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.