Health tips for holiday travel!

Holidays are not the time to get sick, especially while traveling, so here’s a few of my favorite tips to help you stay healthier!

Before traveling, get your immune system up and running!  It’s your best defense against all manner of sickness.  Things that compromise and weaken the immune system include stress, refined sugar, lack of exercise, processed foods, lack of water, lack of fiber, and too little sleep.  Also, add not eating enough fresh fruits and vegetables to the list, along with vitamin D deficiency due to less sun exposure.

So, before you take that trip, in addition to making your packing and gift lists, write out which areas you need to work on to naturally boost your immune system so that it’s travel ready!

Here are some tips to help you stay healthy while away from home:

Lemon water is easy to access at most restaurants, and it contains immune-boosting vitamin C and helps aid the liver with digestion.  You can even make your own lemonade by adding honey or stevia!  When eating rich foods, opt for this beverage and skip the sodas.  If the weather’s cold, I ask for a cup of warm water with lemon.

When available, add fresh garlic to your foods for its anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal activity.  It also helps keep cholesterol in check and is good for the heart.

It’s easy to find salt, so when you feel a sore throat coming on, dissolve about 1/2 a teaspoon in a cup of warm water and gargle (don’t swallow).  Do this every hour as needed.

In case of digestive distress:  activated charcoal capsules for food poisoning, probiotics and colloidal silver for diarrhea, digestive enzymes for gas, bloating, and indigestion, and ginger and peppermint for nausea and indigestion.  These last two can also be taken as teas.  Also, make sure you’re eating enough fiber–whole grains, beans, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.  Let food be your medicine!

For emotional stress:  lavender essential oil can be applied to wrists or temples (being careful not to get in eyes), added to a bath, or used in a foot massage.  I like to make a roll-on by mixing 12 drops of essential oil with almond oil, and rolling it on my wrists or temples.  You can do the same thing with peppermint essential oil for headaches and to promote alertness (especially when driving).  I order the bottles and essential oils here.  Also, practice deep breathing, relaxing your shoulders, taking a break from electronics, smiling, stretching, and focusing on happy thoughts!

An essential tip:  Put one or two drops of an essential oil in the toilet to help kill germs and eliminate odors!  I like eucalyptus essential oil for this, plus it comes in handy to diffuse in cases of respiratory difficulties.  It’s the same thing found in popular vapor rubs like Vick’s!  Remember, with essential oils, less is more!

Additional items you might want to add to your first-aid travel kit:  vitamin D3 (strengthens the immune system), elderberry extract (effective against viruses), arnica cream or ointment (for bruises and strains), vitamin C (like Emergen-C) to boost the immune system, magnesium citrate (like CALM) to help with sleep, and lobelia extract (coughs, chest tightness, post-nasal drip, snoring).

Remember to drink water every hour or two to help wash pathogens out of the body before they can set up housekeeping.  Water also helps to thin mucous and reduce congestion.  Drinking enough water can also help reduce fatigue and constipation.

Get up and move every hour or two to keep your blood flowing.  If you have to sit for longer periods (airplane, car, bus, etc.), flex and tap your feet to help move your blood.  At the same time, take several deep breaths, followed by complete exhalations.

Make sure that you allow enough time for seven to eight hours of sleep each night.  This will go a long way in keeping you healthy, not to mention helping you deal with stress, make better decisions, and ultimately, to enjoy your holidays even more!

If you do need medical care while traveling, may I recommend  This website allows you to find an experienced doctor that can meet your needs and is also in your insurance network.  You just enter your condition or procedure, the name of your insurance provider, and your location.  You will be given data on doctors near you, along with information on the number of people they have treated with your condition.

Blessings for a healthy Christmas!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Natural Health Care Coach

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure disease.  It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need.  Consult your health care provider if you are nursing, pregnant, taking medication or other medical treatment.




Are grapeseed and canola oils healthy?

I often get asked about whether or not I consider grapeseed and canola oils to be healthy. There is a lot of conflicting information, so here’s the short of it:

Grapeseed, canola (also called rapeseed), and other seed oils like cottonseed, sunflower, and sesame seed, are highly processed and refined, often extracted with hexane.  These oils may contain harmful trans fats and create destructive inflammation in our bodies!

The possible exception would be cold-pressed, organic oils that are bottled in a way to protect them from light, oxygen, and heat, elements which cause them to go rancid.

So many packaged products contain refined grapeseed and canola oils, as well as  vegetable oils, soy oil, corn oil, rice bran oil, cottonseed oil, and safflower oil.  More studies are linking these refined oils to various diseases, including heart disease and cancer!

Many oils, including canola, soy, corn, and cottonseed, are being made from genetically modified crops (GMOs)!

Read your labels!

Better choices:

Virgin coconut oil is good for cooking with high heat and resists going rancid.  It contains many health benefits, including boosting metabolism and killing candida and bacteria.

Organic butter contains vitamins A, E, D, and K2.  It’s also a great source of CLA, which has been shown to lower body fat percentage in humans.  If you need to use it with high heat, buy clarified butter (also called ghee).  This removes the lactose and proteins, leaving pure butterfat that resists burning.  Butter from grass-fed cows contains more nutrients than that from grain-fed cows.  Never use margarine (also known as fake butter).

I love extra-virgin olive oil!  I use it for low- to medium-heat cooking and in my baking.  Studies have shown that it can raise good cholesterol (HDL) and lower bad (LDL).

Palm oil is stable for cooking with high heat and makes a good substitute for shortening in products like pie crusts.  Red palm oil is richer in nutrients like vitamin E and coenzyme Q10 because it’s unrefined.

Avocado and macadamia nut oils are suitable for low- to medium-heat cooking.

Most nut oils, including peanut oil (a legume), are not stable when heated and best used cold, with the exception being macadamia nut oil.  Buy them cold-pressed or unrefined.

Always keep oils sealed in a cool, dark place to protect them from light, oxygen, and heat.

Now you know!

Keep learning to be healthy!

Lisa Hernandez, Certified Nutritionist & Natural Health Care Coach

1 Corinthians 10:31–“Whatever you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for God’s glory!”

This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat disease.  It does not take the place of any medical care that you may need.  Consult your health care provider before making dietary and lifestyle changes.