Cooking my healthy camp meals in Yosemite National Park

Greetings Tracy,

I had a question that perhaps you can help me with.

Do you have any tips for anyone who might be traveling?

How can we eat a clean “clear skin” healthy diet while we are dependent on what food other people may cook for us? I recently was offered a job opportunity that is for 5 months in a remote location…however, I would be entirely dependent on what food was provided for me through this camp I would be working at.

ah! I am just getting stressed that “what if” my acne comes back when I can’t have my green smoothies every morning? Or giant salads for lunch?

I honestly haven’t taken the job yet, because of my acne. Even though this is something I really want to do. Any advice?

I hope you don’t mind me asking….I simply had no where else to turn.

Thank you for your time.

Hi there!

You know, occasionally people send me emails that really strike a chord with me, and yours did. It’s because I struggle a lot with the same fears about travelling and being away from home, which I really dislike.

I mean, I love eating and being healthy, and at this point, I don’t really see myself ever going back to eating conventionally just for the heck of it (like if acne just wasn’t an issue anymore) because I see so much good in it. But I used to be a big traveler…. I don’t have as much of the same drive to do it as I used to, but in the future, I do still want to go on extended trips from time to time….

Yet instead of only daydreaming happily and feeling excitement about a prospective trip, the FIRST thing that pops into my head is “how am I going to eat healthy”. This drives me crazy. I hate it that that is the first thing that comes to mind. I always think….. how do other people who care about their health deal with this? I mean….. there’s lots of healthy people out there, and they must still travel.

However, I’ve made a pact with myself that I will never choose to not do something that I would have otherwise (you know, had I not had this commitment to eating healthy/keeping clear skin). I want to do something, then I’m going to do it, squelch the fear, and just find a way to do the best I can. Because you know what…. what’s the point of having clear skin if you aren’t going to live life? I mean, we’ve spent so long having acne hold us back, now we’re going to let clear skin do the same thing?

I think most of is stress anyway…. let me tell you a story: 

A few months after I got clear after my severe acne, I was seriously entrenched in fear that it was almost as debilitating as the acne itself. My current boyfriend, Luke (an Australian who I had dated for a few months in Europe two years prior), had come to North America and was touring around the States and Mexico in a car he bought with his friend. When they got to Los Angeles, his friend flew home, and the plan was that I was going to fly to LA, meet Luke for a reunion, and we’d go on a camping trip together through California and Oregon back up to Vancouver.

This was my first stint away from home since changing my diet and getting rid of acne, and I was TERRIFIED. I made it a point that we would cook healthy camp meals the whole way, and Luke, being a total sweetheart, was very understanding… so we did and I honestly wasn’t eating all that different than I was at home, yet I began to break out a little bit for the first time since I had been clear, which pretty much shattered me.

We still had fun, but I was so stressed out… and with every spot … more stress… and I was scared to be up close with a boy for the first time with spots and no makeup (he knew all about my acne troubles, but that didn’t matter to me). All I wanted was to get back to Canada to be ‘safe’. It was all stress. The breakout cleared upon returning home, even though the food was the same. IT WAS ALL JUST STRESS!

So anyway… I’ve learned a thing or two and it’s that trying to control control control just doesn’t really work out.

In the same situation had acne not been a factor (or if acne didn’t bother me with the same emotional impact that it does), I would have just tried my best to make healthy meals, but not worried about it – it wouldn’t have been this stressful situation and I would have had a much better time. Why does acne have to make it any different? It’s all just fear based. We give the acne the control by making it bigger than it is.

Anyway, that trip through California was quite a learning experience. It made me realize just how much fear I was holding and that was my real problem – not acne.

That winter, I was actually in a similar situation to you… I was planning to possibly go to a work camp and do house keeping to make some money and the food woud all be provided. I was nervous about what that would entail, but I bargained with myself thinking …. don’t not do it because of the food. Just choose wisely… eat the best you can within the situation. Either way you’ll survive and stressing won’t make things better! I didn’t end up going for completely different reasons, but still… I remembered my California experience and did not want to repeat that.

I’m not as uptight anymore about not being able to stick perfectly to my diet, but I’m still not completely over my fear, as I had mentioned in the beginning that it still is the first thing that pops into my head. In fact, I know I’m still not over my fear because I totally blew my cool and stressed out when we moved down to Australia and in with Luke’s parents 6 months ago. (We moved out soon after, but I just found different things to stress out about).

But I recognize now what this is and I won’t let it stop me if I want to do something in the future.

Something that helped me was reading through Fran’s High on Health blog, as she had done a lot of traveling after she cleared her skin, and from what it sounds like, her skin was totally fine because when you travel, you’re so immersed in what you’re doing, having such a good time, that you can’t bother stressing about your skin. I hear that.

So moral of the story – take the job, do the best you can with your health, and keep yourself busy when you’re in that remote location to keep your mind off acne! Honestly, I’d probably even advise you to quit reading my blog, other acne blogs, or anything about health or it will just make you antsy and upset when you don’t have the wiggle room to take action on the things you learn.

Lots of love,
Tracy xo