A fermented smoothie post-flight? Absolutely key — according to The Kefir Cookbook author, Julie Smolyansky. We’re loving this simple kefir smoothie recipe to help us fight the fatigue, stress, dehydration and digestion issues that come with jet lag. Bookmark this healthy idea for all those summer travels… 

Travel may be nourishing to the soul, but it can take a toll on your body. Many people experience GI troubles when they’re in a new environment and eating different foods. Drinking kefir and eating fermented foods before, during and after your trip can help you build a strong, resilient gut from the get-go, offering you an added layer of protection from the moment you step on that plane. Think of probiotics as travel insurance!

In Gloria Steinem’s My Life on the Road, the passionate feminist relays the lessons she’s learned through countless days of travel. Steinem is a dedicated lifelong wanderer — she’s been around the world, organizing women on US college campuses and in foreign countries, raising awareness at voting booths and presidential rallies, hosting community-wide talking circles and more. That wandering, she writes, has shaped her into the activist and political organizer she is to this day. (She’s in her early eighties.) All that time logged on planes and trains, in taxis and rickshaws, has yielded countless stories, many of them emotional, thought provoking and unexpectedly profound. Maybe that’s why she doesn’t have a driver’s license: Without one, she writes, “adventure starts the moment I leave my door.”

The Jet Lag Smoothie

Like Steinem, I travel a lot and jet lag comes with the territory — and while I feel it’s a reasonable price to pay for the rewards of travel, symptoms like insomnia and dehydration are no fun. This hydrating pick-me-up is my secret weapon.

Tart cherries are rich in the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin, known to help people suffering from insomnia and travel-related sleep troubles — learn more about the benefits here.
Banana offers potassium and magnesium for relaxation
Pears add a dose of easily digestible fiber that acts like a sponge as it travels through the digestive tract, absorbing toxins. (Hello, airplane air!)

Even if you’re not traveling, drinking this smoothie in the afternoon or evening can help you sleep more peacefully.

Gloria, this one’s for you.

The Jet Lag Recovery Smoothie
Serves 1


1 cup organic plain whole-milk kefir
1 small frozen banana, peeled
1 cup fresh pear chunks
1⁄2 cup tart cherry juice
2 Tbsp flaxseeds (ground or whole)


In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until you achieve your desired consistency.

Excerpted from THE KEFIR COOKBOOK by Julie Smolyansky, copyright 2018. Reprinted with permission by HarperOne/HarperCollins.

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