With the plumetting winter temperatures, not to mention the -30°C wind factor (ah, I love Montreal), there is plenty of incentive to go a-travelling! Somewhere warm, somewhere sunny, please! As an avid traveler and aficionado of local foods, I've learned that it doesn't hurt to take a few precautions. So here are some ways to stay healthy when traveling, so you can make the most of your wintertime getaway!
1. Boost your immune system before travelling! Take the time to sleep well, excercise and eat well--and take some additional vitamin C; fruits like strawberries, citrus, kiwis, and papaya are great for vitamin C. Often I'll drink echinacea tea or a lemon-ginger smoothie to help boost my immune system. I included below an easy recipe for a lemon-ginger smootie with a twist!
3. First aid. Have a small kit with band-aids, disinfectant and medications for the common ailments like the cold, and diarrhea. From my experience, a sheet of moleskin (the best for covering blisters), and a small 50ml bottle of grapefruit seed extract proved invaluable. Grapefruit seed extract is a natural antibiotic and it can help to fight food poisoning, colds, and fungal infection.
4. Protect your skin. Before checking in to a hotel or lodging, check the mattress for bed bugs. Do a careful inspection along the seams of the mattress and behind the headboad. Also, if the area you are staying in is prone to mosquitoes, make sure to use mosquito repellant-- you don't want to expose yourself to mosquito-borne maladies. I use a combination of catnip oil and neem, but there are other good ones out there like citronella. Finally, a good lotion with SPF and/or long, flowy clothing help to ensure a trek isn't cut short by sunburn.
5. Use good judgement when eating out. Whether its in a nice restaurant or at a busy street food stall, make sure the food is well-cooked and piping hot, especially the meat. From previous experience, I'm really careful not to eat food that looks like its been sitting around in the open for a length of time.
Lemon-Ginger Smootie with a twist
- juice of 2 fresh lemons
- 1 cup pineapple juice
- small piece (1cm) of fresh ginger
- tiny bulb of garlic
- pinch of cayenne pepper
Put all the ingredients in a blender, and enjoy!