AKA Flight Kit
Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to do “flight kits” – AKA nutrition makeovers for private planes as well as packs for those flying commercially. I thought I’d take this opportunity to share with you the products as well as the intention behind their selection.
The Kit (*denotes private plane use only as liquids won’t pass through security for commercial flights):
Blue Diamond unsweetened chocolate almond milk *
EO hand wipes
Jay Robb brown rice, whey, egg white protein packets
Living Intentions nuts and seeds
Lydia’s organics crackers
Manitoba Harvest hemp seeds
Mason Natural tea powder packets
Navitas nuts, seeds, trail power
New Chapter Host Defense
Pangea lip balm
Stash tea bags and powder packets
Vita Coco (plain)*
AKA Flight Tips:
1) Hydrate, It’s so much more than water
2) Don’t let the (air) pressure get to you
3) The “unfriendly” skies: Bad bacteria
4) Stay underwhelmed
1) I’ve spoken and blogged often on hydration being so much more that water intake. This is sooo important when flying! What can you do to hydrate effectively when flying? Reduce your sodium intake (one great way is to bring your own naturally lower sodium goodies as well as choosing lower sodium ones at the airport and on the plane). Increase your potassium intake: we can’t typically bring plain coconut water even though that’s what I stock private planes with, but we can bring packets of Ultima Replenisher which provides highly absorbable minerals including potassium which not only hydrates but helps prevent DVTs. Bananas and avocado are great too (guacamole with vegetables, yum). And, of course, drink and eat water – eat water you say? Yup, opt for fruit versus juice or dried fruit options, have a large tea if you don’t like plain water, or bring cut up vegetables like celery, cucumber and peppers which naturally provide a good amount of water.
2) What does air pressure do to us? It tends to slow us down (internally) which effects the digestive system as well as the sinuses and can make our travel, our arrival and post travel days, less than fabulous. To avoid this, take action ideally before you fly, during the flight and on arrival. I always travel with Natural Calm – a highly absorbable form of magnesium that helps keep my system , and as a result me, relaxed – and I add it to my favorite herbal tea that I purchase once I’ve gone through security (or bring the tea bag with me). From a dietary standpoint, consuming whole grains (the actual grain is a better source than a whole grain flour but the whole grain flour product is still better than a white flour one), cooked dark greens, nuts, beans and seeds which are all good sources of magnesium. Calcium acts in opposition to magnesium (its Mother Nature’s contractor whereas magnesium is her relaxer) so I recommend working to equalize calcium and magnesium intake when flying – this may mean if you are eating calcium rich foods you might want to skip your calcium supplement for flight day; by the way, I recommend achieving a balance of calcium and magnesium in daily practice as a tip for optimal health. Also, if sinus infections or pressure are an issue, I recommend avoiding dairy on flight day or day after as for many it triggers extra mucus formation which can increase pressure and irritation. While I don’t recommend a pre-flight massage (day of), I think a post-flight massage can be one of your best post flight tricks for overcoming the effects of air-pressure (and it helps that a massage gets out the kinks so we can rest better). And of course, exercise, nothing gets the system moving, like, well, moving does.
3) Before we start spraying ourselves head-to-toe in anti-bacterial spray, let’s think about what ways we can naturally protect ourselves from bad bacteria. I recommend increasing probiotic consumption (good bacteria) as well as if you are a frequent traveler, taking a probiotic supplement to increase the likelihood that you’ve got enough good guys to keep the bad ones at bay. Second, support your immune system – this should be done always as a matter of course for optimal health – by decreasing sugar intake (this can be quite difficult if we rely on airplane food and airport foods as sugar is a common preservative in addition to the prevalence of sweet choices) as well as alcohol – both which suppress the immune system. I recommend taking or increasing one’s dose of mixed mushroom immune support products like New Chapter’s Host Defense or Metagenics Mycotaki when flying often, especially during flu season. Also, it’s important to keep the skin (internally and externally) moist not dry; tiny cracks develop and are an entry point for bad bacteria when the skin is dry. To that end, I recommend lip balms like that from Pangea which contains only nature’s best ingredients, and making sure to take in healthy oils in your diet to lubricate the insides (Barlean’s makes these delicious swirls that can be added to smoothies or even consumed by the spoonful – omega YUM!). I also apply coconut oil to my body when I finish showering (and am still wet) to lock in the moisture as an added insurance against dry skin. I do also recommend using natural antibacterial, eco-friendly wipes to reduce the bad bacteria – many of them also provide essential oils which help relax or energize as an added bonus.
4) It’s important to eat and drink to maintain your energy but keep the 3 hour rule and portion sizes in mind so that you don’t put too much into your system while flying. Eating and drinking often occurs out of boredom, or because the flight attendant suggests it, regulate yourself by noting the time (and staying in your time zone for these notes) and spacing appropriately. For some clients that fly often, or those who on arrival are worried about fitting into their dress or looking good on camera etc, I often put together a “Liquid day” plan for the flight. This allows the body to relax and does the most to prevent bloating etc. We are careful not to use soups with lots of sodium likely to cause water retention which would be counter to our goals. I also typically have them pack a detox bath or recommend the sauna or steam room in addition to the massage on arrival, to remove any toxins that have built up and to get the system moving again.