The Perils of What You Put In Your Mouth ---
And How It Affects You While Traveling

I recently took my first vacation in 10 years. My spouse and I had the opportunity to travel to Aruba with friends who had a time share. Since my spouse has always wanted to go and we didn’t have to pay for a hotel, we jumped at the chance.

I must tell you I was a little nervous about what I was going to eat while we were away, because I knew it wouldn’t be the same as what I’m used to eating on a regular basis. I knew it would be impossible to try to be good and not cheat, because when you’re away from home, you can’t always control what kinds of foods are available to you, depending on where you’re traveling.

Our first day there, we went to the local grocery store to pick up food for the week. We bought enough food to eat most of our breakfasts and lunches almost everyday in the timeshare but went out for dinner. Because the island is desert like, they have to import all of their food from the surrounding countries, USA, Dutch and Venezuela.

Different Foods and Their Effects
The three biggest problems I had were with dairy, different types of sugar and sugar substitutes and drinking water. I am in my 50’s and I have been staying away from dairy and sugar since my late 30’s which had literally eliminated my hot flashes and menopausal symptoms.

Midway through the week, I started feeling sluggish, tired, had an uneasy stomach and….”OH MY GOD”…. started to have hot flashes again. I had forgotten what it feels like. Even though I made sure I took extra enzymes to help digest these foods, I still felt the effects. Luckily, I did have extra to take because it would have been much worse without them. I knew it was because of the dairy and sugars. You really don’t know what certain dishes are made of and either you eat what’s available to you or go hungry. You do the best you can with the circumstances you have.

I tried to eat fish thinking the fish would really be fresh. It tasted fresh but I wasn’t sure. The appetizers came with raw tuna and salmon but I stayed away from raw fish. I know it’s a delicacy but I have a few clients who came home from trips knowing they had parasites from eating foods abroad. Granted, this may not happen all of the time but you need to be aware that it’s a possibility. Unfortunately, parasites are not limited to uncooked fish. It can be in poultry and meats not fully cooked. A lot of people love things not fully cooked “medium rare” or raw but you need to be aware of the chances of parasites. One of my clients went on a trip to Egypt. Everyone who ate dinner at a particular restaurant was sick that night. She was the only one who continued to be sick for the next 3 months. She was referred to me and, with the right supplements, she was able to pass the large parasite and feels much healthier now. Most people nowadays are not healthy enough for their bodies to destroy and digest these pesky and health risky organisms.

Drinking Water Was Another Issue
Since everyone always tells you not to drink the water when you’re away, we bought gallon jugs of water. We ran out on Wednesday so we stopped to purchase more. What we didn’t realize that the second batch of water we bought was from Michigan. We realized it when we started drinking it and it tasted horrible. We looked to see what the brand was and where it came from. What an awful after taste. Aruba kept praising themselves for have the second cleanest water in the world, so we started drinking tap water. It was really good but it was still different from what we were used to. By the end of the week, I couldn’t tell if my unsettled stomach was a result of the food alone or both food and water.

Take Care Of Your Body Throughout Your Trip
Take snacks with you. Airlines will allow certain dry food items, as long as they’re in
unopened wrappers or containers. They will not allow liquids through security. I brought
Kashi TLC granola bars & Cascadian Farm harvest berry chewy granola bars which got me through a 5 ½ hour flight and gave me energy mid afternoons.

Other items to bring:

  • Bentonite Clay for bug bites. Take the clay (preferably powdered or crush a tablet) and add a small amount of water to make a paste. Cover the bite with it and cover the clay with a band aid. The clay pulls the stinger and/or poisons out of the bitten area for faster healing.
  • A product called Choline. This will save the day with an upset stomach and is great for food poisoning. I ate something at the airport before getting on the plane. Next thing I knew, I was running to the bathroom. Thank goodness for choline. It nipped it in the bud and made my flight a lot easier to get through.
    These can be purchased at any health food store.

So before you decide to take a trip, do a little research, read the labels on the food items you buy while you’re away, be conscious of what you’re putting in your mouth and have a safe trip.

   
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