My mother often jokes that she and my father don’t travel simply because they would need too many suitcases for all of my father’s supplements. Traveling while maintaining one’s health, and trying to be eco-friendly on top of that, is no small task. My recent trip to S.F. inspired me to compile a list of what I do to be as health and planet conscious as possible while away.
1. Avoid the x-ray machines at the airport. Natural news sites report that there is thousands of times more radiation in these machines than the TSA discloses, and conventional news acknowledges that the amount is at least a good bit higher than claimed. Why radiate yourself more than you already are by flying? Opt for a pat down instead… they usually aren’t too bad. Once, the guard spent WAY the hell too long prodding around my vagina, but beyond that, it’s been pretty painless.
And a clip from an article about this on Huffington Post:
“Scientists from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) sent a letter to the White House Office of Science and Technology echoing the concern that radiation from the scanners could damage skin and underlying tissue, potentially leading to skin cancer. The White House Office responded that the technology had been tested extensively for safety, but the scientists noted numerous flaws in the response and are currently preparing a rebuttal. Because the radiation beam from the scanners concentrates on your skin, researchers believe the dose may be up to 20 times higher than is being estimated.”
2. Reduce your radiation exposure by flying as soon away from noon as possible, when radiation is at its highest. Never heard that you’re exposed to about 65 times the normal amount of radiation when flying? You can read the Science Daily News article about it, or google “radiation flying” for more info.
3. Protect yourself from both radiation and getting sick by taking anti-oxidants, specifically astaxanthin. Mercola discusses that here. Lots of foods have great anti-oxidative powers too!
4. Pack produce. Of all the food items you’re likely to have a difficult time finding on your trip, simple raw vegetables rank amongst the highest. Before leaving, pack your purse or extra bag with green veggies that keep well for days in a mini-fridge, such as baby (Persian) cucumbers and sugar snap peas. This way even if you end up eating worse/more processed food than planned, you can still supplement throughout the days by snacking on fresh, preferably organic, healthy snacks.
5. Be an eco-conscious hotel guest. Opt out of housekeeping at least every other day by keeping the “Do Not Disturb” sign on your door for the day, because unless you’re a big family, three small, medium, and large towels each is probably enough for two days. You don’t change the hand towels in your bathroom at home every time you wash your hands, so there’s no reason to do so at a hotel; it’s not as if any less heat and water are consumed just because you’re not getting the bill. In most hotels nowadays, there is a card you can use to let housekeeping know whether or not you want fresh linens. Again, you’d never change your bedsheets daily, so unless you’re staying somewhere for weeks on end, opt to have the bed remade with the same linens each day you utilize housekeeping.
6. Buy water in one or 2.5 gallon containers, rather than tiny bottles, and keep them in your room. If you are walking around a lot and need small bottles, get a couple- or better yet, bring your own re-useable empties from home- and fill them up at your hotel daily. While plastic is still involved from the gallon jugs, it’s a LOT less, and every little bit helps. Alternately, if you are somewhere rural that actually has quality tap water, fill empty bottles straight from the sink.
7. Find the farmers. Farmers markets are everywhere now, and usually just by googling the term along with the city you’re staying in, you can get a guide for when local markets occur. You get a great outside morning or afternoon activity out of it, will find out what’s in season where you’re staying vs. your home, get to try new foods, and can restock your supply of healthy snacks to keep at the hotel.
8. Keep a morning routine. When you plan too many activities for every day, you’ll lose track entirely of your normal healthy habits. Start your day in a homey fashion in your room with a morning beverage (like organic tea you’ve brought from home) with enough time to remember to take your vitamins (you brought them with you, right?), drink plenty of water, work out if that’s part of your normal morning at home, and gather your thoughts. This is a photo from my hotel room in SF this past weekend- it was very easy to bring travel-sized stevia and a package of cococeps to drink each morning for a healthy start.
9. Allow occasional indulgences. Unless you’re off visiting a farm, temptations will abound. Do your best to eat as many quality, organic, whole foods based meals as possible, but allow yourself a meal here and there comprised of comfort foods. If you eat like crap the whole time, you’ll go home feeling sluggish, heavy, and off in the head, but if you eat mostly healthy and indulge for a meal or snack every couple days, you’ll return both satiated and proud. Help negate the fact that you’re likely to eat heavier food than at home no matter how cautious you are by walking wherever possible in the place you’re visiting.
10. Don’t waste any days hungover. If you know you’re going to be drinking, as is very normal when on vacation, pack a few supplements that will help your body combat the effects of alcohol. Specifically, bring milk thistle, charcoal, vitamin B, liquid oxygen with trace minerals (like Cell Power or Cell Food), and get some coconut water for your room. These supplements will drastically reduce your risk of feeling lousy the next day after an afternoon or evening of too much fun.
One of the many gifts/life lessons Lyme bestowed upon me is CFS, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. My playful description for CFS is, “No matter how many times I say ‘Go go Gadget body, it refuses to move.’” I swear, I spent so much time and energy just TRYING TO MOVE, only to remain stuck wherever I’d last planted myself. The term “feeling like lead” is the most perfect definition of CFS for me. When I recovered from Lyme a little over a year ago, the CFS mostly went away, along with the fibromyalgia, brain fog, etc., but it does still reappear when my body gets out of whack, and I do have to manage it regularly.
I don’t have the energy I had pre-Lyme, and might never; for one, I’m a few critical years older now, and for another, I think I had a pretty insane amount before. I worked 45-50 hours a week, minimum, in restaurant management, and was so highly active running around that I used to eat ice cream around midnight almost every night just so I didn’t lose any more weight- I was about 105 lbs, which at 5’6”, is skinny enough that you’ve passed enviable territory into the, “are you ok?” zone. After work, I’d generally go out to a bar with coworkers, and rarely made it home before 2 or 3 am, only to enthusiastically do it all again the next day.
I got my first symptoms of Lyme when I started my business, which took off at lightning speed; the first month, I worked over 16 hours a day trying to keep up with grocery store orders myself. At the end of the month, when I hired a staff and rented a permanent commercial kitchen, my body was shot. I’d gained 15 lbs (without even eating much- my thyroid just went downhill), I was spilling things everywhere, I cried frequently, and all I wanted was white flour and sugar (which, being raw, I didn’t even eat at the time). My body has never returned to the state it was in prior to March 2009, but I am elated with how well I’ve bounced back from the two horrific years that ensued after that month.
The following are what I use for energy, drive, and stamina. I don’t take all these things all the time, but cycle through them as needed, and tend to focus on whatever my current kick is. The sites they link to are where I tend to purchase them, usually because that is the best deal I’ve found.
This is the brand of ribose powder I’ve been using happily for awhile. I add one scoop to my pot of tea in the morning, and take an additional half-scoop prior to exercise. The dosage is higher than many other brands, so you only need one scoop instead of two like with others. You can also get ribose with magnesium malate for pain, but I didn’t find that helpful when I had fibro. If you take too much ribose, you may get edgy and snippy, so start slow.
This supplement is a GODSEND, and I’m not even vaguely religious. Unfortunately, this particular brand has been discontinued, but I still have plenty on hand because my mother buys in bulk, so I can’t specifically recommend another maker since I haven’t tried any. While NADH does not provide any palpable, notable energy, it gives you stamina. Once well, I still crashed by five pm daily, unable to make dinner or clean or anything after a few hours spent working. From the first day of taking 10 mg of NADH onward, I could come home from the kitchen and have a productive evening. I haven’t been taking this lately, as I haven’t been doing terribly much, but I take it regularly when I am active, or when I know I will have a long day. It eliminates my late-afternoon fatigue completely.
Organic, extra virgin coconut oil is something else I add to my daily pot of tea. I have about two tablespoons a day of it, and notice a minor increase in my energy level from it. It’s medium chain fatty acids are good for everything from thyroid function to liver function, and it can aid in weight loss (though it has never helped me with that).
Gaia Adrenal Support
This product made me feel SO good. Happy, vibrant, and alive. Sadly, it made me break out in huge, cystic pimples, so I can’t take it anymore. This isn’t the herb combo’s fault so much as the fault of my shoddy liver, and I still recommend it for those who do not have major issues with acne. I’ve recommended it to others, and it hasn’t made anyone else break out.
Spring Dragon Longevity Tea
I’ve posted about this tea before, but it’s worth mentioning again. It contains many of the ingredients in the Gaia formula, and unlike that, I don’t break out from it. The gynostemma has a mildly euphoric effect on me, and the Chinese herbs give me smooth, clean energy. One tea bag makes three cups of tea, and I drink 1-2 bags a day. In the morning, I combine one tea bag, sometimes a bag of liver detox tea also into a three-cup pot, and add one scoop d-ribose, 1 tbls coconut oil, and about 1/3 tsp stevia powder. It’s delicious and got me off caffeine quickly; the only coffee I drink now is decaf.
iHerb sent me a sample of CocoCeps with an order about six months ago, and it was the most effective marketing tool ever. Figuring it would taste shroomy and gross, I was amazed that this product tasted like nothing more than cocoa powder. Made of three simple ingredients- non-alkalized organic cocoa, reishi, and cordyceps- CocoCeps mixes fairly easily into any hot beverage (water, milk, etc), and tastes like a plain ole nice cup of cocoa. It does need to be sweetened, which the package mentions. It also contains 14 mg caffeine, so it isn’t suitable for those who can’t have caffeine. 14 mg is less than even green or white tea, so it’s a pretty minimal amount. I drink this every morning with decaf and stevia, prior to my pot of Spring Dragon, and it makes for a super healthy, delicious mocha.
I paid about $35 for my rebounder, which I chose based on the fact that it was foldable. I envisioned a product that would be similar to something on the Jetsons, and go from the size of a car to that of a briefcase. Alas, it was way more of a pain than that, and has stayed open the whole time I’ve owned it. As you can see from the clickable link, jumping up and down like a kid on a little trampoline is very good for you, and the fact that you get twice the exercise minute-for-minute on a cellular level is an added bonus. If I don’t feel up for much, I at least try to use it for a couple minutes, and I always feel better afterwards. Generally I use it for 20-30 minutes, with 2 lb weights in each hand for half the time I’m on it.
On the one hand, this stuff is really expensive pond scum. On the other hand, it is one of the most concentrated phytonutrient sources on the planet, and it’s excellent for your health. It also provides a solid boost of energy, and the one with “BrainOn” helps with clarity of thought. I use this occasionally, one ounce a day in the morning after teas and before breakfast. I tend to go through a full bottle in a short time, since it’s only good in the fridge for a week, then pause awhile before the next bottle.
Whether you are so fatigued that you can’t reach for the remote, or you just would like an extra competitive edge on life, I encourage you to try any of these products. I know I wouldn’t be able to have written all this without them!