I'm still feeling okay, so I hope this "pre-sick feeling" doesn't progress any further. I've been popping additional zinc, Vitamin C, and Echinacea, just to be sure. I will admit, I'm a bit of a health nut, and I have been for quite a while. I take a few supplements and I'm very conscious of many things regarding my health. The honest truth is that I strongly want my teeth & hair to be strong, I hope to "age well," I want to feel continually healthy & aware, and I don't want to be plagued with any problems that I can knowingly prevent.
I know that writing about nutrition and what I eat may not seem like it fits in with this topic of "living in a van." Actually, I think it fits very well: When you live in a van, you pretty much have to be conscious of your health, because admit it - It would be downright miserable to be sick and have to lay around inside your vehicle. No fun whatsoever. Plus, if you get sick & live in your vehicle, you'd better find yourself a good parking space, because you are probably not going to feel like driving around very much. I want to live a very long, healthy, and happy life. I want others that I care about to do the same. I deem "what you put into your body" (especially when you are living on the road) to be a very important topic.
I love reading, and I am always in the middle of one book or another. I am currently between pages in two terrific ones, and it is surely no surprise that they are regarding health (perhaps becoming a nutritionist would be right up my alley):
"In Defense of Food - An Eater's Manifesto," by Michael Pollan
"Cure Tooth Decay - Heal & Prevent Cavities with Nutrition," by Ramiel Nagel
Both are excellent books, really making me think about how the American Diet today is so different from the diet of our great grandparents. We are living in an age of obesity, where people are now trying way too-hard to eat "right," when all we really have to do is eat "real food." People are eating so many "low-fat" products & "zero-calorie" caffeine drinks that are loaded with chemically-altered fake-sweeteners that are causing cancer, not to mention other things. I believe Michael Pollan sums it up perfectly, by saying, "Eat Food. Not Too Much. Mostly Plants."
I have read so many articles and books regarding nutrition, trying to figure out the best of all the information out there. It is quite a task, trying to pull the best aspects out of different diets (Adkins Diet, Abs Diet, Juice Fasts, Raw-Foodism, Vegan, Vegetarian, High-Fat, Low-Fat...) and create the ultimate diet for yourself, without becoming an obsessive health freak. :-) There are hundreds of supplements people can take, and certain ones supposedly need certain others to help them absorb properly, etc. What a mess! Ideal health shouldn't be so complicated, although, at this point, I really don't think it is.
I guess I consider myself to be semi-vegetarian with raw-foodist & vegan tendencies - I do eat fish, chicken, turkey, and beef, BUT no pork or pasteurized dairy products for me. I also believe that it is ok to eat small amounts of ANYTHING, as long as it is 100% "real" food. I am getting to the point where I don't want to eat anything that contains ingredients that I can't read out-loud, don't know what they are, or have never heard of. I won't go near hydrogenated oils, "low-fat" products, artificial sweeteners (aspartame, splenda...), margarine, or anything that has been chemically altered. I don't eat things that are man-made. I will never own a microwave again or use one to heat my food (stove-tops, ovens, or over a fire will work just fine). I prefer to eat eggs that only come from cage-free, grass-fed chickens. There are lots of little things like that that I believe in... Things just used to be so different "back in the day," they farmed differently, certain diseases & cancers weren't as much of a problem, and people weren't eating the packaged food-like products that are sold today. I am using the method of trying the best that I can to eat only things that my great-great grandmother would most-likely recognize as actual food.
I do love the taste of food, so I do eat a variety when I can. I do not just eat salads and vitamins. Lately (for convenience & storage reasons) I've mostly been eating non-perishables like peanuts, apples, shredded wheat with almond milk, turkey-jerky, PB & Jam sandwiches, and goji-berry/pine-nut trail mix, but today I had a whole-grain bagel with real butter (cream & salt) and a piece of grilled salmon (on a bed of veggies) from the natural-food store nearby. I really am not a fan of taking supplements, but I do take a couple (and they make me feel terrific, not to sound like an infomercial): A multi-vitamin, cod-liver oil, a chocolate calcium chew, and spirulina. I also love wheatgrass juice, whenever I can find it.
I know that everyone eats differently, and what works for one person won't necessarily work for another. I am also constantly changing-up my diet, since I love lots of different foods, and, lets be realistic here, I live in my van. Many of my favorite things can't be easily made inside a van, so visiting with friends is an ideal situation for utilizing their kitchen and whipping up those things that you've been missing out on. In my case, that would include making some delicious cabbage rolls, baking a little home-made granola, cooking up a pot of steaming white-chicken chili, or blending up some powerful green smoothies. In fact, back when I was drinking a green-smoothie every day, my hair and skin were the healthiest that they have ever been in my entire life. The power of greens is truly amazing.
I think what I really miss most is having a kitchen. I have always loved to bake & cook things from scatch. (It's never been Betty Crocker cake-mixes for me!)... In storage, I've still got my bread-machine, my food dehydrator, and my soy-milk maker, all of which used to get many hours of use. They are patiently waiting for my return. Someday I'm sure we will be re-united, but until then, I will just enjoy where my time takes me without them.
Back in my old apartment, this was my first attempt at making a green smoothie (Peaches & Parsley (or was it Spinach?) in this particular one, and it tasted wonderful!!). Obviously it was my first attempt, as I didn't realize I was putting in way too much...
Another green smoothie, but this one was made in my brother's kitchen, while I was living in my van & parked in his driveway... Mmm. They really aren't disgusting at all, even though you might be tempted to think so: