruit {berries are great!} healthy proteins and fats. What else? Wait for it….booze. Yep, I’m asking you to go easy on the pizza, cake and alcohol on vacation. Sorry.
  • Wiggle it, just a little bit.  Just shake that thing. Go run, dance, walk, yoga…getting some physical activity in one way or another is so helpful for constipation. Do some twists and stretches in your room, your internal organs will thank you. Hey you’re traveling, get out there and see things!
  • Extra support? Magnesium is where it’s at. Magnesium helps your muscles relax. Truth be told, our bodies can’t and don’t proper function without magnesium, in fact, magnesium is necessary for more than 300 chemical reactions in the human body – and digestion falls under that category. We love supplementing with Natural Calm or Magnesium Citrate (about 300-400 mg) to help move things along.

Travel-#2-blog_3

Our hope is this helps you take your next trip better prepped, and if you’re on one, get moving to the closest green smoothie shop! Take care of yourself, have fun and travel safe.