Healthy Travel Tips while Following a Medical Medium® Lifestyle
Updated: Aug 12, 2022
Summer is nearly here and for many people, that means travel! Whether it's a day trip, a week's vacation, or a longer trip while the kids are out of school, I know you want to keep up with your healthy lifestyle and not let it stand in the way of fun times, amazing experiences, and the opportunities to bond with your friends and family.
To say that I'm travel obsessed is rather an understatement.... It is one of my biggest passions in life and it's my goal to completely fill each and every passport I get. I enjoy traveling because I love to learn about different places, cultures, and points of view. I find that that is very enriching in my life. I've been to 47 U.S. States and 49 countries so far and with more to come!
When I started on my own Medical Medium health journey at the end of 2015, I completely overhauled my diet overnight. Within the next six weeks, I had two trips that I had already planned before I even found the Medical Medium info - a three-day trip to Spain and a 10-day SCUBA diving trip. For the trip to Spain, I broke down and ate whatever I wanted because I was ill-prepared to figure out what to do - and wow, did I feel the difference, even after just a few days. (The good news is that contrast showed me just how much my brain fog and fatigue had improved in the first couple of weeks that I'd been following Medical Medium!)
It was a little easier for the SCUBA diving trip, mainly because I had much better access to fresh fruit at the market and a blender (at the hotel's bar, for a small tip). But I still ran into a lot of issues, especially when we were moving from place to place and everyone else on the trip was ok with having fast food burgers and fries periodically.....
So if you're planning to travel, here are some of my best strategies!
Note: Some of the links provided here are affiliate links, which means that if you buy using the links, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost for you. Affiliate links are annotated with ($).
Planning ahead is absolutely key when traveling on this lifestyle. Leaving your food to chance will likely land you in a place where you aren't eating (which is not good for your adrenals) or where you are eating foods that you'd rather be avoiding. This has happened to me many, many times. So take it from me, a little forethought can go a long way.
Often on weekends, I will often explore a national park or other area close to my home. Most recently, I did a day trip down the Big Cypress National Preserve and the Everglades. There were TONS of alligators and it's really a beautiful area. However, there are very few places to eat. For trips like this, I pack all of my own food.
Two key items for this are a good cooler and great ice packs to keep things cold.
I recently bought this cute Fulton Bag Company Cooler at Target, which fits in the foot area of the passenger-side seat of my car. The inside has a hard plastic shell which helps the cooler keep its shape. It also has a shoulder strap, so it's easy to carry around.
I also have a very cute backpack cooler with a watermelon motif from Target that works for day trips as well. And I've just seen that they have some adorable pineapple patterned coolers too!
Cold ice packs are the next key here - many different ones work very well, including just a bag of ice cubes. My favorites are these Cooler Shock packs ($) because they last a LOT longer than standard ice packs. They were amazing when I did a two-day hike in the Grand Canyon (one day to hike down, spent the night at the bottom, hiked back up the next day). When I finished the hike, the cooler in my car - which had been sitting for two days in the blazing Arizona sun in June 🔥🔥 - had my seaweed wrap rolls, a blueberry smoothie, and some lemon water and they were still nice and cold!
Here are some of my favorite foods to pack for a day trip:
Smoothies: I have a smoothie with me almost anytime I get in the car, even if I'm just going to the grocery store. They are really portable and if you make them with a combination of glucose, potassium, and sodium, they will provide support to your adrenals. I use 32oz widemouth Ball Jars ($) for my smoothies around the house, but the 24-oz Ball Jars ($) are better in the car because they fit better in cupholders.
Hand fruit: Organic bananas, apples, oranges, or pears.
Salads: I wash out the plastic clam shell container that my lettuce or spinach comes in and pack my salad in this. It's light weight and I can recycle it easily. I use small 4- or 8-oz Ball Jars ($) for the dressing and to keep the tomatoes separate until I'm ready to eat. (Cut tomatoes can release a lot of liquid, which can wilt a salad if you've packed it a few hours ahead.)
Dried fruit like organic, un-sulfured mango, apricots, figs, dates ($); nuts like cashews, almonds, and pistachios ($): I try not to rely on these because they are less health-giving than fresh fruits and veggies, however they are non-perishable (for the most part) and won't bruise like fruit. I ALWAYS make sure I have some with me in case I get stuck and run out of food. They can be the difference between eating junk and staying on plan.
Lara Bars ($): If you look in my hiking pack, I guarantee that there is at least one Lara Bar in there. This is another thing I always make sure to have so that I have options - especially if I'm hiking, because I sometimes go out for longer than I initially planned. Always check the ingredients because not all of them are free of troublemakers and the ingredients change periodically. A couple that I like are Blueberry Muffin ($) and Lemon Bar ($).
To save space on supplements
Use a small 1oz amber glass containers ($) for capsules. I use tinted glass so that light won't degrade them.
For tinctures, save small tincture bottles and wash them out. Then pour one or two servings of your tinctures, combined, in the bottle. They are fine to combine this way short term and it will save a lot of space. The exception here is zinc, B12, nascent iodine, and sovereign silver. Bring those separately in their own bottles.
Use small containers for powders, which can be combined. An alternative is that many powders, like spirulina and barley grass juice powder, can be purchased in capsules, which can be easier on a trip.
Longer Road Trips
In 2018, I spent four-and-a-half months driving 17,500 miles around the western half of the U.S. And just last month, I spent four weeks driving 4,500 miles on the East Coast. So I have lots of experience with long road trips.
When choosing a hotel or motel, look for one that has an in-room refrigerator. Some will even have a small freezer for ice packs. But if yours doesn't, ask the front desk to store your ice packs in their freezer for the night. Sometimes, if you're staying for a few days, they'll even take your 3-pound bag of wild blueberries, too.
Helpful tip: Have them tell you where the freezer is. I can't tell you how many times the front desk person in the morning has had trouble finding my ice packs because there are several freezers on the property.
Here are some other things you can bring on a road trip:
Your Juicer: Yes, you can make celery juice in hotel rooms! Use a clean bath towel on either the desk or the vanity in the bathroom so that the space where you're prepping food is clean.
Your Blender: For smoothies. If you don't have a freezer in the room, make smoothies right after you buy your frozen fruit and store them in the fridge overnight. You can also just put the frozen bag of fruit in the fridge and let it defrost overnight. They won't go bad after just one night, although they won't look that pretty. But they are still good and taste great!
Berkey Water Filter ($): I only bring this if I know that I'm going to be spending a week or more in one place. On my trip in 2018, I spent a month and a half in Sedona, Arizona and was happy to have my Berkey while I was there. In case you aren't aware, parts of Arizona have a lot of naturally occurring arsenic in the water.
Then I bring a lot of smaller things, in what I call "Kerstin's Mobile Kitchen"
A Greenlife pot ($) for making soups, steaming potatoes, or cooking leftovers
A silicone spatula ($) for the Greenlife pan to avoid scratching it
An OXO silicon steamer basket ($) for potatoes, asparagus, or Brussels sprouts
A Cusimax hot plate ($): This was a new addition for my most recent trip and a welcome one it was! It allowed me to cook dinner in hotel rooms easily. Note: when you first buy one, it may have a coating on it that needs to be burned off in a well-ventilated space. So read the directions and try to do this at home before you leave. You don't want to find this out when you're in a badly-ventilated hotel room when it's raining outside, and you thought you were in for the night....
A ceramic paring knife with a sheath ($) to keep it clean and to avoid cutting your fingers on it
An OXO citrus squeezer ($) for lemon/lime water
A jar opener ($) for those smoothie jar lids that won't budge. Trust me on this one.
Silverware: I have both disposable bamboo silverware ($) and this cute washable set of OXO stainless steel silverware ($) with a small carrying case (which I've successfully brought on planes too).
Dishes: I like these disposable bamboo plates ($) and bowls ($). I've washed them repeatedly and they've held up. If you're not in a position to wash them, you can just throw them out and they will biodegrade.
A non-scratch sponge ($) and a small tube of dish soap (I like these GoToob bottles ($) and then I fill them with my dish soap from home) in a sandwich bag
A roll of paper towels and a bottle of surface cleaning spray: I use this on the surfaces in my hotel room and to clean up after any mess I may make. (On my most recent trip, I brought my full-sized Branch Basics All Purpose Spray Bottle with me. Use my affiliate code CAREFULLYHEALING for 15% of your purchase of any Branch Basics starter kit!) ($)
For food, you can bring a few shelf stable foods that can handle being in the car in a variety of temperatures (as long as it doesn't get too hot or too cold). And then stop by a local grocery store for fresh items, like fruits, veggies, potatoes, and greens.
Soups, like Amy's Chunky Vegetable ($). I love to add extra potatoes to these soups to make a filling meal.
Pasta, like Jovial's grain-free pasta or Veggipasta made from peas ($)
As for supplements, one option is to just bring all of your supplements with you. For my long road trip in 2018, I just brought my huge bin of supplements with me. And yes, it took up way too much space, but I had what I needed. I was able to order more as I ran out and shipped them to where I was staying or to friends I was planning to see.
For tinctures, you can either bring everything with you or pare down to the basics. It really depends on your personal health situation.
For capsules, large pill organizers ($) can work very well. Some have one or more compartments and will fit a lot of capsules. Others like this one ($) have big compartments where you can dole out your daily supplement allocation ahead of time. If the compartments are big enough, you can fill each compartment with one particular supplement and then choose how many to take in a day. When I went to Asia for four months, I did this and was able to carry a lot more capsules with me and they didn't take up that much space. (Unfortunately, the company that makes the pill organizer in this picture doesn't manufacture this one anymore, but the links here are for some that should work equally as well.)
For powders, you can pre-mix these in a larger quantity and take them in a container like a 16oz Ball Jar ($) or an empty Vimergy container that you might have around the house like this one.
I used to travel domestically a lot for work, so I had to figure this one out quickly. Having food for the plane is very important because it's sometimes hard to find anything clean in an airport other than a couple of bruised and/or green bananas.
It's also important to pack extra food in case of delays. It's great to have an initial plan, but a six-hour or overnight delay can blow those plans right out of the water.
Here are a few of the things that I've brought on short- and long-haul trips:
Bananas (to be eaten at the airport because they will bruise quickly)
Apples (washed at home, I usually wrap them in paper towels)
Cut veggies in either a silicone zip bag like Stashers ($) or a Pyrex glass container ($)
Crackers, such as Simple Mills Rosemary & Sea Salt Crackers ($)
Dried fruit like organic mango, apricots, figs, dates ($); nuts like cashews, almonds, and pistachios ($)
Raw honey packets for lemon water or when you feel you need a little extra glucose.
Lemons for lemon water
A small blender like a Nutri Bullet ($): You can bring a blender on a plane, but it has to be in a checked bag. It cannot be brought on in a carry-on because of the blades - which are pretty darn hard to take out, but this is the TSA rule.
A small paring knife ($) with a sheath (checked bag only)
A small cutting board: I like these Epicurean ones ($) because they are bamboo and thin but durable.
A Berkey Sport travel bottle ($) so that you can purify your water on the go.
Freeze smoothies: You can bring frozen smoothies on a plane, in either your carry-on or in your checked bag.
If you want to bring one in your carry-on, it must be frozen SOLID when you bring it through security (pack ice cubes in a bag around them until you're ready to go through security and then discard them at the last minute). The TSA employees will make you take the smoothie out and show it to them, but they will pass it through.
I generally use disposable plastic water bottles for this - don't fill them all the way to the top because the smoothie will expand in the freezer. (If you use glass and fill it too full, it may explode in your freezer. Yep, Heavy Metal Detox Smoothie and glass everywhere all over your freezer and no smoothie for your trip. Based on personal experience.) This works in the U.S. on domestic and international flights. I brought one on a flight from Boston to Hong Kong in 2018 and enjoyed drinking it while flying over the North Pole!
If you pack a smoothie in your checked bag, wrap it well in an airtight bag and pad it well so that if it leaks or breaks, you don't end up with it all over your clothes!
Note: If you fly back to the mainland U.S. from Hawaii, they do not let you bring fruit on the plane. They are concerned about transmitting pests. So make sure you have other foods with you that they will allow, like nuts or Lara Bars. I scarfed down four bananas in the airport there once before going through security and ended up bringing some unhealthy food on my flight in order to protect my adrenals..... 😫
Supplements on the plane:
Tinctures and liquids: Don't forget about those liquid limits on the plane. Generally, you can order smaller bottles (less than 3 oz) that will work in a carry-on bag. I generally order one small 30ml bottle of things like B12 and later will just refill it from my bigger bottle for trips.
When packing them in your checked bag, you can use some of the packaging the bottles come in because it often works well for providing cushioning and protection in case of spills. Ziplock and Stasher Stand-Up ($) silicone bags work well too.
For capsules and powders, the containers I mentioned for long road trips will work well on planes too.
It's important to note that some countries will not let you bring in an unmarked container full of pills and you will need to bring supplements in the original packaging. In other countries, they will only let you bring a 30-day supply (this was true in Cambodia several years ago). So if you are traveling internationally, research the rules of your destination before you go. There's nothing worse than having to throw out a whole bunch of perfectly good supplements!
Now Get Out There and Have Some Fun!
While traveling may seem daunting when you're on your health journey, it doesn't have to be. Planning ahead helps alleviate many of the challenges so that you can enjoy yourself. The whole point of getting healthy is so that you can live your life!
Feel free to message me on Instagram at @carefullyhealingwithkerstin with questions and comments! And let me know where you're heading!