Travel Tip for the Holiday Season

by Janet Gomez

With the holiday season coming up many of us are planning to go and visit family and friends. Often our travel plans involve flying, which can be tiring at the best of times. Whenever I fly I order a vegetarian option for the meal since I'm vegetarian. However, I'm going to share with you three good reasons to "go veggie" when you're travelling by plane even if you're not normally vegetarian!

1. We are served first (or before our fellow passengers). In any case this is my experience. It's the same principle of service that you have in a restaurant. It's rare that a large party of people is served before a table of two or three. The same logic seems to work when you're on a plane. You also have more time to enjoy your meals before the plates are cleared away. This means you can take time to chew and savour what you receive. This can be a great bonus if you're travelling with children. The only downside is that it's a bit unfortunate for your fellow meat-eating travellers who have to wait for their row to be served, while you're tucking in.

2. We get the lighter option - meaning that it's lighter on our digestive system. This is definitely the main reason to "go veggie" when flying.
Flying is dehydrating to the whole body. When the body is dehydrated you feel tired and your concentration decreases. Various functions, especially the digestive one, don't work as well as they could. Anything you can do to ease the work your digestive system needs to do when travelling will benefit you tremendously when you arrive at your destination. Other tips to improve digestion while flying include drinking plenty of water before, during and after the flight (warm water is best), and avoiding tea, coffee and alcohol while flying. With improved hydration and the lighter option of the vegetarian meal, you and your family will have much less jet lag when you arrive at your destination and will be able to start enjoying your holiday much more quickly.

3. We have "healthier" options - I always get salad and fruit when I fly. For some reason, airlines presume that if you "go veggie" you want the healthy option so I rarely am served a heavy cake when I take the vegetarian option. By taking in less refined food than the average traveller, our digestive system also functions better - another bonus :) A word of warning for good digestion when flying - keep the fruit to eat a couple of hours after you've had your meal. Fruit digests more quickly than other foods and so should be eaten separately.

Final point - you may find that some airlines seem to be unaware that there are different categories of vegetarians, and that some of us do eat dairy products. Sometimes you may receive margarine to put on your bread roll or crackers, which is a shame after the rest of the meal was so healthy! My opinion is that margarine is not a natural product and does not break down in the body so I just ask for butter, and if they have it, the airline gives it to me. And if not, I am fine about going without. It's a small price to pay for all the other perks of "going veggie" when flying!

What's next?

1. Call your travel agent/airline and book for a vegetarian meal option. Although many airlines now offer one you'll have different vegetarian options to choose from if you book it advance and also there's a greater chance of your having your chosen meal.
2. Remember to check that the meal has been confirmed when you check in!
3. Take some fruit or a nut and raisin mix just in case!

Janet Gomez, nutritional coach, produces the "Nutri-Jyoti News", a free bi-monthly e-newsletter for busy professionals. Feel ready to learn how to use nutritional strategies to manage your energy levels? Then sign up for her FREE e-course "5 Nutritional Keys to Vitality in your Life" on the Nutri-Jyoti home page now.

Copyright © 2009 All rights reserved Janet Gomez

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