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Editorial: Travel Light, but Travel Right!

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Travel Light, but Travel Right!

by Morgan Jones

25 April 2003

Take me on a trip upon your magic swirling ship,
My senses have been stripped,
My hands can't feel to grip,
My toes too numb to step.


       Robert Zimmerman, 1964


Do you know the question we, as macrobiotic teachers, get asked most frequently? (OK, in my personal case it could be “Who was that gorgeous woman I saw you with?” But I digress.)

“What do you do when you travel?” our students ask us over and over.

Do you feel a little like Dylan on a bad trip when you have to go out of town on business? Are you working to integrate intentional eating into your life to improve your health and increase your stamina, but find yourself at a complete loss as to how to maintain your regimen when friends invite you to join them at Chuy's for nachos and Negro Modelo? Does the vending machine at work seem like your best friend on those days when you get up a little late and don't have time to make a balancing and sustaining meal to pack in your lunch box?

I am an expert on travel. Before making macrobiotics my new religion (replacing a philosophy of life based loosely
pun intendedon the collected lyrics of The Rolling Stones' two Hot Rocks double albums), I spent over two decades running computer hardware and software ventures. And this meant one thing: Road trips! One after another, it seemed.

“How was London? Madrid? Vail? Cambridge? Boston?” my friends would ask. I would always answer: “Well, they have nice airports and a bunch of very cool computers.”

But all was not as wonderful as my witty response would suggest. In this pre-macro epoch, I often had to push myself to accomplish my goals on these trips. I would arrive at my destination in a stupor, weakened by working like a maniac right up to the moment I had to leave for the airport and after enduring yet another long flight featuring bad airplane food (I guess that's redundant). While on the road I would drag myself through a 60-hour work weeks, and gorge at countless 3-hour business dinners at the finest restaurants, all the while suffering from low energy and brain fog for the duration of my stay.

And what was my reward for such heroic efforts? I would return home wiped out both physically and mentally, all too frequently with yet another upper-respiratory infection that would last for weeks. Oh, and it was a good trip when I could remember which parking lot I had left my car in.

That was then ... this is now!

What a difference a Way makes!

Now when I travel I have even more energy than when I stay home. And, yes, this includes those last-minute business trips loaded with stress-producing challenges. And I never bring home a cold—just a sense of accomplishment and a peacefulness derived from knowing that I can live my 21st-century life while putting my own well-being first on my too-long to-do list. After all, how can I do my best for my business, my family, my friends, and our students, if I don't maintain my own health and vitality?

After giving out the answer for free a couple of hundred times, my friend Dawn Steinborn figured she ought to put together a class to explain how to eat for maximum health and energy on the road (and maybe make a few bucks in the process). So check out the class schedule at The Natural Epicurean (the healing-cuisine cooking school in Austin) for the next Travel Foods class to hear Dawn explain how to:


Plan and prepare food for travel


Make meals that need no refrigeration


Eat your favorite, delicious foods on the road


Eat to counter the stress of travel


Utilize the 5 most portable nutritional resources

Come join us on our macrobiotic adventure and next time you will feel more like ...

Hey! Mr. Tambourine Man,
Play a song for me,
In the jingle jangle morning I'll come followin' you.

I'm ready to go anywhere,
I'm ready for to fade,
Into my own parade,
Cast your dancing spell my way,
I promise to go wanderin'.

Just remember to pack your organic Tempeh-Sauerkraut-Mustard Vegetarian Sushi before you go. Like my dad (you remember my dad) always said: “Travel light, but travel right.”

And y'all come back. Ya hear?


Peace, love, and brown rice,


Last modified: 02/21/05