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Pack Your Backpack for the Journey

Our greatest defense in life is preparation. 

When a hiker goes on a journey, they fill their backpack with food, medicine, a survival kit, etc. They do this, not because they plan to get lost or hurt, but just in case. A hiker is naive if they neglect to be prepared, because no matter how experienced they are at hiking, many aspects of a hike are out of their control.

Our health is the same way.

No one travels through the journey of life anticipating sickness, but so much of life is out of our control. However, just as a hiker prepares for a hike by appropriately filling their backpack, we can be prepared for sickness by preparing our bodies. Understandably, there are illnesses that no preparation can prevent, but we do have control over giving our bodies what it needs to put up the best fight possible.  

I write this as a reflection on the third day of my COVID-19 symptoms.

I understand that everyone’s experience is different, but I wanted to share my own experience - not from a political or emotional perspective - but from the perspective of a person who focuses on being as healthy as possible.  My desire is not to provide medical advice but to encourage readers to analyze their habits and see where they can prioritize a healthy lifestyle.

I woke up on Thursday morning knowing something was off. I pride myself in knowing my body and my Whoop recovery score validated my concern. All of my vitals took a wrong turn on the hiking trail overnight. For two days, I grew weaker. I had chills, a cough, fatigue, muscle soreness, high temp, difficulty breathing. I could not remember a time when I had felt this sick. Thankfully, that sickness was short-lived. I woke up on day three with more energy, more life, more hope. What changed?   

Here are my thoughts:    

I firmly believe that medicine and doctors led to my speedy recovery. Both are among the many graces God has given us. However, I believe that my body responded well to those treatments because it was prepared. I have spent years filling my wellness backpack with nutrients from water, plants, protein and a healthy lifestyle thanks Clean Kitchen! My body was prepared to take a wrong turn even though it did not expect to face the difficulty of it's new path. By filling my body daily with proper nutrients in food, medicine had the reinforcements it needed to help when the time came.    

While medicine and a healthy lifestyle contributed to my recovery, I also believe that nature had a part. God created nature to aid man — trees, flowers, bushes, weeds, the sun, the air, water. Plants give us clean air to breath, the sun helps us take in vitamins and minerals, water helps transport nutrients throughout our body. As sick and tired as I felt, all I wanted to do was be outside. I was drawn to nature and it’s healing.    

So what did I learn? Doctors are a gift from God, but let’s try to avoid seeing them at their workplace. Practice healthy habits that will set you up for a healthy lifestyle. Get enough sleep. Drink enough water. Eat plants and protein. Lastly, do not underestimate the healing power of God’s provision in creation.    

If you are looking to prepare your body for the unknowns of life’s journey, I encourage you to sign up for the next Clean Kitchen challenge. The goal of a diet is to help you lose weight. The goal of Clean Kitchen is to help you create a sustainable, healthy lifestyle that will prepare  your backpack for the unknown turns of your lifelong hike.