Staying Healthy In Uganda, Africa

Travel is something we love in our household. We get to try new things, see new places and make more memories. We love to get creative in our packing and try new things we normally don’t buy because #budget. Going out of the country to an undeveloped part of Africa is no joke and could seem overwhelming. I prepped for two weeks worth of snacks, 4 days of travel and layovers and lots of bus rides. I can’t wait to show you my tips and tricks. Enjoy this and use it next time you adventure!Β *this post contains affiliate links.

Part 1 – the prep.

Like any good adventure requires, I began to prep (food) a few weeks before the trip. I needed to know a few things: 1) that we would have enough food for our days out in the villages, 2) that we would have quality snacks and 3) that we would be supporting our favorite brands all the way from Africa. Thanks to the handy internet, I received all the snacks right to my doorstep. Quick & easy. I prepped 14 bags for both myself and my husband. Each bag contained 1 RX Bar, 1 Primal Kitchen’s Collagen Bar, 1 to-go pack of Vital Proteins Collagen, 1 to-go pack of Dr. Axe Collagen and 1 nut butter pouch (either Nuttzo or Crazy Richards). These were our day bags that we tossed into our day packs each morning before heading out to the village. They were perfect. I was confident that we would be getting sufficient protein on these long hot African days. SOOOO important y’all.

Some other essentials: bamboo pillow, earphones, books and good luggage. Here are some of the snacks we brought for the 6 and 15 hour plane rides. kale chips, chocolate, nut butter, salad, bacon, roasted veggies, hummus, ginger shots and apples.

click here to get your collagen packets!

Our days.

3 a.m. – wake up because jet lag is real RUFFF
– stretch, yoga, try to go back to sleep, talk, eat random things, etc.
– brush our teeth (with bottled water), spray on the bug dope and put on the deodorant
7 a.m. – breakfast
– starch on starch on starch
– occasional greens (either kale or spinach, not too sure)
– pineapple DAYUMM, watermelon and BOMB bananas
– cup of tea with collage and ghee
8 a.m. – family time (debrief about how good God is)
9 a.m. head out to our site for the day
lunch – usually a granola bar because tomato & cheese sandwiches are less than ideal haha / my very allergy
7 p.m. – dinner (so difficult for me to get used to)
– starch on starch on starch, meat, and some veggies per my request because I was NEEDING them

Things to consider.

In America we have all the things we need in life. Clean water, food, clothes, shelter and so much more. Our food is quality (well, we have the option), our water is clean (free of parasites and dysentery) and we don’t have to walk 10 miles to get it. We have refrigeration and a wide variety of foods. Quality meats aren’t contaminated and tadpole infused water isn’t our fate. We don’t have to rely on potatoes, corn and wheat to get enough calories. We visit the grocery store for all of our needs and seldom touch a garden. It’s a different way of life and all of what I just mentioned above is not a luxury in Uganda.

A normal meal (for us mzungus) was fried/boiled potatoes, chicken curry, beef, fish, steamed veggies, bananas, fruit, chapati (unleavened bread), rice, ugali (cornmeal), sukuma wiki (kale) and “soup” aka a tomato sauce for your rice. Their food contains lots of spices we don’t eat here in America which means upset stomach nation. A lot of their food is fried or battered so, running into some hidden wheat was a problem for this gluten-intolerant lady. Interesting enough, I had some chapati from non-american wheatΒ and I was just fine. No reaction, no bumps no nothing.

Since they eat later there, the food seems to sit in your stomach a little heavier than normal. This was especially so since we were eating so many carbs and so little fresh food or fat. When you go, all I can say is go with the flow and don’t stress. That will only upset your stomach more. Chill, hangout with the beautiful people and count the many blessings around you.

The real MVPs.

I felt so blessed to have amazing brands backing this trip. They loved what we were doing and were so excited to be involved in our every day life in Uganda. I got to share their delicious products with the African people and our team members. The Africans LOVED to try new foods that were nutritious and delicious. Our team members loved to have something other than curry for breakfast, lunch and dinner πŸ˜‰ Here are the brands that fueled our trip and make difference in thousands of people’s lives everyday. I have included direct links to all of the products for you πŸ™‚

RX bar – whole food protein bars without any BS. Several different flavors and perfect when they are warmed by the African sun!
Ancient Nutrition – protein packets with greens, beets and other important nutrients we were lacking overseas.
Primal Kitchen – collagen bars in 4 different flavors that are actually better warmed up than cold like here in Washington.. haha
Heather’s Choice – healthy, calorie dense backpacking meals that were a LIFE SAVER. They were my plane companion and the macaroons are absolutely delicious.
Nuttzo – nut butter packets with no junk. Peanut, peanut-free, cashews, brazil nuts, flax, chocolate and so much more.
Crazy Richards – peanut butter packets that went perfectly atop a little apple banana πŸ˜‰ the african’s had never had “peanut cream”
4th & Heart – grass-fed ghee that satisfied all my fat cravings when all there was was bananas and pineapple, we made bulletproof tea and coffee each morning. The Madagascar vanilla is delicious
Vital Proteins – collagen protein packets that couldn’t be more convenient. We got the marine peptides and bovine collagen. We added it to oatmeal, fresh juice, bottled water, coffee, tea and soup!
Artisana – their cashew and coconut butter are delicious and the pecan butter is a real champ when you’re on a bus for 10 hours
Holly’s Keeping It Real – this natural deodorant with minimal ingredients packs easy, travels well and makes your pits smell real nice
Badger Balm – when we pulled this bug spray out our team members were like “spray us because it smells so good!” and even better? the mosquitos HATED it. their sunscreen kept our delicate white skin safe and the chapstick made our lips nice and glossy sans sunburn πŸ˜‰

We flew through Dubai on our way home and were delighted to see an organic juice bar in the airport. Look how adorable it is & the food was on wonderful.

For next time.

Now that I have some experience and know what I am doing, here are a few tips that I wished I would have known before going.
1. pack more return home snacks for the long plane rides and layovers
2. pack electrolytes because no amount of water was ever enough for us. we needed coconut water and salts!
3. pack noise cancelling earphones for the plane rides and big cities – it was draining for my brain to hear all that noise and this would help jet lag
4. pack melatonin because sometime you have to manually knock yourself out after 12 days of waking up at 2 a.m..
5. bring a larger diversity of snacks (repetition gets real… repetitive)
6. pack dark chocolate, hair brush, games, crosswords, meat sticks, oatmeal, fanny pack and coconut milk powder

Have you even been anywhere in Africa? I would love to know so, comment below and let me know your experience, tips and where you went. Have a beautiful day & be sure to share this with you friends and family if you enjoyed it. God bless you!



3 thoughts on “Staying Healthy In Uganda, Africa

  1. Jenn

    Thanks for all the tips! A lot of good info for any on flight! What a great thing you guys are doing over there. ☺

    1. ashlee Post author

      Thanks so much Jenn. It was such a wonderful time and we can’t wait to go back but for now, we will keep loving all the clean water and food here πŸ™‚