Dear Red Hot Mamas

By: Red Hot Mamas

Published: April 16, 2013

eating and travel

Oftentimes, April is a month full of surprises. Yes, we are all aware of April Fool’s Day. This day has forever been sanctioned for participating in silly pranks. Then, there’s April 15th deadline for our taxes, and that sometimes is a rather stressful event getting all of our paperwork together. Then, after a long winter, we look forward to possibly taking a Spring break.

Spring break usually involves making plans and embarking on traveling somewhere. We take trains, planes, buses and automobiles. We make endless visits to food kiosks and restaurants. There are certainly an abundance of food venues to choose from, but finding the right one while traveling can be challenging at times. I know this all sounds exciting, however, if you don’t know how to eat and drink safely, it sometimes can be a little hazardous, too.

You may learn a little from my recent mishap at the food stand while traveling.

I was heading out West to visit my daughter through a number of airports. While waiting for my connecting flight, I grabbed a chicken sandwich wrap with Dijon mayonnaise dressing at a very busy and popular eating place.

It didn’t hit me until the middle of the night when I went running for the loo. Needless to say, my far flung adventure with fast food at the airport caused me to become sick for 36 hours. I practically had to hang a “Do Not Disturb” sign outside my door – kissing my vacation with my daughter good-bye for practically two days.

The lesson I learned was to be better equipped before traveling. I’ll certainly be less adventurous with my eating habits while on the road and will probably pack a light sandwich in the future playing it more safe. No one wants to get sick while traveling on Spring Break, but unfortunately it can happen because of bad food. You can prevent it with a few simple steps. Let’s look at some things you can do to while you are traveling and eating in unfamiliar territory:

  • Wash your hands often and always before you touch food.
  • Makes sure meat, chicken, fish and eggs are fully cooked and are hot. Stay away from reheated foods, or lukewarm foods like you get at restaurant buffets. And, cold sandwiches, especially if they have mayonnaise dressing. Mayonnaise may sometimes carry Salmonella bacteria which can cause abdominal cramps and diarrhea.
  • Try vegetarian dishes. Meat is riskier to eat than vegetarian foods if you want to avoid stomach troubles.
  • Stay away from the buffet food as they can be lethal. Food needs to be kept hot. The buffet type meals have an inconsistent temperature which allows bacteria in the food to multiply.
  • And, if you find you have traveler’s diarrhea, it’s very important to stay hydrated. Drink lots of fluids. Clear liquids are best. Just drink, drink and drink. And, don’t use alcoholic drinks to rehydrate.

And now, for the disclaimer. I’m not a doctor, but I am a pretty seasoned traveler. The suggestions I have given you should not replace the advice you get from your doctor. And, if you get sick on the road, call your doctor immediately. And, always seek medical advice if you have severe abdominal pain, have a fever and can’t drink water.

This month, our friends in Pocatello, Idaho renewed their Red Hot Mamas program license. “We’re extremely pleased to be entering into our third year of RHM programming at Portneuf Medical Center,” says RHM program director, Nikki Goldade. “The program is a great success for us and the ladies in our community love it!” We’re so glad to hear it, Nikki. Here’s to another successful year.

Good Health to You,

Karen Giblin
Founder and President
Red Hot Mamas