Staying healthy on the road really is dependent on the general care you take of yourself all year long.
I have this theory that your health can handle anything (well almost anything) for a short time if you are in good general health, and your body can handle the stress that happens on road trips if it’s been nurtured during the rest of the year.
Let’s face it. Travel is taxing to the body’s system. Overcoming fatigue, different water, strange food and all kinds of other stresses you are potentially presented with, can be a real challenge and we’ll be tackling some of those issues in future blogs.
For now, let’s focus on preventative planning!
As a disclaimer, this advice is, of course, not meant to take the place of your doctor’s recommendations.
Let’s compare general health to a table. Health is the table top and it is supported by 4 legs:
1st Leg: Food choices
2nd Leg: Exercise
3rd Leg: Supplements
4th Leg: Attitude and Mindset
1). Food Choices:
I know. There’s just not enough being said today about what to eat/not eat! Just kidding…. I am aware of the overabundance of advice out there and I share your frustration with finding the information worth following.
Here’s where Eddie and I have landed with our opinions about nutrition:
Isaiah 1:18 in Scripture says, ‘Come, let us reason together….”. I realize that there are many interpretations of this passage, but for us it means that God has blessed us with common sense and we are expected to use it.
Common sense says that foods that come from the earth naturally are created for our good, have value and should not be used disproportionately. I once read online that eating 13 bananas a day would solve more than 15 different health problems – including allergic reactions to mosquito bites! Seriously? Is that common sense?
Coming up with an individual food pyramid for yourself takes a little doing. It takes being in touch with your sensitivities, likes, dislikes and knowing a little about how different foods can affect your health issues.
We believe in balance and moderation with all food groups. Here’s our plan:
*Vegetables: These take up the largest space on the plate 2 of our 3 meals each day. We aim for 3-4 veggie servings per day. We work at ‘eating the rainbow’ and have each day of the week assigned a different vegetable color. Having purple vegetables on Thursdays, for example, has forced us to explore options that we’re not used to eating and to try new cooking techniques. Yes, flops have happened, but we’re discovering a whole new approach to the world of vegetables! Remember to pick organic and non-GMO options.
*Fruits: Also on the ‘daily color wheel’, we aim for 2 small servings each day. Again, pick organics and non-GMO fruits and eat the whole fruit – don’t just drink the juice.
*Proteins: These are SO important for the repairing and building of body tissues as well as the production of hormones and enzymes. We aim for 2 servings per day – 1 animal source and 1 plant source. (No more than 1 serving of beef and 1 serving of pork per week, however). Vegetarians and Vegans obviously don’t use the animal source option.
*Whole Grains: Boy is the Carb Controversy a big one – and it should be! What manufacturers have done with grains and gluten is not only devastating for our health but violates our common sense! We try and stick to 1 serving of carbs each day and are careful to use only whole grain, intact varieties of carbs. For those who are ‘gluten-free’, remember that carbs are our primary source of energy and digestion and they regulate fats and proteins, so your personal nutrition plans need to compensate.
*Dairy: These are good sources of calcium, protein and B vitamins, but we limit ourselves to 1 small dairy serving per day. We have cut out cow’s milk in favor of almond milk, however, and usually pick quality (never processed) cheese or Icelandic / Greek yogurt.
*Fats: With too many benefits to list, fat is essential for good health. Women need about 50 grams per day and men need around 80 grams per day. Pick good sources of fat including olive oil, avocados, nuts, real butter (be careful with butter), dark chocolate etc. Go easy, though….
*Misc info: We also try and stick to these limits:
-Sodium: around 1,500 mg or less per day
-Sugar: 25 grams or less per day
-One (within reason) ‘don’t worry about it today’ day off per week
-Water (min of 40-60 oz per day)
WOW!!! Lots to think through here! Just remember to consult your doctor, use your common sense and HAVE A PLAN.
We all know that we need more exercise, and we all need to not abandon our New Year’s Resolutions by Feb 1! I try and get about 20 min each day with a goal of 1 ‘bigger’ effort each week (for example: a 2+ mile hike, a game of golf, longer bike rides, yoga class, etc.).
On a daily basis I’m learning to be honest with myself about what holds me back.
Here’s my list of exercise work out saboteurs:
-If I’m not finished by 8:00 am it not happening because I’m busy.
-If it’s boring I’ll last 2 days.
-If the weather isn’t just right then I can’t.
-If I’m planning on a visit to the gym that night, I’ll just wait till then.
There are probably a few others, but instead of trying to ‘push through’ what doesn’t work for me, I’m learning that it’s best to work with what does work for me.
My daily 15-20 min choices include a quick bike ride, yoga or bone strengthening videos (for bad weather mornings), and a self-designed workout. In addition, my other times of exercise involve things I really enjoy doing.
Whatever you decide….keep moving!!!
It’s not news that there are herbs and oils for all that ails you, and I strongly suggest looking into natural alternatives to aid with the milder conditions that plague you, as well as to supplement western medicine with for any serious illnesses. Those things you’ll have to research yourself for your particular situation. That said, there are a couple of supplements that everyone should have on a daily basis. It would be awesome if we could get all that we need from our diets, but (at least for me) that’s a little impractical.
Here’s the minimum you should have in your daily routine:
-Cell Essentials (or a great quality multi vitamin). Not all vitamins are created equal and most just pass right on through you, so be careful!
-Omega 3 Fatty Acids / Fish oil
Beyond that, a supplement regime is highly personalized.
After a considerable amount research, Eddie & I have selected the USANA brand for all our supplements. You can learn about this company, ask any questions from our rep, Tara or place an order here: USANA .
Get some professional advice and really do your homework!
4). Attitude & Mindset:
If you haven’t heard how important your attitude is for maintaining good health, you’re living under a rock! A positive attitude and the determination that the ailments you have ‘don’t have you’ are absolutely vital. If you suffer from chronic negativity then seek some professional help. Your mind and your body are inseparable!
Keeping healthy is the key to a great Life and of course, great Road Trips!!