Something I get asked about a lot but don’t talk about much is how I manage my PCOS while I am travelling. Well, I thought it was time I dedicated an entire post to it! I loveeeeee to travel, and I often travel for work/play, so learning how to manage my PCOS while on the road has been a really big part of my journey…
In fact, I would say it has been an integral part because last year while I was doing a big trip around South America I MADE A BABY! ...hahaha ok, so it was a joint effort with my husband, but I did all the hard work with months of preparation to balance my hormones, manage my PCOS and make sure my body was ready to house a baby (he just got to do the fun stuff! lol) So whether or not you are trying to conceive, or just want to avoid any acne breakouts, hair loss, weight gain (alllll the fun PCOS symptoms!) whilst you are away, then being prepared is the key when it comes to travelling with PCOS!
1. VITAMINS AND SUPPLEMENTS
This is a big one!! I know not everyone's idea of a holiday is to pack all your supplements, but before I leave, I always pack any supplements that I am currently taking. I just pack enough for the time I am away and pop them into zip lock bags, so I am not carrying around big packets or jars of vitamins haha.
It might also be a good time to take a look at what you are taking and maybe see if there is anything you can take a break from and just travel with the real necessities/let your body have a break (always have a chat to your health care provider if you are thinking about changing or stopping any medication/prescribed supplements.)
I know it sounds like a weird one, but herbs and tea have been instrumental in helping to heal my PCOS. I know some people think I am mad when I tell people I travel with my herbs but honestly IT IS SO EASY! I just stick to herbal teas (rather than tinctures) and all I need is access to hot water and a mug!
I pack my favourite PCOS healing herbs and keep them in my handbag, and always take a travel cup so that when I am on planes or in hotels I can make myself a healing cup of tea.
It's also much easier for me now since creating Cysterhood tea, as I don't have to carry around lots of different herbs, and can just take one packet with me that has been measured to the perfect ratios 🙌☕️ (Find out more about Cysterhood herbal tea, or check out my blog post about my favourite PCOS healing herbal teas here.)
3. FOOD AND DRINK
In the past I used to stress so much about my PCOS and how I was going to eat the right food while I was away that I couldn’t even enjoy my trip.
One thing that I now do when I go away is not get too caught up in having to eat perfectly while I am away and to be really honest, it’s been really liberating not to be consumed by trying to look after my body 24/7.
Some little tips I have picked up along the way:
- Breakfast is an easy meal to make healthy - think oats and coconut yogurt, smoothies, juices, avocado/ nut butter on toast (opt for gluten-free if needed), baked beans, fruit, eggs (if not vegan) and chia puddings. Steer clear of pastries, fried foods and carb/sugar-heavy breakfasts options.
- Bring your own food for the plane or preorder a vegan meal, they are usually much healthier and fresher than the regular meals.
- Research healthy eateries near the area you will be staying - 'happy cow' is a great app for seeking out wholesome vegetarian and vegan-friendly places.
- Keep healthy snacks with you, nuts and seeds are easy to take travelling. Also dark choc, veg sticks and hummus are easy snacks to keep in the mini-fridge.
- Try to avoid alcohol or limit the the amount you are having. If you do choose to have a sneaky drink, try to avoid sugar-laden cocktails.
- Drink plenty of water! Carry a reusable drink bottle with you and fill it up whenever you can!
- If you can, try to make one of your daily meals a fresh salad, and ask for no dressing or dressing on the side. Also, make sure you have a good fat and protein with it (I like to add avocado and legumes like chickpeas or black beans to all my salads)
- Don't be to hard on yourself, and remember that trying new foods and enjoying a nice meal out is all part of it, so ENJOY!
4 .SKIN CARE
This is another thing that you can’t afford to get lazy with just because you are on holidays.
I keep up my daily skincare routine by washing and gently exfoliating my face with natural products, morning and night. I recently switched lots of my products over to a non-toxic, hormone friendly Aussie brand that I have seen big results with. (You can check out them out here, code Brigitte20; they ship worldwide.) https://ediblebeautyaustralia.com
Try to avoid the urge to buy fancy skincare products that smell or look nice because they are usually the ones full of endocrine-disrupting chemicals and can mess your skin up even more.
I also use anti-acne, non-comedogenic sunscreen to keep my skin protected and try to go makeup-free (with the exception of some mascara at night!). It feels soooooo nice and liberating not to have to cover up!
5. RELAX, DESTRESS AND ENJOY
Honestly, this is the most important one out of them all.
We are all living with so much stress that it is becoming one of the biggest factors affecting our hormones and fertility.
As women, many of us function on constant low-grade levels of stress.