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I wrote a while back about the sweet craving-comfort food connection (in cookie monster post) and how traveling can be a trigger.

Well, here I am, traveling for the holidays.  I’m on vacation, and tempted by the wonderful sweets here in Mexico.  Flan.  All kinds of cookies and treats from the bakeries.  Churros.  Hot chocolate.  Yum. Yum. Yum. 

Why is it that my hand didn’t go out at all the fruit stands?  Hmmm… However, I did buy whole fruit–apples, tangerines and guavas– at a market — which was a bit of a walk out from the center.  Fortunately, I was staying in an apartment with a kitchen, so I could wash and cut these to eat.  Today, I’m in a new town, and no kitchen or knife, either.

This is all to say that in addition to missing home and being drawn to sweetness, there’s a convenience factor that goes with a sweet tooth on the road. 

Reminder for future travels. 

  • Bring along a plastic knife, or pack a real knife if I know I’m going to check my luggage.
  • Load up on fruit whenever I can.  It satisfies the sweet craving, before I feel the urge for flan.
  • Bring or buy dried fruit.  (Difficult for me now since I’m wearing braces, but normally a great alternative.)
  • Awareness and intention.  I can’t use the excuse that I’m on vacation to take a vacation from taking care of myself!!!
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Cold season is here!neti pot

I’m finally getting over a cold where the main symptoms are tiredness and foggy-head during the day, and congestion right when I get up.  Lots of gunk in my sinuses.

Neti pot to the rescue!

This is simply a pot that comes from the Ayurvedic medicine tradition, which facilitates nasal irrigation.  I first learned about it from my yoga teacher, who said she no longer has allergies after she used her neti pot every day for an year.  I don’t have allergies, so I use when I have a cold.

You pour warm (body-temperature) saline (salty) water from one nostril to the other, and the result is a nice cleansed feeling.  At least, that’s my experience.  OK, it does feel strange and there is the fear of the “drowning” feeling, but the first time I tried this, it was pretty easy to learn how to do it, and I felt GREAT afterward.

Look at a how-to-use video here.  I use sea salt.  And find that if the water is just a little too cold or hot, or if there’s not enough salt, it really stings.  So go ahead and adjust right away.  It SHOULD NOT sting at all.

So, try this natural and less expensive alternative to nasal congestion relief.  And also consider it as a general wellness tool; use before and after you take a airplane trip, or after you’ve been at a party where other guests have colds.

You can buy a version at Walgreen’s; I think they call it a nasal irrigation tool.  I like the prettier version (photo above), which is also not made of plastic.  You can buy online.