Across from me in the one room shack, huge tureens of curries and meat broths bubbled over a rough fire. The aroma had my tummy growling, then I looked up. A rat ran along the rafters of the beach side hut where I was waiting for lunch. I considered leaving but two other tables were filled with happy diners and alternatives were limited. The cook then took a battered aluminum pan, splashed it into a pot and spilled juices over a scoop of rice. As drips flowed down his arms, he smiled set the bowl in front of me and wiped his hand across his face. I smiled weakly back and ravenous, took my chances and dug in. That day I decided that it was time to think about how to stay healthy while traveling. It’s been a process and I’ve found some strategies but there’s more to the story…
Strategies to stay healthy change with the times
I survived my curry confrontation to continue my budget-conscious, backpacking adventure around Sri Lanka without indigestion or sickness. It wasn’t until years later, while working on stories, dining at elegant restaurants and traipsing in and out of four and five star hotels, that my gut started protesting. At one stop on a Tequila Tour in Guadalajara, I discovered a half-eaten worm on my plate. My tummy did flip flops even after our host explained that it was part of the dish and getting the worm was good luck!
I didn’t feel lucky even though I’m no stranger to eating bugs. I’ve crunched into spicey grasshoppers or fried ants and knew about the tradition of adding worms to some Mezcal bottles (Tequila’s smokier cousin.) I just wasn’t prepared for the encounter and more importantly, after late nights, poor sleep, eating and drinking new foods, my immune system was already struggling. Stomach problems hit and had me down for the next 24 hours.
Don’t lose precious vacation time to being sick
It’s so disappointing to lose precious vacation time, to miss events or work because you’ve picked up a stomach bug, are uncomfortably bloated or suddenly feel exhausted. When I returned home I was determined to stop that from happening and started using a live Probiotic which helped but traveling with a supplement that had to be chilled consistently wasn’t going to work.
I work to travel light and packing a bunch of pill bottles adds weight. So I was excited to try the light-weight Gusto To Go, a beverage enhanced with fiber, enzymes, probiotics and herbs. It comes in one-dose packets to mix with water or juice. Simple and mildly tasty, I now keep a baggie full of the packets with me on every trip and it’s helped me to stay healthy while traveling.
Where did Gusto come from ?
The founders of the company are world travelers who’ve run into some of the same tummy and immunity problems I’ve had. They found that over-the-counter herbs and medications weren’t fully helpful and enlisted several scientists to create a supplement that helped to bring balance and relief. During development, they asked for safe ingredients that were natural and dissovable in water. It also needed to be Non-GMO, Gluten-free, have no sugar, fats, salt, calories or carbs. Then it also needed to be easy to use and not a demanding 20 or 30 tablets a day. Tall order!
Elliott Flick, the Founder, says that Gusto is a:
“Full-featured” formula. Probiotics are a major ingredient, but the further addition of prebiotics, fibers, minerals, herbs,digestive enzymes and amino acids just make Gusto so much more than merely probiotics.”
Decades of studies have shown that more than half of all travelers get sick while on the road. Many factors are involved. Sleep patterns can be upended by even a three hour time zone change. Getting enough, or even clean water, can be a chore. Add in the the glory of all trying out new spices, dishes and cooking styles.
It’s easier to take care of your health at home. Having a regular schedule, eating around the same time day in and out, shopping for local foods and cooking for yourself help. To stay healthy while traveling is more of a challenge. I’ve tried several Probiotics but not all work well. Gusto researach found that many probiotics die prematurely in your harsh stomach environment. They guarantee that these reach your intestines alive where they get to work immediately. The products are also endorsed by Dr. Oz and Dr. Andrew Weil.
Gusto to Go from Gusto to Go on Vimeo.
Here are a couple of Affiliate links to order the products. With the link for Gusto to Go I have negotiated for you a 12% savings compared to the price others pay on Amazon but I receive a very small commission which helps to keep this blog going.With the links you receive the same price as anyone on Amazon but I receive a very small commission which helps to keep this blog going.
Tummy ache? Quick fix
If I’ve eaten something and need a quick fix, I chew a couple of Pepto Bismal caplets. The active ingredient, Bismuth, has helped to relieve symptoms when I’m traveling and are easy to carry in a purse or pocket. You can order the tablets here:
Pepto-Bismol Original Chewables 5 Symptom Relief, Including Upset Stomach & Diarrhea 48 Count, 48.000 Count (Pack of 3)
Drink plenty of water to stay healthy while traveling
I carry a BPA free, reusable water bottle to reduce my reliance on throw away plastics. Here are a couple of options:
A Safe Plastic Personal Water Bottle: Swig Savvy 18 Oz Tritan Water Bottle Eco Friendly & BPA-Free Plastic ,Leak Free One-Click Flip Top open Ideal For Sports Yoga, Camping, Biking, & Jogging Pink
Or a Glass Water Bottle: SHOKE Glass Water Bottle with Leakproof Cap and Silicone Sleeve, BPA Free, Dishwasher Safe, 24oz
Drinking pure water is another part of gut health and here’s another post about using Go Pure purifying water capsules.
I hope that these tips help you to stay healthy while traveling and I’m always open to new ideas. What have you found that works? Leave a comment!