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Wellness whilst working at 35,000 ft

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I recently caught up with the delightful Lizzie from @therainbowherbivore who has spent the last 13 years of her life flying us all around the globe. I was dying to hear how this beautiful 36 year old looked after herself whilst being in a constant state of jetlag and working in a dehydrating environment as international cabin crew. Over to you Lizzie to share your travel tips with us!

“Maintaining a high level of health, strength and fitness is imperative to me, particularly as I get older and to ensure that my job, studies, hobbies and those people who mean very much to me are able to receive my full focus and attention.

My top tips for maintaining a optimum state of health? It’s been trial and error over the past decade but I now have a routine that I find works well for me.

Water is #1. I can’t emphasise this enough. Lack of water will cause tiredness, dried mucus membranes (leading to greater vulnerability to bacteria and viruses), sore and itchy eyes and tight, dull and dry skin. The cabin air in a standard aircraft sits at approximately 25% humidity, compared with a dry day at home of 35%. This causes dehydration, and dehydration is one of the major contributing factors to jetlag. On a typical 12 hour flight, I will drink up to 6L of water, and then 2L with a shot or two of Braggs apple cider vinegar upon arriving to the hotel or home. To avoid mineral depletion, I add a pinch of Celtic Sea salt to every second litre. If you can’t drink pure water, add herbal teas such as sencha, green, jasmine, chamomile, peppermint, liquorice or celery seed to some warm water. These teas are hydrating, alkalising and assist in the body’s detoxification.

Supplements are great. I take a sachet of X50 at least once every flight for energy and antioxidants. I also swear by BioMedica C-Max powder (put to me by the beautiful Sarah)! This has been my lifeline and makes my feeling great, feel even better. I also take Astralagus as an immune booster twice a week and zinc also.

Food can be our medicine or poison. I know what one I prefer! On board and for 12 hours prior to a flight, I do my best to avoid refined wheat, sugar, salt and foods containing trains-fats. I have been a vegan for 10 years so avoiding meat and dairy is a given. My rule of thumb is minimally processed, minimal if no added fat (nuts and avocados are fine – in fact they’re amazing) and as raw and close to the natural form as possible. Think a salad heaped with vegetables, raw pickles (the ones that haven’t been irradiated and are living) a drop or two of macadamia or flax oil, some sprouted seeds and nuts and a squeeze of lemon juice, or a small fruit salad with coconut yoghurt.

I rarely drink alcohol, especially after I’ve landed. If I do it’s a nip of good quality vodka with plenty of water as a chaser. As a passenger it’s tempting to take advantage of the French champagne on offer, but the advantage of landing refreshed and hydrated is a wonderful reward.

Detoxification – here’s what I have been doing for 11 years. I bath 3 times per week in Epsom salts, soaking for 40 minutes. The first 20 minutes allow the body to detoxify and the following 20 minutes allow the skin to absorb the magnesium and sulphate.

Once per week I take a bath in bicarb soda. This is to remove the radiation that my body receives from flying. The closer to the poles, the greater the dose of radiation that is received by the body during flight. I put a cup of bicarb soda into a hot bath and soak in it for 20 minutes at a minimum. Once I get my out of the bath I shower off as residual salts stay on the skin, and I rinse my bath down also. Often I add another cup of sea salt to the bathtub. Coriander is a powerful cheating herb as well, and assists the body in detoxifying heavy metals.

When I arrive home the temptation is to go straight to bed. Not on my watch! I move my body. Whether it’s a short jog or a brisk walk followed by Yin yoga, as activity moves lymph and deep breathing re-oxygenates the blood. I’ll sleep for an hour or so before waking and continuing on with my day, going to bed at the usual time. I usually fast through the day when I arrive home and have a dinner of lightly steamed vegetables and lemon juice, and plenty of water. I get some odd looks when I say to my colleagues that is my routine, but it works for me and after 9 days in the USA, haven’t once yet suffered any jetlag. Body brushing with a good quality jute brush is fantastic, I use one from a great Aussie company called BodeCare.

On days away from home I stay as active as I do when I’m at home, with 15000 steps minimum. My boyfriend enjoys being active as much as I do, and when we go away together we generally go on bush walks or hikes”.

THANK YOU Lizzie for sharing all these hot tips with us! xx

Sarah Walsh
Active life explorer, writer