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O my. It’s Memorial Day weekend. I know what you’re thinking right about now…it’s time for a little happy dance. Go ahead, shake it. You know I am. There’s nothing quite like kicking off the summer with a little dance to start the 3 day weekend off on the right foot. I love Memorial Day weekend; it makes me happy and I’m sure it makes you happy, as well. It’s the time of year that everyone starts to slow down a bit, relax and soak up the sunshine. I can’t wait to make some yummy recipes and enjoy the fresh air, lay on the beach and get a little bit of Vitamin D while I’m at it. Since you’re probably headed out of town this weekend or maybe you’re sticking around your neighborhood for a block party or picnic or town gathering, I thought I’d share some healthy tummy travel tips so that you can ensure you are keeping yourself happy and of course, healthy.
So, before you head out to kick off the weekend with a bang, read on to get my handy-dandy tips that will leave you feeling fabulous all the way until Tuesday morning (and beyond)!
Let’s start out by talking about the main message here.
You have complete control over what you put in your mouth.
Eating junk food becomes far too easy when you are tired, traveling or just not in the mood to cook. If you prioritize your health, you can easily come up with your own strategies to navigate yourself this weekend and beyond whether you are flying, boating, taking the train, driving, eating out or dining at a friend’s home. The goal is to get a little savvy in terms of what you can pack ahead of time so you don’t find yourself eyeing the jar of ice cream in the freezer or deep diving into the potato chip bowl. If you know those foods are going to be around you- make a plan. It might sound exhausting but ya wanna know what’s exhausting to me? Waking up the day after I ate something I shouldn’t have and feeling awful for the next week- or better yet not even being able to sleep that night because the food I ate is giving me insomnia and awful stomach pains along with a migraine. Not fun at all. I’m sure you’ve been in this situation before, so I want to help you think about what you’re putting in your mouth and helping you to feel fulfilled without diving into the box of cookies.
Here are a few tips you can use this weekend (or anytime you are headed out to travel).
- Pack a glass water bottle. Toss the plastic and use glass. Hydration is key when you are traveling and we are all guilty of eating when we are actually just thirsty. Been there, done that! So, pack a water bottle that you can refill and use everyday to keep you hydrated. Add in fresh mint leaves, lemon slices and any other fresh fruits and herbs that suit you. Get creative- this will also help combat any sugar cravings you may have while training your taste buds to enjoy real natural sweetness from whole foods instead of refined sugar!
- Pack a high quality probiotic. Try Align, which is a probiotic that is sold in numerous stores nationwide and online. Probiotics are the good bacteria that help your gut (where almost 80% of your immune system lives) stay healthy and strong. I want to remind everyone the importance of keeping your digestive system balanced. Summer adventures can take you out of your daily routine, which can cause occasional digestive upsets and disrupt the natural balance of good bacteria in your gut. Align can help fortify your digestive system to Live 24/7*. All probiotics are not created equal. Align is the only probiotic supplement that contains Bifantis – a unique patented strain of beneficial bacteria that helps promote and support a healthy digestive system.* Align is gluten-free and comes in easy-to-swallow capsules that should be taken once-a-day. Talk to your doctor about when to take probiotics daily to ensure you are reaping the benefits. Here’s a coupon code for you to try Align for yourself. And here are some videos by my good friend, Ashley Koff, who I admire, to help you jumpstart your probiotic journey.
- Chopped veggies (bell peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, carrots, celery) with a small container of hummus is a perfect afternoon snack.
- My Grain-Free Crackers with a small packet of almond butter are a great go-to option.
- My Nut Cheese recipe (dairy-free, of course) is amazing paired with crackers or veggies, too, for a protein-packed snack or breakfast served on gluten-free whole grain sprouted toast. I have a whole section dedicated to nut cheese recipes in my new cookbook, too!
- Choose salty over sweet. Beat those sugar cravings with some salty foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi or pickles on your burger or sandwich. They’ll help fight your sugar cravings while replenishing your gut with good bacteria, too.
- Cut the sugar and add in pure vanilla extract or ground cinnamon for natural sweetness without the blood sugar spice of sugar to your baked goods such as cookies, muffins and sweet breads.
- Eat enough protein. Make sure you are eating enough good quality protein each day…that means protein at breakfast, lunch and dinner. That will ensure you aren’t hungry and looking for something else to eat a few hours later.
- Add in more healthy fats. Our bodies NEED more healthy fats. Toss anything that says fat-free in your home and start buying real, whole-food, anti-inflammatory healthy fats such as avocados, walnuts, ground flaxseeds, almonds, extra-virgin olive oil, avocado oil, coconut oil and hummus.
- Make your own Buddha bowl, like the ones shown above, made from gluten-free whole grains, fresh fruits, veggies and healthy fats.
- Pack a smoothie in a thermos, like the one shown below made from spinach, steamed kale, coconut milk, dried cherries and a banana!
- Bring your own dish. If you are staying home this weekend and there is no travel in your future- not to fret, my friend! Bring along your favorite recipe to your dinner party or picnic so you know you have something that you can enjoy without having to succumb to whatever is served.
- Eat before you go. That means travel and parties, folks. Don’t show up to a party hungry and don’t leave for a trip hungry- that’s just as bad as going food shopping when you are hungry. Not the best idea. So, have a nibble before you head out. Check out my five grain-free cracker recipes in my new cookbook, Eating Clean, or pack a few raw walnuts, almonds or some fruit with almond butter or sunflower seed butter so you can enjoy these in-between meal snacks that will keep your blood sugar steady and your tummy happy.
*Fortifies your digestive system with healthy bacteria 24/7 with continued daily use.
** Among doctors who recommended a brand of probiotic in a AlphaImpactRx 2015 survey.
This post was sponsored by Align probiotics. All opinions are my own.