Thursday, November 6, 2014

November Health Updates

This post originally appeared on Have Your Health, a past blog of mine active from 2013-14.

Three full months have passed since my last post. What have I been up to? Why the absence?

Accounting for My Time: August - October

During my school's summer break in August, my sister and grandma came to visit me in Korea for two weeks. We spent some time in Seoul and Gwangju, and then finished up in Hong Kong. I left my computer at home the entire trip.

Then I had my final week working and living in the country. I kept busy packing, cleaning, taking care of loose ends, and blogging about the recent trip with my grandma and sister. Then I spent five brief days in Tokyo where I visited a friend before continent hopping over to Europe.

I was reunited with my love, Madrid, before heading off to walk the Camino de Santiago across northern Spain for a month. And then the last two weeks of October I visited my dear friends in London.

On Halloween I spookily reappeared at my parents' front door here in the states. While I've journeyed to pockets of the globe, I've remained on this health journey as well. I'm looking forward to putting greater focus on my digestive health, now that I'm living in a place where I speak the language and have total control over how I spend my time and what I choose to eat.

November 2014 Health Update and Posts to Come

And now for the catch-all, I'd like to document where I'm at now and what you can expect in the coming weeks here on the blog.


I signed up for zumba and pilates (each meets once a week), plus a 3-month weight room pass at my town's village center. The plan is to get into a routine of going every morning at 8am, whether it's for one of my classes or lifting in the fitness center. This is good!

Fed Up

My older brother lent me the documentary "Fed Up," which I'll be watching and writing about soon.

Human Gut - American Food Project

I recently placed an order online to participate in the American Food Project - Human Gut. When the kit arrives (3-4 weeks), I'll be submitting a stool sample, and will eventually receive a list of the bacteria living in that sample, and their abundance. I'm hoping this will give me some insight to my IBS.

Soil-based Organisms Supplement

While I've previously written about why I stopped taking probiotics and other supplements, I just ordered a bottle of Swanson's Soil-based Organisms with 72 Trace Minerals. Why? My grandma told me that a distant cousin of mine had had digestive problems for many years. He started taking these capsules and within a few days felt better than he had in a long time. So I figured why not try it out, just in case? The bottle was only $10, so it's not a huge investment.

The Omnivore's Dilemma

I'm in the second half of Pollan's "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and enjoying it so much. A write-up will follow.

Month-long Challenge/Experiment

I've been telling many people that I'm going to do some sort of strict month-long diet challenge/experiment. No dairy and no meat (and no processed foods) was the original idea, though it could change. I need to solidify this soon and START! 

So I clearly haven't even started this month-long "food challenge" yet, but I'm already meeting some resistance. My grandma keeps telling me to start it after Thanksgiving; she really wants me to eat everything she makes for the holiday, but I'm fine with skipping it. Also, living with my parents there's a ton of food around that I shouldn't eat. Certain things are really easy to avoid (Kraft Mac & Cheese, for example... there's no way I would ever open and cook you!), but others are a lot more tempting (like the dark chocolate M&Ms that live in the almond container).

So while I'm happy to be home (and not paying rent...), sharing a kitchen with others who eat very differently from me does pose its difficulties. I've got to sit down and make a plan, and then stick to it. I might be ordering a spiralizer, too, to help consume more plants. So that's where I've been, where I am, and where I'm headed. How are you doing?
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