When does your holiday start? Mine starts in the taxi on the way to the airport. A decade ago it would have been when I arrived at my destination but nowadays I include the travelling as part of the holiday. I have found it takes the stresses out of travelling that way.
Perimenopausal women are more sensitive to our stress hormones and also to sugars. Travelling can be stressful but also we have a reduced selection of food – which is usually starch/sugar dominant. And there can be big time pressures. So what you can do to ensure you arrive as relaxed as you can, feeling good & without an icky tummy because you have eaten differently.
Ensure you have plenty of time to get to the airport check in, drop of bags, then get through security gates. This is the most stressful time for most as we feel time poor we can cut it quite fine time wise!
If the flight leaves at 7:00am I would work backwards:
• Be through security at 6:00 am so that’s leaves an hour which is plenty of time
• On a busy Saturday morning that’ll take about 20 mins so 5:40am at Security gate
• We have our boarding passes already so it’s just a bag drop off which is a quieter queue usually 15 mins. 5:25 am at drop off queue
• It’ll take 30 mins door to door to airport (it’ll probably be less at that time in the morning so it’s a wee buffer in there) so taxi is ordered for 4:55am
• At that time in the morning bags will be packed & no breakfast just shower & go. Which means a 4:20 wakeup call. It’s an early start but there is room in case of the unexpected so even if there is a hitch it will not be disruptive and will keep it stress free!
Once through security first stop is to pick up some water. Keeping hydrated while you are flying is really important. Water is the best followed by herbal tea if you can source it. Obviously the longer the flight the more important it is to minimise drinks which have a diuretic effect such as coffee & alcohol.
When you are picking up your water, see if they have any fruit to buy. Berries, apples, pears & citrus fruits are low sugar fruits and ideal to keep your blood sugar levels on an even keel. They contain fibre so will be good for your digestive system.
Be as active as you can whilst in the terminal. As you will be sitting throughout the flight it makes sense to spend as little time as possible seated while you are waiting for the flight. Do some window shopping, find some stairs to walk up. It all helps to keep you active.
If you are eating at the airport it can be a challenge to find restaurants which has a good protein selection. All day breakfast are good – just watch the portion size. Omelettes are also a good choice with extra veggies added. If you are struggling go for a naked burger i.e. order a burger but ditch the bun, have salad on the side rather than chips.
Take a snack pack with you for the flight. Again focus on protein rich foods which are non-perishable. Protein bars are great for travelling. My favourite at the moment are Cocoa & Mint Bounce balls. I also take almond & apricots.
We often feel we deserve to “treat ourselves” as we are on holiday. However Perimenopausal women often have a disconnect between what is good for us now & what we used to easily be able to tolerate. For example if you have altered your diet to reduce carbohydrates, then having a big portion of chips actually may not feel that great. If you have worked hard on your wellbeing keep it going rather than taking a break. Treat yourself to food that nourishes you rather than giving your body more work to do.
Have a plan for your movements from the airport to final destination. I prefer to have a printed version to hand with car rental details and address of accommodation than trying to get online to find it all.
Arrive feeling relaxed rather than harassed & feeling your holiday has already started rather than waiting for it to begin!
Samantha Valand is the author of “The Menopause Diaries: A practical guide to healthy eating and exercising in your menopausal years”. You can find out more about her book here.