We all know there are some things that we'd rather not discuss (at least not openly) but we still need remedies for from time to time. Take, traveler's diarrhea, for example.
If you're fortunate enough to never have heard of such a thing because you've never experienced it before, count your blessings, chile. Although I never have (motion sickness is my personal area of expertise), I know people who do. According to them, it S-U-C-K-S.
Although diarrhea typically happens due to things like viral and bacterial infections or food poisoning, sometimes it can occur when one's digestive tract is disrupted due to anxiety, fast food, contaminated water, or germs that they come into contact with while they are on the road (or in the air).
Is traveler's tummy serious? Not really. It usually subsides after a day or two. But when you're in the midst of having loose stools and abdominal cramps, you definitely want to find a remedy sooner than later.
If you can relate, here are 6 natural ones that are directly related to traveler's diarrhea. Oh, and for those of us who get motion sick whenever we've travel, I've included 6 others too.
Drink Water That Has Aloe Vera Juice in It
Aloe vera water
When you're dehydrated, something that you're going to lose plenty of is water. In fact, the cause of death in some babies and seniors who have diarrhea-related health issues is dehydration. That's why, whenever diarrhea creeps in, it's important to remember that, no matter what, you need to drink water or a sports drink (they have electrolytes in them).
If you really want to speed up the healing process, pour a little aloe vera juice into your (non-carbonated) water. Aloe Vera juice has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce gastrointestinal inflammation.
Get Some Honey into Your System
I'm not sure if there's anything that honey can't fix. In the case of diarrhea, it's cool to know that there's such a sweet remedy to such an uncomfortable problem.
The reason why honey is so effective is due to its high amount of anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties. It has so many of both that honey is proven to treat gastroenteritis as it reduces the longevity of bacterial diarrhea.
The best way to take it? Put about four teaspoons of honey into a cup of hot water (as hot as you can stand it) and drink it down straight. The cramping should subside within 15-20 minutes.
Take (Or Eat) A Probiotic
Yogurt chia parfaits
There are a million and one reasons why it's a good idea to take a probiotic supplement. It keeps your heart strong, reduces allergies, works to prevent yeast infections, soothes inflammatory bowel disease, decreases depression symptoms, and yep, you guessed it, is an awesome diarrhea remedy.
Probiotics work so well at treating diarrhea because they provide what is needed in order to promote good gut health by removing bad bacteria from your gastrointestinal system.
If you don't have some probiotics in one of your travel bags, that's OK. There are foods that you can eat that are loaded with probiotics too. Some of them include yogurt (although we must warn, depending on your sensitivities, you might want to go light on the dairy), pickles, cottage cheese, green olives, and (get this) dark chocolate.
(For the record, "bland" foods like toast, applesauce, and oatmeal can help to slow down gas bubbles and tummy discomfort too.)
Find Some White Rice
The problem with getting sick while you're out on the road is sometimes natural remedies can be hard to find. But if you do end up with diarrhea while you're out and about, try and get your hands on some plain white rice (like from a Chinese food restaurant or the microwavable kind you can get from a grocery store).
Although having regular bowel movements is typically a healthy thing, it's something you want to slow down when you've already got the runs. Because white rice is low in fiber, it has the ability to calm your stomach down so that you're not running to the bathroom quite as much.
You know what this means, right? If you're thinking that you'll just go with brown rice instead, you should seriously rethink that. Brown rice is full of fiber. This means that in the case of traveler's diarrhea, it'll probably cause more harm than good.
Avoid Certain Foods
If you know you've got diarrhea because you ate some foods that you had no business consuming in the first place, don't make matters worse by taking in more that don't necessarily agree with you. Foods that are loaded with grease (French fries would be a no-no), dairy (so, no ice cream either), or alcohol (it dehydrates you) go on the very top of the list. So no foods that are high in fiber (because that will only keep your system going) like leafy greens, berries, or corn.
BTW, something else you need to stay away from is chewing gum. It might sound crazy but most gum contains artificial sweeteners and that's something else that will further irritate your tummy.
Get Your Hands on Some Tea
If eating is the last thing you want to think about doing, an herbal tea bag or two can get you through the night. Chamomile tea contains properties that slow down intestinal spasms, blackberry and raspberry leaf teas have tannins in them that will soothe the mucous membranes in your intestines, and Rooibos tea is loaded with flavonoids that help to stop diarrhea-related cramping. (If you add the honey that I talked about, you can get relief even quicker!)
And what if your upset stomach is more motion sickness-related or you're not sure what the deal is? No worries, we've got 6 remedies that will help you out in that department too!
Make Some Crystallized Ginger
You might've heard somewhere that ginger is great for morning sickness. It's a surefire remedy for motion sickness too. If you want to know the scientific reason why, I've read that the properties in ginger help the development of gastric dysrhythmias and the elevation of plasma vasopressin. Basically, that means the 6-gingerol that's in it helps to soothe your stomach and intestines.
Honestly, any kind of ginger—ginger snaps, ginger tea, ginger capsules—will get the job done. But a potent (and delicious) form of ginger is crystallized ginger candy. You can get some at your local grocery store or learn how to make it yourself by clicking here.
Sip on Something Carbonated
Speaking of ginger, another thing that can help is to drink some ginger ale. Not just because of the amount of ginger that's in it but because carbonation can help to ease your tummy too.
Personally, I'm a huge fan of ginger ale but if you can't stand the taste of it, any type of carbonated drink will do the trick. Just make sure that it's something that doesn't have caffeine in it. Caffeine will dehydrate you and could lead to even more nausea and discomfort. That means Coke is a no-no. #sorry
(If you're a big tea drinker, opt for some warm peppermint or chamomile tea. They're effective stomach-soothers too!)
Create Your Own DIY Travel Oil
Even though planes don't smell the best, that doesn't mean you can't get on board with your own aromatherapy. My suggestion would be to make a blend of lavender oil and nutmeg oil. Lavender oil contains antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties that help to reduce the feelings associated with nausea and the urge to vomit. Nutmeg oil has the ability to calm your nervous system, boost your immunity, and reduce dizziness.
All you need to do is combine one-part lavender and one-part nutmeg oil into a traveler size bottle (feel free to add a little bit of a carrier oil like avocado oil or sweet almond oil if the scent is too strong). Right before you get going, put a little underneath your nose, rub a little on your stomach, and dab a little on your wrists. It should instantly relax you and make the journey much easier on you and your body.
Get in the Right Position
If you get motion sick as much as I do, you probably already know that sitting in the back of a car is worse than sitting in the front. That's because the back of the car moves around more than the front does. So, unless you're fortunate enough to have the entire back seat to yourself (so that you can stretch out across it), try and get in the front. Also, try and keep your head on the headrest as much as possible. It will stabilize you.
What if you're riding on a plane? Here's something that might surprise you. It's best to sit in the middle, as close to the airplane's wings, as possible. According to pilots, that's the part of the plane that experiences the least movement so that you'll end up having the calmest ride.
Oh, and if you've got a cruise coming up, book your reservations for the lower level cabins near the center of the ship. That's the part of the boat that moves around the least.
Put Your Phone Away
You're probably not going to want to hear this, but you should. Remember how when you took family road trips as a kid, if you tried to read a book, it made you want to hurl? Trying to scroll down the small font on your smartphone is no different (actually, it's worse).
You know what that means, right? As far as your phone goes, it's best to set it to airplane mode or only use it to listen to music until you get wherever it is you're going. Otherwise, those gossip blogs and IG stories are gonna have you feeling sick as a dog. Yes, literally.
Try to Travel at Night
You're not going to feel motion sickness nearly as much if you're asleep. So, if you're planning a road trip with some family or friends, try and get them to want to leave around sunset and let you drive first. That way, once it's time to switch drivers, you can go to sleep and miss all of the bumpy action (same goes for plane, ship or train).
Here's to some super-smooth sailing, sis!
Featured Image by Getty Images.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
The first big leap was moving to a new city and getting settled into my new home. The next big leap? Was finding community and belonging. Moving to a new city excited me! I looked forward to having my own apartment, decorating it, and exploring what the city had to offer. I also found excitement in the thought of meeting new people and expanding my connections. When it actually came down to it, I felt nervous. I heard that making new friends as an adult can be hard because we all have different responsibilities and schedules that may not align. I knew in order for me to really feel at home in my new city, I had to create community.
Having a community of people who I can share memories with, lean on in times of need, and inspire each other is something I always valued. I took a moment to truly center in on what I desired from the new friends I would make. Then I realized it all would have to start with me. I had to be centered and confident in who I was to attract who I desired to be aligned with. As someone who moved to a new city and established quality friendships, I gathered these six tips that helped me feel grounded and create community in hopes that it will help you, too.
6 tips to start building community and making new friends in a new city:
Sean Anthony Eddy/ Getty Images
Be true to yourself
Do you know who you are? If someone asked you to describe yourself in three words, what words would you use? In order to develop deep friendships, you must be a friend to yourself first. Know what refuels you and what zaps your energy. Self-study your habits and why you do the things you do. All this will be important to keep in mind when looking to create bonds with others. Every day there’s all kinds of people telling you who you should be, how you should act, or what you should wear. At the end of the day, the only opinion about yourself that truly matters is your own. Spend some alone time with yourself indoors or out at an event you like to truly discover who you are in this season of your life.
Pray about it
Before you step out into the world and cross paths with all kinds of people, it’s important to pray about building your community. God outlines what true friendship looks like in numerous Bible verses such as "Iron sharpens iron." - Proverbs 27:17 and “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed.” - Ecclesiastes 4:9-12. If you desire friendships that last, pray about what you seek in friendship. I remember praying for mentally stable, happy, and whole women who moved through life with abundance mindsets. Take a moment to journal about the community you want to build and then pray on it.
Go to fun events to meet people who share your interests
Most metropolitan cities like Washington, D.C., New York City, and Atlanta are known to have strong young professional communities and events where you can connect with others. I highly encourage you to attend events in or near your community to see what the city is like and meet people. It’s likely that the people at the event have the same interests as you, which is a great way to start a conversation. You can start by searching for events on Eventbrite or following Instagram pages that highlight events happening in your city.
Carlos Barquero/ Getty Images
Accept that you won’t be compatible with everyone you meet
While living in your new city, it’s likely you’ll meet a variety of people. Please know that everyone you meet will not bud into lasting friendships, and that’s okay! You are uniquely created and not made for everyone. Then you’ll meet people who are good for only surface-level connections, and then you’ll have your girls who you can get deep with. I think sometimes people can look down on surface-level friendships, but not everyone needs to fully know you. That’s a privilege to have and to accept within yourself. Continue to check in with yourself and be real about who you crave to spend more time with and who is nice to see for a monthly or quarterly catch-up.
Join Facebook groups & GroupMe chats
If you haven’t used Facebook in a couple of years, it’s time to dust your profile off. Facebook Groups is a great place to join online communities for people who just moved to a new city like you. Typically, you have to agree to the group’s guidelines, and then you can join. For example, you can search for groups in the Facebook app by using keywords like women, Black girl, or [the name of your city] foodies. With the GroupMe app, you’ll have to be invited to join an already existing group. While you’re out and about networking, don’t hesitate to ask if they’re in any online groups/communities they recommend you join too.
Be friendly to folks in your neighborhood
When I first moved to my new apartment, I spent the first week walking around the complex and working in the community spaces to get a better feel of it. I was able to meet people in my neighborhood, enjoy small talk, and learn more about what the community has to offer. Step outside of your comfort zone and work in your apartment’s community space or a local coffee shop to connect with others.
Overall, you may feel alone in your new city, but I guarantee you’re not. There are other people experiencing living in a new city too, and all you need to do is find each other. I hope these tips help ease the nervous feelings you have about building a new community and inspire you to make a new friend today!
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