If you’d ask many people, my family included, they would come up with a variety of reasons why I picked up this nasty cold while on my vacation. But the truth is, poor sleep for 17 consecutive days is what did me in. I did this to myself through a variety of mechanisms.
Today in cause # 1: Excess inflammation from poor quality food.
Inflammation in small doses can play an important role in healing, think a swollen ankle to help repair damage. Inflammation in excess is the root cause for pretty much every disease and affliction. Health and longevity come down to having strong mitochondria (the power plants in essentially every one of our cells that produce our energy). Too much inflammation weakens and even destroys our mitochondria to the point where we can’t produce enough energy to fight off disease. We start to feel and look old and sick.
The first major cause was massive inflammation through eating shitty food. I had one quality meal on my entire 17-day journey. What I mean by this, is food that I would normally eat at home, not packaged, not highly processed, or cooked with industrial seed oils. There were even a number of days where the only option was fast food due to time and travel constraints.
While it would be very difficult to be 100% perfect in your nutrition even at home, when you’re out in foreign locations you sometimes have to just try the best you can. Also, just like at home I had some meals with friends and distant relatives. These were some of the most cherished times on my trip, and I wouldn’t change it, but still, not the type of food I would normally eat if I was at home.
I booked this trip very last minute, and during peak summer season, I was stuck with what I could get for accommodations. It really drove home the point that I need to have a place that has a full kitchen so I can prepare meals as I would at home. For the middle part of my trip, I wish I would have investigated renting a condo or similar.
I know this next statement is going to piss a bunch of you off (especially you foodies), but while it can taste yummy, and be presented fantastically, most restaurant food sucks from a healthy mitochondria perspective. My parents were in the restaurant business their entire lives, I grew up into it. I know how the industry works, even at high-end places margins are razor thin, and what can be skimped on, will be skimped on.
This excessive inflammation from these poor choices, led to increased resting heart rates, increased body temperature and increased disturbances…all of which led to a poor night of sleep, particularly deep sleep. All of these metrics were captured via my Oura Ring.
Be on the lookout for cause #2 tomorrow.