The delicate balance of living, eating, and outright being healthy is constantly changing with the choices we make on a daily basis. After all our environment, diet and lifestyle are an extremely important part of our health. They're how our genes are expressed in one direction or another. What can be healthy about an Alaskan cruise and what can throw our body out of balance? Cruising is wonderful! Breathing the fresh clean sea air is invigorating; so healthy for our lungs and solitude. Just being out in nature brings perspective to life. The world's problems exist on a whole different level when gorgeous snow capped mountains and glaciers stare at you with their exuberant beauty? So what can be healthy? Giving yourself peace of mind; a place to feel safe and relaxed, and allowing your body a chance to restore balance from all the chronic and oxidative stress in our lives. It feels so good to be taken care of. Of course being rocked to sleep by the ocean is a sure way to get a good night's sleep. Or falling asleep on deck while listing to the peaceful sound of seagulls overhead is the ultimate in relaxation. Taking the stairs between the Lido and Emerald deck is great exercise, not to mention the four mile glacier hike with breathtaking views.Being on a cruise puts certain things in balance but life is never perfect. Here's what threw my body out of balance... I knew how much food would be served on our cruise and how over indulging it would be. But as a health coach, I knew better and I was going to do it all in a healthy way. I did eat slowly, taking advantage of time to savor and chew every bite for the commencement of proper digestion. However I'm still human and my functional knowledge was overcome by opportunity. Of course I was better than most. I easily avoided any soft drinks, dinner rolls, butter, and salad dressing. I was careful to squeeze lemon into my water glass. Took advantage of the purple cabbage, chopped cilantro and fresh scallions which were offered as garnishes on the buffet. I added these to my mushroom broth or plate for cleansing purposes. I chose whole fruits and veggies like kiwi and drank green tea for antioxidants whenever I could muster. Yet since the food was already paid for, presented in over abundance with so many wonderful choices, I couldn't resist! Ordering two appetizers or two entrees at dinner was common. Even though the portions were small I rationalized that I just wanted to "taste it". I tasted everything! And everything was delicious! The cruise line made a conscience effort to offer healthy options for those who were interested. Even the vegetarian options contained cheese with heavy carbs or were fried. You just couldn't avoid going overboard with dietary indulgence. Being full helps to avoid seasickness and restores equalibruim. Plus for those who have been to my cravings workshops, this was a primary food situation on steroids. I can't exactly say we were bored but while on-board, mealtime was our primary activity. Plus the dessert presentation was so eye appealing; literally the best eye candy ever.
After all, we were on vacation! Here is where all my knowledge and training went array. I'm sure the broths and sauces contained processed ingredients and were loaded with salt, preservatives and artificial sweetners. And I know the desserts were made with heavy cream, sugar and gluten. Just like high quality restaurants at home. I never bothered to ask, but am doubtful anything was organic. Being on an Alaskan cruise allowed us the opportunity to eat freshly caught salmon. A great opportunity to get Omega 3 fatty acids but I have no idea what kind of oil was used to fry the eggs or fresh mushrooms. I was told it was vegetable oil. No doubt canola oil expressed in a way that created toxins. Sugar and fats trigger dopamine which tease the pleasure centers of the brain and make you crave more. As hard as I tried to be healthy in this luxurious environment, my digestive system simply didn't seem to agree. Plus I started to exhibit symptoms of brain fog. Toxins are stored in fat tissue and my body was indeed storing in my gut and in my brain. Even though I brought supplements, including probiotics with me to support balance and elimination, I was still traveling and eating broken foods. So how do we restore balance? It was wonderful to reduce stress and literally become unplugged from social media for most of the week. but now that we are back into swing of our regularly scheduled busy life, I will make more of a concerted effort to practice tapping, reiki and yoga to reduce my allostatic load, bring peace and perspective back to the center of my life. Eat more berries. These antioxidants which were not available on the cruise are important for digestive balance. Improve the oils in my diet to higher quality fats like avocado oil and organic extra virgin olive oil. Eat less guten which creates intestinal permaibiity or leaky gut, pretty much remove the sugars and processed foods in my daily diet. Eat more Crucifous veggies like kale and broccoli and more Alium veggies like garlic and onions. It's important to live life to it's fullest and it's ok to take a week off. Living by the 80/20 rule allows appreciation for restoration of balance in all areas of life. Enjoy your life! Thank you for allowing me to join you on your journey to good health! Holli