How to stay healthy the PaleoPathologist way while traveling.

“Wow, PaleoPathologist, love the picture in the tree. What can you tell me about staying healthy while traveling? (This has NOTHING to do with being stuck at O’Hare while Zeus rains down thunder and lightning around me.) –PD”OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADear ArchaeoPastor friend,

It can really be challenging to hang in while traveling!  PaleoPathologist actually used to fly in and out of O’Hare often, during his days of attending tribal leadership conferences for the Informatics and Public Affairs committees of the College of American Pathologists.  Here are some hints that helped during the various expeditions. Think CREATION: Choice, Rest, Environment, Activity, Trust, Interpersonal (yeah that one’s tough), Outlook, Nutrition.

1.  Food.

PaleoPathologistMate was always very good about packing emergency rations for the march. A zip lock bag full of nuts and chunks of 85% cocoa chocolate is a fabulous find in the backpack when weather changes the flying plans. One time my plane got diverted from Chicago to Milwaukee to wait out a towering, violent thunderstorm, and the nuts really saved me. Jerky is another good one, although it is surprising how many grams of sugar they can sneak into meat. Check the label! Cheese also works. PaleoPathologist loves the little red BabyBel cheeses. Prepare!

Eating at restaurants, and especially airport restaurants, sets up quite a challenge for the paleo eater. Some things that PaleoPathologist often gets include: Salads with meat (Cobb Salad is a favorite.)  Get oil and vinegar if you can, blue cheese if not (it tends to be the lowest in sugar.)  A hamburger with no bun works well. Many places have steak. Fish often has breading or sugar (I don’t understand why they have to drench a fabulous slab of salmon with syrupy teriyaki sauce but that’s just me.)

Some other links that I’ve found:  Ultimate Paleo Guide, Paleo Leap, The PaleoMom (I like her by the way, a fellow PaleoPhD), Mark’s Daily Apple (a real fount of information), etc.

One aside: once you have undergone the right of passage from carbivore to lipovore (i.e., you are no longer enslaved to a hit of sugar/starch every couple of hours and can actually burn fat like you were designed) then a few hours delay in the cave just doesn’t matter as much.  PaleoPathologist can go 18 hours between feeds these days without too much trouble, and a coffee with cream can tide him over a few MORE hours.  Starbucks, by the way, usually has the good stuff, real live heavy whipping cream, behind the counter if you ask. Nobody puts it out on the counter; they have (ick) skim milk for the unenlightened phat phobic (and they call US paleo) or half and half which is, well, half OK.

2. Water.  Definitely hit the waterbag often. Airplanes have dry, thin air and they suck the water out of you.  Every book, news, gift store in the airport sells water bottles and PaleoPathologist nearly always gets one before flying. When the nice serving wenches ask, get water or tomato juice, nothing with alcohol. PaleoPathologist has nothing against alcohol; he has a nice single malt scotch bar with McCallan, Balvenie, Glenlivit, Lagavulin, etc. A glass of red wine accompanies his steak a time or two a week.  But PaleoPathologist thinks alcohol is too drying on a plane.

3.  Rest/recovery.  Travel is a stressor no matter what. The body needs some recovery time. Figure out how you can rest on a plane. I know you, and know that you are just too darned tall for normal airline seats (unlike the towering 5’7″ PaleoPathologist). The Mate likes to play her iPod through headphones to cut the jet noise and says it helps with fatigue.

4.  Activity.  The blood pools in the legs on a flight, folded up in the seats they call “economy”. Try to wiggle the feet, tighten the calves, move the back around.  If you feel like it and have read the book, try “stretchsitting” (the Gokhale method) to limber up the back.

5.  Meditate, pray, and forgive!  That jerk er person in front of us who reclined the seat onto your knees very likely did not intend to hurt you. The pilots have no more interest in being late than we do. The plane is full of people who are all fighting their own great battles and getting all hostile only hurts us, not them and does NO good.  (Easier said than done? You bet!) But it really does add to the stress of travel to focus on the negatives. Maybe even try a gratitude survey: I’m breathing, in a few hours I’ll be in Denver or New Hampshire or San Diego and my ancestors would have taken WEEKS to get there, there is actually food and drink on this plane.

6.  Relax a bit on the “rules” while traveling if you have to. Our bodies can adapt to a lot, so if you get trapped into the wrong restaurant because a bunch of clients take you there, hey, do your best.

So what are your favorite travel hints, fellow Paleo’s, Atkinites, Pricophiles, etc?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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