How, at 30,000 feet, with recirculated air, a cramped coach seat and more processed food than not, can a person stay healthy? Read on.
By Jamie Kiffel-Alcheh, Editor-in-Chief of VitalJuice.com
Four days/three nights in Lugano, Locarno and Ascona (LAX to O’Hare to Zurich; train to Lugano)
Seven nights in Israel (train to Zurich to TLV)
Three nights in Geneva (TLV to Zurich, train to Geneva/ Geneva to Dulles to LAX)
Seven flights. Three train rides. How does the editor-in-chief of Vitaljuice.com, an email all about healthy living, stay healthy on a long-haul trip? Here’s the rundown, by the numbers.
Months of preparation: 2
Almost two months before departure, I created a work schedule so that my mind would be free of work (almost) by flight day. This worked well: I was actually able to free a day for errands the day before I left.
Pre-travel exercise sessions: 3
Before leaving, I boosted my activity because I knew I’d be sitting a lot on planes and trains. I attended a yoga class with Linda Eifer in Beverly Hills http://simchayoga.com/ (stretches, handstands and lots of physical alignment work) and a kundalini class with Tej Kaur Khalsa in Hollywood at Golden Bridge Yoga (meditation, chakra-aligning exercises, yoga philosophy). Finally, I took a brisk, hour-long walk the night before flying.
What’s in it:
Food. Domestic flights no longer provide food, and though international flights do, I know from experience that the cuisine can be an energy-killing, processed carb-fest. Instead, I brought a whole wheat Ta-Da falafel wrap from Whole Foods, heated and wrapped in foil before leaving. Two organic apples from the local farmers’ market, a bag of LA-made Gnosis Immune-Boost Trail mix (including raw chocolate and dried persimmon, among other things), and a bag of kumquats from a friend’s tree. Several PROBAR natural meal replacement bars. They’re filled with nuts, seeds and fruits. Also, a Platypus collapsible water bottle. I fill it, drink it all at the airport and take the bottle to refill on the plane. Those little bottles they provide are never big enough.
Seat Solution cushion. This $15 cushion is a back- and bottom-saver. It just fits into my rolling carry-on, and I pull it out before boarding. I used to have tail bone pain and back aches; not anymore. I even managed to doze on the red-eye without contorting myself, thanks to this.
Socks with treads. These aren’t tight around the ankles, so I won’t get sausage legs from in-flight swelling.
Lip balm, ear plugs, book, laptop. The laptop is a MacBook Air–it’s light enough to carry without hurting my shoulder. The book is The Last Good Man by A.J. Kazinski. I’d take something slimmer, but this is only available in hardcover, and I’m passionate about conspiracy thrillers. Plus I need to read during those minutes in flight when the laptop can’t be opened.
Dressy flats. These make me look like a put-together local when I land–and yet I can walk around in them like a traveler.
Cups of water: as many as possible. It’s never too much.
Times I get out of my seat: at least 2 per flight
Movement is life. Go on; inspire your seatmate to move.
Croissants I eat en route to Switzerland: 1
It’s easy for an airline to offer you extra rolls and croissants, and they will. Bread is an inexpensive incentive that’s supposed to make you feel like you’ve received added value. I’ll have a second cup of water or a tomato juice, instead.
Yoga poses done in my seat: 1
I do seated cat/cow (curve spine forward and back). It’s effective at limbering up the back, and doesn’t look insane to your seatmates.
You could say…it’s a trip.