- Food and Cooking
Jet lag Pancakes - my personal recipe to prevent jetlag
Pancakes for preventing jetlag?
Yup. It's all part of a system I developed for myself. I travel a lot. And I don't like meat much, so it isn't easy to find good food on the road. And preventing jet lag is something I feel a bit passionate about.
I have included all my favorite tips here on this page, so you can see what worked for me over the years. People are different, and what works for me may not be a big help for you, but it is always worth trying! Meanwhile, if you have to take trip and suffer from jet lag, these pancakes will help you feel more comfortable.
Jet lag is more complicated than just resetting your body clock. Part of the problem with jet lag is that not only do you have to reset your clock, but you also have to conquer the stress of traveling, cope with eating out, adjusting to the food and water in a new city, and adlust to a change in your body clock on top of that.
Jet lag pancakes
I can remember flying in the early 1960s. The planes had such good food - plenty of it, and fresh, with real silverware and nice napkins. It"s not true anymore.
Plane food is yucky, and likely to give me an upset stomach. If you get a bad stomach, jet lag is much more difficult to conquer, so I like to make a stack of protein rich cottage cheese pancakes to take with me. You can also get very swollen from eating food that is too salty, like peanuts and pretzels. These can be made with or without salt, but if you add a little bit of salt, I think they taste better.
The last time I flew on a plane I had my daughter's dog with me, and the dog ate the pancakes too. We were both very satisfied!
- Prep time: 10 min
- Cook time: 20 min
- Ready in: 30 min
- Yields: 4
- 1 cup creamed cottage cheese
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon of oil
- 1 cup flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- sprinkle of nutmeg
- This is such an easy recipe. You can put all the ingredients in a blender, or use a blender stick in a regular bowl (my favorite method) and mix it until smooth.
- Melt a little butter in the pan. Pour the pancake batter into the pan and make sure the pancakes will fit inside a small plastic zipper bag. Cook over low heat until done. High heat makes the proteins rubbery, so make sure you don't use full heat. Cool and put into bags.
Is that all you do?
I will be honest. No. But I see these pancakes as critical. Pancakes and one other thing.
The other pieces?
I will share ALL my tips with you too, in case you are having to take a trip soon. But if I could choose only two ways to avoid jet lag on a long flight, it would be:
1. Cottage cheese jet lag pancakes to eat on the plane.
2. A tiny dose of melatonin - much less than they suggest - for the first three nights.
I have found that if I take the "standard dose I get a headache and have strange dreams. But if I take about 1/4 to 1/3 of a 1 mg tablet of melatonin that you dissolve under your tongue, I have no headaches and few dreams. More on that later.
What I wear on the plane to feel better - Compression Socks - No blood clots for me!
Wearing these socks keeps a gentle compression on your legs, keeping the circulation flowing, and helps you to avoid blood clots. They also help with jet lag, because you keep healthier on the road, and don't arrive all bloated and swollen.
In my whole life I have only had one friend who got a blood clot from a long plane trip. Sometimes I wonder how much of all the flap over this is just hype to have something to be anxious about. On the other hand, that one friend who got the blood clot actually died from it, and it was very sad.
I love these socks because they keep my feet from swelling during the long ride, and also they make me feel better in general. If you haven't tried them, you should consider it.
How nice that these socks come in both black and white.
More comfort tips for the plane - Take a big shawl wrap sweater - to help you keep warm on a cold plane so you can get some sleep
I love these for traveling - you can flip the front stole/scarf part over any part of you that is extra cold. And this one comes in 20 cool colors. This was on sale when I put it on the site. A real bargain - check it out.
Beach wraps work well too. I got a big piece of light weight cotton cloth that could be folded into a very very small pack. I take it out on the plane and can use it as a light blanket, or I can twist it around my neck to hold my head up as I sleep. Both are good.
Be aware of light and its affect on you - Be careful not to get "electronic insomnia" from your tablet, Ipad or Iphone
Your body's sleep clock depends on natural light. Getting up early in the morning on the first day you are in your new time zone and taking a walk in the sunshine is an important thing to do to adjust the brain.
Another important light related tip - don't stay up late on your I-pad or notebook computer. The light in the screen can act like strong sunshine, and can send the wrong signals to your brain about what time of day it is.
On the other hand, if you use your I-pad first thing in the morning, it will stimulate your brain to let it know that morning has arrived.
What to do your first night at your destination? - Take a tiny amount of melatonin before bedtime
Some people say melatonin gives them a headache or gives them vivid or bad dreams. I have discovered that I only get a headache if I take too much.
What is too much? I buy the 1 mg. sub-lingual melatonin and then just shave off a tiny piece. Believe it or not, this will put you to sleep too, without the bad-dreams or headache side effects. Give it a try next time.
You are supposed to take melatonin just before bed. That is what I do. And it really helps me get a good night sleep on that first night. If you don't take it the first night, it is harder to adjust.
After you Arrive...
Napping - earlier in the day is better than later
If I am really desperate I take a nap. It is better if I can nap earlier in the day rather than later. Naps in the afternoon tend to disrupt my night's sleeping cycle.
But there are some ways to combat tiredness if you are not too tired, like taking a walk, getting up to get a drink or even just to do a few exercises. It is amazing how a little movement will give you some new energy.
Is this all I do?
Yes - the critical pieces are having pancakes and taking melatonin for the first three nights
If you find that you still have a hard time adjusting to a new time zone, there are lots of other good ideas to fine tune your jet lag prevention. You can find them at:
Since our bodies are so different, there is no one-size-fits-all remedy. Just remember, if you have tried melatonin before and not liked the result, do try taking micro-doses instead and see if that makes a difference for you.