I’ve had one cold in the past two years and not once while traveling. Find out how I did it without a single supplement!
Among my friends, I’m known as the 1-day cold person. At the first sign of congestion or sore throat, I take a sleep-inducing cold medicine, sleep for 9+ hours, and wake up the next day without a trace of disease. What’s my secret? Giving my body what it needs to stop bugs before they take hold!
Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional! These are just the things that I do to prevent colds naturally while traveling.
7 Things I Do To Avoid Colds While Traveling
1. Load Up On Greens
Since switching to a mostly plant-based diet 3 years ago, I’ve rarely gotten a cold except when traveling, which is when I’m most likely to eat meat, fish, or dairy. Even if you have no intention of giving up meat, adding extra greens to your diet can boost your metabolism and counteract the acidic properties of meat. I make sure that for at least a day before boarding a plane, I eat as many colorful vegetables as I can and cut back on animal products.
2. Spicy Foods
Studies have found that a compound in chilis called capsaicin has been known to boost your immune system. Whether or not that’s true, I love spicy foods. Especially when I feel a cold coming on—nothing clears my sinuses and warms me up from the inside faster!
3. Drink lemon water
Staying hydrated is extremely important for helping your body combat any kind of disease. I like to kick it up a notch with lemon water which 1) tastes way better than boring water, and 2) helps me feel detoxified. Lemon also has alkalizing properties for the blood, which is especially important when eating acidic foods like alcohol, meat, fish, sugar, etc.
How I Get Fresh Lemon Juice While Traveling:
- I always ask for lemon in my water when I eat in a restaurant.
- I’ll juice a lemon at home, and bring it with me on planes in a 3 oz. (so it’s TSA-safe!) container to jazz up my water with on the flight.
- If I’m traveling and feeling under the weather, I buy a lemon from any grocery store and hand-squeeze into water if I can’t find a juicer.
4. Cut sugar
I can’t end a meal without dessert—it just doesn’t feel right! But if I know I have a long travel day the next day (e.g. a 6+ hour flight) I’ll make myself skip dessert and sugary cocktails like margaritas.
5. Get Extra Sleep
If I feel a cold coming on, there’s nothing like a long night of deep, NyQuil-induced sleep for kicking bugs to the curb. However, it’s probably the absolute hardest thing for me to do on vacation. My body has a cruel Circadian rhythm that never lets me sleep past 8 or 9 a.m., no matter what time zone I’m in. I usually enjoy it because I’m able to squeeze a ton of activities into my day. Unfortunately, that means I really pay for nights I’m out dancing until dawn!
6. Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting is still in its infant stages of scientific research, but the results are promising. It’s been found to help regenerate damaged immune systems, slow down aging, and lose weight sustainably. I’ve found that fasting for part of the day helps me prevent colds while traveling (vs. when I travel but don’t fast).
I usually fast for 16 hours/day and eat within an 8-hour window a la the Lean Gains Method at least 3-5x week, and a 24-hour fast 1/month for total cleansing. I fast because it makes me feel stronger, leaner, and more focused, but I recommend you do your own research before trying it!
7. Natural Immune Boosters
I’ve always been a little wary of those powders that claim to boost your immune system with vitamin C. Probably because anything that comes in a powder like Pixy Stix can’t be good for you! I prefer a 1-2 punch of antioxidants and probiotics for fighting germs. I get plenty of antioxidants through green tea (with lemon if possible!). I used to get probiotics through a supplement, but it’s not necessary! Almost every culture in the world has a fermented dish. Think pickled ginger when having sushi, kimchi in Korea, Sauerkraut in Germany, etc.
Do you have a secret to kicking bugs to curb or to prevent colds while traveling?