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WORDS by Nick Sopczak
ILLUSTRATIONS by Maddie Joyce

There’s nothing better than traveling, seeing the world, surfing a new wave or learning a new culture. With travel, we’re exposed to environmental hazards; there is no way around it. To have the best time possible and feel strong in any situation you have to be prepared. With the proper knowledge and strategies you can stay healthy en route to your destination and thrive while you’re there. Imagine living from a place of prevention and true nourishment. Fortunately for us, we live in amazing times and have incredible products everywhere and knowledge available to us at our fingertips. Thousands of years of ancient wisdom condensed into a simple Google search—pretty powerful stuff when you think about it. The information is there and it’s up to us to educate ourselves to build up our immune systems so we can surf longer, travel further and ultimately do more of whatever it is we love to do. Here are some tips that can help keep your immune system ninjas armed and ready to go to battle for you when you need them.

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Our bodies contain both good and bad bacteria. The goal is to have plenty of the good stuff so it can beat up and kick out the bad stuff. Visualise your gut as a flourishing abundant garden. You want to have the best possible soil and environment to grow the best kind of plants. Many cultures have fermented foods that help bring in daily good bacteria. When you are on the road, look for cultured foods such as kefir, sauerkraut, kimchi and kombucha. The easiest and simplest way is to carry probiotics with you. When your digestion system is happy, you’re going to feel it!

Plain and simple, enzymes = life, therefore we want to eat as many enzyme-rich foods as possible. Living foods for a living body! Many of our body’s natural enzymes are used up from years of eating overcooked foods and plants that come from soil-depleted crops. Supplementing with digestive enzymes can ease the digestion process and help get the maximum absorption for the nutrients in your food. Enjoy all kinds of food on your travels and have the freedom knowing your enzymes will help you out if you overindulge.

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We all know about vitamin C. It’s a staple vitamin that we need to fight infection and repair cells. Thankfully it is abundant in citrus fruits, berries and many other fruits and veggies. In order to keep the immune system strong we need a true dose of vitamin C daily. The best source with the highest concentration of absorbable Vitamin C is the camu camu berry.

With 50 times more vitamin C per 100g than oranges, this berry packs some serious power along with many other nutritional benefits. It’s so concentrated that one pack can last a long time. Adding camu camu and lime to your water, juice or coconut water is a good habit to ensure you’re getting a daily dose and staying well hydrated at the same time. Another worthy mention is the acerola cherry, which is also packed with high concentration of vitamin C.

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Most of us understand the importance of eating a well balanced diet to get the required proteins, fats and carbohydrates to provide fuel and repair. However, learning about and eating foods that feed the immune system is something that we can all improve on to stay strong. With the right foods the only thing you’ll catch while gone is the travel bug. One of the most important things when traveling is your body’s ability to adapt quickly. Your body needs time to adjust to weather, altitude and other cultural changes. These herbs and foods will help you adapt and manage stress levels keeping your adrenals strong and full of power.

Herbs (powders, teas and tinctures): astragalus, ashwaganda, ginseng, cats claw.

Medicinal mushrooms (powders, teas and tinctures): reishi, chaga.

Superfoods: maca, spirulina, goji berries, marine phytoplankton, hemp seeds, chia seeds, alfalfa, chlorella.

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At home or on the road we have to create habits that keep us healthy and strong so we can do more of what we love to do. The fastest way to create good habits is to surround yourself with tools. When you set yourself up for success, anything is a lot more achievable.

– Have one kit dedicated to all your travel supplements. Small size camera bags work well.

– A small blender to help you make fast power smoothies and elixirs.

– Collect little jars to be re used for powders and other things you acquire on the road.

– Make organic markets and farmers markets your first stop. These places are loaded with  treasures to stock up on.

– Keep it small, compact and simple.

– Make it fun and learn about local wild foods and medicinal plants wherever you go.

– Keep a small journal of things you learned, how you’re feeling, what you ran out of and what you can improve upon.

– Have multiple bottles of water to maintain optimum hydration.

To see more of Nick’s photographic work, head here & to see more Maddie Joyce goodness be sure to drop by here.