This in NOT an exhaustive post on the How To’s of Staying Healthy While Traveling. Just a mom-of-many sharing.
Warning: Confession ahead!!
I realize I (we) may not be a walking billboard for ultimate health but it is certainly a big interest of mine. Not bragging, but I do get compliments about how I look after having 10 pregnancies. I’m assuming that since there is a problem with obesity in North America and many women who have given birth to 1 or 2 children are in the overweight or obese category, people imagine that a woman who has gone thru 3-5 times more pregnancies will naturally be included in those categories, too.
Right on the heels of people discovering how many children I have given birth to, their eyes go up and down my body and want me to qualify. “You gave birth to all of them? None of them are adopted? Is it a blended family?”
Really, this body gave birth to all of them!!
I know more than anybody else (besides my husband!) I don’t have a model body, but health does matter to me so I do what I can. I’m carrying some extra weight around and am not as physically fit and active as would be good for me. That’s an area of my life yet to work on. Work in Progress!
All this to say, I love the topic of health, alternative health in particular, and I believe that we have a HUGE influence in what happens to our body. I don’t believe that dis-ease just happens to us. Genetics has an effect on our health, but I don’t believe that its role is as big as we have been indoctrinated to believe. Therefore, we have more power to influence and decide how health manifests (or doesn’t) in our lives. Study Epigenetics.
I have always consumed numerous books yearly on various topics from alternative health options, cancer, square foot gardening, pregnancy/birth, Ayurveda, homeschooling/unschooling, and traveling longterm.
So, about health.
We try to take a PRO-active view on our big family’s health rather than RE-active. We use doctors for emergencies or when we feel that our knowledge is too limited for the situation. We are certainly not beyond seeking out medical help, but we are far from the worried parent taking their sniffling fevered child to play with germ-infested toys while waiting in a doctor’s office.
We protect our sleep, always making sure we get enough. The children are not on a schedule but allowed to sleep in as long as their bodies require. We respect those that go to bed early, and discourage the kids from staying up too late, particularly as a habit.
We sleep with windows open (when tenting they’re breathable anyways) for fresh air. If I had a green thumb I’d have plants in our rooms whenever we are stationary).
Limit Gluten and Grains
Fiber is good for you, and the healthiest places to find it is in fruits and vegetables. So eat your greens!!
We limit our intake of not only gluten but all grains. After reading both the Wheat Belly and Grain Brain books along with listening to our own bodies we have worked grains out of our daily diet and use them usually on occasions of celebrating with pizzas or cakes. Grains of all kinds including rice and corn used to be a staple in our home. They are cheap and so versatile, making them easy for big families to rely heavily on. But for us we’ve had to diminish them. We’ve seen them influence pain joint, bed-wetting, aggression and more.
We all know it….sugar isn’t good for us. But its one of the hardest things to eliminate from our diet. Everyday at least one of my kids is asking for ice cream, or cookies, or something sweet. Our most helpful plan of action is simply…..don’t bring it home from the store. If it isn’t in the house/camp then its easy to say NO!
We avoid all the big sugar things, including cereals (plus they are grains…see above point), sodas and even fruit juices. We do have dried fruits but monitor them to small amounts, and encourage them to be eaten with healthy fats that slow down the blood sugar rush.
Forget the saturated fats that your body can’t even recognize as a real food. That stuff is tampered with!!
Eat healthy fats, particularly coconut and olive oils. Its hard to find hemp or avocado oil when traveling but those are also healthy oils, not only to use for cooking, but also topically for carrier oils (blend with essential oils).
I have been dabbling with essential oils (EO) for years. From putting tea tree oil in diaper pails to fight bacteria and fungus, to lavender at bath time, peppermint for headaches and ginger for sore tummies…we have a growing First Aid kit.
Before hitting the road in 2012 we invested in numerous EO’s which is now the foundation of our family healthcare on the road. I never travel even for a weekend without bringing my Emergency Essential Oils. My purse permanently has a peppermint oil roll-on to help relieve or hold off a headache. Roll it on your hairline as if you were wearing a crown and its near-instant relief. And smells like candy to boot!
We’ve learned what essential oil helps to stop bleeding, what to use for motion sickness, wound/scar healing, diarrhoea, skin cancer, deodorant and toothaches.
Only organic essential oils can be consummed internally (& should be kept to a minimal), and I would suggest using organic for topical (& all) uses anyways. Skin is the body’s largest organ and what you put on the top layer penetrates down, even to your bloodstream. So make it pure!
Essential oils are also used for cleaning the air and surfaces in our home to kill germs.
I use essential oils along with olive oil for massages, body scrubs and so much more. These are great for physical, mental and emotional health, none of which should be overlooked when wanting to know the how to’s of staying healthy while traveling. When one of our children seems particularly out of sorts I offer a massage with oils to help relax not only their body but their minds to help them retain control over themselves. It’s as if the essential oils along with a mama’s touch works a miracle!
On our travels here in Mexico we’ve stumbled upon a few people who have left the north to seek out alternative treatments to cancer in particular. We are totally in agreement with finding alternative methods to chronic disease…we actually think alternative treatments is THE way to go. We are very opinionated in this area so you might not want to get us going. I had an opinion already before my brother was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and I’m even more opinionated after he died from that (and I believe from the treatments themselves).
Anyways, just wanted to mention that traveling outside of Canada and the USA, breaking away from the mentality that the medical establishment has all the answers, might just be the answer you’re looking for if you have some big health issues you are dealing with.
So you want to know how to stay healthy while traveling? I highly suggest you:
- get good sleep
- cut down on sugar and saturated fats,
- incorporate lots of fiber into your diet, but eliminate grains
- eat organic and/or fresh foods, and
- educate yourself on the use of essential oils.
Not all essential oils are created the same. Not only are Young Living essential oils organic, but strictly monitored. If they can’t find a trusted plant source then Young Living will grow it themselves. They monitor every step of the way to be sure that what the customer is getting is safe for consumption.
If you want to know more about our big family travels, or about essential oils and Young Living in particular drop me an email at