Is Coconut Oil Right for YOU?

Every few months we see news of the latest ingredient. Coconut oil is the latest, greatest ingredient all over the news…But how do you know it is the right or even safest ingredient for YOU?

Coconut products with fresh coconut, Coconut milk and oil
Fresh coconut and products


Manufacturer’s need to sell their product. They hire great marketing agencies to tout their development… one they have invested a lot of time and money on. 

But there is a sometimes a gap between the market hype and consumer’s best choice. Here’s my insider scoop on this latest craze.

There are two general types of product companies.  Those who develop blends of ingredients targeted to solve different problems. They may use one set of ingredients for skin rejuvenation and a completely different set for acne.

There are also those who base their products around a single KEY ingredient. This varies with current “hot trends.” Right now coconut oil is one of those ingredients.

But is coconut oil right for you?

Coconut oil is a tropical oil from the nut of a palm tree. Check the jar of coconut oil in your cupboard. It’s not liquid but solid at room temperature. For those with problem skins…this is a yellow flag.

In the 1960s tests ingredients testing established which ones tended to cause breakouts. Based on results they were assigned a ranking from zero – no risk, to 5, high risk. These test results became the gold standard for all products produced since.

Coconut oil rated a 4 out of 5 meaning it has a high risk of causing clogging. It is full of fatty acids which oxidize on the skin gluing dead cells to the surface and slowing or clogging oil excretion from the follicles. If you are using a product with coconut oil in it and noticing more breakouts…it’s probably your product. It may be time for a change – quickly.


If an oil like this is only on your skin temporarily, as in a makeup remover, you may not have an issue.  The longer it’s in contact with the skin, the higher the risk of a problem.  People who use comedogenic oils as a hair conditioner should keep an eye on their scalp or hairline for breakouts it could trigger. Sometimes even people who normally don’t have blemishes can have a response to a clogging ingredient.

Ingredient selection…

Bleached, dry, color-treated or weather-damaged hair may love the fatty acids in coconut oil conditioner.

If you have fine, thin, dry, or sensitive skin, you may not have any issues.

It’s not that coconut oil is a bad ingredient…it’s learning what ingredients are best for your skin. 

Acneic skins might find a product with jojoba oil a better choice.  Jojoba is an ingredient that doesn’t solidify at room temperature.  Its comedogenicity rating is zero.  It actually has the ability to emulsify sebum so helps acne clients purge follicles rather than be something that aggravates their skin.

So when the next…newest and greatest ingredient shows up in marketing…save yourself some money.  Before you buy…investigate the ingredient first to see how it might work with your skin.

If you need help trying to sort through all the products on the market and their hype…speak to a trained qualified esthetician who has taken the advanced classes to help you make smart decisions.

Protein for strength

“Magic” Ingredient that Can Keep You

Out of a Nursing Home…

I saw an article on this come across my desk from the Institute on Natural

Yummy looking deli sandwich stacked with protein and veggies
Healthy choices include protein

Healing and I had to share.  Is it really magic?  Maybe not but it is so right in front of us we frequently miss it.

As women who try to eat healthily and maintain our weight, we’ve noticed that as we get older our metabolism may not work as well.  (Sometimes like I feel there was a Shetland pony somewhere back in my gene pool.)  And…it seems to get worse every year.

So what do we do? Maybe cut out the sugar, avoid or minimize starchy carbs.  Even reduce portions because serving size ties to calories…which add up to pounds.

There’s a new study that shows there is a crucial factor in keeping you strong and healthy, independent and out of assisted living.  If you start now… it will help you avoid that dreaded fate.

So here’s the story…

A study in Newcastle in the UK followed 722 people who were 85 years young.  They logged their height, weight, diet and studied their medical records. They monitored any changes in their abilities and disabilities for five years.

Their results supported their hypothesis that the amount of protein eaten directly related to keeping people strong.

They confirmed that currently recommended levels needed to be raised. Maybe it’s that we’re living longer. Maybe it’s because protein levels are lower per serving in what is available to us versus 50 years ago.

So if you normally have 2000 calories per day, you should be getting about 150 grams of protein. If you’re pinching it to 1200 calories you need 90 grams.

Don’t let conversion get you derailed. It’s not that hard. There about 7 grams of protein in 1 ounce cooked meat. Four ounces boneless chicken breast when cooked yields about 3 ounces or 21 grams.

In addition to including protein in every meal, think about adjusting snacks so they are protein rich.

My naturopath once told me, “protein every time you eat. With every fruit or veggie, (carb), balance it with some form of protein.”

Some excellent sources of protein include:
  • Organic turkey and chicken
  • Grass-fed beef and pork
  • Wild-caught fish and shellfish
  • Raw nuts and seeds, including almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts
  • Pastured eggs
  • Full-fat organic dairy
  • Whey protein drinks
Start now…

Starting as young as you can to live for longevity.  Keeping yourself strong may mean you can avoid that nursing home. You could live out your days living life on your terms and able to do the things you love.

Steak anyone?

Hungarian Mushroom Soup

Hungarian Mushroom Soup…Yum!!

Mushroom soup jazzed with Hungarian Paprika warms your body and soul
Hungarian Mushroom Soup warms your body and soul

Hungarian Mushroom Soup gets its name from the incorporation of Hungarian Paprika which as a bit more flavor than regular.

Winter calls for some comfort food and mushroom soup fits the bill perfectly.  War, and yummy, it’s also incredibly good for you.  Mushrooms are full of antioxidants…great during cold and flu season.  Consider this your base recipe and feel free to experiment.

Ingredients:

Organic mushrooms make the best soup. This included buttercup, scallop, lionsmane, oyster, shitake and Maitake mushrooms
Organic Mushrooms make the best soup. This was a 2-pound collection for a double batch.

  • 1 lb. fresh mixed mushrooms (Shiitake, Maitake, Oyster, Lions Mane, Baby Bella… whatever you fancy) chopped  (The first time I had this, they were chopped very fine as he was handing out samples. But chop them however you prefer.)
  • 2 cups finely chopped onion
  • 4 Tablespoon butter
  • 3 Tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup milk (any kind you prefer)
  • 1-2 teaspoon dill weed
  • 1 Tablespoon Hungarian Paprika (kickier than plain . If not in your local store check Amazon.)
  • 1 Tablespoon Tamari (soy) sauce

    chop 1 pound organic mushrooms
    1 pound chopped organic mushrooms

     

  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups chicken stock (I substituted ½ cup white wine)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • Fresh ground black pepper or to taste
  • ½ cup sour cream
Directions

Saute’ onions in 2 Tbsp butter, salt lightly.  A few minutes later add

2 cups finely chopped onion
2 cups chopped onion – I used food processor

mushrooms, 1tsp of the dill and ½ cup chicken stock, soy sauce and paprika. Cover and simmer 25 minutes. Set aside.

Melt remaining butter in a large saucepan; whisk in flour, cook while whisking (a few minutes). Add milk; continue to cook, stirring frequently over low heat, about 10

Gently saute onions in melted butter
Saute onions in melted butter

minutes until thick. Stir in mushroom mixture and remaining stock.  Cover and simmer 10-15 minutes. Just before serving add salt, pepper, lemon juice, sour cream, and if desired additional dill.  Garnish with parsley.

Since I wanted this to be a main dish instead of just soup, I added about 10 oz chopped protein and made extra of the sauce.  Served with crusty bread. Hubby gave it a 10.5!

For my double batch I prepared just the mushroom part and after it

Add mushrooms and spices to onions. Simmer. Make sauce and add mushroom mix.
Add mushrooms, dill and paprika simmer then make the sauce in a separate pan before adding mushroom mix.

 

simmered and cooled, put it in a freezer bag.  Now I can make quick soup whenever I need it.

Note: This can also be thickened a bit more and turned into a super yummy gravy with or without the protein.  How about using some of that leftover turkey or ham and making a melt?  Testing a recipe shortly.

Holiday stress management

Plan now to manage holiday stress…

Frazzled woman pulling out her hair needs stress management
Holiday stress control will brighten your season

Start your plan now to de-stress the holidays.   The winter holiday season can mean you’re super busy not only at work but at home. This means more stress and all of its side effects.

Did you know we women are more prone to depression than men are?  And the winter season with shorter periods of daylight can bring on depression.

Research studies have shown death rates peak in December and January across the US, regardless of what part of the country you live in. Stress is a key part of those numbers.

There are dozens of ways to make holidays less stressful, but here are 5 easy favorites.

1. Dump the expectations to reduce stress!

It is super easy to take on more than even Wonder Woman could accomplish. Think about the things that are your favorite parts of the holidays and focus on those.  Delete those things that create more angst for you.

If that means cutting out long-distance travel, do it.  If it means buying cookies for the school instead of baking them…do it, and don’t feel guilty.

When work gets stressful and overwhelming with clients asking for extra hours…set boundaries and stick to them.

Think about limiting your social engagements to a “doable” level. Instead of feeling obligated to be everywhere and do it all… focus on the events and people that give you the most pleasure.

  2. Make holidays a family team effort.

Get the kids and spouse involved. Delegate so everyone gets a part of the workload and more engaged in the fun. Delegate set priorities and simplify.

Make NEW traditions that focus on involvement, relaxing and having fun.

If that means less decorating or less than perfect decorating or gift-wrapping…go for it.

Maybe it means getting a grip on the spending and setting limits on the quantity and price of purchases.

Maybe it means teaching kids the benefits of helping others.  One less gift for themselves and the opportunity to pick out something for someone less fortunate.

3. Get active…

When we get busy and stressed, often the first thing to go is the exercise routine. Just 30 minutes of moderate exercise makes a huge difference in stress management.  Take the kids and the dogs and get out in the fresh air for a walk.

Weather too lousy for outdoors?  Walk at the mall.  Or move exercise into your living or family room.  Kids love games and videos – dig out the PlayStation, Xbox, Wii or Nintendo. There are great exercise games available for all of them.  Let everyone join in and it becomes playtime.

Studies have shown video exercise games are just as effective as a gym workout or a 30-minute walk.

4. Start early to reduce stress

If you wait until the last minute, things always get more stressful. Starting early can make all the difference. Shop early, bake early (and freeze), and decorate in stages. If you mail out cards or write a holiday letter… get them ready to go now.

My personal favorite part of this is shopping.  When we go on vacation…regardless of what time of year that is, I look for gifts that the recipient will love and allow them to share something from our experience.  Be sure to put them where you’ll be able to find them months later and label them with the recipient’s name.

5. Entertaining? Get guests involved.

Instead of trying to do it all, make it a potluck and let each guest contribute.  Guide them with choices so you get a nice diversity not six of the same thing.

To minimize party stress, keep it relaxed and casual.

What are your favorite ways to minimize holiday stress?  Please comment or message me.

Time to call doc?

Image of orthopedic knee pain
Acute pain can impact your life

Is it Time to Call the Doctor?

Ever get up one morning to a strange new pain?  Or maybe you were just going about your day when wham…ouch.  A part of your body that seemed just fine yesterday was extremely unhappy. Time to call the doc?

Nah,  most of us hate going to the doctor. So we decide to wait and do a bit of self-diagnosis.

We’ll take an OTC pain reliever and see what happens. Maybe we’ll try a hot bath, icing, or just rest the area.  But what if it doesn’t improve?

Let me share a story…

Last spring while it was still too cold and rainy to want to walk outside, I decided to take up yoga.  Found a good YouTube guru and followed along.  Took it nice and easy…or so I thought.

Then came stabbing pain in my groin.  First just problems going up and down stairs.

I was pretty sure I’d pulled a groin muscle and my massage therapist thought so too.  Little Advil, little ice, take it easy, stretch the muscle gently. Go for easy walks.  No improvement, nada.

A big believer in alternative medicine, I saw my chiropractor.  My pelvis was out of alignment. He got me rebalanced and things were a bit better.

Then we were in the middle of a move and discomfort got relegated to the back burner. Packing and preparing… then unpacking took precedence.  Oh, and then there was a vacation.  The pain plagued me the entire trip. Sitting for hours on the plane was the worst.

A friend mentioned hemp balm so I got some of that and tried it topically.  It did seem to alleviate the pain. But the Problem didn’t go away.

Finally – after six months I went back to my chiropractor.  Two minutes of manipulations and he told me, “Degenerative arthritis in your hip. Go see your PCP and get an x-ray.”

I did, and then went home and researched. Options could help it… yea!

The doctor’s office called the day after the x-ray and wanted to refer me to an orthopedist. I put them off and waited until I could consult with my chiropractor.  He burst my bubble.  No cartilage. Back to my PCP.

Two weeks later I finally saw the orthopedist.  He confirmed the diagnosis.  No injections would help. Only option – replacement.  So… I’ve got that scheduled.

I have to wonder…What if I’d had called the doc months ago?  How different might the last six-eight months have been?

Conclusion?

Sometimes it doesn’t pay to ignore pain or try to work through it.

WebMD advises that if acute pain doesn’t go away in a month or two, maximum… see your doctor.  If you have shooting pains or it’s worse at night, don’t wait that long.  Acute pain shouldn’t be ignored for six months!

Get pain investigated.  Call your doctor!

Join the party, Explore vibrant Hull UK City of Culture

Hull City of Culture a fun visit

The city of Hull, (actually Kingston on Hull), is this year’s City of Culture

Hull’s City Hall is the backdrop for the splash ponds that kids love.

in the UK.  I don’t know what I expected, but I found it a picturesque, vibrant and delightful place to visit.

The city is only a few miles from the village of Cottingham where my husband’s family lives and where we stayed.  My sweet mother-in-law, Dorothy was a tour guide extraordinaire.  A history buff, she gave me insights to the city and made sure I saw the hot spots. Bonus? She knew where to see all the cool stuff that doesn’t have entry fees. Most did accept donations, but there is a lot to see that won’t cost you a pence. The city has worked hard to offer a lot of free venues and numerous walking tours.

Paragon Station

Paragon Station is huge and all under cover in Hull City.

We traveled like the locals, making use of the bus which meant no need to find and pay for parking. You’ll find lots to see within an easy walk of the Paragon Transport Interchange.  While each bus follows its own route into the city, they all end up at the interchange.  This huge center opened in 1847. Once dubbed “Hudson’s Folly” because of its gigantic scale. It has been revamped and rebuilt several times to keep up with needed changes and recover from direct bomb hits in WWII.  This last year it got another update to get it ready for the tourists expected during the City of Culture events.

Paragon Station now includes 38 bus stands and 4 coach stands.  On the other side of the station are six train platforms. And all of it undercover.

Don’t dash out of the station, there is much to see here

Food stands, gift shops, and florists vie for your attention.  Want a break

Replica of Jason the plane flown by Amy Johnson

and maybe a brew?  Visit the Tigers Lair pub. This setting is the original emigrant waiting room used to keep these guests separated from the locals to minimize the risk of disease spreading.

Visit the huge statue of Philip Larkin beloved poet. In the flooring around him are slate plaques commemorating some of his poems.

You’ll also find a dimensional video commemorating William Wilberforce

Philip Larkin and guide Dorothy

who headed the movement to abolish slavery.  And look up – you’ll find a full-size repleca of the Jason, the plane Amy Johnson flew solo to Australia.

On the path…

Hull City Hall preparing for another event

There are lots of must sees. Ferens Art Galery, Hull Minster, the Deep, Queens Gardens, the marina and so much more.  The best thing you can do is stop by one of the numerous Visitor booths and friendly volunteers will be happy to share. They have walking maps based on your interests.

You can follow the Hull Firsts Trail to learn about the people and their accomplishments. Or take the Hull Blitz Trail if you

Hull Minster with shallow pools

want to learn about the people and the city enduring 86 bombing raids in WWII.

Go on a quest for Larkin’s Toads.  Many of the original 40 giant fiberglass based toads created as a commemorative fund raiser are still visible around the city.  You will find them in a wide array of colorful artwork.

Those from Hull are quite proud to be able to make the claim that they

The Deep Aquarium sits at the conflux of the river Humber and its estuary to the North Sea

kept the king out.  You can visit the spot where the famous Beverly Gate once stood. Here they refused the king entry. Thus began the Civil War.

Be sure to take your “brelly” because the weather can switch from sun to showers in a heartbeat. Thanks so much for a lovely tour Dorothy!!!!!

Schedule your trip to see touring art shows, watch an event or take in a concert. Visit the city’s website to explore your options: www.hull2017.co.uk

 

West Coast Festivals to Experience this Summer

 Experience West Coast Festivals

 
There are lots of fabulous west coast festivals to experience this summer. Here are some great events that will make a fun, memorable trip.

San Francisco Summer of Love

2017 celebrates 50 year anniversary of San Francisco Summer of Love
West Coast Festival – San Francisco Summer of Love 1967

This summer is the 50th anniversary of the “Summer of Love”. SanFrancisco is packed with event offerings and great music. Many of them are free! For a complete listing visit: http://summerof.love/events/2017-06/.
 
From April 17th until September 4, 2017, you can take a “magic carpet ride” through the city. Featuring San Francisco landmarks, the 2-1/2 hour guided tour departs three times daily. Explore the city that launched a cultural revolution.
 
You’ll visit The Embarcadero, Fisherman’s Warf, Pier 39, Coit Tower, Palace of Fine Arts, China Town, Golden Gate Bridge and more. The tour features sights and sounds from the Summer of Love – 1967.
For details visit: www.extranomical.com.

Sacramento Music Festival

 
If you like music Sacramento Music Festival is a great place to be

High Street is always a favorite band
High Street Jazz Band at Sacramento’s Music Festival

Jazz, Zydeco, Rock, Latin, Blues Sacramento Music festival has it all
Festival fans love their music

Memorial Weekend. Old Sacramento dresses up in ith holiday finest and hosts a safe, four-day party featuring LIVE music. 100 performances. Stree dancing. animated parades, instruments booming, great food and drink.

 
It’s a high energy atmosphere and so much fun. It used to be traditional jazz, but it has evolved into much more. Jazz, blues, rock, zydeco and more. Bands from around the world.
 
There are many venues and free buses whisk attendees with no parking worries. You’ll wake up to music in the morning and go to sleep with it echoing in your brain. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that makes me smile every time I remember my visits.

Portland rose Festival

Grand Floral Parade  is a highlight of Portland's 100 year tradition of the Rose Festival
Grand Floral Parade at Portland’s Rose Festival

 
Portland is often called the City of Roses. Their Rose Garden is a must see. And at Rose Festival time, you’ll see them all in bloom. Usually held in early June, this year it is May 26 – June 11, 2017. Tom McCall Waterfront Park, built on the site of a former freeway hosts the celebration.
 
Besides the festival, the week offers concerts, water races, and other events. June 3rd will be the evening Starlight Parade through downtown Portland. The week culminates with the Grand Floral Parade on June 10.
 
This year is honors the 100 years of roses at the International Rose Test Garden. For complete details visit www.rosefestival.org.

Napa Valley Festival

Napa Valley Festival features local cuisine specialties
Taste of Napa

The Napa Valley is also in the festival mode. July 14-23, 2017 will be the best of Napa.
Features include food, wine, music, dance, theater and more. They plan to offer the finest performing arts. Stars of music, dance, and theater combined with fine wine and cuisine.
Complete details are here: https://festivalnapavalley.org/
 

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Ashland Oregon is home to the Shakespearean festival
Shakespearean festival under the stars

Each year Oregon Shakespeare Festival attracts people in droves. This regional repertory theater in Ashland, Oregon is first class. The festival produces eleven plays on three stages. The season lasts from mid-February until early November.
 
The festival is set against a backdrop of pristine parks and stunning landscapes. You’ll find great food and friendly locals. For complete details visit: https://www.osfashland.org

Tall Ships

Tall ships crew works as a team to sail the vessle
Tall ships crew setting off

Ship Ahoy!! Direct from the movies, the tall ships Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain are on the move. Early in the spring, they sail from their home in Washington to San Diego.
 
Then they make their way up the coast stopping in ports and sharing their magic.
 
It’s the experience of a lifetime and if you have the opportunity, don’t miss it. Here is a link to their 2017 schedule:
http://coastexplorermagazine.com/features/tall-ships-visit-oregon-and-washington-coast-in-2017.
 

Highland Games

Professional athletes compete in highland games
Mackenzie Highland Games photos by David Postier

Highland Games are a great way to spend a day, a weekend or several. Fun for the entire family and there is probably one near you.
Bagpipes, drummers, brass, piano, harps and more. Add in the dancers, parades and the games.
Ah yes, the games. What is more fun than watching men in kilts vie for titles in arduous events? Kaber tossing (think small telephone poles). Pitching boulders, kegs, staffs and more. The events are as diverse as the games.
 
The quickest way to find an up-to-date list of Highland Games near you is a Google Search. Type in highland games and the state where you want to attend one. It may surprise you how many there are. Open to everyone, you don’t have to be English or Scottish to attend. Bring your smile and come have fun.

Discover Portland…Eclectic, Foodie, Quirky

Downtown Portland looking toward Mt. Hood
Portland looking east

Portland is Eclectic, Foodie & Quirky…

Eclectic and quirky, Portland offers diversity amidst natural beauty. You’ll find something for every type of visitor. Here where the Willamette River flows into the massive Columbia, Portland, the city of roses, spreads from the river out and up to the hills beyond. A center of Northwest history, it is the largest city in Oregon.

Straddling the River, Portland is a city of bridges. No two identical. Sunset on the east bank looking across the river and bridges to the downtown skyline is a photo opp not to miss.

Discover Portland

Discover art, music, theater, parks, biking, and hiking. Shop ‘till you drop… there’s no sales tax in Oregon. Year around Portland’s events calendar is crammed full, more than 54 of them annually.  Sure it rains here, that’s tree growing weather.  But here’s a link with 34 Things to Do in the Rain: https://www.travelportland.com/article/34-things-rain/.

Kicking off in April and running through September, outdoor events abound. On the site of a former freeway, the Tom McCall Waterfront Park attracts locals and visitors with music and festivals one after another. June attracts visitors from near and far for the granddaddy of all city parties, the Portland Rose Festival. It’s a full week of events, parades, concerts, a carnival next to the river, boat races and lots more.

On a budget?

Portland offers lots of free and inexpensive attractions and activities. Wander the neighborhoods. Portland is blessed with diverse neighborhoods full of quaint shops and awesome eats. Parks abound offering laid back or hiking experiences.

Walk one of the bridges. Hawthorne Bridge is over a century old. Tilikum Crossing is pedestrian friendly. St. Johns Bridge is tall and elegant.  All afford unique and beautiful perspectives on the city. Another great view and inexpensive treat is taking a ride on the Portland Aerial Tram.

Food scene

Portland is a food lover’s mecca. You’ll find 70 breweries in town and another 35 in the metro area. Renowned for coffee shops and food carts, you’ll also enjoy fine and family dining.  Seasonal fresh, local sourced and diverse. You’ll find vegans and carnivores munching side by side.

Explore

If you catch a bit of rain, enjoy one of the museums, galleries or bookstores. Blessed with sunshine, take a walk or hike in Washington Park, Forest Park, or the Rose Gardens. You’ll enjoy spectacular views of the city below and picturesque Mt. Hood rising majestically beyond.

For adventure, head to the Columbia Gorge 45 minutes to the east. Here you’ll find waterfalls, hiking and photo opportunities. Southwest of town about the same distance, you’ll be in the heart of the Willamette Valley wine country. More wineries than you could hope to visit in weeks, let alone a day.

Here’s a link so you can plan your Portland escape for a weekend, a week or more.  There’s lots to entertain you in the City of Roses.

https://www.travelportland.com/things-to-do/events/.

10 Tips for incorporating wellness into your travel

Wellness Lifestyle Travel

You feel good with your commitment to a healthier wellness lifestyle. Your stress is more controlled, your body feels better, and your clothes fit better. You exercise regularly. You focus your food choices on fresh organic, local, seasonal…

Now you want to maintain those choices while traveling. It can be a challenge. Long hours sitting in transit, airport and hotel food.

Here are ten tips to help you incorporate wellness into your travels.

1) Plan ahead and take favorite snack foods with you.

While you cannot take beverages through security screening, you can take

Healthy travel snacks

food. Proteins, (nuts, seeds, organic snack bars), firm fruits/vegetables, dried fruit… a little advance planning can have you feeling better about your choices.

2) Schedule time to move between flights.

Instead of racing from one flight to another, consider giving yourself a little more time. Walk the airport, explore, make use of the yoga room to stretch and rebalance. All airports have places to walk, more are adding gyms, quiet rooms and massage.

3) Check your destination hotel.

Look for those that feature healthy lifestyle choices. Fitness facilities, access to bicycles, walking paths, yoga and more. Increasingly properties are making healthy food choices available. Don’t see what you are looking for on their website? Call them and ask questions to see if they can accommodate your needs. If not, are there restaurants or grocers nearby that feature organic, seasonal local?

Use internet search engines to help you plan. Find healthy choice restaurants and grocers near where you will be staying. Keep a list of those who meet your specific preferences.

4) Locate the nearest farmer’s market.

Farmers market

This is a great place to find

Healthy travel snacks

seasonal organic items. Often they include vendors offering prepared healthy selections.

5) Ship it ahead.

Consider shipping your own care package of non-perishable foods ahead of time. On arrival, collect the package at the hotel’s business office.

6) Schedule your travel to include time dedicated to your fitness activities.

Don’t let a tight schedule prevent you from a morning walk or time at the gym.

7) Opt for in-room fitness.

Incorporate exercise

Many savvy travelers carry lightweight packable devices like stretch bands. These plus normal in-room furniture allow them to get an exercise routine in. This is a bonus if the weather is inclement or the hotel’s fitness center gets high use. Some hotels also have fitness tools available for in-room use including DVD workouts.

8) Skip the elevators… take the stairs.

If you are staying at a larger property, select a floor that coincides with your fitness level. Then instead of standing around waiting for the elevator, take those stairs.

9) Track your fitness goals.

If you don’t have a personal activity device, there are free applications you can download on your smartphone. Most can track your distance, steps, kcal, time spent and movement speed. Some can be set up with alerts and reminders.

10) Relaxation time.

Relaxation and focused breathing is a proven way to

Time to relax

destress. Work stress, travel stress, too much technology stress. All benefit from dedicated time to relax. Yoga, meditation, and massage are recognized “safety valves” to reduce stress and enhance wellbeing. Schedule some into your trip and renew.

With a little preparation and planning, your next trip can be a wellness fitness trip. You’ll feel better, be more alert, have more energy and come home rejuvenated.

Experience Tall ships under sail on the seas…

Tall Ships take you back to the 18th Century and the Era of Buccaneers…

 

Mast of the ship towers high above
Tall ship mast soars 89 ft.

Under a brilliant blue sky, the helmsman cut the trolling motor.  The silence was complete.  The 112-footlong “tall ship” wallowed in gentle swells that felt much stronger than their size.

There was no denying the power of the ocean around us. My hands gripped the nearest solid wood to steady myself against the roll. First-time sailors, my girlfriend and I caught glances and smiled. Here we were, senior citizens, ticking off a bucket list dream.

Wind whipped the sails. Wood creaked. Sailors, dressed in well-worn period garb, worked the rigging. Raising  4442 feet of sails using over 6 miles of ropes, (called rigging), and then rotating the angles of the masts to catch the wind is a complex job. It requires teamwork and precise orchestration.

Sailing…

Then the wind caught, the sails billowed and the ship surged forward cutting smoothly through the waves.  We were sailing on the ocean.

“Ladies and gentlemen,” the first mate shouted over the noise of the wind. “You are traveling at the speed that conquered the world.”  The wind whipped and billowed the tall ship’s sails. The first mate shouted commands. Sailors chanted replies over the sound of ocean swells meeting the hull.

Tall ship quietly sails under the bridge above

Skillfully, the sailors guided the brig back into the long jetty that protects the Newport, Oregon harbor.  Just off starboard, a kayaker skimmed across the water, keeping pace with little difficulty. Gulls cried, sails whipped, rigging groaned.

A dozen crew and 45 enchanted guests sailed for the next 45 minutes before heading Lady Washington back to dock. As sailors, both male and female tend to the ship, their bawdy songs provide a tempo for the work.

One of the crew sat on the deck, gathering children around her and exploring the contents of a sailor’s rucksack and telling stories. Shutters clicked as passengers tried to capture the moment. Eighty-nine feet above us the peak of the main mast towered. There is no experience like it.

Tall ships

Lady Washington is called a tall ship because of the height of her sails.  She is a full-scale replica of the original Lady Washington. Following the Revolutionary War, the original ship was refitted and set on an adventure.  She sailed around the horn in 1778 to become the first US vessel to sail the Pacific and reach the west coast.  From there she traveled for the next 10 years around the vast Pacific Ocean on trading missions.

The modern Lady Washington was launched in 1989. She is dedicated to bringing the magic of the age of tall ships to locals and visitors up and down the west coast.  Her goal to educate, excite and preserve the history of the era.

Her home is in Gig Harbor, Washington but Lady Washington spends much of her time with her crew at sea. She is famous, having appeared in several movies including “Pirates of the Caribbean: The Black Pearl.” Each year in December she departs with her companion the Hawaiian Chieftain. The two tall ships sail from Gig Harbor to San Diego, CA.

Shipmates work as a team to maneuver the tall ship

Slowly, they sail back up the west coast with numerous ports of call. School children are given tours. Living history. The public may also pay to tour the ships while docked or go for a sail.  If you want to go sailing, buy your tickets early as they generally sell out in advance in every port.

Feeling adventurous?

A limited number of guests are allowed to book passage and travel between ports with the crew. There are restrictions for these guests available on their website.

Because these are accurate historical replicas they are not handicapped accessible. But there is always a ready hand to assist guests safely on and off the ship.   For complete information on the Lady Washington and Hawaiian Chieftain, their history and their schedule please visit http://historicalseaport.org/.  Step back into history and enjoy the age and magic of the era of Buccaneers.

One of my readers commented they’d like to experience sailing but had physical challenges. Not a problem. There are companies that specialize in helping every level of ability enjoy sailing. Here are three links I found:

Voyages

https://www.connect2charity.com/sailing-for-the-disabled

Sailing

Enjoy your adventure!!!

Tall ship mast

Author: Judith Culp is a freelance wellness travel writer. She is a member of the International Travel Writers & Photographers Alliance as well as the Professional Writer’s Alliance.