Jennifer Hanway

Enliven Your Lightest, Brightest You

Jennifer Hanway is a Holistic Nutritionist, Bio Signature Modulation Practitioner and Certified Personal Trainer, originally from London but now living in Newton Centre and working in Back Bay, Boston.

Filtering by Category: Healthy Travel

Ask Jenny: Staying Healthy on a Long Haul Flight

I’m traveling to Vietnam soon and want to make sure I am prepared for the long flight. Do you have any tips on how to prepare and what to bring?
— Jacquey, Boston

Hi Jacquey - how exciting! I love to travel and have been lucky enough to visit some incredible places, and Vietnam is definitely on my bucket list. This trip would absolutely be considered long haul, but the majority of the advice below can be applied to both long haul and short haul flights:

1).  Fuelling on the Flight

You would be surprised what foodstuffs you can actually bring on a plane, and if I’m flying any longer than 4 hours I always pack a huge salad, with a ton of plants, some great protein (quite often plant based as it tends to travel well, such as chickpeas or lentils, and some healthy fats). I will pre-order the gluten free meals on the plane, but usually just pick out the fruit and salad.

I also pack small packs of nuts, often an avocado, small packets of collagen or plant protein powder, and protein bars such as Epic, Rx or Bulletproof Collagen Bars, and some herbal teas, and packets of Four Sigmatic Mushroom coffee (I buy most of these from Thrive Market). I’d much rather be over prepared than under prepared!

Intermittent Fasting can be helpful whilst flying, and if I am taking an overnight flight (which I avoid as much as possible) I certainly will not eat the meal served after take off, and will try and go straight to sleep. I have tried IF whilst taking a day flight from Boston to London, but personally I just find this too hard! If it is a shorter flight (anything under 4 hours) I try not to eat on the flight to help with digestion and gut health.


2) Supplements To Take On The Plane

Save room in your hand luggage by taking a minimum of supplements into the cabin with you - I put just my shelf stable probiotic (I love New Chapters Probiotic All-Flora) in my hand luggage, and check the rest.

The other supplement I like to travel with is a greens powder to stir into some water, or even chlorella or spirulina powder or tablets. Airplanes are one of the most toxic places on earth and flying creates a ton of oxidative stress in the body so giving your body an extra boost of antioxidants will help you feel more alert and energized post flying.

3) Sleep Aids and Accessories

I like to wear my blue blocking glasses on any flight longer than 4 hours (and especially long haul) to help protect me from all of the blue light on board that can mess with my circadian rhythm and sleep/wake cycle.

I never, ever take a long flight without my Bucky Eye Mask, and silicone ear plugs. I also like to take some lavender oil, or pop a few drops on my neck pillow before I travel. I personally don’t use compression socks, but if you feel more comfortable with them or have circulatory issues then they are definitely a good idea.

I do take melatonin on a long flight to help me sleep, and to help me on to the local time zone when I arrive. I find 5mg is too much for me (and most people), so I usually do half of one of this.


4) Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

This is probably a given, but staying hydrated on a long haul flight is a must. I usually buy two big bottles before I board, and refill my travel bottle. If your home airport doesn't have a water fountain with a built in filter then head to the Starbucks and ask them to fill it up as their water is triple filtered! I also like to travel with my Brita Water Filter Bottle so I can filter the water on the plane too.

5) Beating Jetlag

Jetlag really can be a killer, but there are some strategies you can implement to ease the pain! Get on the local time zone as soon as possible, expose yourself to as much daylight as your can, and try and earth yourself by standing barefoot on grass or sand as soon as you can after landing. Whilst exercise can feel like the last thing you want to do 30-40 minutes strength training can really help beat jetlag, but if this is impossible a brisk walk is also wonderful. Eat light, protein and veggie based meals throughout the day, with some carbs in your evening meal to help boost natural melatonin production.

This post does contain affiliate links but I only recommend products I love and use personally or with my clients!






Beat the Christmas Bloat!

Some people have what my Dad would call 'cast iron guts'! They can eat or drink anything they want, and have no nasty side effects. I am not one of those people. I am on the extreme end of the spectrum however; I have a severe gluten allergy that was undiagnosed until my early 30's (like a lot of the people in the health and wellness field I became frustrated when conventional medicine could not help me, and started to do my own research, but thats a story for another day), I'm intolerant to dairy (gluten and dairy sensitivities often go hand in hand), and I caught Typhoid whilst working at a fitness resort in Mexico in my late twenties.

Because of this I am very strict with my diet and avoid gluten, dairy and eggs like the plague. Even so, being out of routine, increased calorie intake and more alcohol and sugar than usual (my mother in law bakes amazing GF and DF treats for me) can result in 'stomach upset' (my polite English terminology), which in my case means bloating, gas, constipation and generally feeling miserable.

Below are my 3 tried and tested ways of helping my gut through the holiday period:

Friendly Bacteria

Probiotics are in common use now, and most people understand the benefits of incorporating them into their diets either in the foods they eat or as a supplement. I like to go two-fold on this when I know my digestive system is going to work a little harder than usual: I up my intake of probiotic rich fermented foods (goats milk kefir and sauerkraut are my favorites, you can buy both from Whole Foods), and every evening I take a good quality probiotic supplement from the Poliquin Group.

What is not as well know is that Probiotics need to feed on Prebiotic fiber to be active in the gut. I like to ensure my prebiotic fiber comes from my diet, great sources are fibrous veggies such as artichokes, leeks, dandelion greens and chicory. These are best eaten raw, but you can still get some of the benefits by lightly steaming them. Bananas (the greener the better) are also a great source of prebiotics.

I've also started to bring a bag of " target="_blank">Tiger Nuts with me when I travel - these little guys are not nuts, but tiny little tubers that are an amazing source of prebiotic fiber. You can also cook with Tiger Nut flour, and watch out for some Tiger Nut recipes on the blog in 2016!

Tiger Nuts
Tiger Nuts

Get Moving

Such a simple thing, but I find it makes a huge difference in my digestion and ahem, motility. I've learnt the hard way that I need to move my body everyday for all aspects of my health, and my favorite way to do this on holidays is to go for a walk, and practice some basic yoga poses that aid digestion.

Here is a 5 minute Yoga for Digestion video from ekhartyoga.com that is suitable for everyone:

[embed]http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lefh3wWcCHs[/embed]

Green for 'Go'

The fiber from green smoothies (not juices) is a great way to help everything move through the digestive system with a little more ease, and adding pineapple, lemon, parsley and ginger can help with gas and bloating. Below is my favorite 'stomach saving' green smoothie recipe:

1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple chunks 1 cup water or coconut water (or 1/2 and 1/2) 1/4 cup fresh parsley 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger 1 cup leafy green veggies such as kale, chard, spinach or dandelion greens Big squeeze lemon juice Blend together until smooth and enjoy!
1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple chunks 1 cup water or coconut water (or 1/2 and 1/2) 1/4 cup fresh parsley 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger 1 cup leafy green veggies such as kale, chard, spinach or dandelion greens Big squeeze lemon juice Blend together until smooth and enjoy!

I hope these suggestions help you as much as they help me. If you have any questions about this post please comment below, and if you have any 'stomach savers' you would like to share I'd love to hear them.

Quick and Easy Tips for a Healthy Road Trip!

Are you (like me) hitting the road today (or tomorrow) to visit family and friends for the holidays? I'm a big fan of road trips, but they can often derail our healthy habits. Here are some quick and easy ways to have a healthy road trip, to ensure you feel full of energy and ready to party when you arrive at your destination! Move It or Lose It

I'm really bad at sitting still for any amount of time (read longer than 5 minutes), so long car journeys are definitely a challenge for me. Before we hit the road I aim to get up just a little earlier so I can do a short at home yoga practice. I love the free content from Yoga Journal, and can complete my practice is around 30-45 minutes which is perfect. Taking a walk, going for a swim, having a dance party in your kitchen to Mariah (just me?), anything that gets the body moving and the blood pumping is a great antidote to sitting still for hours on end, and will stop you feeling stiff and achy on the journey.

The Most Important Meal of the Day

You've guessed it - protein, fats and veggies before you go (see my 7 Days of Breakfast post for suggestions)! Having a good breakfast is going to set you up for the day, stop you from having to eat breakfast at a gas station (no one deserves that), and keep you mentally focussed

Be Prepared

On the subject of gas station food, don't do it! Husband Hanway and I always take snacks on our road trips, and it makes for a much more pleasant journey! Protein shakes, jerky, nuts, fruit (see Healthy Holiday Travel for more ideas) are always on our list, and if its a longer journey consider packing a cooler with some homemade meals too.

Coffee is Life

And then there is gas station coffee. Bitter, tasteless, and served in chemical polystyrene cups. Don't do it. Brew your own at home and take in a thermos. Delicious, better for you and will save you money too.

Water Water Everywhere

Be sure to stay hydrated during the journey, there is nothing worse than arriving tired and cranky at a holiday party, and dehydration can be a big cause of this. Ensure you drink plenty of water during your journey, and your skin will thank you too.

Thats Entertainment

I'm a huge fan of podcasts and long car journeys can be a great time to catch up on my 'must listen' list. Audible is a great option too, so make sure you have downloaded some great content before you leave. Because there is only so many times you can play 'The Preacher's Cat', right?

Disconnect and Connect

Being able to access emails, the internet and social media 24/7 wherever we go is both a blessing and a curse, and I've been guilty myself on being 30 minutes into a road trip and connecting more with Instagram than my husband. Car journeys are a great opportunity to connect with your other passengers and shoot the breeze, just keep it light and fun and in the holiday spirit.

Champagne and Chicken Wings

Because even for me the holidays are about fun and celebration. Husband Hanway and I usually spend Christmas in the company of our family which we love, but last year we instituted a new tradition of going to our favorite bar and ordering champagne and chicken wings (a combo you HAVE to try) before we descend on the family. This is wonderful in many ways (umm, hello champagne and chicken wings) as for us it signals the start of the holidays and give us time to connect with each other before the craziness begins!

Whatever your plans for the holidays I hope they are happy, healthy, and above all, fun! Stay tuned in January for a heap of new recipes, meal plan ideas, workouts, product reviews and amazing giveaways! to make 2016 your best year yet! 

Reader Q & A: Healthy Holiday Travel

Dear Jenny, I am traveling over the holidays and know that eating healthy in airports and hotels can be a struggle. Could you make some suggestions on how to stay on plan while away from home?

Thank you, Whitney

Hi Whitney and thank you so much for reaching out! I'm sure a lot of readers are facing the same challenge this week, so thank you for your question.

So, airport food is not as bad as it used to be. However, that really depends on which airport and where you are flying in and out from, for example, Boston's Logan domestic departures has some great healthy options, including Epic Bars, (also available from Whole Foods) which  I consider to be a 'real protein' bar, and are definitely one of my travel go-tos.

Epic Bars

Most airports also have nuts, go for plain, unsalted and raw to avoid the inflammatory oils used in the roasting  process, and the salt will also mean you will hold extra water whilst flying. Also you should be able to find at least apples and bananas at the airport for the vitamins and minerals.  Grab a green juice and a coconut water, as well as a couple of liters of water to keep you well hydrated in the air, and feeling great when you land.

Another great real protein snack that I like and that is super portable is Krave Artisanal Jerky (also available from Whole Foods).  Unlike other jerkys that can contain gluten, artificial flavorings and nitrates, Krave uses domestic meats and all natural ingredients. My favorite is the Turkey, Chardonnay and Thyme, but all of the flavors are pretty delicious!

Krave

My third portable protein option is a great protein shake. I don't recommend whey or soy proteins, so the best option is a vegetarian protein such as rice or hemp. My two recommendations are Primal Clear 3.0 and Proveg, both available from the Poliquin Group. Throw in a scoop of their Espresso Wellness Greens powder too, adding the benefits of over twenty servings of fruit and vegetables. Make shakes easily on the go and in the hotel room by taking a blender bottle with you too.

Another travel must have for me is a bag of gluten free oats. Most hotel rooms have some kind of device for boiling water, so you can make hot oatmeal by filling the hotel room coffee cup with a scoop of oats, and covering in hot water for five minutes, or until the water has absorbed. I love adding the aforementioned Espresso Wellness Greens to this too for a delicious chocolate flavor.

If swinging by a supermarket on the way to the hotel is an option stock up on apples, bananas, any whole, uncut seasonal fruits and pre cut veggies (such as carrots, cucumber, bell peppers), etc, that you can keep in the hotel room refrigerator.

Lastly, my four other travel essentials are non food related, but I don't travel anywhere without them!

Numi Teas: try the Tumeric or Mint teas if you have overindulged, and as a better option than the super acidic hotel room coffee.

Bucky Eye Mask: the best eye mask I've ever tried. Hotel rooms can be full of LED lights which can disturb sleep, so an eye mask is good insurance for a restful night.

Woodlot Candle: Woodlot offer a selection pack of candles, the small size is perfect for slipping into hand luggage, and help you feel at home in a strange place. For rest and relaxation chose the Rekindle scent.

Wind Down:perfect for stressful travel, being away from home, and family gatherings, this chocolate flavored chewable from the Poliquin Group can be taken when you are feeling harassed or overwhelmed, and has an instant calming effect.

I hope this helps Whitney!

Contact: jenny@jenniferhanway.com