Recently, I have decided to dedicate my blog to something a little more than just travel and coffee; The Traveler’s Mug will always be, but I do want to direct more attention to healthy living. We change and adjust our lifestyles when we travel, but sometimes we forget that we must adjust to different obstacles we run into in everyday life.
The process of finding out what’s going on with your body is a lengthy and exhausting one, and definitely not as exciting as going on a trip. I’ve been from doctor to doctor, doing test after test to see what the hell has been going on with me the last five months. I read up on everything I could possibly have, and one of the biggest contributing elements to gut related illnesses happens to be one of my favorite things; food.
Gluten free, lactose free, low FOD map, paleo; you name the diet, I’ve probably tried it. Some of these diet trials lasted longer than others, but I needed to see if anything could get my symptoms and pain under control.
I traveled for a month in July, when my symptoms were at their absolute worst. It is difficult sticking to diets while traveling, especially in underdeveloped countries like Albania. My struggle of trying to avoid glutenous items pushed me into consuming fresh foods that I would never think could be problematic to my gut, like Greek salad for example. The healthy meal consists of tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, feta cheese and olives. Seems neutral, right? Well it turned out those were some of the foods actually causing my flareups to persist.
After hearing my problem could have been a handful of different things, it was concluded when I arrived home that I’ve been dealing with Ulcerative Colitis, a form of IBD, similar to Crohn’s Disease. And while getting a diagnoses isn’t a solution of any kind, finally receiving one after months of testing feels like a breath of fresh air.
Life is hard, as is travel. Travel is glorified and hyped up because honestly, we try to remember the good things and forget the bad, especially after traveling to new and beautiful places. When we get home or move onto the next place, getting lost at 4 a.m., eating food that made you feel not-so-great or simply being homesick slips our minds. This mentality works in such an amazing way; while it obviously has its downsides, we are able to focus on the good and rid ourselves of the bad. This is what I would like to apply to my life at this time, forget the bad and the symptoms and embrace the positive improvements being made within my mind and body.
I can’t wait to keep learning and share more of this little journey with everyone!