How To Travel Safely Using Group Touring

I am a person who enjoys traveling, and there many places I want to go. But due to my health issues, I often times find myself putting off trips to take care of my physical health – especially during a flare up. But I feel that if you are passionate about something, you should pursue it to the fullest extent. That’s why I have started to do a lot more traveling, regardless of whether I’m sick or not.

But if you’re a solo traveler there are a lot more things you have to worry about, the most important of which is personal safety. Since I am the type of person and likes to travel off the beaten path I oftentimes worry that I may find myself in a dangerous situation. To remedy this, I have decided to start doing group tours with a few of my friends. Group tours are great – especially if they’re done with smaller groups.

There are many different companies out there that specialize in offering tours to people. However most of them are owned by big corporations and will oftentimes operate the tours with very large groups, and will not offer the amount of sightseeing locations a smaller tour company would.

I have a friend who is an experienced traveler, and he recently recommended me OriginalWorld. Original World is a smaller company that specializes in cultural and historic tours to many interesting places. We recently took a trip with them in and had an absolute blast. They kept the group small with 5 to 10 people, and used local guides, which was a major plus in my book. Specifically, we took their Balkans explorer tour which gave us an amazing peak at many different museums and historical landmarks throughout Eastern Europe. The tour started in Bosnia, and went through Montenegro, Albania, Kosovo, and ended in Serbia.

I especially like the town of Kotor, which is a UNESCO world heritage site. Highlights include into the Venetian fortifications, the maritime gate and the city walls which is quite unique looking, and the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon in the old town area.

kopaonik  sait try

The tour continued on to interesting places in Kosovo on Serbia, and I especially enjoyed to drive along the valley of the river Ivar. It was very scenic and ended in one of my favorite part of the trip Kopaonik – the giant park and another UNESCO heritage site. The park is a ski resort journal winner, but luckily the newer their in the summer so was quite beautiful. It kind of reminded me of Yellowstone – another great place to tour that isn’t so far away!

river kotor

All in all, I had a blast. Original world travel really raises the bar when it comes to group tours. Their attention to detail, and hand knowledge of the locations and local cultures can’t be beat. They really do offer personalized experience and I was very pleasantly satisfied.

So if you are a bit squeamish about traveling alone, consider the above. Choosing a good small tour company will take a lot of the hassle town of planning your travels and we’ll give you peace of mind as well.

Supplements~

I am not a big fan of supplements. I think most of them are rubbish and contain unknown toxins or heavy metals. Don’t believe me? I recently read an article that compared the test results of 52 separate supplements on the market. Only 2 tested negative for contaminants! Some of them even had things like lead and arsenic in them. The study also claimed that some people have been incurring liver damage from supplement use. All this contamination is due to the fact that the supplement market is completely unregulated. Supplements don’t go through the stringent testing that other things like food and drugs do, so manufactures are more prone to cut corners.

This is bad in and of itself, but as a raw foodie I have always felt that you should consume your nutrients in as close to their original form as possible. There is a great deal of debate out there about the effectiveness of supplements since they are essentially just highly refined herbs. Many are treated with high heat to ensure bacteria removal and this causes them to lose a great deal of their nutrients or become toxic to the body.

With that said, I don’t feel that all supplements are bad.I am a big fan of Camu Camu berry and certain fish oils. Camu Camu berry has around 225mg of vitamin C per teaspoon. This is almost 3 times that of a whole orange! The great thing about Camu Camu is that it can be purchased in an unrefined state, so there is less risk of contamination.

Fish oils are great due to their almighty omega fatty acids. Fatty acids are needed by almost every system in the body, including the brain and the heart. I always supplement with a little fish oil when I get tried of eating fish. The good thing about fish oils is that some manufactures do their own testing, and the better quality fish oils will come from wild caught fish. So make sure you do your research before you buy. Take a look here at this list for a quick comparison.

As a raw foodie I always try to ensure I am getting all my fatty acids in a timely manner. This is to ensure I don’t become deficient in vitamin B12. Unfortunately vitamin B12 deficiency is common among vegans/vegetarians and even semi vegans like myself. This is due to the fact that we consume very little or no animal products. Supplementing with fish oil should help alleviate this.

I know that this may go against most vegans belief systems, but I feel that there are some things your body just can live without, and Omegas3s are a big one! :)

Raw Food~

I want to use this post to talk about raw food and its benefits. I am a big fan of raw food diets and I practice them religiously. I feel that consuming food in its raw, natural state is the most healthy way to eat because food in its natural form has more nutrients in it than cooked food. Well, that’s a simple way of putting it.

Here’s a more thorough explanation: the theory is that when you cook food it chemically alters the structure of the nutrients contained therein. This causes the food to damaged, or toxic. When you eat cooked food your body has to work harder to break down and dispose of these toxins. Secondly, raw food contains special living enzymes that rebuild the body’s systems and help with your digestion. The moment you start to cook food above 104° F, these enzymes die off leaving you with what we raw foodies call “dead food”. This dead food also contains high amounts of free radicals and a chemical called HCA. Free radicals cause lots of nasty damage to the body, but HCA has been proven to cause cancer in animals! Hows scary is that?

Those are the major benefits, but there are other minor benefits to a raw food diet as well. The most important thing that I can think of would be the beneficial bacteria contained in uncooked food. Like I said before, when your food is cooked you not only gain toxins but you loose the good bacteria as well as the bad. The good bacteria are impotent since they help so much with digestion. If you are a long time Celiac disease sufferer like me than you might have bad digestion as well. Sadly, this is common among many Celiac disease patients.

Now when I consume raw foods I always make sure they are organic, I try to avoid anything with pesticides or additives. These can cause problems in their own right. But that’s a post for another day. Instead I will try and give you some general guidelines that we raw foodies follow, if you ever want to try this yourself that is.

* No cooked, pasteurized, or homogenized food of any kind. this includes oils and roasted nuts
* No food additives, preservatives, or food dyes of any type.
* Avoid stimulants like tobacco, liqueur, and caffeine.
* Try to avoid drinking tap water. RO or distilled water would be better.
* Foods that are o.k to eat raw: fruits, vegetables, nuts(although you should soak them first), sushi, some meats, kombucha, milk, and kefir.
* It is advisable to avoid lentils, since they are difficult to consume raw.

And that’s it. Easy right? Well there is one thing you need to be careful about: detox. That’s right. When you are someone who has eaten a life long diet of cooked, processed, rubbishy foods, you build up a great deal of toxins. When you suddenly change you diet the body wil begin to release these toxins out off pretty much everywhere. It is kind of similar to what an alcoholic goes through. Many people who go on a raw food diet for the first time get flu like symptoms and diarrhea. This is just your body’s response to receive wholesome food for what is most likely the first time in your life! But seriously, if your not ready detox can be a huge shock. Its best to start your diet during a time in your life when you have some time off from work, since the first few days are often the worse. After this period the symptoms will gradually subside as the body empty’s itself of toxins.

One last thing. In the raw food movement there are many who believe that to be truly raw you should only consume fruits, vegetables, and nuts. Basically raw vegan-ism. I have tried this in the past and have found that it can be tough to keep up in the long run due to lack of calories. You have to eat a lot of nuts and vegetables to equal one steak! What I have found is that a little meat a couple times a week in the form of sushi, tartare, or eggs makes it much easier to stick to the diet over the long term. I always ensure that any meat I consume comes from grass fed animals or wild caught/grazed animals.

Well that’s it for my raw food guidelines. I like to think of my raw food diet as a lifestyle change. This has helped me make a lasting change in the way I eat. Having the right attitude about your diet can make all the difference since it will keep you from sinking back into the old and unhealthy eating habits.

Have a rawsome day!

raw

Welcome~

Hello everyone! my name is Sacha and this is my blog for everyone who has to cope with debilitating diseases. As a young child I suffered from debilitating and chronic auto immune disorders – mainly Infantile Batten disease. When I became an adult I discovered I also was gluten intolerant, which meant that I had celiac disease as well. If you have ever been diagnosed with an illness you know how difficult your life can become, especially if you are very young like I was. I had to cope with many dietary and lifestyle changes at a young age and this has inspired me to pursue a career in the health field so that I can help others cope with their conditions and live a better life.

In this blog i mainly write about my day to day life and the treatments i have used to help my celiac disease and diabetes. I am a strong supporter of alternative medicine and yoga because these have helped me a great deal with my conditions over the years. I also practice a mostly raw, gluten free diet. I still eat a little cooked meat every now and then. I feel that with the right diet and choosing to consume only wholesome and organic foods that almost any disease can be cured. Due to my strict diet and regular supplementation I have greatly reduced the amount of flare ups that occur from my Celiac/Batten disease.

Since this is my first post, I thought I would give a brief explanation of what celiac disease is and its causes and symptoms. Basically, celiac disease is a auto immune disease where the tissue of the small intestine is attacked by the body. This causes the intestinal villi to shorten, which results in reduced or no nutrient digestion. Ceilaic disease occurs in a small number for people with certain genetic predispositions. It is caused by gluten, which is a grain protein found mostly in wheat, barley, and rye. The are very few early warning signs, however the major symptoms can include: constant and chronic fatique, anemia, chronic constipation, and inflammation of the intestinal tract, which can be quite painful. These symptoms are mostly due to the fact that when your small intestine is damaged it is much harder for the body to breakdown nutrients and vitamins. If you become deficient is certain vitamins this can lead to even further complications. Many celiac disease sufferers often come down with osteoporosis and hyperthyroidism due to malabsorption of vitamin D.

Unfortunately there is no known treatment fro celiac disease except for abstaining from gluten consumption. This means avoid all wheat/barley/rye products and sometimes even other grains as well. If you believe you may be gluten intolerant there are several tests that can be done to determine if you do in fact have celiac disease. The least invasive test is a quick blood test. A blood test will show abnormal antibody activity if your small intestine is inflamed or fighting an infection. The doctor will be able to tell you if you have this condition but only if you are not on a grain free diet already. So if you are planning on getting tested it would be wise to wait until after the test to start your gluten free lifestyle.

I have discovered that i can eat -some- grains, but this may not be the case for everyone. There has been very little research in this area but it is generally considered that less than 10 mg a day of gluten is tolerable and will not cause complications. If you are extremely sensitive than it is better to avoid all gluten completely. There are many gluten free products available in stores today but although they say gluten free most still contain trace amounts of gluten. Its is better to cook all your meals yourself  to prevent flare ups. If you are someone who doesn’t like to cook than you best bet is to avoid all wheat products completely to be one the safe side.

I do enjoy cooking and have come across many delicious gluten free recipes over the years. Here are a few easy recipes that anyone can make:

Stuffed Zuchini

8 medium zucchinis
1 large onion, chopped
1 green bell pepper
3 tomatoes
1 tsp parsley
1 glove garlic
red leaf lettuce
4-6 tbsp dressing

Start by baking the zucchini on very low heat until about halfway cooked. Slice both ends of them lengthwise and remove the seeds from the interior. Add in some dressing and chopped onions. You can put this to the side to marinate and start on preparing the stuffing. Chop the pepper, tomatoes, and parsley and mix it together with the crushed garlic. Mix this in with the chopped zucchini from earlier. Add to the hollowed out zucchini and serve on red leaf lettuce.

Fruit Salad

3 red apples
lemon juice
1 medium cabbage
1 large carrot
2 bell peppers
2 sticks of celery
1 red onion
watercress
cottage cheese

Chop apples and remove cores. Pour lemon juice over apple bits and leave to the side for 10 minutes. Mince cabbage to a fine shred. Grate/peel carrot. Slice red pepper into thin slices and do the same with the celery. Ensure cottage cheese is room temperature and add to large bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and toss. Garnish with the watercress.

Apple Fennel Soup

1 lb potatoes
2 bulbs of fennel
2 leeks
2 granny smith apples
1 tsp sugar
1 green apple

Ensure potatoes are peeled and finely diced. Chop fennel, dice the leeks, and core/slice the apples into fine bits. Place into large pot and cover just slightly with water. Bring water to boil, turn down and simmer until ingredients are well cooked. Place in blender and add chopped apples to the mix. Can be served hot or cold.

So there you have it. I hope this post was somewhat informative and useful. Next time I hope to write about more diet choices and maybe even some home remedies! Thanks for reading!