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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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May 18, 2010

Healthy travel

©istockphoto.com/nodmitry

Traveling away from home is an understandable cause for diet and exercise lapses. You're captive to schedules and menus not of your own making. There may be more stress, more sitting, and most of the time, you're socially "on." The Lutheran's nine staff are together visiting 27 synod assemblies this spring/early summer, so this was a bit of a concern for me.

What a pleasant surprise I found at the Northeastern Ohio Synod Assembly this past weekend! I was on my feet at the display table about half of the time, and we had plenty of traffic. At this assembly, there were a mere handful of people who passed by, avoiding eye contact or making a quick, silent grab for the treat dish. Most people stopped to chat, check out materials, or offer feedback/comments.

Meeting in Akron, Ohio, assembly-goers were served a healthy lunch (chicken caesar salads, vegan sandwiches, water, fruits, [not huge] oatmeal raisin or chocolate chip cookies). American, Middle Eastern and Italian restaurants in the area were within walking distance (under .5 to 1.5 miles), and had healthy options as well as fattening ones. A stand-out was Vegiterranean, a popular Vegan restaurant owned by a '70s rocker named Chrissie Hyndes. After the trip, my weight had held steady. I've had much worse consequences, believe me. 

From the ELCA Board of Pensions, Sandy L. Rothschiller (filling in for Fana Teklé) spoke about the variety of overall health improvements members have made, from choosing generic medications to exercising/dieting in ways that have saved the overall plan millions of dollars. I wish I could remember exact numbers, but I was next up at the podium, to speak about The Lutheran, and doing yoga breathing so as not to panic. The breathing helped a lot, as did a great introduction from wonderful, funny Bishop Elizabeth Eaton. Her sense of humor has got to be one of the greatest assets for this synod. : ) And the talk must've been alright, because afterwards a few people came over to say they'd start individual or congregational subscriptions

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