Top Tips Hacking Healthy Travel with Mar!

Alessa Mar is a graduate of Arizona State University with a Bachelors of Science in Social Justice and Inquiry and a minor in Communications. She is certified in Plant Based Nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Institute and is currently studying at Cornell University for a second nutrition program – Nutrition and Healthy Living.

travelhealthywithmar.com

Alessa Mar and I went Live on Instagram during my “12 Days of Healthy Living” in December to talk all things travel and staying healthy through the holidays or whenever. Alessa is dedicated to helping others stay heathy while you live and travel, and she definitely brings some fun while doing it

Life can be hard between 31,000 and 38,000 feet — 5.9 to 7.2 miles — high. depending on how far you are traveling, there is not a whole lot to eat up there!

Especially during this holiday season to keep you from ending up like Ebineezer Scrooge, you need to have a plan and be prepared!

Alessa comes equipped with everything you need! The tips and hacks she has to share are certainly going to change the way you travel forever!  

Alessa is always looking to pack convenient and help your health on the airplane, in-flight, or in navigate the airport environment. Staying healthy is important through our travel, especially on the holidays. We really want to end up at our destination without sacrificing our happiness by making unhealthy behaviors and not having a plan for our travel.

Tips include packing, staying active, interesting facts about airplane atmosphere on your body, conflicts with sleep, and how to hack jet-lag. 

When I asked Alessa for her  top 3 tips, she said:

  1. Hydrate! – 8 ounces of water for every hour of flight time. 
  2. Pack your own food!
  3. Shower before you go to bed after flying.

BUT the tremendously easy and helpful tips do not stop there. 

Airplane air is dehydrating and your going to lose a lot of water. You can refill these at any stop! Maintaining hydration helps combat altitude sickness. The “DO’s” for hacking your hydration are below! Airport Snacks are difficult to find. Alessa offers a way to fix this too!

Convenience over bulk! Im all about efficiency


Says Alessa

Missing a meal or no access to food and your snacks have run their course? For meal replacements we offer a couple suggested items as well. Alessa uses a travel Pouch to carry all of these things and even it holds her skin care items. 

If you are in a bind and you didn’t bring anything?

Alessa suggests dry roasted nuts from snack shops. She also suggests to choose low sodium foods to keep your blood pressure down especially on the plan where it may increase with altitude. Also look for big green salads and avoid high sodium dressings and go more unprocessed than processed will help you feel good while flying.

How do I land fleeing the best I possibly can?

Dress comfortable on the plane. As you are seated move your hands and feet, your extremities are going to loose that blood pressure. Get up, walk and lift your legs while you do. Stay conscious to movement. 

While it may seem fun getting drunk on a plane, maybe skipping the mini bar offers more fun in the future. Alessa says “If you really want to feel good when you land, you should really hold off.” Caffiene as well may not help your flight, instead ask for some hot water and carry some tea, Alessa likes to carry Peppermint. 

Handling Delays?

Alessa says its all about being prepared with your healthy snacks. Go look for a healthy salad and get your greens. Go walk! If the airport has it, go to the facility that has a gym or a stretching room and use it! 

Alessa made me realize its important to

Plan around healthy behaviors, instead of the other way around!

Teddieddie

Do making decisions in the air also apply to on the road?

On the road, the conflicts arise are that you can easily choose more unhealthy influences, from rest stops, to fast food. Alessa says “your basically eating things to be social.” Alessa has found that if you bring healthy snacks you actually choose those and make less unhealthy decisions and even others want healthy snacks! Alessa says that just by bringing snacks for yourself, “people want your healthy snacks too.” Helping others choose healthy options and stay satiated might actually help you not be influenced because you satisfied their cravings with healthy snacks!

You’re not as hungry as you think you are.

Alessa

She even suggest starting your meals with fresh vegetables so you do not end up splurging, overeating, or eating a lot of calorie dense foods. 

“For me,” I said, “not eating or not having an opportunity to eat is not always a bad thing. Use the time as opportunity. You Might even experience a spike in energy and mental clarity.”

Teddieddie

A heavy meal might make you tired, and with airplane altitude, it might make you even more tired. We want to keep your sleep cycle in line and not be sluggish and tired when you get to your destination. When you do get an opportunity to eat after a long, sort of, fasting-like-periods, keep it light. Choose juices, maybe vegetable juices, or watermelon juices, but not added sugary fruit juices. Or maybe some melon, watermelon chunks, move to fruit, grapes, water dense steam veggies, or soups where and when you can. A lot of rest stop have a ton of fresh fruit options so there is really no excuse. 

If your feeling shaky, have a headache, or nausea and you have not eaten in a while, it is definitely a good idea to get something, but don’t over do it, again focus on water dense fruits and vegetables and don’t go overboard on the fiber too fast! 

Why is healthy travel skin care important?

Alessa doesn’t stop with healthy traveling there. She has tons of Skin care techniques especially with dry airplane air. Alessa says chapstick is a must! If you want more head over to her website! Alessa is crazy about skin care! And her skin can prove it!. She  has a lot to offer on skin care! You can check that out here

Keep good posture. A small pillow or even better a neck pillow is always great to have on the airport, on the plan, or on the road. A neck pillow can double as a lumbar support as well. Especially when we start slumping and slouching in our seats. 

Hacking travel sleep?

“If you need to sleep, sleep.” Typically for shorter flights within the U.S. Alessa says she doesn’t sleep, just because she does not want to mess her sleep cycle up. “When you take off, that cabin pressure you start to experience, creates less blood flow, which means less flow to your brain and automatically makes most feel a bit more tired than usual.” For longer flights, sleep if you need to, “especially if your getting there in the morning, because you want to stay up all day and then go to sleep when its time to go to sleep there.”  Alessa suggests that if you are going to land around 5-6pm in the evening its probably better not to sleep, “you want to get as close to your destinations sleep schedule as you can and as quickly as possible and just push through it.” Its important to have a sleep plan to not sleep too long out of schedule and miss enjoying your time at your destination. It is better to push through the travel transitioning your sleep to save the daylight when you arrive and sleep when everyone else is. 

What about Jet-Lag?

Staying hydrated and keeping your blood oxygenated is key.

Alessa

In general experience, Alessa says its all about taking care of yourself overall. She doesn’t often get all that jet-lagged. She really feels like the chlorophyll really helps.  Before the flight, in flight and in between its all about your choices you make, avoiding alcohol, caffeine, more tea, and staying mobile, Alessa believes in a more preventative approaches to jet-lag than responsive actions to fixing a problem that can be prevented. 

Is there anything I can do if I am Jet-Lagged?

In terms of combating jet-lag, I suggest there are foods you can eat to help increase hormones associated with sleep and speed up your sleep cycle when you need to without taking risky supplements or messing with your natural hormone productions. The foods I suggest include foods that actually fall in line with Alessa’s values as well including:

  1. pistachios (raw unsalted)
  2. Tart cherries (dried, juice, or powder)
  3. Cocoa Powder
  4. Cocoa Nibs

The First two will offer some natural hormone production like melatonin and pistachios are loaded with thiamine which may help with sleep as well. Tart Cherries will even help with muscle soreness and arterial function, especially with changes in arterial pressure from flight. Cocoa in any form, but also 100% cocoa, will help combat chronic fatigue, it mixes well in hot water, and goes well with teas too. Cocoa can also help with arterial function for overall wellness and change in atmospheric pressure. Here are some videos for more information:

Pistachios to Treat Jet-Lag
Chronic Fatigue


On the road.

the rules generally apply the same aside from the fact that you are in control of the vehicle, and you have a higher responsibility to keeping yourself and others safe while traveling. If you are tired, you need to be honest with yourself and pull over, quick naps, 20 minutes will keep you energized. Any longer than 20 minute may make you drowsy. Aside from an airplane where it may not be a good idea, caffeine in a car may be a good idea, but don’t over do it. Drinking coffee, or tea, will not only keep you hydrated but force you to pull over, get up, walk, and go to the bathroom. Maybe even grab a quick apple or banana. Driving past points that you are tired is not only harmful to yourself and your passenger, but also irresponsible to other people on the road who are trying to visit loved ones, traveling home from work, or headed to their vacation destination. So, be honest and drive responsibly. 

DO’s

  1. Drink 1 glass (8 ounces) of water for every hour you’re in the air
  2. Use Boxed Water or a metal reusable water bottle. I find that metal water bottles can be heavy when I’m already schlepping a lot of stuff around
  3. Chlorophyll drops will help keep you hydrated and fight jet lag
  4. Pack your own snacks: almonds, cashews and pumpkin seeds are my go-tos. Make sure any nuts you have don’t have add oil or sodium, look for “dry roasted”
  5. Celery and carrots with peanut/almond butter or hummus
  6. Pre-portion your snacks with little zip lock bags. It’s super convenient and will stop you from eating too much. 
    1. For my environmentalist out there heres my recommendation for a  reusable option 
  7. Have vegan protein powder in packets or pre-portioned in ziplock bags. Mix with water or almond milk on the go. Some people use portable blender bottles but I just grab a cup and a spoon.
  8. I always try to have a few servings of Green drink with me at all times, especially first thing in the morning or after a long flight.
    • (My recommendation for ingredient approved is here!)
  9. Health Warrior has great bars, just check the label for excess sugar and ingredients you can’t pronounce. The more simple the better
  10. Carry tea bags, I like peppermint in case I get a little nausea in flight, and ask for hot water
  11. Move around before, during and after your flight. Stretch before you get on the plane, make sure to walk around during the flight and I try to do 15-20 minutes of cardio as soon as I land.
  12. Roll your wrists, neck and flex your feet in flight – get that blood circulating
  13. Wash your hands and use hand sanitizer frequently, especially before eating or touching your face
  14. In-flight skin care routine for the long flights to keep your skin hydrating
  15. Non-scented hand lotion because the airplane is going to dry your skin out.
  16. Shower when you land. If not, then shower before you go to sleep and wash those germs off!

DON’T

  1. Drink alcohol, this will further dehydrate you.
  2. Drink caffeine, it also dehydrates you.
  3. Eat foods high in sodium, it will raise your blood pressure and bloat you. No one wants to be puffy when they land.
  4. Eat airport or airplane food, plan ahead! If you absolutely have to, then look for dry-roasted nuts or edamame beans. A big salad, no meat, dairy or dressing. Use avocado and lemon or hummus as a topping.
  5. Be afraid of people watching you stretch, drink chlorophyll water or take out your healthy snacks. People want to be healthy when they travel but don’t because they think travel is just an excuse to eat poorly

Mental Take Aways

  1. Failing to Prepare, is preparing to fail. 
  2. Plan in health
  3. Bring items that can pack down.
  4. Energy dense snacks and bars that pack a punch
  5. Stay light even with containers & storage like Alessa’s example of a metal bottle vs boxed water.
  6. Keep Moving – Stretch/Stretch/Stretch
    • Set a reminder in your phone
  7. Stay clean
  8. Stay hydrated

I want you to have a safe travel, but you have to want it for yourself! Take 100% responsibility for your own health through holiday, vacation, or any travels. Alessa is on top of her game and she wants to help you have fun without making health so obligating. I hope to work more with her in the future to help even professional athletes who are always traveling make their travel even healthier. Definitely, check out her webpage and social media for more information!

Thanksgiving Complete Whole-Food, Plant-Based Menu & Shopping List

Preparing a whole Thanksgiving dinner is no easy task. It is certainly not for the weak hearted–but I got your back! I have put together a full menu and a complete comprehensive shopping list!


And, since we know how busy the holidays are, I’ve included some tips to make the day go quick and easy here and also within each recipe! 

  1. SHOPPING – shop in advance, even better order on amazon and never leave your house! You can get everything even 3-4 days in advance and only have to run for small items you may have overlooked the day of cooking.
  2. COOK AHEAD – desserts, sauces, toppings, and stews can be made ahead of time. Often, they even taste better the next day in many items including stuffing, soups, and desserts.
  3. PREP AHEAD – Prepping, cutting, and portioning out dry ingredients ahead of time is a tried and true way to make the day seem so easy.
  4. LEFTOVERS – Let leftovers cool before storing. When storing use BPA free containers, and make sure items are covered to keep them from drying out forgetting contaminated. Buy some extra lemons and squeeze  onto select items to preserve longer without effecting taste. for larger leftovers, freeze in the optimal containers.

PLANT-BASED THANKSGIVING MENU

ESSENTIAL STARTERS

Un-Believably Better Biscuits
Spinach Kale Salad

ENTREES & SIDES

Traditional Mash
Purple Potato Maple-Pecan Mash
Savory Mushroom Gravy
Ezekiel Bread Stuffing
Steamed Green Beans & Carrots with Orange Sauce
Easy Maple Pepper Brussels Sprouts
Cauliflower Roast

DESSERTS

Chickpea Pumpkin Pie With Pecan Date Crust (No-Bake)
Chunky Chocolate (Cup)Cake
Fudgy Frostin & Cashew Icing

Check out other recipes including soups, desserts, and more!

Be sure to share your plant based Recipes with me on Instagram “teddieddie”

ENJOY! And have a Happy Thanksgiving!