Brrrrr…. it’s cold out there! Well, for those of you here in Canada with me and in other snowy countries! The winter months are a popular time for people to escape the cold and hit the beach somewhere nice and toasty warm! Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Jamaica, and Florida are all tropical destinations for Canadians and they all sounding pretty enticing to me right about now ;-).
Managing IBS on Vacation
Sunny getaways can be relaxing, revitalizing, and provide you with a nice dose of mood boosting vitamin D that you might feel like you’ve been deprived of here in snowy Canada. However, if you have allergies or digestive health issues, travelling can seem pretty daunting! The stress, language barriers, and less control over food choice are all things that may contribute to digestive distress while on vacation. I hear you, I want you to have an incredible time while you are away and not have to deal with the stress of IBS. That’s why you may have seen me write about Traveling with IBS before! Today’s post is all about ways to eat well with digestive health issues while enjoying your vacation in the sun.
I have travelled quite a bit over the years – including a visit to Portugal for my honeymoon – and I’ve picked up some tips and tricks along the way on how to deal with IBS while away from home ;-). Taking a break from your normal routine and being away from your kitchen full of ‘safe’ foods can be a little nerve racking, but there are a few things you can do to put your mind at ease and make the most of your trip.
Pack LOW FODMAP Snacks
Packing snacks that you know you can tolerate will keep you from going hungry when there may not be another IBS-friendly option available, and in giving you some peace of mind. Since you’ll be on the move, portable and shelf stable snacks are key, because let’s face it, unless you are good at traveling lightly (Is anyone good at that? Tell me your secrets!) the last thing you need is to add a cooler bag to all the luggage you have to carry ;-). Canned salmon or canned tuna make great protein options – you can even find cans with pull tabs! Nuts and seeds will also add some satisfying protein to your arsenal, just make sure you check the Monash App for safe varieties. Oatmeal packets, low FODMAP crackers and cookies are super convenient – we tested out these brands and thought they were great! Or how about some homemade low FODMAP granola?
Finally, packing some digestive teas can really be soothing for your stomach after meals that may not be usual for you. I love this variety, but check out my post Tea Time for Your Tummy for more great low FODMAP options.
Consider your Options for Accommodation
Having access to a kitchenette or even a full kitchen can make a huge difference when it comes to controlling what you put into your body while on vacation. Consider renting a cottage, house, condo or apartment instead of going the traditional route of booking a hotel. There are some really cool services out there like Airbnb to help you do so! Or book a hotel room with some basic kitchen equipment like a microwave and small bar fridge that will come in handy for preparing a few easy meals.
Communication is Key
If you’re staying at a hotel or resort, it’s not likely that you’ll be able to cook for yourself, and maybe you don’t want to cook for yourself while you’re on vacation! In this case, communication will be key. Even before you set foot on the plane, it’s worth contacting your resort about your food sensitivities and restrictions so they can be prepared. Once you arrive, speak with your maître-D or restaurant manager as soon as possible and they will be able to give you an idea of what options might work for you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! It can be hard to to tell how foods have been prepared if you’re picking and choosing from a buffet, so sit down dinners may offer you more customizable choices.
Do you have any easy to digest foods that have a place in your suit case? I’d love to hear about it. Share below in the comment section.
Wishing you good gut health and wellness,
Stephanie and the Team