7 Travel Hacks to feel amazing before and after traveling

I hate Jet Lag.

I hate getting sick after traveling.
I hate headaches from eating terrible food.

Most of us are used to dealing with all of this when we travel. But why do we need to feel horrible when traveling? Is it just part of getting on a plane, then in a taxi and then into a hotel?

Well it turns out it isn’t part of it, and there are some really easy things we can do to beat the dip in performance that comes with travel.

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How to detox after you drink alcohol, get sick or eat like garbage

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Ex Nihilo is all about performing the way you were created to. We want to feel good, and perform at exceptionally high levels in everything. Plain and simple.

But sometimes life just happens.

This looks different for everyone right?

I have a tough travel schedule and sometimes that leaves me exhausted and susceptible to getting sick. For others they may have let their guard down and ate poorly for a few meals (or days?). And then there are those of us who party a little too hard and have a few too many to drink.

In all of these scenarios we feel like garbage afterward. I don’t know about you but I hate being sick and I hate the feeling after I eat something bad. The process to recovery is usually a few days of getting back on track and then we’re back to normal.

Well i’ve found some serious short cuts to this process. Instead of waiting, why not try feeling good right away? With some shrewd planning, you can shorten your sickness, feel great after a terrible meal and even eliminate your hangover.

Why detox?

Toxins from bad food, alcohol or exposure to environmental toxins store in your body. Our livers, body fat and kidneys love to house toxins and it’s very difficult for them to shed the contamination. We think things like brain fog, headaches and fatigue are normal but they are all symptoms of toxicity. Toxicity can lead to long term problems and diseases and can cause us to get sick in the short term. A detox can quickly eliminate these toxins so we can perform and feel great.

There are three steps with a few different options in each step so read carefully:

 

At the beginning or before you start

If you are starting to come down with a sickness or, if you know you are going to drink/eat poorly there are a few initial steps to take that can soften the blow.

The first thing is to supplement with some quality minerals like Zinc and Magnesium. These magical supplements build your immune system to fight against your sickness. Both of these are miracle minerals that have a variety of positive effects including promoting quality sleep, which is crucial to repairing your body.

The next thing to supplement with is Glutathione. Glutathione is the most effective and powerful antioxidant in your body. Sometimes your body can slow it’s glutathione production which can lead to getting sick or increased inflammation. Eating poorly and drinking alcohol can lower your body’s ability to make this critical agent. Supplementing with this restores your body’s supply, while strengthening your immune system. The best glutathione i’ve tried can be found here.

 

What about during?

There are a few things to do to detox during the event. First and foremost: Hydrate. Make sure you are getting down as much water as you can. This dilutes toxins and flushes them out. Most people’s go-to when sick is a combination of 7up, Nyquil and chicken noodle soup out of a can. These are some of the last things you want in your body when sick. High fructose corn syrup and hydrogenated oil won’t exactly help you. One of the best things y
ou can do is drink water. Carbonated water helps with some of the effects that Sprite has. When you are drinking, aim for one glass of water per drink. If you are eating a giant burger and fries, have a minimum of 20 oz. of water during.

Perhaps the most underrated detox agent of all is Activated Charcoal. This is what the hospital pumps into your stomach when you get food or alcohol poisoning. The charcoal is able to bind to the toxins in your gut and escort them out of the body. This is a game changer. Pop 2-4 after eating a bad meal to carry out any unwanted toxins. Have 1 pill for every drink you have along with that glass of water to avoid the alcohol’s toxic effect.

If you are sick, activated charcoal can single handedly reduce sickness duration. For the flu or food posioning, combine 2-3 charcoal pills with 2 TBSP of raw apple cider vinegar to restore your gut bacteria and feel a little better within minutes. I’ve actually gotten food poisoning and not thrown up once with this method! 1-2 charcoal pills every hour with some apple cider vinegar and you might be able to fully beat food poisoning.

Try this only while sick: When my me or someone in my family gets sick, we go on Bone Broth fasts. At the first sign of sickness, we throw a pot of grass fed bones in the crock pot with some herbs and spices and boil for 12-36 hours. The longer the better. that lets the collagen and detoxifying effects release out of the bones. This has the ability to shorten sickness by half, easy. Check out the full benefit list of bone broth in this earlier post.

Afterwards or while you’re winding down

After you’ve wrecked your gut and immune system with poor eating/drinking or sickness, it’s time to rebuild. The first thing to do is to solidify the immune system. Vitamin C and glutathione are crucial for that. Vitamin C’s immune system benefits are well documented, but don’t listen to marketers and try to get vitamin C from a sugary glass of Orange Juice. Opt for 500mg-1000mg every few hours from a supplement form.

Next it’s time to replenish some lost nutrients. Try a quality greens powder to get a bunch of nutrients in you quickly. I love Biotest’s Superfood. It’s highly concentrated and packs a more powerful punch.

Jump in an infrared Sauna to finish off any deeply stored toxins. It penetrates under the surface of the skin to detox you deeply at a lower temperature. You won’t sweat right away like a normal sauna. It takes about 20 minutes to finally start sweating out those deep toxins. Make sure you drink a lot of water as this will bring out a lot of hidden toxins you’ll need to flush out.

Finally, I mop up what’s left with some more activated charcoal. Just make sure you don’t take this within few hours of another supplement or medication or it will likely absorb them rendering them ineffective.

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Bone Broth: Don’t throw your bones away

Ok, so you’ve just finished destroying a big, grass-fed rib eye and it’s time to clean up. You and your family all have their plates cleaned (I hope. Don’t be throwing away meat) except for the cow graveyard on your plates. Your first thought is to scrape the leftovers, starting with tossing those old gross bones into the trash. But if you knew how those bones are packed with so many nutrients you wouldn’t just toss them out all willy nilly. I want to share with you how to repurpose these old bones into immune building, mood improving and health boosting broth.

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The Daniel Plan’s 10 Day detox

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I had been in a massive funk the past several months. I started a new job (two actually). Add a pregnant wife, a reckless, growing toddler and regular speaking engagements to that mix and you have a recipe for burnout. I had all the telltale symptoms: irritability, heart burn, bags under my eyes constantly, horrible allergies, and just about anything else you can imagine. I felt like nothing could bring any kind of relief for me. I tried sporadic bouts of eating well or supplementing but to no avail. I felt helpless and horribly stressed out. Perhaps the worst part is i’m one of those guys who push through obvious signs of stress and burnout in the name of ‘toughness.’ Little did I know the damage I was doing to myself, both mentally and physically.

The Boiling point

It all came to a head one Monday morning. I preached sunday night at my church but had an otherwise relaxed weekend. I spent time with my family and rested fairly well. I woke up to head to the office like I do every morning but something was even more unusual: I was more exhausted then I had ever been. I could hardly open my eyes. I sucked down some coffee. I, being caffeine sensitive, only need a half of a cup to get going, but weirdly the coffee seemed to have zero effect. it was almost if I had drank water. I got to the office at 7:15am or so. I sat at my desk for about an hour trying to check emails. The haze was to dense for me to focus. I grabbed some more coffee. By then my heart was racing, but I felt like I could fall asleep standing up! Then I did something I had never done before: I went back out to my car and slept for and hour. Mind you, it was only 9am!

The symptoms

Dr. Archibald Hart has an incredible book that all leaders should have on their bookshelf. Adrenaline and Stress was referred to me by a pastor friend. According to Dr. hart, I was sufferinghart from severe burnout and adrenal fatigue. It’s common to have stress from work from time to time or to become anxious over certain life situations, but I was suffering from a much worse problem. I had completely tapped my adrenal glands and my brain produced adrenaline off of it’s natural clock. For example, if I was having a relaxing evening at home, all of the sudden my heart would start pumping and i’d be panicking and worried for literally no reason. Other times, I could be preparing an important project and have no adrenal rush to produce results when I most needed them.

But here was my main problem: I thought the problem was with things I had no control over. I hadn’t noticed my total disregard for my eating, sleep patterns and a healthy sabbath.

I have always been very healthy, but I had been slacking due to stress. I was going on eating binges then doing an extreme diet to quickly shed the weight. But, neither of those paths are sustainable and neither provides the healthy nutrients needed for a long and healthy life. I had also been pushing my sleep limits as well. Dr. hart notes that for Type-A personalities like myself, we need at least 8.5-9 hours of sleep to function at a normal level…. MINIMUM. Many need even more to perform at high levels. I also had not been taking breaks. I had multiple jobs going and when I wasn’t working, I was thinking about work. Dr. Hart also states that thinking about work produces nearly the same amount of physiological stress as doing the work. This stress takes a toll, which leads to lower immune health, which leads to a myriad of other issues.

(HERE IS A RUNDOWN OF SOME OF THE SYMPTOMS YOU MIGHT EXPERIENCE IN THIS SCENARIO: Anxiousness, dizziness, acid reflux, sleepiness, GERD, sleeplessness, headaches, heart palpations, chest pains, headaches, irritability, increased asthma, worsened allergies, depression, sweaty palms, hot flashes, bloated feeling, more frequent sickness and fatigue.)

The Solution

Enter the Daniel Plan. Rick Warren, Dr. Mark Hyman and Dr. Daniel Akin put together a fantastic all around work regarding healthy living: physically, mentally and spiritually. I picked it up in search of answers and the FOOD portion of the book was most helpful. The diet is based off of the prophet Daniel in the Bible and his statement of him eating nothing but vegetables and water so he can better worship God while exiled in Babylon.

In a nutshell, the majority of us have gotten away from eating the way God intended.I hadn’t noticed my total disregard for my eating, sleep patterns and a healthy sabbath.We pour countless amounts of processed junk into our bodies daily. Our grains our genetically modified and our bread is no longer the same bread we here about people eating in the Bible. Our condiments are packed with hydrogenated oils, and high fructose corn syrup. Food companies mask sugars, grains and chemicals with foreign names. Fake “healthy” foods line the aisles of the grocery store like granola bars, cereals and “baked” chips. The unsuspecting patron purchases these cleverly masked junk foods and eats them in excess thinking they are eating healthy. The Daniel Plan calls us back to eating from the earth like God intended. No more frosted shredded wheat (If you think that is a health food then you should check out this book), no more fried foods, and no more sugary drinks.

 

My 10 Day Detox

daniel-planBefore starting the plan, the idea is that you would go on a detox to assess what foods you may be intolerant of or may harm your overall health. The detox phase has a few ground rules: 1) You can’t eat anything unless it’s from the earth. 2) No stimulants 3) No added sugar (including fake chemical sugars) 4) No wheat or gluten 5) No Dairy 6) Sleep at least 8.5 hours7) 10 glasses of water per day

After 10 days, the change is overwhelmingly positive.

Before I began I tested positive for ALL of the negative symptoms listed above…. ALL!  And now they have all vanished. My mental state is clearer, I’m sleeping better and I have great energy (despite the fact I haven’t been able to have coffee. The authors of the Daniel Plan continually stated in their book that our eating, especially in the wealthy western world, is literally killing us. We’re pumping ourselves full of junk foods constantly. Little do we know that the years of bad eating are taking their toll on our bodies leaving us fatigued and tapped. What’s interesting is that if you eat the way God intends for you to eat, your body begins to heal. It’s not a secret to anyone that food from the earth heals you! But why? Because God literally designed food that way.

I am now reaping the benefits of eating loads of vegetables and fruit. I eat close to 15-18 servings of vegetables a day, and maybe 4-5 servings of fruit on top of lean sources of protein. I’ve played in the NFL and had professional dietitians work with me, but i’ve never felt this good after a diet change.

DISCLAIMER: once your detox is over, you can go back to eating dairy and even gluten. But add them back in slowly. You may have a mild allergy causing your body stress, fatigue or inflammation. I personally will not add gluten back into my diet, and I will only partake of dairy scarcely. Not eating them makes me feel 100% better.

The Challenge

Here’s my challenge to you: What are you living for? How long do you want to live? Do you want to live to play with your kids or grandkids? Do you have poor eating, sleeping and sabbathing habits?

At some point, you will need to decide if you are in this for the long haul or not. The pace you are keeping may work now, but it’s not sustainable, at least not at an optimum level. Maybe it’s time to start working ON your life, not just IN your life. So get started on something that will build a healthier you, inside and out. Good luck!

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