manage transit time

Soaring above the clouds to your favorite destination might seem like fun but for the body it’s hellish. Sitting still for long periods in cramped conditions, dehydration and low cabin pressure lead to all kinds of unwelcome bodily responses: leg swelling, bad breath, dizziness, dry skin and….drum roll…. constipation, rampant amongst travelers.

Traveling transit time is not only important in terms of minimizing time you spend at the airport but more importantly your food’s transit time from mouth to anus.

Transit time is supposed to be 18-24 hours. If it takes any longer than that your digestion and elimination pattern is off. You are constipated.

What you eat for breakfast today should come out the shoot the next morning. Okay, cool!!! But how, you might think, would I know? Poop always looks brown in various degrees. One can’t be sure what really is coming out the other end without putting the stuff under a microscope, which could be a messy and stinky affair!

Knowing that travel upsets bowel movements in general and having been prone to constipation much of my 20s and 30s, I was curious where I am at these days. So I decided to do the beet test. Beets are a sure fire sign to color your stool red. I got myself a beet juice at the airport (with carrots for additional grounding and ginger to stoke my digestive fire) …and sure thing, the next morning my poop was red. I was psyched!!!!

I spare you a picture of the other end but will share with you how I made it happen:

Strategy 1: Hydrate

On the day of departure, I drank 16 oz of hot (not warm or cold) water right after getting up, so I could poop before leaving the house. I always carry a water bottle with me and fill it first thing I am inside the security zone at the airport. I drink frequently from it and let the flight attendants fill it again and again (being mega friendly so they don’t get mad at me).

I decided against a beer en route despite that urge. Hey, I am Bavarian!!!  But a good poop seemed more important than the short term satisfaction from beer.

Strategy 2: Feeding frenzy

For breakfast, I made myself a mix of instant oatmeal, cinnamon, cardamon, a handful of raisins, 1 tsp of coconut oil and a pinch of salt. I put it in a plastic container without adding water, and  after clearing security asked for hot water at a coffee shop. That way I had a moisturizing, grounding, nourishing breakfast. In case you don’t like the fuzz of carrying a container, you can get oatmeal in many coffee shops at the airport these days. I think they caught on 🙂

For lunch, I stuck with soup at the airport. Since traveling is light and drying to the tissues by nature, anything moistening and grounding works. Soups and stews are the best.

Strategy 3: Walkabout

Transit TimeI got delayed at the airport due to weather, missed my connecting flight and got rerouted.  Needless to say transit times at the airport were looong. Not much control I had over that but what I did have control over was how I treated my body.

First, I did a walkabout at the airport to keep the juices flowing. Then, I unpacked my yoga matt – I always travel with a lightweight version – and my massage balls. Both are small enough to fit in my carry on. I chose a quiet corner and performed some simple stretches in my jeans,  rolled on my balls and did some meditation. Usually I inspire some other people too but at the Iceland airport things were quiet.

Strategy 4: Upon arrival

As soon as I arrived at my destination, I indulged in a hot bath with grounding essential oils. Sometimes a bathtub is not available, in which case I take a long, hot shower instead. Water inside and out is grounding after the airy affair in the air. Earthy energy is what’s asked for to keep apana vayu moving…that’s the downward moving wind that keeps you pooping.

Strategy 5: The next morning

I started the day with 16 oz of hot water again. That gives the peristalsis a hint to push the garbage out. Then a few jumping jacks and yoga postures to open the hips and open the shoot.

Good news was, the beets showed themselves.

Wishing you constipation free travels!

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