Truck with a Bike in the back

A Herbal Apprentice's Journey with Dayna & Alexander: Travel Nutrition and First Aid Tips

“Life is filled with so many peculiar little moments and those peculiar little moments are filled with so much life!”

For those of you who are reading this. I suppose a brief introduction of myself would be appropriate. My name is Alexander Jones and I am an herbal apprentice with Penelope Beaudrow. I grew up in the state of Texas but have been living the better half of the last three years in Canada. I am looking forward to blogging and sharing some thoughts with you all over this platform!

I have just arrived in Texas after a long month of traveling. I am sure many can relate to that sense of displacement and confusion that occurs after a laborious journey. The lovely moment of stillness settles into your being, but with it comes an exhausted restlessness that is difficult to ease. All the while you ask yourself, ‘where have I been?’ And ‘ Where am I now?’ ‘Have I been traveling for a month or an eternity?’

Fortunately, during these moments of post travel anxiety I am comforted in ways I never thought I could be. I sit with my dear friend Isabella on the front stoop of my fathers house and close my eyes. The spring air blows through the trees and calms my frazzled nerves. I throw the ball for my dog and talk with my father about his plants. I try my best to move slowly through the day. I have no place to go today and it is time for recuperation and there is no need to rush. I play some fiddle in the sun and then take a nap. Then, when I wake up feeling soft and light I call my partner Dayna and we catch up about our lives for a little while. I am appreciative of all of these little things in life that make me feel good. I am feeling grateful and in a lovely state of peace when I look up and realize I need to get ready for my gig! Then I remember that I haven’t eaten anything all day and I am feeling quite hungry all of a sudden. I ask myself… ‘What have I been eating recently?’

Food on The Road…

French Fries

My diet has been fairly inconsistent while I have been on the road. I try my best to stay healthy but it is hard when you are moving everyday. One morning you skip breakfast and the next you find yourself eating bad Mexican food at a truck stop. You get a nice salad that night but then the next day all you eat is granola. That is until your gig in Philadelphia and you are so hungry you buy a massive cheesesteak hoagie and devour it on the street. You enjoy every bite of it but then afterward your stomach is crying ‘ what are you doing to me!?’ So the next day you buy an avocado, a loaf of rye, a cucumber and some greens. That should keep me feeling good right?

Nevertheless, at 2:00 in the morning you stop to get gas in rural Tennessee. You see two corn dogs sitting on the warmer and plunge into a deep state of self loathing. You eat the corn dogs and enjoy every moment, but your stomach is so utterly terrified of what you are doing that it nearly regurgitates everything you just put in it.

You sit in the silence of the car and curse the fast food industry. These thoughts start to trigger some other questions in your mind. There are people in our country who eat this kind of food every day of their lives. You don’t get the nourishment you need from this kind of ‘food’. The next time you travel through the highways of America think a bit about the cycle of our globalized economy and how what a lot of people consider ‘food’ is not much more than heart disease wrapped in a to-go bag. The industries of production that rule our corporate plutocracy will happily feed the people ‘foods’ of such vile a nature that our body doesn’t even know how to digest it properly. It is yet another systemic atrocity fueled by the fire of capitalism. Nevertheless, I will tarry on this point no longer. This paradigm of our modern industrialized food network can lead to many avenues of discussion and debate. However, no matter the viewpoints of any individual, the question I would like to propose concerning this topic is paramount for the health and longevity of human beings. The overarching question is;

‘How does one stay healthy in such an unhealthy world?’

This question is so multifaceted and can be interpreted and answered in such a rich variety of ways that I would like to be a little more specific with my address. More acutely;

‘How does one stay healthy while traveling?’

We decided to include some of our favourite ways to help care for our bodies while travelling…

Truck with a Bike in the back

Nutrition Essentials for Being on The Road

Hi! I’m Dayna. I’m popping in on the latter half of this blog post to share my tried-and-true herbal first aid and nutrition essentials for being on the road. Both Alexander and I have had many episodes of planes, trains and automobiles in our lives. Since I began learning about herbs, I’ve always had some herbal support for on the road.

Lets talk about herbal essentials for keeping our bodies just feeling well during travel. Here is a non-exhaustive list of some of my travel essentials for keeping my body “regular” in an irregular environment:

  • Trace mineral drops – Bottled water, tap water from all over… We don’t know what we are getting while out on the road and trace mineral drops are your friend!
  • A bag of dried prunes – An age old method for an extremely common problem we all experience while traveling! A few prunes a day will keep your bowel movements regular! Stock up at the bulk store and keep them around 🙂
  • Mineral food powder – Some kind of blend of powdered seaweed, nutritive herbs like nettles and raspberry leaves, nutritional yeast and good quality salt. This can be incorporated by sprinkling it on just about any food you’re eating, takeout or otherwise.
  • Digestif tincture – Eating at hours outside of your routine, unfamiliar meals, the list goes on! A good digestive tincture will come in handy. Taking those bitters before meals is going to do a lot for us.
  • Oatmeal – This seems a bit silly to put in here, but I couldn’t begin to count the amount of times that I’ve made oatmeal in a mason jar using hot water from a gas station. Personally, having a bag of oats at hand helps me have access to fiber and gives me a sense of control over my food intake. We’ve all been subject to having a sad handful of nuts and a chocolate bar from the gas station and calling it “breakfast”.
  • Optional tea blends – Depending on the type of trip you’re going on and what kind of space you have, if you’re able to, bring some of your favourite teas. They simply bring a sense of comfort and familiarity. You may reach for that bedtime blend, or that bloat-reducing blend more than you think!

If you have the space, try to bring something that just helps you feel comfortable. Something that carries a sense of home. Often-times for me, it is a perfume roller. Just some familiar scents! Compact and simple, and very effective for when I need it to ground myself.

Travel First Aid kit

There is definitely a difference between a first aid kit for home and a first aid kit for travel. At home, with the luxury of space, one’s apothecary would be equipped for most anything. However, I do spend a lot of time on the road and I really love to travel light. Like, really really light. Having a compact first aid kit of multi-purpose items is key.

In my years of travel, my first aid kit has changed, expanded and contracted. It still is changing to this day based on which herbs and remedies work best for me at any given time, which season we are in, and so on.

That being said, Here is my Travel First Aid kit – all of which fits into a small makeup bag!

Firstly, I don’t carry medicinal teas for “treating”. They are subject to losing potency, getting wet and perishing and most of all, they are bulky. If I wished to treat anything fully, rather than just having one cup, I wouldn’t have the space to carry the amount of tea required. For this reason, I stick to tinctures for emergency situations.

  • Propolis tincture – For a variety of ailments, specifically treatment of upper respiratory infection, immune function, and to use topically to prevent the infection of and to mend wounds. Propolis is a great “all in one” sort of tincture to have!
  • Some sort of Sleep Tincture blend – For both restless nights and moments of anxiety. It surprises me how often I use this, and how often others need it, too. It’s very useful. I find myself offering this tincture to friends often, and it helps. When we are traveling, we are sleeping somewhere new every night, and having some herbal support can be effective to get our bodies to actually rest even though we are in a new and changing environment.
  • Throat spray of Sage, Marshmallow, Echinacea and Propolis tinctures, with honey in a spray bottle – Extremely useful active responders to upper respiratory infections and symptoms of hayfever, etc. If traveling in dry climates, this is great to keep on your bedside to hydrate your throat in the night when those dry coughs are keeping you up.
  • Pain management Tincture of Willow Bark or California Poppy Tincture -Though, the latter has come in handy for both pain and anxiety and I find myself using it more often. Willow Bark I find more effective during a headache, and if I had the choice I would bring both.
  • Kloss’ Liniment – A plethora of topical uses. A little goes a long way. I’ve used this for an endless amount of situations and now that I have, I wouldn’t be without it. For travel, I keep a 2 ounce bottle of liniment with a dropper top for easy use.
  • An all purpose salve – For dry skin, mending wounds, lip balm, stings, etc. The blend of salve that I travel with changes depending on what I have available. A home-made blend of something like Calendula, Comfrey, Arnica, Plantain, Chaparral, and St. John’s wort would be ideal. However, If I don’t have access to making such things, and there isn’t anything like it made by a local herbalist, I find myself reaching for the “Super Salve” original salve with the green label. It’s a great blend and I can usually find it at any health food store.
  • Sore muscle/bruising salve – I think it best to have a separate salve for this, if I have the space to carry it. A potent Arnica/Comfrey/St John’s Wort blend is great. In a pinch, Super Salve makes a good Arnica muscle balm that is also at most health food stores. It’s good to find brands that work for you that you can rely on when you don’t have your homemade medicines with you!
  • French Green Clay – I’ve used this for relieving pressure headaches, and as a drawing poultice. It does wonders for relieving discomfort from bug bites/stings. Lots to be said about its digestive support in an emergency of the stomach. Sometimes it just makes a nice rejuvenating face mask for tired skin. It travels well and I find myself reaching for it more often than I think I will.
  • Yarrow Powder – for stopping bleeding. I’ve used this in-action before and it worked extremely well. I always keep it on me. Cayenne does the same thing, and is also a helpful ally during a bout of the flu or a cold, among its stimulating effects. Perhaps I could keep some of that around, too.
  • Gauze or Cheesecloth – for making poultices, dressing wounds, creating an emergency sling, for making bandages.
  • A needle and thread – Wishing that I wouldn’t have to give myself or someone else stitches, and that a hospital would be near in such a situation. But in the case that one would not be close, it would be best to have a needle and thread rather than not. And in any case, I’ve always got endless clothes to mend and buttons to replace either way.

If I have ample space, I’ll also bring..

  • A hot water bottle – I often use it for menstrual cramps, but it has come in handy for many other situations in which sustained heat is needed.
  • Emergen-C powder – A real game changer in moments of dehydration, and during the winter months.
  • Thieves Essential Oil Blend – I don’t use essential oils often, but I do find this blend very helpful. It comes in handy for a lot of things, specifically disinfecting. I love to add a few drops to a bowl of soapy water when I am cleaning surfaces/floors. I cured myself of a bad sinus infection with a few drops of thieves oil in face steams once when it was the only thing I had with me.


Photos provided by Serena Mor