Today, it’s all about travel. One of the most requested topics that you guys have sent me over the last couple of weeks when I’ve been polling you over on Instagram asking how I can be the most helpful and make this podcast really the go to resource for gut health. With summer coming up here in the US, I know everyone is worried about travel and how to navigate their digestive symptoms while traveling.
So today, I am going to leave you with my top 3 tips for traveling successfully WITHOUT your digestive symptoms.
In Today’s Episode We Discuss:
- Evaluating your mindset about vacations [06:15]
- Some nutrition and lifestyle tips and things that you can pack to really help make your vacation. Amazing. [10:11]
- Several supplements and things that you can bring with you to just make life a little bit easier whenever you’re travelling. [18:09]
- Summary of the actionable tips to make your vacation amazing [22:27]
Regular girl: https://amzn.to/3NgYgPj
Ginger Tea: https://amzn.to/3xbBlPK
Digestive bitters: https://amzn.to/3Mdva1S
Adrenal cocktail: https://amzn.to/3NdJp8d
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Heather Finley 00:01
Hey, welcome to the love your gut podcast. I’m your host, Dr. Heather Finley, I know what you’re thinking, how am I supposed to love my gut when all it does is hold me back. I thought the same thing before I found relief from my own gut health issues. I dedicated my life to getting into the bottom of my own gut issues. So I can help women just like you transform theirs. Now, I’m here to guide you through your own gut health journey. We do this through identifying your root causes and making sustainable and transformative changes. As a result, you can unleash your true potential. My goal is to empower you with the information and tools you need to love your gut, so it loves you back, right here on this podcast.
Heather Finley 00:47
I am so excited about today’s episode, this is one of the most requested topics that you guys have sent me over the last couple of weeks when I’ve been pulling you over on Instagram asking how I can be the most helpful and make this podcast really the go to resource for gut health. So With summer coming up here in the US, I know everyone is worried about travel and how to travel and how to navigate their digestive symptoms while traveling. So today, that is what we are going to talk about. And I want to leave you with three main points. So I want to cover first, the mindset behind travel, being mindful while you’re traveling. Secondly, cover the nutrition and lifestyle aspects of traveling and how you can really optimize these things so that you can have the best experience possible. And then lastly, some supplements that you may consider taking with you. Because let’s be real travel Constipation is a thing we’ve all been there. We’ve all if you listen to episode number one, I’m sure you heard the story of me in San Francisco with my family. And trust me, there’s been many more experiences just like that. But now I know exactly what to do when I travel so that I don’t get in a bind, like I did in the past. So I want to just first start off by talking about your mindset about travel. Now, you might think that this is kind of a weird thing to talk about. Because really what you want to know is what do I pack and what supplements do I need to take so that I’m not bloated in my bathing suit on the beach this summer. But the reality is, if you’ve only ever had a negative experience while traveling, think about how that affects your nervous system. So it’s kind of like a Pavlov’s dog response, you know, you get on that plane or you get in the car, and you immediately start working yourself up about what your symptoms are going to do or what you’re going to experience while you’re traveling. And this mindset can actually cause the symptoms to happen. So I find that with our clients that goes one way or another, sometimes our clients say that their symptoms are so much better while they’re on vacation. And the possibility of this is because you’re so much less stressed, you’re sleeping, you’re not at work, you might be getting more movement in, et cetera. And so your symptoms might actually be better on vacation. And if that is the case for you. What I want you to really think about is how can you bring some of that back to your day to day life? how can you prioritize rest? How can you prioritize fun and play, and movement and these things that really do help your digestive symptoms on vacation. Now, if you’re like the majority of our clients, and you find that travel is a huge trigger, and you end up feeling super bloated, and constipated and just frustrated, then this episode is for you. And I hope that you come away with a lot of really great tips. So when you think about your mindset, I want you to think about maybe some experiences that you’ve had in the past with travel. Have you been at the beach, just completely miserable, paranoid and body conscious about putting on your bathing suit because of how bloated you feel. Now, there’s nothing worse than that. And if that’s happened to you, I’m here for you. And trust me when I say I get it. So I want you to think too, about how this then fuels the decisions that you make about the next vacation. So if you have always had a negative experience of vacation in the past, then what are you thinking every time you think about going on vacation? So I want to give you a practical example. We had a recent client and she was so excited to be going on her honeymoon with her husband. And really that was the main reason that she joined the program is she wanted to not be bloated on her honeymoon and for her wedding. And she wanted to not have to worry about her digestive symptoms. So about six months before her wedding, she joined the got together program with the goal of this bloat free honeymoon in mind. And we really worked with her for six months over this mindset because she had such a negative mindset correlated with vacation that we had to really rewire it. She had to practice channeling her thought patterns towards positivity and retraining her brain to go towards positive experiences on vacation. And this may sound a little hokey, but what we actually had her do was visualizing herself on this vacation with her husband, enjoying a cocktail on the beach and not worrying about it and not worrying about the blow wearing the dresses that she wanted to wear, without feeling super uncomfortable. And we had her going and writing journals entries about this vacation, she was doing visualizations. And at first she thought it was a little weird, and really kind of drink her feet doing this. But we got a message from her while she was on vacation saying thank you so much, I can’t believe that I was completely symptom free on my vacation. And this is the first vacation in such a long time that I haven’t had digestive symptoms. And she said, I do attribute a lot of it to the tools that I learned. But I also attribute some of it to having a positive mindset going into it knowing that my body had the tools that it needed, knowing that I could go on vacation bloat free, and enjoy the time with my husband. So I the first tip here is really evaluating your mindset. What do you think about vacation? What happens in your body? Where do you feel it when you think about going on vacation. And if you feel stressed and you feel anxious, then likely this is affecting your symptoms, when you actually do get on that vacation that you have been looking so forward to. So how you perceive travel, your nervous system experience around vacation is super important. But then also when you’re on vacation. So the i You’ve probably heard me say this thing before on Instagram, your life moves in the direction of your strongest thoughts. So if your strongest thoughts are, I’m going to be bloated, I want you to think about what actions you can take as a result of that thought. So is it an action of self sabotage or self compassion? When you’re thinking, I’m bloated, or I’m going to be bloated and this is going to be terrible? How do those thoughts inform your actions versus I’m going to have a great time I’m going to be prepared, I am going to enjoy my vacation, you can see how the actions that follow those positive thoughts actually make a difference. I think a lot of times we hear will just be grateful or just change your thoughts or just think positively. And that can definitely be really challenging. But if you start to even just move your thoughts to more of a neutral state to even I’m going to be prepared for vacation. It’s not making it a negative or a positive thing, just I’m going to be prepared. So then how do those thoughts actually inform the actions that you take? Do you spend some time really thinking about what you’re going to pack? Do you spend some time really planning out the trip and making sure that it’s going to be a positive experience? Now when you’re on vacation? How else can you be mindful? Can you tune into your hunger cues? One of the challenging pieces about vacation, especially if you’re traveling with other people is you may not be hungry at the same time that they are so can you bring snacks with you? Are you taking time at meals to really slow down and to and enjoy the experience? Are you being intentional about portions. Now you may not be able to control what you’re eating on vacation, but you can control how so you can control that you can take a couple deep breaths before you eat or that you could chew your food to applesauce consistency. And really take 15 to 20 minutes to eat your food. And just asking yourself some more questions. What does my body need in this moment? If you wake up not feeling great? What do I need to do right now to make myself feel better? How can I be patient with myself? And how is this contributing to my symptoms? Am I feeling anxious? Do I need to just take a moment to myself, all of these things can be super helpful on vacation. In addition to maybe some of the practical things, if there are certain clothes that make you feel more comfortable, pack those clothes for vacation because you’re going to feel more confident, which will help you to enjoy the experience more. So avoid sitting in super tight pants for a really long time that can definitely exacerbate bloating and digestive symptoms. Try to pack some looser items and really do what makes you feel the best. And that’s really really what matters the most. Hey,
Heather Finley 09:40
I know you’re absolutely loving this episode, but I have to interrupt real quick to ask you a huge favor. My mission is to empower as many women as possible to find relief from their digestive symptoms, and you are a part of that mission. And the best way that you can help me to pursue this mission is by going over to iTunes and the Bring us a five star rating and review so that more people can find this podcast. Now back to the episode.
Heather Finley 10:07
So now on the nutrition side of things, I want to talk about just some nutrition and lifestyle tips and things that you can pack to really help make your vacation. Amazing. So one of the top things that I think happens a lot of times with travel is dehydration. A lot of our clients forget that they’re really good about drinking water at home, because they have a water bottle with them, but on vacation, maybe not so much. So one of the things that you can do is actually pack a water bottle with you. And if you’re traveling in the airport, then you definitely want to fill it up once you get through security, and make sure that you have some water on the plane. Sounds really simple. But that can make a huge difference because you don’t want to start your vacation off dehydrated. And if you want to be extra you can go back to I think it’s episode three, where he talked a little bit more about electrolytes and minerals, enhancing your water with electrolytes and minerals can definitely be super helpful. And something that can really kick off your vacation to a great start. The other thing is thinking about your caffeine consumption, are you drinking more caffeine on vacation, or also Are you drinking more alcohol and, of course, a lot of people do consume more alcohol on vacation. And so it’s just something to be mindful of if you are going to be consuming more alcohol, can you also pay attention to your hydration and making sure that you’re getting the water that your body needs and trying to not drink alcohol on an empty stomach trying to consume it with a meal if possible. The next thing that I think often holds people back on vacation and contributes to some of that bloating and constipation or even loose stools is fiber, we tend to be consuming less foods higher in fiber or on vacation. And you may or may not have the ability to really choose what food you’re eating. And if you’re traveling to visit a family member, maybe they’re doing all the cooking, what you could do is potentially pack some nuts for a snack or pack some higher fiber trail mix to help get some of that fiber in, we have clients that sometimes will pack bags of just a plastic baggie of chia seeds to add to yogurt or add to oatmeal at the hotel. You could even bring individual oatmeal packets if you’re going to be staying at a hotel. And you want to make sure that you can have a really good high fiber either snack or meal. So there’s lots of different things that you can pack to help improve your fiber. In addition to that, if you have a ice chest if you’re traveling in the car, hard boiled eggs, fresh fruit, mixed nuts and seeds are great for a shelf stable option. chips or popcorn that are higher in fiber could be helpful. Even dark chocolate or nuts to make a little trail mix. Something that’s super satisfying. And then also a bit higher in fiber could be a great travel option. So packing snacks, it’s okay to be the person with snacks. I always am the person that travels with snacks. And people may make fun of you for bringing your own snacks. But at the end of the day, they end up eating them too. So they’ll be grateful that you’re there. And then the next thing on more of the nutrition and lifestyle side is sleeping movement. So if you are someone that tends to travel and you’re busy and you’re up and about and you’re not sleeping as much, this can definitely be a trigger for digestive symptoms. But conversely, if you are really resting on vacation, maybe that’s why your symptoms are better. So how can you support really good quality sleep when possible. So maybe that means bringing some chamomile tea packets with you so that you can really wind down at the end of the night or reading a book instead of being on your phone or trying to be in a dark room if possible. You can even bring a portable white noise machine if that is what you typically sleep with at home. Some of these things to help simulate your home environment. If you really struggle with sleeping away from home, are there certain smells that will help you to sleep better different essential oils or like I said, The Sound Machine, etc. Any way that you can possibly get good quality sleep is really really important and something that could really improve your digestive symptoms. The next thing is movement. Oftentimes, we are really active at home and end up going on vacation and the lack of movement can definitely impact our digestive symptoms. So if movement is something that you know is really, really helpful for you with your bloating, constipation, et cetera. Then I would try to get in some level of movement each day even if that is just a quick yoga flow in your hotel room, or a quick walk on the beach before your kids wake up something that will help to get your digestive system going. You can even do yoga for digestion. You can look on On YouTube, there’s many different videos before bed, if that’s something that seems more achievable, it doesn’t have to be a 45 minute workout, it could even be 10 to 15 minutes of just some gentle movement to stimulate your gut to move. And then lastly, on the nutrition side of things, most of the time on vacation, you really don’t want to be concerned about what you’re eating, you want to enjoy the food. And I think, really, and truly, that is a huge part of nutrition. Often we think of nutrition as just what you need to eat to meet your daily nutritional needs, or what are the best foods for gut health. But the reality is that there’s so much more to nutrition than just the nutritional facts of a food, there is a portion of nutrition that involves pleasure. And so what are the foods that you love, and I think it is a good balance to make sure that you are enjoying those foods that you love, especially on vacation. A lot of these memories can be super sentimental, maybe there’s ice cream stand on the beach, that you’ve always gone to went as a kid. And that’s something that’s super nostalgic for you, you definitely shouldn’t restrict yourself from enjoying these moments with your kids or your family or whoever you are traveling with. Because one ice cream on the beach is not going to trigger your digestive symptoms, to spiral completely out of control. So what you can do, in stead of focusing more on what you’re eating, I would focus on just balancing your plate. One of the reasons that oftentimes clients get digestive symptoms on vacation is because they are too worried about what they’re eating that they think I shouldn’t eat breakfast, or I shouldn’t eat lunch, because we’re going to have a big indulgent dinner at the end of the day. And I shouldn’t be eating if I’m going to eat that, and that you’re approaching your travel and your nutrition all wrong. If that is your mindset, the best thing that you can do for yourself is to balance your blood sugar, and eat regular balanced meals throughout the day. One, you’re going to have way more energy if you do this, but two, it’s going to help you to eat at a good pace and be able to chew your food and pace yourself. But also keep your blood sugar stable where you don’t over do it at one meal. One of the biggest triggers for bloating and constipation and digestive symptoms is inconsistency. So if your blood sugar is all over the place, or if your schedule is all over the place, then this can be a huge trigger. So without even focusing on what you’re eating, I would focus on consistency eating a regular meals to keep your blood sugar balanced, and to fuel your body versus just cutting things out. Because you feel like your food is going to be so different than when you’re at home. Because likely, if you have this mindset about food, what you’ll end up doing is eating way too quickly, way too much and then feel really really miserable after. So think about how you can continue to fuel yourself regularly throughout the day, so that you don’t end up in a place where you’re eating way too quickly and way too fast.
Heather Finley 18:07
So then lastly, there are several supplements and things that you can bring with you to just make life a little bit easier whenever you’re traveling. There actually are several supplements and things that I always travel with. And sometimes even just knowing that I have them with me, makes me feel a lot better and I don’t even need to use them but just knowing that they’re there in case I need to use them just puts my self at ease. So one thing is magnesium. Magnesium is great for constipation, you can bring various forms of magnesium specifically for constipation. Magnesium citrate is great if you have trouble sleeping, or you feel like your symptoms are more stress induced magnesium glycinate is really, really great. So you could bring some magnesium capsules or a product that I really love and travel with and bring oftentimes is called mag Seuss, you can drink it before bed, and that could be a really helpful addition to your travel plans. The other thing that you can think about bringing is either some peppermint tea, just some individual tea bags or peppermint capsules for bloating. Peppermint capsules can be very soothing to the gut, especially if you’re really experiencing kind of a sour stomach or just bloating that’s uncomfortable after a meal. You could drink some peppermint tea before bed or take the capsules if you don’t have access to hot water. Another thing that might be helpful is just some supplemental fiber if you know that your fiber intake is going to be lower while you’re traveling, bringing some either regular girl fiber or sun fiber or Heather’s tummy fiber. All can be found on Amazon and I’ll link all of these in the shownotes those can be super helpful just to add to water or to oatmeal or whatever you’re eating to help just boost your fiber intake. Then lastly, you might want To bring something to just improve digestion. Now, digestive bitters are something that we recommend to our clients a lot. And you definitely want to consult your health care provider before you decide to take anything that’s outside of your norm. But digestive bitters can be helpful because they actually stimulate your saliva production, which then stimulates your stomach acid and your digestive enzymes. So taking digestive bitters before meals can definitely set the stage for really healthy digestion. And they can also be used more as a symptom management tool. So you can take the digestive bitters after a meal, if you feel like you kind of have a sour stomach and aren’t really sure what to do. The bitters can definitely be a helpful, helpful addition. And like I said, I will link all of this in the show notes for you so that you have access to these things. But truly, my most important tip for travel is to give yourself grace, your body still deserves care and grace, even when you don’t feel the best. And I know you want to beat yourself up when things don’t go right. But that only makes things worse. Like I was mentioning at the beginning of this podcast, your nervous system is an important piece of your digestive health journey. And so constantly stressing about your symptoms, constantly worrying about what you’re doing wrong, versus focusing on what’s going well, or how well things could be going. That’s an important mindset shift and can really make a huge difference in symptoms. So remember that this is a journey. And it’s really closely tied to your relationship with your body. And if you’re so focused on your symptoms, that you’re not present for the moments on the beach with your children, or traveling around Europe, with your spouse, or partner, or whoever it is, these moments are really what is most important in life, and you want to make sure that you’re really taking the time to be in the present. So maybe even just starting your day off on your vacation, writing down what you’re grateful for. And really shifting that perspective. In that mindset. I’m so grateful that I have the ability to be on this trip, or I’m so grateful for this beautiful scenery that I am able to wake up to every single morning. And just that shift to gratitude can help you focus on why you’re there and what truly matters, versus being paranoid about the symptoms that you could potentially have. So just to sum it up, I want to just wrap up some of the thoughts and some of the actionable tips that I gave here. So if you are traveling anytime soon, number one, I want you to work on your mindset. So I want you to visualize that trip going so well. I want you to put yourself in the situation of being on that trip and just having the time of your life and play this scene over and over in your mind until it feels real. Number two is think about how you can optimize your nutrition and lifestyle. So what fiber can you pack? What fluids can you pack? How can you optimize sleep, and focus on blood sugar balance? And then lastly, what supplements do you need to bring whether that’s magnesium or peppermint tea or digestive bitters,
Heather Finley 23:11
or some fiber sticks? What do you need to bring so that you have it in your toolkit just in case you need it so that you can really and truly thrive. So I hope that this was helpful, I would love for you to hop on over to Instagram tag me Tell me which tip was the most helpful. Tag me on your trip? Tell me that you’re having just the best time possible. And I’d love to see where you’re at. Thanks so much for tuning into this episode. And I can’t wait to see you next week on the next episode of the love your gut podcast.
Please note that this episode is not a substitute for medical advice. And you should always consult your healthcare provider prior to making any changes.
I’m giving your gut a thumbs up because you just finished another episode of the love your gut podcast. Thanks so much for listening in to this episode. I hope it was helpful. I know you feel like you’ve tried absolutely everything to get to the root cause of your gut symptoms. And if you ask me, I think it’s about time we find a long term solution. My gutTogether program is a life changing program that will help you finally understand what’s going on in your gut and the steps you need to take to find relief. Visit DrHeatherfinley.co/guttogether for more information so that you can start transforming your gut today. And as always, remember to love your gut so it will love you back