I hope you all had a wonderful weekend filled with fun activities. This past weekend my husband and I traveled to Baltimore, MD for his monthly follow-up appointment at Johns Hopkins Hospital. I am really excited that we have only 1 more appointment scheduled for this year, then we only have to make the 6 hour trip to the Charm City every 3 months.
Baltimore is a fun city to explore and we did lots of that this summer during our 6 week stay; but these 24 hour excursions can be quite exhausting. Pack an overnight bag, drive 6 hours, eat junk food along the way and something that resembles nutritional value after reaching the final destination, sleep, run and repeat those steps all over again with an appointment thrown into the equation in 24 hours.
I do not know why my digestive system decides to have a mind of its own and stops functioning normally when I travel. Otherwise known as the dreaded traveler’s constipation. Similar to those who have the white coat syndrome when it comes to elevated blood pressure readings only in the confines of a doctor’s office.
I do know that I don’t like the belly discomfort that goes along with these road trips. The bloating and cramping can just make me down right miserable.
Maybe it is the mindless munching that occurs with the monotonous miles of road construction through the state of Pennsylvania that causes the back up in my digestive tract. Or perhaps its an unknown fear I have of using public restrooms or bathrooms situated in small hotel rooms that slows down the natural breakdown of my breakfast and lunch.
This problem is not new so I can’t blame it on the age factor or the state of Pennsylvania. As long as I can remember, the bloat factor has been an issue for me at least for the first couple of days of any trip away from home. My family and friends can testify to the grumpiness that comes along with the bloat.
I really think that my body knows immediately that it is being disrupted from its normal routine. If you have ever had this problem you know what I am talking about. I feel like I always start every vacation or road trip with an extra 5 pounds keeled over in the child’s pose attempting to relieve the discomfort.
I know, I know, there are over the counter medications/supplements that I could take to move the digested food along and to alleviate this problem altogether. After all of these years, I still have not learned my lesson. I need to get with the program and do something about my problem so I am not the ” party -pooper” that I currently am when I leave town.
Here is what I plan to do in preparation for my next trip. You will all be my witness if I don’t follow through and have to write another post about my agonizing stomach bloat and pain when I return.
1. Eat as much fiber as my stomach will tolerate 3 days before my departure.
2. Drink –8-10 – 8 ounce glasses of water and keep a tally of my water intake for the 3 days leading up to my trip.
3. Pre-package snacks for the car that must have nutritional content. I don’t think gummi-bears, peanut M&M’s, and Pepperidge Farm’s cheddar goldfish crackers fit the nutritional bill.
4. Limit the number of carbonated and caffeinated beverages I consume in the car. WATER, WATER, WATER
5. Say no to gourmet fast food restaurant chains and pizza and say yes to restaurants offering menus filled with fresh salads and wholesome foods.
6. Take one of those over-the-counter fiber supplement capsules before leaving as an added prevention measure.
I know that I am not alone on this one- so if you have any other helpful ideas to prevent the bloat, please share in the comments section.