Traveling While Keeping a Healthy Gut

These past two weeks our family has been on vacation, away from home and also away from all of our normal whole foods. For a long time we did not even venture to take a vacation like this because we needed to stick to a strict diet to heal our gut issues. Instead, when we looked at vacation options we opted to rent homes or travel in our camper so we had our own kitchen facilities where we could store our own food and cook it. But, now that we no longer deal with leaky gut or unbalanced gut flora issues, the ability to take a trip where we can just eat as we go has become an option for us.

In preparation for our trip I was asked by quite a few people how our digestive systems would handle over 2 weeks of processed foods. Well, it was a bit of an experiment on my part on how we could comfortably do it since in the past we have done this for just over a week and it was really difficult on our systems. Going from having a gut that is used to all the healthy enzymes and probotics which can be gotten from eating the way we do on a daily basis to being exposed to toxins in our water and food with no form of natural means to combat them adds a lot of immediate stress which can be rather unpleasant. So, now that we are home and just starting to return to our normal eating schedule, I can say definitively that my experiment in how to travel eating processed foods was a success.

Here is the protocol I used for our trip using theraputic strength digestive enzymes, probiotics, and additional fiber sources to keep our systems functioning properly. (I must note here again as I stated above, no one in our family suffers from any food intolerances nor do any of us have any leaky gut issues or imbalanced gut flora. The use of the enzymes and probiotics were therefore not for theraputic healing on our trip, but instead were used for maintenance of the healthy gut functionality we are all used to while at home when we are not eating highly processed foods nor are subject to large amounts of treated water or toxin filled personal care products.)

First, I purchased two types of probiotics from Houston Enzymes as well as a full spectrum enzyme for the adults/teens in our family and I purchased one type of chewable probiotics and one type of chewable enzyme for the younger child in our family.

Full Spectrum Enzyme

Higher Dose Probiotic

Children's Chewable Probiotic

Lower Dose Probiotic

Childen's Chewable Full Spectrum Enzyme

Here is the table of how we transitioned into, took the supplements while we were away, and then transitioned out of them as we moved back onto our whole foods diet.

Before Leaving on Vacation
Transition Days
(First 2 days)
Middle Days
Transition Days
(Back Home)
1 low dose probiotic and 1 enzyme per day for about a week before we left
1 low dose probiotic and 1 enzyme per meal. I also added in kefir smoothies and kumbucha I brought from home.
1 high dose probiotic once a day and 2 enzymes per meal
PLUS one fruit high in fiber (prunes for example) OR a prune supplement.
1 low dose probiotic and 1 enzyme per meal plus whole foods diet. Continue for a few days. Also starting up taking kumbucha in small doses for additional detoxing.
1 probiotic and 1 enzyme per day for about a week before we left
1 probiotic and 1 enzyme per meal.
1 probiotic and 2 enzymes per meal PLUS one serving of fruit high in fiber.
1 probiotic and 1 enzyme per meal plus whole foods diet. Continue for a few days. Starting up small doses of kumbucha for detox.

Of course I must add that staying active is also an important part of keeping your digestive system functioning properly, which is not always within the regimen which everyone considers their ideal “vacation”, but not moving your body around a lot is not very good in keeping your internal organs moving and working at their optimum levels. So, for our family we made sure there was plenty of time to go to the gym, do lots of activities outside, and walk around as much as we could.

Now, if you have the ability to control your diet on vacation, like we have in the past when we have rented a house or traveled with a camper, and thus had a kitchen to cook from, that is ideal in sticking to the foods your family is most used to eating and which will help keep everyone in your family healthy and their gut flora on track. But, our vacation on a cruise ship did not give us the ability to pick our food sources - plus the food options on this sort of vacation are really part of the experience. So, looking into enzymes and probiotics was a necessity as we traveled from one island to the next in pursuit of our next adventure over a 10 day period (and no we did not travel on Carnival but we did pick up some of the passengers from the Carnival boat that was stuck in St. Martin while we were docked there for the day).

My hope and prayer is that this little experiment of ours gives you some encouragement for future traveling. My husband remarked half way through our trip that he didn't get that mental fuzzy feeling that he usually gets when traveling and eating processed foods. Also, our son Timothy is looking forward to going to camp this summer and taking these supplements so that he does not have to endure his 2nd day stomach cramps he always gets as his body adjusts to the intake of the processed foods they serve there.

Yes, we may desire to live in a world filled with whole foods with large amounts of probiotic and enzymatic activity, but the reality of life is that most people do not eat the way we do nor do the places that life sometimes takes us give us access to the foods we are used to. I am thankful that God gave our family the opportunity to try this little experiment so that we could encourage more of you out there that there is hope to living beyond the confines of the kitchen for a while.

So here's to blessings on your future travel and dreams of where life may take you next.


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