Life on the road is totally different from home.
Eating healthily is a challenge, because you don’t have the habit-inducing luxuries of dining rooms, tables, a personal fridge, your favourite spices and condiments, never mind regular mealtimes…
The mainstays (and saving graces) of my on-the-road rockstar diet were:
Produce: Apples (crisp varieties that bruise less); Oranges; Carrots; Grapes; Tomatoes (cherry and vine varieties)
Protein: Almonds / Nuts; Plain, 0% fat greek yogourt; Peanut Butter; Fruition vegan pate (available at the HFX Seaport Farmer’s Market); Hummus; and one entire chicken I consumed in the van.
Grains: Schoolhouse Gluten-Free Granola; Silver Hills Sprouted Grain bread & bagels
Drinks: Water, Coffee, Apple Juice (not from concentrate)
Exercise was sparse: I achieved one three-kilometre run, four mini yoga practices (5-10 minutes), and three mini squat/pushup/lunges workouts. (mini, as in 5 minutes max.) Writing it down now, it doesn’t look too bad, but you have to take into account how much time I spent most days sitting on my butt in a van, unable to move even a bit.
Stress levels: Judging from my poor health on this trip (A lingering and severe UTI, a yeast infection, and a cold/flu by the end of the trip) my stress levels were very high. The biggest stress factor was lack of sleep. I began the trip already exhausted from a few weeks of variable insomnia, and never caught up.
Whereas in home-life, I run on to-do lists and caffeine, on tour I spent uninterrupted quality-time with my exhaustion. Without distractions and ways to physically keep my blood flowing, the cumulative hours of lost sleep were a constant presence. I felt truly bone-weary.
Psychological stress factors also played a part – the loneliness of being without my close friends (and roaming charges prevent phone calls); the pain of visiting my family for fewer than 24 hours and having to leave again… Guilt and loneliness are BIG food triggers for me. Food offers savoury consolation. Exhausted in every way, on the final drive home I gave in and got chicken strips and a strawberry milkshake from Burger King. It was delicious, and I feel okay about this.
IN CONCLUSION (or, Lessons Learned)
– Next time I tour, I must plan to have good chats with my close friends every couple of days. My best friends keep me sane. I’m sure calling cards and skype can help me out.
– It is imperative that I get a couple good nights’ rest BEFORE I hit the road. Short nights are unavoidable on tour, but at least I can start out with a full tank of fuel. Likewise, I have to do everything I can do be in optimal health before I hit the road. Starting this tour with a UTI was a nightmare.
– a well-packed cooler full of produce, good grains and protein saved my diet many times on this trip. Must do this again.
– Bring a yoga mat so that I can do a few more practices. Yoga has amazing benefits for sleep and stress, my two biggest issues on this tour.
– Insist on getting groceries when you run out.
It was great to go on tour, and it’s good to be home.