Updated: 4 days ago
Yes. I am taking a vacation!
This won't be a long entry in our blog.
Of course I got up ridiculously early, actually my normal time of getting up, sad but true.
Had my usual breakfast and called Uber to get to JFK.
Of course, like life, it's a lot more complicated.
First of all we are now in the COVID Era. You have to get COVID tested before you can board a plane. You can go to a pharmacy, and pay for it, or you can go to your free federally funded community health center. Just type COVID testing center near you in your browser and you will see all locations. I did mine at the community health center. Fast. Easy. Free.
I got my COVID test result by text in 2 days. Thankfully, I was negative!
Now let's let's get back to our trip.
I am traveling light and I am traveling within the USA. This has a lot of advantages. I can easily find anything that I need or left behind.
Most important is to make sure you have all your medications with you.
Some of my essential medications are aspirin and an antihistamine for allergies.
Aspirin is for blood clots while being trapped in my seat. Dehydration and immobility are a perfect set up for Deep Venous Thrombosis or blood clots. Those of you who like to hydrate with an alcoholic drink, be careful. Alcohol acts as a diuretic and the alcohol will actually make you more dehydrated. The aspirin will keep your blood "thin" and much less likely to clot.
I try not to sit down too much at the airport since I will be sitting on the plane for hours.
Truth be told, I move my legs constantly while seated, to keep the circulation going.
I avoid salty food while on the plane. Salt will make you more dehydrated, again a set up for blood clots.
In case you think I am making a big deal about blood clots, I should tell you they are not that rare. One of my colleagues came back from Europe and he was short of breath. Turns out he had a massive pulmonary embolus and almost died!
Young women are especially at risk if they are on birth control medications since they predispose to blood clots anyway.
Enough about blood clots.
I have a very sensitive nose and as soon as I get onto an airplane I get allergic rhinitis. I personally take Zyrtec which I buy at Costco. I keep Benadryl with me as well, both for allergies, possible allergic reaction, and as a mild sleeping pill. Yes, Benadryl is an essential medicine and worth carrying with you.
The air on planes is partially recycled. The outside temperature at 35,000 feet is 60 degrees below zero. We would freeze to death if the air was not recycled and heated!
Any air conditioner eventually gets loaded with dust.
Supposedly, the air on planes is filtered and getting an infection from the conditioned air is not likely.
The close proximity of passengers, especially if they don't wear masks, is a perfect set up to catch a cold or upper respiratory tract infection. This is why many of us get a cold when we get back from our one week vacation. If you're lucky enough to get away for more than one week, then you can enjoy your newly acquired cold on your vacation.
Of course you wouldn't get sick if masks were mandated for anyone with a fever and/or respiratory symptoms like a runny nose or cough. I am always amazed how people immediately say they have allergies when confronted about their symptoms. They say that because they need the money and can't afford to take time off from work. I would usually offer them a mask. If they didn't wear it, I kept my distance. This is always a good practice not only on airplanes but also at work where you are trapped and need to work closely with your coworkers. Maybe we will keep this in mind long after COVID is gone.
Anyway, we're about to take off and I will finish this later. Take care!
We made it!!!
The flight was remarkably pleasant. Passengers were separated by an empty seat to maintain "social distancing." Who comes up with these words anyway. I would have chosen "anti-social distancing" since we don't want to get too close and socialize!
No free food or drink was served on my flight, which is just as well because I didn't want any.
Water would have been nice but I hydrated myself well before boarding. Many people fill up their empty bottles at the water cooler at the airport. I don't. That water, like the free water at the restaurant is unfiltered and usually tastes nasty from sitting stagnant in all the extra coils for cooling. Apparently water coolers have an unhealthy amount of lead from all the connections, as we discovered throughout our national school systems. Water from the water cooler can easily be contaminated by people putting lips onto the spout. You're taking your chances with candida, an oral yeast infection. This is especially true in restaurants, I am sorry to report. In any case, if it was a long trip, I would certainly have invested in a bottle of water.
The food on my flight, if you paid for it, was potato chips. Delicious but deadly. Full of salt and nearly 100% carbohydrate. A diabetic nightmare.
As a matter of fact all fast foods are a diabetic nightmare. Fast foods require massive amounts of insulin.
For those of us that don't have diabetes, don't celebrate. A pound of fast food on your flight will turn into a pound of fat including cholesterol before you touch down (a slight exaggeration). Humans are very efficient at storing fat . This fact helped us survive from the beginning of our specie. Early humans went for weeks between meals. Fat stores was our survival tactic, early on. Now that we have aplenty, it's a curse!
For those of you out there that believe you will exercise a little and just burn off that fat, don't fool yourselves. Burning fat is difficult. First you need to switch your metabolism into a ketotic starvation mode. Second, fat is very high energy. You would have to walk 35 miles to lose 1 pound of fat!
(1 pound of fat 3500 calories, you burn 100 calories per mile).
If you are seriously overweight and decide to walk 35 miles, besides ruining your shoes, besides risking skin break down with blisters and bullae on your feet, you risk fasciitis from stressing the ligaments and tendons.
The answer: don't eat a pound of potato chips or cake or pizza or any other carbohydrate!
To lose weight you don't need crazy exercise.
All you need is modest exercise to keep your metabolism in non-starvation or hibernation mode.
Your body needs a lot of energy just to stay alive. Everything from brain activity to breathing and your heart beating uses energy. All the vital systems don't shut down even when you're sleeping. You burn up to 2500 calories a day from just living. If you don't replace those calories you will lose weight. It's that simple. Not that complicated.
If you don't eat carbs, then you cannot add fat to your body. Remember the Eskimo diet or Atkins.
Think of your weight as a steady orbit of an electron. If you are 20 pounds overweight, you have probably been 20 pounds overweight for months or years.
All I am suggesting is that you can lose those 20 pounds, roughly 1 to 2 pounds per week, then you can actually go back to to your current diet. After all you're at steady state or in a stable orbit now. Once you lose the weight, you could eat exactly what you're eating now if you wanted to!
Or, once you lose the weight you might choose to continue to make improvements. Muscle building and endurance to fight gravity and feel light on your feet.
Once you lose weight you might choose to get all of your vital organs into their best possible shape, which is the key to longevity.
We will get into brain health, cardiovascular health, gastrointestinal health, and renal health shortly.
Until next time, take care!