How to Be a Healthy Trucker

The road is a dangerous place. Fraught not only with pending accidents and disaster, crazy drivers, and middle fingers, but also with the poisonous toxic fumes of exhaust, the loud noise of barreling traffic, and the excessively loud radio you have to blast in order to counteract it. It used to be road trips were cool, you sit in the back of a car, hold up fun and witty signs to people going by such as ” Driver for Sale” “Honk if you Like Bunnies” (ok, so maybe that was just me and my weird brothers that did that), attempt to get 18-wheelers to pull that string that made the horn sound scaring the daylights out of your mother driving, and of course, the fact that so many road trips had a McDonald’s every 10 miles and a Dunkin’ Donuts every 6. As for raw, organic, vegan restaurants on the road…they are few and far between. Today’s modern driver has few food options, Charlie Horse leg cramps to contend with, and a breathful of air that is poking holes in the ozone layer as fast as they can get their sports car going from 0 to 80 m.p.h.

This weekend, we traveled 8 hours by car to Florida. My goal in doing this was so I could come back and share with you observations and ways to stay healthy while embarking on journeys of exploration and splendor. However, what ended up happening was that I felt sick, I broke all my own diet rules, and I could barely stay awake for the first two days.
Fortunately, I did live to tell you the tale, so perhaps you can learn from my mistakes.

Attempting to add a larger portion of raw and vegan into my diet, while simultaneously pushing out the Krispy Kreme’s and Ben & Jerry’s, I am going to share with you some tips of being on the road and staying healthy. Join me as I embark on an 8-hour trip to Florida, where I must exhibit road-trip know-how in avoiding some of the most fateful and deadly mishaps of the highway.

Operation: Kale Highway

Preparation. For this trip, I had every intention to build an empire of healthy foods and water to bring along with me, but instead all I ended up with was a bottle of water and granola. Rest stops do not exactly deliver any edible options, so I starved the way down, minus a few bites of cashews and goji berries, and ate an entire pesticidal bowl of salad at the Olive Garden upon arriving. I personally, detest the Olive Garden and felt I was eating poison in caloric form, but without my usual kale, hemp concoctions, I was left to follow the masses. Proper preparation would’ve involved strapping kale and collard greens to the top of it like a Christmas tree, but since that is where we strapped my brother for more legroom, the roof was otherwise occupied. I brought Valerian root, a relaxing herb to help me take a nap despite the leg cramps, which just ended up in being drowsy and having neck cramps from trying to find a spot to rest my head.

Reads, Rests, and Running. I arrived as groggy as a frog in a bog, and couldn’t shake the feeling until about 8am on Sunday morning (5 hours before our departure home). The tiredness of the drive faded away in the heat of lifting weights, and working out at the hotel gym. It also helped to have a goodnight sleep from 10pm-7am the night before as well as do my own water drinking, granola-munching routine that morning while the rest of the clan went out for breakfast. In the car, I finished my second book of the trip, which kept me entertained for three hours, causing the ride home to sail on by.

All in all, I failed myself in maintaining my usual standard of health. I ate wheat, I ate cooked food, I think I even poured half and half in my coffee. I munched on some sesame chia sticks that are probably no less processed than a bag of Doritos (despite that they came from a place called “Fresh Market” which also sells “Coke”). I drank too much wine, I only worked out once, but most of all….I had a health-sinkingly negative attitude. I am still analyzing my over-selfishness during this trip. It’s hard because my brain works so differently than those I was with and my thoughts were running wild every second. I gawked about wondering if everyone else’s was too. I realized many a time the trip was about my father, about my grandparents’ anniversary, and about their side of the family reuniting. I was just an adopted pawn in the puzzle piece, while everyone else was playing checkers. My negativity was uncalled for, and while attempting to shake it, I dug myself deeper in. It was strange not having my usual resources to pull myself up from the bootstraps with. As though all my capacities had been snatched from me. In all my search for health and wellbeing, I was positively unhealthy to those around me.

So, here I begin my sauntering walk to the gym for my usual workout, the brilliance of a full work week lying ahead of me, trying to melt the ice build up in my legs and muscles back into their usual routine, and hoping I can find a massage and chiropractic adjustment somewhere ahead. I am pondering LOVE and what it means, and how to care for the soul, yet still be in consideration of the souls of others as well. I also gleamed a giant lesson, which I cannot share yet, but it is just the spark I needed…..

Hopefully I learn something about healthy road tripping NEXT time around.

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Being 26 is still Making My Blood Boil 98 Degrees

All the single ladies. And by that I don’t mean “single ladies” I mean “every single lady”. Please, please, tell me someone else has gone through this. Maybe it occurs at different times for all of you but seriously, is my scale broken? Do I have to carry around these gigantically expanding balloon cheeks in public? And that’s not even to mention that my size 3 junior jeans somehow lost their “bagginess”. When did people stop saying to me, “Oh, if you even had ANY body fat…” and my uncle calling me, “string bean girl” and the like?? Remember when people used to think I was to young to take on big tasks? Undermine me because I looked young? Now if I say something stupid, people look at me like I am some undereducated grad student. The pressure is on, I need to figure out which big tasks I am supposed to even be delving into.

I need technology more and more to stay in touch with all my friends and I hate it more everyday and want to throw my LOL texting phone and OMG computer against the wall. I did that to my computer and the screen broke, so I wouldn’t advise it. Confounded email.

Why am I working at the same job that I did when I was 19? When am I going to get a real job? Do I honestly live with my parents right now? Is it just me, or is the future as bleary-eyed as a drunken acid trip? Not that there are EVER any of those occuring, considering I am more sensitive to everything than I have ever been in my entire life. I rarely find myself needing a sweater to sit outside anymore, now I am searching for the biggest blast of air conditioning I can find. Blood boiling.

Just the other night I had exactly, if not a little less than, 2 glasses of wine at a party and needed to be driven home and banned from talking to anyone. Aged teetotaler After taking my dentures out, I get so tired that I find myself asleep in my bed at 8pm more than once a week, twice a week if I stay up past midnight. I try to run 9 miles in the heat (which used to be a CAKE WALK and CAKE BURNING activity) and now I am huffing and puffing and wishing I was dead for 8 out of 9 of the miles. What happened to being the adult that could out-backflip the 13 year-olds? The runner that ran through the yellow tape and beat all the rest of the puny females in the race? And what about my arch-yoga-nemesis who, despite the fact that “It’s not a competition” can CLEARLY bend herself into more painstakingly pretzel poses than me? I can’t let things slow down, I can’t stop, I must push as hard as it….

OH, my aching EVERYTHING. See what I mean? It’s harder, and harder, I never asked for this and I certainly would’ve staved it off longer had I known this would happen. I can’t believe this is how I feel, and I am only 3 months into this madness.

What’s the solution? Take deep breaths and I will magically be 25 again? Ignore it and it will go away? Drink more water? Hide dollar bills under my mattress for retirement? Go back to school? Lift more weights and maybe they will card me at the store for wine and a RedBox video? Maybe no one will even notice this is all going on, and I keep fooling them ALL into thinking I feel young and supple. Maybe I will just go out tomorrow and beat myself up all over again. Or maybe I will try a little TLC. Or maybe I will write a help column and give other people terrible advice so I can one up them. Only joking on that last one, I think now is the time to be helping each other out, not tearing each other down. For that matter, not tearing ourselves down either. Perhaps, it’s time to be a little kinder, and give myself a pat on the double chin.

I must admit, this is also the happiest I have felt in a long time, and though things are not simple, I feel a heck of a lot more accomplished when I conquer them. I wonder what 27 holds…

Affordable Healthcare

This morning, I rolled out of bed, made myself a deliciously energizing sweet potato, avocado, banana and cacao smoothie and then danced off to the gym. I had planned to run today, but due to the rain, I must put off this endeavor and I am going to attend a yoga class instead. The same yoga class I did last night, a Deep Stretch Yin Yoga a wonderful way to de-stress and just allow the body to heal as it may.While attending last night’s class, my yoga instructor reminded us of the “deal” they have going on right now. If you attend 15+ MORNING yoga classes during the month of August, you get $50 towards any purchase at the studio. However, with each class ringing in at $15.00 a pop, this seems to me hardly a deal.

I have to spend $225.00 on 15 classes, and then I get only 50 of that back as a reward for yanking myself out of my beauty slumber at 4:30am for half the month?

It’s not just yoga, it’s the massage, the chiropractic, the organic foods, the really raw delicious concoctions…all this to help me unravel from the daily grind which consists of working for someone else so that I can pay for all of this expensive health stuff. If I were to cut all of this out, all the fruits, vegetables, running shoes, and dentist visits, not to mention my green algae clay mask and paraben-free vegan conditioner, what do I have left? Isn’t THAT health?

Answer me this, Ghandi! I’m hungry for raw spirulina crackers and the air is making me thirsty! Where is my Yogi chai tea and a meditative chant?

Is it just me or is it costing all I have to stay healthy? To stay standing? To stay grounded?

It’s not that I am stingy, I just have come to realize as of late that the price of health has been carefully crafted as a facade. I must somehow crack the code and break the pattern. Because while I might be alright striving along as I am, blindly chugging my Apple Cider Vinegar, so many others out there are not. I do not believe it’s fair that health has become a luxury that only the hoity toity and rich can afford, a commodity only for the posh. I also believe health is being bottled, canned, packaged, and labeled so that the price is right when really the answer lies in the grass roots and the very essence and simplicity of life itself.

Can you think of ways that WE can be vehicles to bring the joy, accessibility, and availability back into the pursuit of health?

That’s all my thoughts for today…off to go splurge on yoga and alkaline water cause Lord knows, I don’t want a break out this week!

 

People on Trains

The train lurches forward again as I fumble with my mascara in the small, ironically inaccessible handicapped restroom. I over analyze my personal dependence on this item, mascara, clutching to it like the very clutch purse in which it is carried. My personal beauty crutches. The bottle in which length and volume can lead to an increase in self esteem and feeling like at any moment you could be mistaken for a celebrity.

On the train, I desire even more strongly to write something.

A book.

A letter.

A word.

A life.

Something. Something someone important wants to read. What constitutes a life worth reading about? What does that even mean? If only I could unlock life’s meaning, surely it lies in the pursuit of my passions.
A path I am quickly working to meander down. Or run down. Or sprint. Whichever I am feeling the energy for at the given moment.

I overhear a girl behind me talking about her internship.

In front of me and to my right, a little lady, I would guess to be 5 or 6 years old, keeps peeking her head back at me and staring. She is one of the many children that have stared me down on this train (the other four told me that in all my skinny whiteness, I looked like latina Jennifer Lopez). Why are they staring? Do they want my approval? Do their parents not take notice? Are they observing me as a fellow female, looking to me for an example? Hopefully they don’t follow my anti-trend fashion trends. Curiousity? Am I a strange looking human? Is this a sign I should be taking care of kids? Are they drawn to me like a magnet? My dad tells me not to believe in signs.
That’s what brought me to apply to a nannying job recently, maybe I really am supposed to work with kids. The job looked compatible on paper, a new living opportunity, a cool town, two kids and not too many hours, but in person….the puzzle pieces were not fitting together. It was all moving too fast for me. So, in the pursuit of movement, I am putting some things on hold.

In the fray.

Make No Mistake

I will admit, I am not world’s best waitress. I have all the pep and earnestness in the world. But, I was also born with a head full of marbles where my brains are supposed to be and suffer from no less then twenty blonde moments on an average evening in the service industry world. Ask me to get you a napkin and I might return with a Philly Cheese Steak only to realize I am at the wrong table. I forget my GPS from time to time and get table 16 mixed up with table 114. If you need a drink from the bar, sidle up folks, it could be about twenty minutes. Granted, that is because the bartender has it out for me and would rather be using the fan to distort her voice for the entertainment of her bar guests than make my drinks. Last night was going to be different. I vowed to myself at the beginning of the shift that I would have a mistake-free night, I also set a monetary goal for myself (which I came twenty dollars under reaching, a problem that could have easily been solved had the hostess been on my team).

Trivia night was underway; the loud noise of the trivia hostess’ horrible musical choices in my ear, the party of 16 people who made me walk 26 miles back and forth to the kitchen with their endless requests for condiments, and despite ignoring me the entire evening, still had the audacity to request separate checks, my stomach was thrashing to the tune “Why oh Why Did I Eat so Many Carrots Before Work?” I was able to put all of this aside, and made it through the evening without having to apologize to the kitchen for typing my ticket in Chinese, or for bringing someone Diet Coke when they ordered a Gin and Tonic. A feeling of elation, a sense of euphoria ensued, I had finally evolved! Maybe now my career will take off and I will be able to get that top executive job and boss around minions upon minions of sheer and utter minions!!! I would even start a new company policy that everyone’s job title except for my own would be exactly that “Minion”.

While living in my own delusional dreamland, I began to clear the table from my very large parties. Since I had rocked on cleaning and tidying as I went, this would be a breeze and all I had to do was gather the cups, glasses, and a few bits and bobs of trash here and there. I stacked up each cup meticulously on a tray I was holding with my left hand, then I proceeded to grab a few glasses because hey, why not? I can take a little more! Talk about exhibiting independence, I cleaned this entire table BY MY SELF!! Take that servers and servistresses of America! Perfection.

Then, the curse of long limbs (which an evil witch cast on me when I was an infant, born weighing 6 pounds, 8 oz, and stretching out to 22 inches long), took over and I tripped over my own two feet, or legs, it really doesn’t matter at this point. I tripped. And everyone saw me do it. They also saw about a week’s worth of water glasses, sweet tea glasses, diet coke classes, and then all the water you would have to drink to be rehydrated after drinking the sweet tea and diet coke glasses (ballpark = 56) spill onto the floor of the restaurant. When I say spill, I mean like how a water hydrant or waterfall spills. They don’t tip lightly and gather gracefully with the bath salts in your tub, they GUSH.

This is the worst part: Everyone sitting at the bar, all the Jans, Janices, and Betty Lou’s at the table behind me, CHEERED. They took my sheer and utter already existing humiliation and put it on the Nightly News, Channel 33. With everyone looking at me and clapping, I got hopeful thinking perhaps this part was a dream, and I would wake up to find I had won the lottery or suddenly become a famous star. But alas, moments later, the mop bucket and wet rags in my hand reminded me of where I truly was. A mere minion.

I guess next time, I won’t make promises I can’t keep.

Ending on a positive note: Today I read a humorous article about getting Google and other search enginges “off your trail” so to speak. Google a bunch of things you do not care about, and visit Facebook pages of places you don’t give two rattlesnakes rattles about, and the ads that are pinpointed for YOUR INTERESTS which is creepy and borderline considered hacking even though you probably clicked “I Agree to Terms and Conditions” somewhere that allowed these sites to do this to you, will slowly but surely pop up less and less. It will skew their careful statistics, it will cast a different view of the public at large, and you won’t feel like Big Brother is watching you so often. Even though he still is.

Happy 4th of July!

I Hope No One Reads This.

Dear Yesterday,

You are gone. You’ve left me thinking and pondering. You’ve given me some resources to move forward into today. But you have also left painful remnants of yourself with me to drag along beside me. This has happened more than once. There are so many yesterdays, I’ve stockpiled them in my mind, branded them into my being. The yesterdays get heavier and heavier as I commit to carrying them around with me. Can I drop this parcel here? Pardon me, did I just step on your toes with all of my additional baggage? Don’t mind if I do hurt myself and pull a muscle as I strain to lug it with me to and fro. What on earth could this this hernia be from!?

Question, to you, my dear, dear, yesterday, is it OK if I let you go now? Just put you down and decide I am not interested in carrying you anymore? It’s not that you’re bad, it’s actually not you at all, it’s me. I keep thinking I will somehow hurt your feelings if I put you back where you belong, file you back under that which is not actually reality anymore. When I truly think about it though, you don’t feel one way or the other about it. You are simply there, lingering in the background, carrying on in a completely different plane of time.

This day has begun in the dark. The present moment is dark. Plunging forward into unknown territory, and knowing beyond a shadow (no pun intended) of a doubt, that is the ONLY way that it can be done. Living your dreams begins today. Finding your True North is simply carrying on and allowing the unfolding to be a part of your everyday life. Trusting that it will happen

I heard something recently, which I am still trying to decide whether or not it is a clever idea. A writer describes how a notecard lies on the side of his bed and on one side he has written what gets him out of bed in the morning, on the other side has written on it what keeps him up at night. When he no longer feels this way about one side or the other, he simply rips up the notecard and writes a new one.

I tried to think about these two concepts and pondered what each side would CURRENTLY say. Then, I think about what I would WANT each side to say.

Right now, on MOST days, the first side says: Obligation

When I flip it over it says: Lack of Motivation

What do I want it to say on that first side? Passion

On the reverse side? Choice.

In closing, yesterday, I hope it is OK with you, if I am going to face forward for awhile. The eyes in the back of my head are too tired from squinting from the sun as today and the future are both looking rather bright 🙂

Love,

No One.