Six ways to digest food better while traveling (or running busy all day)

Feb 29, 2024
burger and fries, digesting your food when traveling
Image by Thorsten Frenzel from Pixabay


Running around takes a toll on digestion

Whether you travel for work or pleasure, or you stay local and run busy all day, running around takes a toll on digestion. 

Hard-pressed to stick to mealtimes and food that’s energetically sustainable, we tend to overindulge in hyper-palatable food and drink and deny ourselves both the essential nutrients and benefits of a fully present, sit-down-and-chew-your-food meal. 

Digestion has been an issue for me since I was a child, so I come with a lifetime of experience working with it. I got to where I can eat foods that historically gave me trouble - I learned that it wasn’t that I was sensitive to certain foods but that my digestion wasn’t working optimally enough to be able to process them (there’s a big difference). Food that would normally clog up my sinuses no longer do, and eating a large meal for lunch no longer brings on food coma. 

I’m a foodie and will travel for it. To me, food is for energy, healing, and pleasure. If it doesn’t check those three boxes, it doesn’t pass muster. And by healing, I don’t mean that it has to be ginger and broccoli, though I do love the combination, especially with some coco aminos. 

All this said, my more recent lifestyle shift as a frequent traveler (which forced a shift in how I work and thus temporarily elevated my stress levels) has challenged my digestive track. I’ve gone back to basics and made the necessary adjustments. 

I want to share them with you. 

Here are some simple fundamentals to live by, especially if your schedule doesn’t seem to support a regular daily routine. 


Six simple ways to strengthen your digestion and enjoy your day, every day

  1. Sip on hot water starting first thing in the morning. Invest in a good thermos that keeps water hot for 12 hours. Bonus if you stop having iced drinks and gulping down water like you were just rescued from a desert fully parched (these weaken your digestion and metabolism). 

  2. Take magnesium. It’s crucial to your body’s function. It strengthens your bones, is good for heart health and your muscles, it’s a gentle laxative that supports pooping, it’s great for your nervous system, is mood enhancing, regulates blood sugar levels, and helps you to relax, among other things. There are some excellent supplements out there - ideally in powder form that you add to water - especially if you are challenged to take in enough magnesium through foods. More isn’t better; be careful not to overconsume. 

  3. Bless your food. You don’t have to be religious to do this. Take a moment to sit and enjoy the colors and textures on your plate, and take in the aroma of the food set in front of you. This signals to your stomach to start producing digestive enzymes and pre-feeds your body the love you are about to receive through the sustenance that is on your plate. Taking the food in through your senses also elicits positive emotions that support good digestion. Say to yourself, thank you before you eat. My favorite blessing is:
    In this food, I see clearly the presence of the entire Universe supporting my existence. Thank you.

  4. Sit and chew your food. When my children became old enough to have solid food, I’d spoon some into their little mouths and have them chew while I counted to 30, and then swallow. Chewing breaks down the food for better digestion, signals to your stomach to secrete more enzymes to break down your food in anticipation of its arrival, and slows you down enough to enjoy the flavors, satisfy you, and dramatically reduce after-meal cravings and food coma. 

  5. Enjoy your food guilt-free and obligation-free. You might eat all the nutrient dense foods you know about that contain the vitamins and minerals you’ve heard are good for you. Or you may not care at all and simply go for what you enjoy. At the end of the day, while what you eat does matter, how you eat matters a little bit more. So check those emotions, attitudes and eating habits. They will determine how well you digest anything you consume. 

  6. Slow down. Just slow down. In the morning, during meals, and the rest of your day. You’ll be much more effective, clearer, and happier. You’ll make less mistakes, and you won’t fray your nervous system. You’ll transition and sleep better. You’ll have better command over your decisions. You’ll be and look smarter. Your digestion will become your friend. 


Not only will these steps dramatically improve your digestion, they will put you back in the driver's seat where you gain (a) command over time and (b) access to more joy, compassion, and generosity in your own self and those around you. 18th century French philosopher Voltaire said,

The fate of the nation has often depended on the good or bad digestion of a prime minister.

And so it is that the fate of your own microcosm - your mind, physical body, home, and community - relies on the health of your digestion.

Be good to yourself. Your body and mind is the one vehicle you have in this lifetime. 


Love, Savitree

Pack light, travel light, be light


(much like this blog post!)