Look how skinny I’ve gotten – compared to 10 years ago, on vacation, in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico.
I think I must be down close to my high school weight. I’m probably somewhere between 165 to 170 pounds. The last ‘scale weighing’ was at the doctor (a dermatologist) in Chiang Mai, Thailand, nearly a year ago. The reading: 80kilos (176 lbs.). For the past 25 years I’ve mostly been 185 to 190.
Ultimate Earth Vagabond diet secret
I’ve been losing weight steadily since we started our early retired budget traveling. Maybe I should write a book called ‘The Vagabond Diet’? Or now, ‘The Quarantine Diet’. Seems as legitimate as all the other weight loss schemes out there.
But here – for free – is the secret: I don’t eat.
Well, not much. Honestly, for most of the time we’ve spent roaming around the earth in the last four-and-a-half years, it has been hot. And for me, burning, broiling, and baking in the sun does NOT make me hungry.
Thirsty, yes! In fact, I’d estimate 30, 40, 50 percent of my caloric intake at times has been from beer! But eating regular, healthy, nutritionally complete meals just hasn’t happened. Thus, I continue to slowly shrink.
I think I’m ok. I feel pretty good. Normal. And I have cut down on the beer while in quarantine the past two months here in Malay, Aklan, Panay, Philippines. An alcohol ban has been in effect. I’ve had to ration the remaining supply at our small resort.
The last total physical I had was in August 2018, in Zagreb, Croatia. There, I visited a group practice of specialists for a complete evaluation due to my ongoing pinched-nerve/bulging-disk neck issues. Everything checked out OK; a bevy of tests and scans using nice, state-of-the-art machines and facilities. (Total cost: $375!) The final analysis: aging. The same diagnosis as in the USA five years previous.
Nonetheless, since there is little else to do – and I’m still shrinking – I’ve recently started to pay closer attention to eating better.
For one, I effort to have some kind of breakfast — not something I’ve ever really done. During my ‘work years’ I’d grab a muffin or bagel or a piece of fruit as I’d head out the door — always with a mug full of coffee.
Now every morn I have a few cups of coffee with some kind of fruit, an egg or two, and some bread – usually with peanut butter. Protein.
In addition, I’m drinking a mug of “Milo” or what I call ‘vitamin milk’; powdered, vitamin fortified, drink mix – popular in developing countries.
It’s a way to assure and boost daily vitamin intake. I did take daily multi-vitamins (and fish oil) for most of my adult life. But they are difficult to find – and very expensive – in many rural and developing nations.
Of course, we also do have one real ‘meal of the day’ every day. As Ellen and I have traveled, it’s often been a restaurant or food-court or take-out dinner. Now in Covid-19 quarantine with mom, by default, I’ve become the family cook. We dine on a ‘protein, starch, and salad’ combination every day. Chicken, pork, or fish at least twice a week each. More protein. (No pork for Ellen.)
Late evening, I snack on something – but I need to still plan and make sure I get another shot of proper sustenance at this time. I’m working on it.
During our wanderings, scheduled exercise has been ‘unnecessary’. I’ve done a lot of walking while exploring destinations all over the globe. And often, I’ve purchased or rented a cheap used bicycle during our month-long stays. In short, I’ve stayed active.
But here in quarantine, I’m now alternating daily physical activities to keep up some level of fitness. I’m doing neighborhood jogs, vigorous ocean kayaking, a stretching/yoga/abdominal routine, and slow, focused weight training exercises. Each day I try to increase the cardio, the endurance, the burn.
I do sometimes miss the days of full gym workouts, treadmills, free weights, ice hockey, roller blades, softball, golf — all the stuff I did for decades back in my old life. And the thought of scrumptious, voluminous, western-style dining is appealing at times — as is bingeing on cold beer.
But truth be told, I’m probably in better overall shape and certainly at a more ‘natural’ weight in my current situation. With some effort and ‘fine tuning’ I intend to improve further.
Here’s hoping and urging everyone out there to likewise use the available time created by this pandemic disruption to reexamine your health and lifestyle habits and choices — and come up with your own Vagabond or Quarantine Diet.
As always, be thankful and generous, happy trails, & more beer.
Life is NOW!
Thanks for reading, “Ultimate Earth Vagabond diet on pandemic lockdown.”
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Earth Vagabonds advocate for travel when international borders reopen.