6.29.2005

Health on the Run

Ever since I've begun noticing a gastric problem, late last year, I started paying much closer attention to my diet and general health... to mainly try to identify what possible outside-in reasons there were for my flareups.

As a consequence of careful deliberation and observation, my diet is now mostly made up of spring water, green tea, whole grain breads, brown rice, fresh veggies and fruits, fermented milk products, and no milk, sugar, artificial sweeteners, or processed foods whatsoever. I do treat myself to the occasional RGH-free ice cream, or otherwise a piece of high-quality milk or dark chocolate (Lindt, Godiva, etc.).

These changes have greatly diminished any symptoms I experience. Some of the things I've learned to stay very far away from are corn syrup (hidden in almost every product if you aren't careful about it), artificial sweeteners, processed food with sulfates (domestic cold cuts, salty snacks, and most wines included), and overly salty food. It turns out some of these foods are also on different groups' blacklists due to the possible and unstudied dangers of genetically engineered crops, and pesticide and chemical overuse.

Needless to say, eating out with friends and family has now included carefully selecting the location based on freshness of menu items/ingredients, and additional care to what dishes I select. But although it might take a lot of fast casual and fast food outlets out of the running, it assures me and my family that we are getting truly delicious and flavorful freshly-made food. And not necessarily for a more expensive price tag either.

For example, some of my favorite spots to have lunch are Baja Fresh mexican fast casual restaurant, the Atlanta Bread Company, Go Roma italian fast casual restaurant, and many others.

As I try to incoporate these life-changing habits and techniques into my everyday life, I like to read organic-oriented and holistic newsletters and magazine articles. This helps me get ideas and new tips, and I also get to keep abreast of changes and improvements in the agricultural and health arenas, and newly discovered benefits of vegetables, fruits, and natural supplements.

One drawback I've found is the difficult task of keeping up with the good habits while traveling. As anyone who travels often for business or pleasure knows, when traveling, it's not only rather hard to keep the healthier goals and habits going, but you have to watch out that schedules and food choices don't combine into a remission, or cause you a deviation from staying as regular as you'd like to be.

Well, my reading expeditions over the Internet have netted me (no pun intended) a wonderful new resource: Travelorganic.com the "Traveler's Guide to Organic Choices." This is a neat website, because, not only does it have a number of domestic and international destinations, but once you've pinpointed the exact location you're interested in, it pops up local organic/healthy resouces in categories such as sleeping accomodations, catering, clothing, farms, grocers, spas, restaurants, transportation, and more. Not only that, but the website also features articles, an e-sommelier, and a useful newsletter.

For example, for the city of Chicago, I was able to locate the chicago green city market, Charlie Trotter's restaurant, and the prairie crossing CSA, among many other resources. As you can see, this doesn't even have to be for traveling only, but rather, a new way to unearth great new local spots to visit.

I hope this proves a useful little tidbit for you too. Thank you very much for taking the time to stop by and read.
Have a wonderful day! :o)
-J