Food for Thought:

It's no coincidence that four of the six letters in health are "heal". ~ Ed Northstrum

A Travel First!

So I know I don't always post about health related things (yes, it's a bit of a hodgepodge, variety is the spice of my life! Winking) but that is very good news because my health is no longer ALL I think about! You can imagine how thrilled I am to be able to move forward in my life on to other things...

Health is still the biggest moderator of every day for me. I just spent the past 31 days traveling around the country, 3 trips for work and 1 for vacation, to Colorado, Vermont, Boston, and Florida. Last year I did "only" 3 trips in this time period and I had a cold for four weeks straight! :/ So my ONLY goal this winter was to Not.Get.Sick. How'd I do? I am home as of this weekend, and remained well for the duration, hurray! For me, this is a huge accomplishment, and certainly the most I've ever traveled to different places. I run programs for work that are so rewarding, but entail very long days and often reduced sleep, so very different than just a business trip.

I find that the strategy of setting a low bar goal and keeping it really simple (i.e. 1 goal: DO NOT GET SICK) really works for me.

I don't normally get colds (always thought it had something to do with the immunosuppressant I'm on for Crohn's) but with all that stress and plane time it was tough to avoid last time.

Traveling has always been complicated in my world - I have long emulated a Cathy cartoon when it comes to pre-trip packing frenzys. All-nighters are a given (because I have to try everything on... Happy), and delirium doesn't help! My family and friends know all about this unfortunately and have suffered through many an episode traveling with me. Since traveling the past 6 years for work, I have gotten much better with streamlining my packing, both packing less and taking less time. It still takes me all night/day, but I am carting around less so that is progress.

The time consuming part is sorting all my daily supplements/meds and packing all my powders and potions. With 4 back to back trips in one month, this was especially challenging this time.

I had just a couple strategies to survive this beast of a winter: eat foods that I knew would agree with me, move as much as I could, and stay hydrated. I now know the simple foods I do well with and are easy to find on the road, so I stocked up on those when I got to each of the 4 destinations- for breakfast, Kind Vanilla Blueberry granola, Greek yogurt, and ripe bananas. For snacks, Vega sport protein bars, Mary's gone crackers, cheese. I try to also eat very safe on the road, as boring as that is, so turkey, spinach, cheese GF or paleo sandwich/wrap, guacamole and chips, bunless burgers, Kombucha. Protein. I also drank very little alcohol and just chugged water, Ultima electrolytes, and coconut water every chance I got.

I am very happy to see that the effort I've been putting into working out pre-travels definitely contributed to me staying healthier this time around. It is usually very hard to find time to exercise during these work trips, but I managed to do more over this month than I did last time, a couple hikes in the snow, a visit to the gym, and I made a big effort to just get as much sleep as I could. Still not enough, but more than last time!

The other thing I was able to do because of the scheduling this time was have a week of mostly vacation to Vermont in-between trips, so while I was still traveling, I had some down time and cut down on more plane trips by staying up north until my next program, and I know that really made a difference. Quality time with dear loved ones was so helpful as well- hugs decrease our cortisol and strengthen our immune system Happy I was also lucky to take a day off at the end of my final program last Friday to enjoy the ocean!

I did still experience several migraines, and most were due to frequent altitude changes, which was unavoidable. I supplemented with oxygen this time in CO which helped my head a great deal on the days I was able to do it. I also had a couple stomach upsets, after Indian food (something I can normally east most times but was probably a little risky on the road) and Mexican (which also is normally OK but given other stress factors, not this time). Overall I probably interacted with, hugged or shook hands with over 200 people directly, and I am very proud that I came home healthy!

Then there is the aftermath of a stint such as this... sigh. The overflowing inbox, voicemails, and to dos piled up while away, and the new work generated from these programs to now complete.

I need to work my post-travel game just as hard as I did my travel plan so that I STAY well- the time returning home from a trip is the best time to implement and do new things, as our day-to-day routines are disrupted, so I am capitalizing on that. I spent the weekend unpacking, cleaning, and some relaxing time with good people and the earth. Will continue to bite chunks off each day of progress in this next beautiful month of March!

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Peaceful hike at Seven Falls in CO, and packing pretty light for 2 weeks up north!

Lap full of love with these sweet girls, and heavenly sunrise in Amelia Island, FL