Top Tips for Healthy Travel

Welcome to Kendra Thornton

Check out travel expert Kendra on WGN and FOX news.
Last week Kendra sent me the following email–IMG_3050
“I came across your blog and really enjoyed reading some of your posts! I see that you are into living a balanced and healthy lifestyle! In honor of Nutrition Awareness Month I was wondering if you would be interested in doing a collaboration with me.”

Please enjoy the following Travel Tips from Kendra and myself. They are just in time for Spring Break Vacations!

My Top Tips and Recommendations for Healthy Travel by Kendra Thornton

Like many people, I’m always looking for ways to keep my family and myself as healthy and fit as possible. I’ve found that this can be particularly challenging when we go on vacation or take trips to visit family members. On the road, I can’t do my usual shopping and cooking so I have to be extra careful about how we eat. There’s also the question of staying active and getting in some exercise when we travel. Let me share a few of my favorite tricks for staying healthy on vacation.

Don’t let yourself get dehydrated when you’re off on some hike or visiting a tourist attraction. I’ve learned that it’s important to take bottles of water everywhere, whether we’re headed for the beach or wandering around a city. Our bodies lose energy quickly when we don’t get enough water, and this can happen even before we start feeling thirsty. That’s why I always stock water in the car or in everyone’s backpacks when we’re walking. When we stay at hotels I always make sure there are plenty of water bottles in the fridge.walking

I go to the gym regularly and I try to maintain this habit even when we’re on vacation. Many hotels provide fitness centers nowadays, so it only makes sense to choose such a hotel. A workout in the gym is a great way to start the day. It’s good to check out the hotel’s facilities online before booking your reservation. It’s something I did for our upcoming trip to Orlando. With so many hotels in Orlando it can be difficult to narrow your search down. Sites like Gogobot make it a little easier as you can read user reviews. Even if the hotel does have a gym, you want to make sure it’s a good one and that it has hours that are convenient for you.

Don’t let airport and airplane food ruin your healthy diet. Airports today actually offer many different choices if you look around. Aside from the usual junk food, you can often find healthy choices such as fresh fruit, salads, containers of plain yogurt without added sugar and packages of nuts and trail mix. Such healthy snacks help keep my whole family nourished while we’re waiting for our flight and even on the plane. It’s also possible to order special meals for the plane, though this has to be done when you book your reservation.

One of the best ways to get in plenty of exercise on vacation is to walk! Walking is natural enough when you’re traveling, but these days it can be tempting to choose lazier options such as shuttles, tour buses and other sedentary alternatives. Don’t miss the chance to exercise your legs and get some fresh air. Whether you’re at the airport or exploring the sites somewhere, try to walk as much as possible. You’ll not only be giving your body a workout, you’ll see more than you could while being driven around.

These are just a few ways that I manage to stay fit when traveling. The specific tricks I use vary depending on where I’m going and what’s available. If you’re creative about it, you’ll find that it’s almost always possible to make healthy choices on any trip!

Vacation Tips by Ann Schenkel              2009 pictures 082

After reading Kendra’s tips for traveling, I wondered if we had been on vacation together! Whether you travel by plane or train or car, it’s important to plan ahead if you want to stay healthy. We often travel by car, so it may be a bit easier to have water and healthy snacks available, but it does take a little planning.

WATER:  It is so important to stay hydrated; in fact, it’s my first request to my husband—“be sure we have enough water!” Because traveling is out of our normal routine, it is so easy to forget about drinking enough water while on road or at the airport, so be sure to plan ahead.

WALK, WALK, WALK: Take a break when changing planes or filling the car with gas to walk around a bit. I really enjoy getting off the expressways and walking through a new little town. It’s much easier to find fresh wholesome food in town rather than the fast food at the exits. It’s also an enriching experience to walk around town and meet local people and visit attractions. If traveling overseas, be sure to move your legs often and walk around where possible.

SLEEP: We are often so excited to “see the sites” or crash on the beach that we forget to sleep enough.  Remember, it’s vacation. . .so rest and refresh!

HEALTHY SNACKS:   (we use organic, non GMO products when available)  

Shaklee has made it so simple for us to stay healthy and make healthy choices while on vacation. We don’t leave home without a few supplements, snack bars, and shakes. These products have changed our lives so that I feel younger today at age 65 than I did at 40. My husband and I are signing up to run the Chicago Half Marathon—will we make it? I’m not sure, but it will be great to train for something that I never thought possible. Our goal is to finish in the 6 ½ hours allotted!

Perhaps you have heard of Shaklee, perhaps not. Check it out–for your health!

Thanks, Kendra, for this great idea of sharing healthy travel tips.

You can find Kendra here!



Wisdom from MLK Jr.

dr martin luther king jr.

Here are 10 ideas that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. pledged to live by. So wise.


Do these ideas give you some ideas for this year? He even pledged to strive for good spiritual health and bodily health.



If 10 seems like too many, what 3 things or one thing would you like to work on in your life?


The one I am working on is. . .”walk and talk in the manner of love for God is love.”

Happy. . .New. . .Year

Happy. . . New. . .Year. . . we often say these words today and for a few days ahead. Happy--New--YearWhat do we mean? Of course, we hope the person we say them to will have a good 2014, and that he or she will be happy. But we also know that this is unlikely. I’d like to suggest that we are really wishing something else.

Happy. . .think of all the things we do in the name of happiness: spend money, go on vacations, eat food at lovely or not so lovely restaurants, entertain others, go to sports events or concerts, cut off relationships, win an argument, or read a book. I even heard one man say it was okay for him to get a divorce because God wanted him to be happy. Perhaps all of us have found happiness in most of these things at one time or another. And yet, do you know anyone who is happy all the time? I don’t. In a message by Gary Thomas, he proposes that God does not necessarily want us to be happy all the time, although true peace and joy come from knowing Christ, but God wants us to be holy. Check out more about Gary Thomas here.  So my wish for you is to have a Holy New Year!

New. . .a new year to start fresh again. Have you made some new year’s resolutions yet? Have you completed last year’s? Do you even remember what they were? I’ll share just one of mine which I found on Shaklee’s Health Wise blog; and it is different than what you might think when you read these words: go green! I usually think of this with changing lightbulbs, recycling, using my cloth grocery bags, or planting a tree. But this go green tip is to eat more green–lots of dark green vegetables. We eat quite a bit already but it will be my “new” thing to eat much more. What new things will you do?

Year. . .it’s a long time and a short time. In a year, babies are born, loved ones die, sicknesses come and go or stay, and relationships come and go or stay. My prayer for you is that you will find many opportunities to love others well, take new steps towards honoring the body God gave you by putting good things in it and on it, and have a Holy New Year!

Remembering Changes in Life and Food

Sometimes changes in our lives are both sad and glad. During the night this past Monday, Henry’s 96-year-old mother passed away and is now at home with the Lord. She demonstrated amazing strength and quite good health through most of those 96 years, up until the last few months. But the suffering is over and now we think back on the memories. Throughout the last years’ visits we would engage her in conversation on topics such as:  what life was like when she was a little girl, the homes she lived in, the work she did as a young girl and life during her teenage years. We also discussed the farm, the food, the fun. Remember. . .96 years ago transportation was by horse and buggy, roads were dirt, and most communication was face to face. She lived through a life of changes!

For the most part, food 96 years ago was grown and preserved right on one’s own farm.  Gradually, companies like Campbell’s Soup, which started in Chicago in 1929, moved workers from the farm to the factory. Mother worked at Campbell’s Soup as a young woman.  However, most of the food they ate was fresh and grown locally, such as spinach, beets, tomatoes, potatoes, corn, celery, and fresh chickens and turkeys. They were not at all concerned about preservatives and chemicals. Fertilizer was natural. why_supplement_01l

Most of what is in our grocery stores did not even exist when Mother was a child. And remember, food is what people ate for thousands of years. Today we process, preserve, color, emulsify, sweeten, chemically fertilize, thicken, wax, add growth hormones and antibiotics, besides adding pesticides, herbicides, insecticides and fungicides. And sometimes “food” manufacturers actually “create” food.

Would you agree that by doing all of this to our food, we end up with less than the food God has created? Would you agree that this new “food” is not feeding our cells like real food should? And could this be the reason our bodies struggle with so many health issues that are not infectious diseases, but rather they are falling apart from within? Diseases such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and auto immune diseases?

As Mother told us recently, “I have had a good life.” We will all die some day and we hope the quality of our lives will be as healthy as possible. Does it make sense to give your body a little help with some real food supplements?

Amazing Grace

Monday afternoon and we were having a fun time painting our granddaughter’s bedroom, which was a really cool graduation gift from her parents. . . and then. . . the call. “Ann? This is your neighbor, Sandy. A very large tree limb has fallen on your home and we just wanted to let you know. Many of the neighbors heard it and were gathered in your back yard.” I knew if Sandy were calling me it was most likely quite serious. “Thanks for calling, and we will get there as quickly as we can.” This is what we came home to:fallen limbfallen limb

This is the left side of the house with the sunroom just to the right in this picture. The following picture shows how the tree did not land on the sunroom which is surrounded with windows. Not a window is broken. Amazing. There is a hole in the ridge of the roof along with a few patches of roofing tiles which are awaiting repair.


Neighbor Rick called the tree man from his church who arrived within 20 minutes of our arrival. Our son came with his chain saw to help us. Neighbors Carla and Shawn arrived to haul branches and wood. Amazing. By dark a lot of cleanup was finished. limb from inside

This is the view from inside before it was removed from the roof. The tree man said 10-12 feet of that limb weighs about a ton. Amazing: no cracked walls, no broken windows, no fallen pictures or plates from the walls. After checking in the attic our son, Henry said the precise spot on the ridge where it landed was the strongest.

And you may be wondering. . .the weather? Sunny calm day.tree We don’t know why it fell, of course, but look at the dark spots in this one stack. Josh the tree man said that many years ago the tree had been struck by lightening and this left it damaged. All we know is that God’s amazing grace spared us from severe damage and we were not home to hear the awful sound! Amazing!

Sometimes we forget how very little is in our control. Although I have thought about limbs falling on our home, this event just reinforced how God is gracious in his protection. With the help of family, neighbors, Josh and his son Josh from Watkin Tree Pro, we were indeed blessed. Feel free to share your amazing story of God’s protection.

Curve Balls. . .Keep Looking Up

Curve balls. Life has plenty of them. Just when things are moving along somewhat normally, life can have a few curve balls. Usually it’s just one, but sometimes many happen together. That’s what happened in our family,  and it helped that our church was in the middle of a series about  life’s curve balls. keep looking up2

First curve ball: our daughter-in-law was diagnosed  with lupus and was already at an advanced stage with very few symptoms. After starting on some severe medications, this strong gal who was training for a triathlon, now spent most off her time on the couch with no energy and lots of fatigue. But last week we had the good news that the medications are doing their work and she will hopefully go into remission in the upcoming months. With the help of friends, family, and a loving church community they experienced the grace of God during a very stressful time. We are so grateful to see how others have blessed our kids.

Second curve ball: Henry’s 96 year old mother broke her hip, fell, survived the surgery, and is now having therapy. She is amazing! And God is good!

Third curve ball: two friends were diagnosed with cancer.

My take away: we need the Lord, we need each other, and we need to look up. My dad often said this little phrase. . .”keep looking up.” Of course he was referring to looking to the Lord for our help, strength, and peace; I’m not sure Snoopy was thinking the same thing. When life throws you curve balls, what do you do? Where do you turn? Are you with me and looking UP?