Kara Mosesso is a nurse practitioner and certified health coach who has run 26 marathons and subsisted entirely on plants for the past decade. Hear her dietary advice for nomads.

Health and wellness on the road can be tricky when you don’t have the luxuries of your home kitchen. Today we’re chatting with Kara Mosesso of Nomadic Nourishment on the topic of how to maintain a healthy diet while on the road. Kate travelled with Remote Year Kublai for a year and now runs a nutrition and health coaching business on the side of her full-time job as a nurse practitioner.

In today’s conversation we delve into topics around maintaining a healthy diet abroad, resources for meal planning while on the road, the value of a primarily plant-based diet, sources for information on evidence-based nutrition, techniques for making lasting habit changes and more. Kara challenges listeners to take her 30-day plant-based challenge and shares a number of useful resources linked below for learning more about these subjects. Enjoy!

Show Notes

Time   Topic
0:01:43   Welcome and context
0:04:32   What are the potential implications of poor nutrition?
0:05:22   Why did you choose to focus on preventative measures in healthcare?
0:08:13   What is the gist of your approach for nutrition?
0:10:40   Paleo diet felt good but maybe isn’t?
0:11:53   FDA had the food pyramid exactly upside-down, who can you trust when it comes to diet?
0:13:35   “How did I not learn any of this in medical school??”
0:14:43   NutritionFacts.org for weekly evidence-based studies
0:16:13   “How Not To Die: preventing and reversing the 15 major killers”
0:18:18   What’s the framework or meal planner you use for constructing healthy meals?
0:20:58   The root of chronic diseases is inflammation
0:21:39   Is there an index of natural remedies organized by the condition you have?
0:23:07   Why is inflammation so bad for us?
0:24:38   Different types of inflammation and repercussions
0:25:13   What kind of turnarounds are possible once people fix their diet?
0:26:05   Do you have any strategy recommendations for making dietary changes more likely to stick?
0:27:54   The value of an accountability partner
0:28:55   “Progress is better than perfection”
0:30:28   If plant-based diets are better why do vegans tend to look so unhealthy?
0:31:47   Are there any nutrients that are hard to get if you’re strictly plant-based?
0:36:58   You’ve run 26 marathons: can you talk about that?
0:38:16   Do you have any running tips?
0:40:43   How can people engage with you?
0:43:16   What are your tips for being able to cook when you have a different kitchen each month?
0:46:59   Any parting thoughts?

Links

How not to die” book by Michael Greger
Michale Greger’s NutritionFacts.org site
Greger Keynote talk (short version)
Greger Keynote talk (long version)
Daily dozen Google Doc
Daily dozen iPhone app
Forks over knives recipes and meal planner
Forks over knives documentary
Sean’s juice recipes
Dr. Axe
Rich Roll Podcast
TEDx How Greens Can Improve your Health talk
“Born to Run” book
Transitioning from heel strike to forefoot strike running
Kara’s FB business page
Happy Cow app for finding plant-based restaurants internationally

Photos

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Transcript

Speaker 1 – 00:00 – Nomad, nomad, nomad podcast.

Sean Tierney – 00:21 – What can we do to better ensure our health and wellness during our travels and beyond? This is the question we tackle today with registered nurse and certified nutritionist and health coach Kara Mosesso. Kara traveled the world for a year with Remote Year Kublai and joins us today to talk about her holistic approach to wellness that involves sleep, nutrition, exercise, stress reduction, hydration, and more. Kara has run 26 marathons, uh, and has lived an entirely plant based diet for over a decade. In this conversation, Kara shares tips for eating healthy while on the road, the role of inflammation in chronic disease, various meal planning, tips and resources for constructing healthy meals.

Sean Tierney – 01:02 – The importance of having an accountability partner for making dietary changes that stick and much more so, Kara was kind enough to come back. We did have an audio glitch at about the 15 minute mark, and Kara was very gracious in agreeing to film the rest of the episode, so hope you enjoy this. Without further ado, here is my conversation with Kara Mosesso. Nomad podcast is supported in part by nomad prep and online academy that teaches you everything you need to know to take your job on the road and crush it abroad. Enroll today at nomadprep.com/podcast, and get your first four days of training completely free. Nomad prep. Take your job on the road and take on the world. Okay, Kara, welcome to the nomad podcast.

Kara Mosesso – 01:47 – Thank you for having me.

Sean Tierney – 01:49 – Definitely. Okay. So to, to paint the picture here today we are going to be talking about health and specifically, um, you know, I read a bunch of stuff that you had written a different pieces on your website and the different articles. I like how you laid this out. I want to read you had like this breakdown of health is composed of nutritious food movement, job satisfaction, relationship, spirituality, stress management, creativity, sleeping habits, and regularly doing the things you love. Um, I think that’s awesome. It’s like a really holistic way to approach it. I think today we’re specifically going to be focused on nutrition. Um, but before we dig into all that, can you just tell us a little bit about yourself, like where you are, what you do?

Kara Mosesso – 02:32 – Um, so I am a nurse practitioner and also a certified health coach. I’ve been doing both of those things for about nine years now. Most of my background is in oncology. I worked in head and neck cancer for about four years and for the last five years have worked specifically with hematology and stem cell transplant patients, a lot of patients with leukemia, lymphoma is that sort of thing. Um, but just kind of in my training and in my studies I realized there was a lack of focus on preventative care and you know, my whole educational backgrounds. So the thing that I’ve really taken a special interest in and taking it upon myself to educate myself on those things, 90% of diseases are preventable with certain lifestyle changes and most of those diseases are reversible when you do make those changes. So I think we do a disservice to the general population by as healthcare providers not relaying that information. So that’s something that I, I really try to focus on.

Kara Mosesso – 03:26 – Um, I’m from the Boston area originally, was living in New York before I started on Remote Year, um, during Remote Year, did a little telemedicine work and also, um, I have my own health coaching business. I was seeing clients, mostly US based by video appointment. Since Remote Year has ended, which was last January for my group, continued to travel for a few months, drove across the country from the east coast to the West Coast and now I’m in LA doing a six months travel nurse practitioner position at a cancer hospital in the LA area.

Sean Tierney – 03:59 – That’s awesome. I met your program leader. So, you travel with Kublai, right? Remote Year Kublai.

Kara Mosesso – 04:03 – I did. Yeah. Yeah. Beach and Coco are awesome.

Sean Tierney – 04:07 – I met Beach. I haven’t met Coco, but Beach was here in Lisbon. She led the excelsior group a few months back, so I think it’s good for people to understand just how much stuff, like I like to understand the implications of something. And then once you say, wow, this is really important, let me pay attention to it. So let me just read through this list you had on one of your pages. The implications of getting poor nutrition include depression, impotence, sleep apnea, insomnia, gallbladder disease, diabetes, kidney disease, osteoporosis, heart disease, and you pointed out the troubling stat that one out of every three Americans will die of heart disease, stroke, Metabolic Syndrome, breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer and lung cancer. Um, so that’s depressing stuff, but it’s also kind of a, a big red flag. Like, Hey, this is important stuff. We need to think about what we’re eating.

Kara Mosesso – 05:05 – Yeah, absolutely. And it’s not something that’s really focused on in the health care industry right now. There’s been like a gradual movement towards more preventative and lifestyle changes, but it’s been a very slow movement. So I think it’s definitely important to keep spreading the word.

Sean Tierney – 05:20 – What was it particularly about your job that made you want to focus on the preventative stuff versus like usually people in healthcare or at least from my experience, are very fixated on what they learn and they treat the problems once they occur, but it’s only a sliver of those people who then would take it like you have to try and actually go back to the root in and get ahead of problems and focus on preventative stuff. What is it? Why do you think that you went that direction

Kara Mosesso – 05:50 – Yeah. I think a lot of it was based on my own personal experiences, I started eating. I went vegetarian about years ago, a little over 15 years ago. Um, mostly for environmental and animal rights reasons, but notice a difference in the way I felt just energy wise, sleeping better and just felt healthier overall. So based on that, just started digging more and more at the time I was in, um, in college when I went vegetarian, when I was in Grad school studying to be a nurse practitioner. I’m just had come across several research papers that I had found on my own that kind of touted the benefits of more whole foods, plant based diet for preventing disease. So that piqued my interest, especially knowing how much better I felt when I had made the changes. Um, so did more and more research and you know, the evidence is definitely there, but because of the way the healthcare system functions, it’s, it’s largely insurance based and pharmaceutical company based.

Kara Mosesso – 06:48 – It’s, it’s hard. It’s been really hard to make that shift and I think we do take a really reductionist okay approach, but we just kind of put a bandaid on a problem rather than trying. Being a good thing is that, you know, eating one way helps for something else as well. Right? So like somebody with heart disease for example, if they eat to help prevent their heart disease, that also helps prevent diabetes or cancer or that sort of thing. So it’s not like a, it’s kind of like a one size fits all approach. Um, that I, that I really try to educate patients about. We, we focused too much on like macronutrients or protein or you know, but um, I just think it’s really important in having educated more and more of my patients about it, like working in oncology, um, patients that have been treated for cancer are much more likely to go on to get another type of cancer.

Kara Mosesso – 07:44 – Um also a lot of the cancer treatments put them at higher risk for things like diabetes or heart disease or that sort of thing. So, you know, I feel like I’m doing people a disservice if I don’t try to educate them about these things to prevent those things from potential if they happening.

Sean Tierney – 08:01 – Got it. So assuming that all these different components to health, but we’re going to fixate on nutrition, at least with it for this episode. That’s the topic. What is your, you’re just have like your approach, so mostly plant based stuff, but what else? What do you recommend as a health coach to people?

Kara Mosesso – 08:21 – Yeah, so generally focusing mostly on a whole foods plant based. So you know, a lot of people might not know exactly what that means. So I’m trying eliminate as much as possible and take a processed foods. So like anything that comes in a box, for example, is processed to some degree, some more than others. Um, processed meats like deli meat, hot dogs, sausages, those sorts of things actually have been classified as a class one carcinogen, which means they’re heavily linked to causing cancer. Um, so avoiding those sorts of things. I’m avoiding anything that has a significant amount of added sugar. Um, and really just maximizing intake of fruits, vegetables, foods that are high in fiber are really good at helping to prevent disease. So, um, the recommended daily intake for fruits and vegetables for example, is nine servings a day, but like, you know, a very small percentage of people actually meet those, those.

Kara Mosesso – 09:24 – So it’s less than 10% of people are actually doing that. Americans, um, so just really trying to increase, increase that when I’m working with my coaching patients, I don’t necessarily say you need to eliminate anything altogether because I think psychologically when we are told we can’t have something, we want an even more. I know how. That’s how I tend to function, so I really like to focus on like a crowding out approach, so really trying to add in some of the better stuff to naturally crowd out the stuff that might not be as healthy for you. So, you know, even regular meat dairy for example, is really high in saturated fat and can increase the risk of things like heart disease and diabetes. Um, so really just trying to focus mostly on whole unprocessed grains, um nuts, seeds, beans, fruits and vegetables and making that the bulk of what you eat and if you do eat meat, you know, most, most societies, you know, hundreds of years ago, well they weren’t having meat three times a day.

Kara Mosesso – 10:22 – They were having a small, small piece of day, you know, if that maybe just a couple of times a week. Um, it’s really only the law over the last hundred years or so that we’ve been such a meat heavy society and it’s really taken a huge toll on, on the health of the nation.

Sean Tierney – 10:38 – Yeah. I did the Paleo Diet, you’re going to hate me. So, I did Paleo diet two years ago, and I did it. Sorry, I started maybe four years ago and I did it for two years, um, and I actually felt phenomenal doing it. Now some of that is actually doing what you’re talking about, which is cutting out sugar and dairy. I’m actually cut out grains and most of the starchy carbohydrates, but there was a fair amount of meat intake is a part of that diet now. I felt amazing but not to saying like I didn’t like that wasn’t just like tearing up my insides in some other way that I’m unaware of.

Kara Mosesso – 11:15 – That’s the thing that, you know, I think there are certain parts of the Paleo Diet that are really beneficial. I think like cutting out added sugar and a lot of the processed foods, um, and it’s great for weight loss and that sort of thing because you, you know, you are eliminating those things. But in terms of data for a longterm health like that, that high of consumption of meat is not good for heart health overall. Um, and also does it increase the cancer risks? So short term I think it does help you know, people, energy lies and with weight loss. And that sort of thing, but most of the research shows longterm it’s actually fairly detrimental to your health.

Sean Tierney – 11:51 – How do people know at this point? Like I feel like we were presented back in the day we’re given this food pyramid, right? And it was exactly upside down I feel like. And so now it’s like, okay, well we can’t trust the FDA to have our back. And then you hear all these things like the Atkins Diet and the beach diet and the Paleo Diet and the, you know, there’s all these diets that are basically presented as being like this is the thing. How does anyone at this point, like is there a, a consensus or a peer review or some trustable way to know what actually is legitimately healthy at this point?

Kara Mosesso – 12:24 – Yeah. And it’s funny, you know, they want you to be confused because when a new fad diet comes out, you know, that’s how they, that’s how they make a buck so confusing the public and beneficial business size for you know, for a lot of different people. But all of the, all of the research, and it’s not new research, it’s been around for hundreds of years, points to whole food plant based as like the, you know, the Diet that helps prevent and treat basically any sort of chronic disease. And that’s where the research lies. Like I was saying before, it’s not the beneficial thing is that it’s not, you know, you have to follow one day for heart disease and one diet for diabetes and one diet for cancer. It’s like that whole foods plant based if you stick to that really does encompass all of those things. And, and that’s really where the research lies. There’s one physician that I, um, really like, his name is Dr. Michael Greger and he wrote a book called how not to die, um, to really recommend anybody read.

Kara Mosesso – 13:21 – Um, but basically he was working, seeing patients and I’m kind of came across nutrition research on his own and started digging into. It was like, how did I not learn any of this in medical school? Like physicians, I think they get, I forget the exact number of hours, but it’s something like less than 10 hours over their entire med school education of nutrition education. So like most physicians that you’ve come across don’t have any knowledge of, you know, what you should and shouldn’t be eating from an evidence based perspective. Um, so anyway, he took it upon himself to do all this research, only pulled out the studies that were valid evidence based studies. And then I’m having an experience with his grandmother where she had terrible heart disease, was told by multiple cardiologists. There was nothing they could do for her. She was kind of at death store, had had multiple surgeries already, was on all the cardiac medications possible and she switched to a completely whole foods plant based diet. Totally eliminated me, totally eliminated dairy, any processed foods.

Kara Mosesso – 14:25 – And within a matter of weeks she was up and walking again where before she was completely bed bound. And when they had told her she only had days left to live, she went on to live several years after that. Um, so seeing that experience with his grandmother, he actually gave up patient care altogether and spends all of his time now just combing through nutrition literature and pulling out the evidence based studies and he reports to them on this website called nutritionfacts.org. And he, yes, these types of. Well it’s specific to that whole foods plant based. Is that when you sort of

Sean Tierney – 15:07 – Okay. Take two. We’re back with Kara? Uh, we had a little technical snafu but we’re filming again today to resume where we left off and you were talking about nutritionfacts.org as a source for basically evidence based nutrition stuff.

Kara Mosesso – 15:24 – Yeah. So Dr. Michael Greger, so has dedicated his time to just coming through all the nutrition literature that comes out and focuses only on the evidence based studies and posts them on his site and he lists them by category depending on disease topic, anything from Multiple Sclerosis to diabetes to depression to erectile dysfunction. It kind of spans the gamut. Um, but the bottom line for all of those studies is that whole foods plant based lifestyle is kind of the cure preventative method for the majority of, of chronic diseases. Some of the videos he breaks down into specific like spices that might help a specific disease for example, but kind of, again, underlying principle is whole foods plant based. Um, he has a really good keynote speech that he had given as well called how not to die preventing and reversing the 15 major killers. Um, and he has that. I can send you the link to that keynote.

Kara Mosesso – 16:23 – There’s a longer version that’s about 80 minutes and then kind of like a short version that’s 17 minutes that, um, it’s just kind of goes through all of the evidence. Um, leading up to it talks a lot about, for example, how like the standard American Diet actually kills more people than, you know, smoking ever did, but just the emphasis was always on smoking and how bad that was. But actually what we eat is way more harmful to the population. Then things like smoking.

Sean Tierney – 16:51 – I’ll link both the short version and the long version in the show notes. Um, that would be great. I guess on this topic, like this is what annoys me is like I feel like we look to government agencies like the FDA to have our backs and like help us understand what safe to eat and yet it feels like we’re so betrayed, like the food pyramid was upside down. Uh, I mean, I know it comes down to economics ultimately on a lot of this stuff. So it’s just a, it takes, it takes people like this doing vigilante justice basically and sleuthing it out on their own and exposing it to really get the true story.

Kara Mosesso – 17:28 – Yeah, absolutely. In his site is, it’s a nonprofit site, you know, so there’s no kind of economic vested interest in anything he’s doing. It’s all for the greater good and just face he dedicates everything he does to his grandmother and her experience. So, um, yeah, unfortunately FDA and a lot of those companies are driven by economics and the end of the day it’s all old business. So that’s kind of where their interests lie. Unfortunately,

Sean Tierney – 17:56 – I’ve also learned, the FDA, they call it the revolving door exacts from these dupont in these, these massive food companies will go spend two years creating the legislation and then go, you know, benefit from, from the changes in the laws, which just seems completely corrupt

Kara Mosesso – 18:14 – Yeah, sort of backwards.

Sean Tierney – 18:16 – Well, so not focusing on all of that negativity, but what can the average person do? Like is there a meal planner APP or a book or like what’s the framework that you use for constructing like healthy meals?

Kara Mosesso – 18:29 – Yeah, there are definitely, there are a few different resources. So one I really like to recommend to people is, I’m Dr. Michael Greger the same one who does nutritionfacts.org. He put together the list of something called the daily dozen, which is basically um, like he categorizes food groups by kind of where you get your most bang for your buck and kind of builds a checklist of how many servings of each of those things you should be striving for every day. And he has an APP for that. I think if you just search like daily does in an APP store, it should come up. I also put together a Google doc based on that, that I can give you a link for that as well as people are interested in and not, but it’s categorized by instead of just like fruits, he also separates berries from other types of fruits because berries are even more powerful in terms of antioxidants and that sort of thing. So his breakdown is a little bit different than like a traditional food pyramid, um, but based on all the research he’s done, he’s kind of categorize things that way.

Kara Mosesso – 19:28 – There’s also people may have heard of the documentary forks over knives, which was kind of one that came out a while ago, um, but they have a really comprehensive website that has a lot of different recipes, but they also have a free meal planner on there as well where I’ll give you a recipe ideas for three meals a day over the course of a couple of weeks just to kind of get people on track. Um, so I think that’s a really good resource as well. Those are probably two of the most well known and easiest to use. I think that I would, I would definitely recommend, um,

Kara Mosesso – 19:59 – when I signed up for your newsletter and I got a, you had like a smoothie recipe list. I used to be big into the nutribullet and uh, so I have a list of my own. I’ll link those as well, but yeah, just I think experimenting with a lot of stuff and figuring out what you like and

Kara Mosesso – 20:18 – yeah, definitely.

Sean Tierney – 20:20 – Okay. So, okay. So this meal planner, like one of these meal planner ops, whatever people are most comfortable with, just to at least make some fundamental changes and then it sounds like there’s specific foods based on a condition that you might have that are helpful. Like I’ve heard Turmeric for, for example, it is good for certain ailments.

Kara Mosesso – 20:42 – Yeah. Spices in general Turmeric is probably, if I were to recommend anything like kind of the general population to Merck is one of the most important ones to include in your diet. Um, it just has really powerful anti inflammatory properties and kind of the root of a lot of chronic diseases come from inflammation in the body from one source or another. So it’s a really powerful anti inflammatory. Even if you aren’t having any sort of like, you know, chronic issues that are bothering you, but any sort of muscle aches or pains, it’s really good for helping to treat that as well. Generally a teaspoon a day is a good sized serving so you can either have that spread out over the course of the day or sometimes I like to make like Turmeric lattes or I’ll put in a teaspoon of Turmeric with some almond milk and some cinnamon and I’m. And a little bit of black pepper because Turmeric is actually better absorbed when it’s combined with black pepper.

Sean Tierney – 21:39 – Not like the fundamental food constructing your meals, but maybe like a remedy based with spices and all that stuff. Is there. Is there any resources for that?

Kara Mosesso – 21:48 – So nutritionfacts.org is also good for that too. Like he does have kind of a wide span of videos that focus on specific spaces. Um, that’s probably the best well known one that I’m aware of. There is another physician that talks a lot about just kind of like natural remedies for healing Dr. Axe um, and he has a lot of stuff on his website just about different types of herbs and spices and kind of nutritional things. He isn’t necessarily 100 percent plant based and his in his teachings, um, I would say the majority of what he focuses on is this plant based, the bulk of it. Um, so like there’s some information on that site that I don’t completely agree with, but I think for various things it’s a really good source, especially when he talks about spices and that sort of thing.

Sean Tierney – 22:40 – I think it actually host his website. I’m not 100 percent of that.

Kara Mosesso – 22:46 – Um, so yeah, those are really good sources. Um, and I can look into something too. I’m sure there’s probably like a book that kind of goes through all that thing or a specific website, but I tend to rely pretty heavily on nutritionfacts.org just for, for most of my information because I know it’s all evidence based. Um,

Sean Tierney – 23:07 – can you talk about inflammation, like dig into that a little bit more? Like I have a remedial understanding of it. Um, I’ve always heard that, you know, people get mad at cholesterol, but the analogy is like, well, cholesterol is just doing his job, like it’s the inflammation that’s the issue and it’s like getting mad at an ambulance for going to the scene of an accident, you know, you don’t do that. It’s doing what it’s supposed to do. It’s the inflammation and underlying that that’s the true issue.

Kara Mosesso – 23:30 – Yeah, definitely in our cluster, all our bodies produce its own cholesterol and cholesterol is a vital, a vital part of how our bodies function. It tends to be the added cholesterol that tends to be, that tends to an issue. So we don’t need to consume cholesterol. Our body produces enough on its own. But yeah, generally like any inflammation in the arteries for example, causes the blood vessels to constrict a bit. Um, so the blood flow isn’t as good and then you tend when the, the blood flow isn’t as good. Um, you tend to have a kind of fatty plaques that will build up in the arteries that cause blockages and cause all sorts of issues and it, you know, not just hard issues that tends to be like the major thing that we think of when we think of blocked arteries but really blocked arteries restrict blood flow to every organ in the body from, you know, your brain to your liver, to your kidneys.

Kara Mosesso – 24:26 – So we focus really heavily on the heart, but any sort of restricted blood flow, sex, anything in our body. So there are different types of inflammation. You can have inflammation within the walls of the arteries, you can have inflammation of the joints and the muscles that can lead to things like arthritis. Um, so yeah, it happens at kind of different cellular levels in the body causing different problems. But I would say kind of like the major issue that happens with inflammation is restricted blood flow in one way or another.

Sean Tierney – 24:58 – This is reversible. You can have inflammation and then you switched the diet. And it sounds like what you’re saying, it’s just night and day. You can have like these turnarounds, miraculous recoveries just purely by switching your diet.

Kara Mosesso – 25:10 – Absolutely. Yeah, and it can happen within a matter of days to maybe not completely reversal, but some sort of regression and the issue of the video that I had mentioned, I’m the kind of 17 minutes video from Dr. Michael Greger. He actually shows some, some pictures of people that have changed their diet and the differences in their arteries that you would see on like a CT angiogram or something that measures the amount of plaque builds up that somebody has in their arteries and you can actually see the difference within a matter of weeks just by changing diet alone. And it’s pretty remarkable. Um, unfortunately a lot of the medications that people take for these issues, it doesn’t reverse the problem. It’s a bandaid approach for kind of keeping the problem that day. And you may see some improvement, but if you continue to eat the same way, it’s like this constant battle, you know, back and forth rather than just kind of reversing the problem in the first place.

Sean Tierney – 26:04 – Yeah. And I think it’s anytime we’re talking about making fundamental changes like habit changes, these are like, this is not something that just happens super easy for people and you’re like, you know, eating habits are ingrained over a lifetime. Do you have any recommendations there for like how do you take baby steps and start to incorporate this in? I know you mentioned crowding it out as a strategy, but can you just talk about any kind of a general strategy you have there?

Kara Mosesso – 26:27 – Yeah, I mean I think taking baby steps is the better way to do it. Overall, I think most of us don’t do well when we take a head first approach into things, especially if we are so used to eating a certain way. So I think when you make gradual changes over time it is much more well long term. So like I always think it’s more helpful instead of having like the overarching goal, like rather than telling yourself like, oh I’m going to eat 100 percent plant based. Like that seems like a really daunting goal to a lot of people. So instead of setting up small incremental goals over time. So maybe you say, you know, maybe you take inventory of how many servings of vegetables or fruits you’re eating on a daily basis, you know, figuring out like, oh I only three servings of fruits and vegetables and then setting a goal of okay I’m going to try to eat four servings of fruits and vegetables every day and once you’re doing that consistently kind of slowly increasing your goal from there. So I think making small incremental changes over time is really more sustainable for the majority of the population. Some people function well from kind of diving headfirst and making all the changes at once. But I think that’s rare.

Sean Tierney – 27:34 – It sounds like more of a personal question. Like if it’s, if the idea of trying to do it fully orthodox is then going to sabotage the whole thing and you’re going to fall off the wagon and then take baby steps. But if you’re someone who just like thrives off of going all in like maybe that is a good strategy for you.

Kara Mosesso – 27:49 – Yeah, definitely. And I think some element of accountability is really helpful as well. So maybe, you know, finding a friend or family member or something that kind of gets on board with your goals and you try to do it together and you can hold each other accountable or looking for, you know, a health coach that you meet with once a week or once a month or something just to kind of check in and have some sense of accountability. Um, I always

Sean Tierney – 28:14 – do. You do actually log what you eat every week.

Kara Mosesso – 28:18 – Not anymore. I mean, now, you know, when I first started I kind of kept better track of what I was doing and even when I first found the daily dozen check list, I kind of used it as a guide to figure out like what I might be missing over the course of the day. But now I feel like. So I had mentioned I went vegetarian 15 years ago. I’ve been eating 100 percent plant based for the last 10 years now. Um, so, you know, it’s been a long time for me. So now I just kind of have a general sense of what I need to be doing and what I’m missing over the course of the day and certainly every day isn’t perfect, you know, but I always think it’s better, like progress is better than perfection in my, in my book. So, um, yeah, I, I have a general sense, but I think it’s very helpful when you’re first getting started to kind of have some sort of guide just to kind of get you into your new habits. And then once those habits are formed it becomes kind of routine. You don’t even have to think about it anymore.

Sean Tierney – 29:17 – There was an app. Eddie Contento is my third guest and he talked about this alcohol habits share, that’s like an accountability app where you can basically set up some goals like this and it is a way of you having a partner and being able to check in and track progress towards those goals. So it sounds like that’d be maybe a good use of that APP.

Kara Mosesso – 29:35 – That’d be a great use of that APP. I haven’t heard of that APP, but I think that would be really helpful. Helpful way to do it. Um, and I think just kind of keeping yourself informed in the literature too, like in kind of constantly watching videos and reading certain articles about these sorts of things. It’s a good way to kind of remind yourself why it’s important to make these changes because I think, you know, it’s easy to read one article and kind of be Gung Ho about making the changes and you know, make them initially and kind of fall off. But I think to kind of like, you know, subscribe to like a newsletter or subscribe to like nutrition facts.org video sites or something. So you’re getting like weekly emails with these sorts of topics that, you know, maybe you’re not doing it every day or every week, but like a couple times a month. Just kind of checking in and watching these things to reinforce why you’re making the changes you’re making are really helpful as well.

Sean Tierney – 30:27 – Here’s a question. I don’t know the PC would ask this, but like I’ve seen Vegan people who are Vegan, like tent or at least to me to look like kind of gaunt in sunken features. And like, almost waxy, like it doesn’t look healthy. What, why is that? Or is that doing Vegan the wrong way? Or like what, what, what accounts for that?

Kara Mosesso – 30:50 – Yeah. I think it’s doing vegan in the wrong Vegan? I like to use the term wholefoods, plant based Vegan because vegans doesn’t necessarily confer, confer health and my book like Oreos or Vegan French fries or you get, you know, like there are certain things like I think a lot of times, um, and, you know, I don’t, I don’t want to stereotype, but I think a lot of times the people that you see that are maybe God’s or don’t look as healthy are the people that are, are doing it more for ethical reasons and maybe they don’t have as much knowledge about how to appropriately nourished themselves to, you know, really be kind of like have that healthy vitality to them. Um, so I think it’s really just doing it the wrong way. Um, when I first made the switch from vegetarian to Vegan, you know, especially being in the healthcare sector, I made sure I did a lot of reading beforehand to make sure I was getting everything that I needed. Um, and

Sean Tierney – 31:46 – what is the most challenging thing to get in that scenario?

Kara Mosesso – 31:50 – Vitamin B12 is really the only thing that you can’t get ’em from what you’re eating. And it’s mostly because of the way that our food is processed and grown now. So vitamin B12 that doesn’t. People kind of have the idea that it comes from animals, but it actually comes from bacteria. And if we were eating this way, you know, like 100 years ago we would be able to get it through fruits and vegetables because of the soil that’s grown in the bacteria existed in that soil. But our soil that we tend to grow things in now is very depleted. The nutrients and everything that he said he used to contain. So just by eating plant based, it’s really hard to get B12. And again it’s not because it comes from animals, animals eat like from a different type of soil and they have it in their system. And that’s why I like, you know, people can get it through eating red meat or chicken or whatever now

Kara Mosesso – 32:45 – Um so it is important if you’re eating 100 percent plant based to take a vitamin B12 supplement a couple times a week, so you’re generally striving to take 2,500, 2,500 micrograms over the course of the week. So usually you find like 1000 microgram tabs. So if you take like two or three of those a week, then that’s generally enough to cover your needs. That’s really the main thing. Um, the other thing that I generally tend to supplement with, which has nothing to do with being plant based really. And a lot of mediators are deployed and vitamin D as well. I’m and India, I think it’s just another thing across the board that’s the majority of the world stuff. Women and most of us live in a world or in a location where we’re not getting adequate sun exposure to actually get the vitamin D that we need and applying sunscreen. You don’t absorb vitamin D. so, um, that’s another thing I think just generally important to, to supplement with.

Sean Tierney – 33:44 – What about protein? I mean, I know it’s possible to get a protein plant based, but is that a challenge at all or do you find no issue getting adequate protein?

Kara Mosesso – 33:55 – No, I don’t find any issue. I think a lot of people take for granted the amount of protein that vegetables actually contain, like so leafy greens for example, have more protein per calorie than red meat. Um, so like calorie wise, right, you have to eat a lot more kale to get to the number of calories as you would like a piece of steak. But just to kind of like put that into perspective. And also I like to kind of say like, if you think about a lot of the animals that we eat as our protein source, like a cow for example, where does a cow get their protein? What do they eat? They only eat plants, right? So like basically by eating plants you’re cutting out the middleman and going straight to the source. So, um, I, I think just as long as you’re eating a wide variety of plant based foods, it’s pretty easy to meet those goals without much effort.

Kara Mosesso – 34:47 – Um, and actually the majority of people that eat the standard American diet eat almost double the recommended daily intake of protein and more protein isn’t necessarily better. It actually starts to put a big strain on your kidneys when you’re consuming protein in excess amounts of animal protein also has something called heme iron, which is a type of iron that when you have too much of it starts to build up in your organs and can also be linked to causing cancer. So like excess animal protein can actually be really harmful for people. Um,

Sean Tierney – 35:22 – And I know in the Forks over Knives movie, there was a, I believe that was the one where there was like an MMA fighter who was strictly vegetarian. And so it’s like clearly possible. The dude was yoked clearly possible to get adequate protein

Kara Mosesso – 35:37 – and there are more and more athletes now that are actually turning to that type of, of lifestyle. So there were a lot of um, like bodybuilders that are strictly Vegan bodybuilders, there are a lot of endurance athletes, a lot of endurance runners that have switched to that type of lifestyle. There’s an endurance athlete that I, that I really liked. He was a former attorney and now has kind of switched to, to podcasting and kind of spreading the word about st based eating rich role. Um, I really enjoyed his podcast, but you know, he’s an example of an endurance athlete. There are a few football players that have, have switched to it. Tom Brady eats mostly, mostly Vegan and a few other athletes as well. Um, so it’s, it’s, you know, something I think that people before that were so heavily focused on protein or actually seeing the benefit and a lot of what a lot of them have said is like their recovery time seems to be faster.

Kara Mosesso – 36:34 – You know, after a game or an athletic event, they’re seeing less injuries, you know, they’re faster performing better and people are starting to see the value in it and kind of let go of the old stereotypes that you were like kind of really cool to like.

Sean Tierney – 36:55 – Cool. I don’t have many more questions. I’m looking through my notes here. So you’ve run marathons, right?

Kara Mosesso – 37:00 – Yeah, yeah. I’m training for my 27th at the moment. Um, yeah. And I’ve done all 26 of them. They’ve all been within the last 10 years, so I’ve done them all 100 percent plant based. Um, but yeah, it’s, it’s been one of my favorite ways to kind of combine my passions of, of travel and running, running for me is like nothing serious in my head better than running. It actually is very meditative for me and I definitely feel that runner’s high. I asked her, I run a long race, so I’m, one of the things that have really tried to do is run a marathon in different locations. So it’s been a really great way to kind of immerse myself in the culture a little bit more where you’re, you know, you’re running with um, you know, people that, yeah, it’s a, it’s a really good

Sean Tierney – 37:46 – Cool way to explore the two, right? You get to run. You do that five times, you’ve seen a lot.

Kara Mosesso – 37:50 – Definitely. And I think it’s just a really unifying sport too. Um, but it’s been great. Like I’ve run a marathon in the desert in Israel. I ran a marathon along a lake in Guatemala and one in Berlin, one in Dublin, and I’m running one in Antarctica in 2020. So yeah, it’s, it’s been a really fun way to kind of travel and you know also like keep my fitness going is as well

Sean Tierney – 38:16 – Do you have any tips as long as we’re on the forefront strike running or the lactic threshold running or anything like that.

Kara Mosesso – 38:26 – So for me, if I make it like too structured, it starts to lose, it’s fun for me. Um, but I do, I got really into it actually right around the time that born to run, came up and I don’t know if you’re familiar with that book so I was just really, I had always run but never really more than five or six miles at a time. And I ran track. I did the hurdles in high school so I always did like shorter distance running. I’m in a friend 2010 or so got me into long distance running and I’m was reading, going to ran at the time. So as I was kind of upping my mileage, I started to focus more on running more on my toes and have always run in Nike frees. But you’re supposed to be the more like barefoot running but not that know, not completely. There’s still some support. They do force you to run a bit more on your toes. And for me, I think that’s been really helpful in all the running of done. I have not had one running related injury at all, which I think, you know, it partly, partly I attribute it to kind of my eating and partly to the way of kind of trained my body to run. Um,

Sean Tierney – 39:35 – I’m a runner as well. I used to run the heel strike method and a friend got me like, you know, into the vibrams whole running that certain way. Um, I think it’s interesting. You don’t need to have like special shoes to do this. It’s really just a matter of changing the style that you run in fuse necessitate that you run that way because there is no heel support. So you’re, you’re not, it doesn’t compensate. In other words, you’re going to really feel it. If you try to run, he’ll style style

Kara Mosesso – 40:03 – Definitely. And that you know for anybody that is trying to shift into that running, I would just advise to kind of like slowly work your way up to it because you do start to use different muscles in both your feet, your calves, the rest of your legs, so I think it’s important to like, yeah, work your way into running that way by doing a few miles at the time here and there and then slowly building up so you don’t injure yourself.

Sean Tierney – 40:25 – Well, yeah, there was a good video that I saw that got me into it. I’ll link that one as well if people want to watch it, but yeah, it was not intuitive making that switch and it was kind of a very awkward, weird thing until I saw this video and then it just kind of click so I’ll link that. Cool. All right. Well how do people, if, I mean you have your site which is the Nomadic Nutrition. How do people, if they want to engage with you or get your newsletter or just connect with you more, how do they do that?

Kara Mosesso – 40:54 – They can sign up for my newsletter on my site. It’s nomadicnourishment.com, so they can sign up there. I have my email or my business email attached to that as well to that website so they can email me directly through that website. I’m also on Instagram as kmo_onthegogo. Um, so a lot of times there I’ll post photos linking to my most recent blog posts or just kind of like health related content combined with travel related content in general. Um, I also have a Facebook business page for my, for my health coaching. Um, if people just type in Kara Mosesso, M-O-S-E-S-S-O, health coaching, um, it should pop up. They can follow me on there. I post health related information on there as well.

Sean Tierney – 41:42 – Do personalized consultations remotely with people? You health coach over the Internet?

Kara Mosesso – 41:47 – I do, yeah. Um, I have a few clients that I’m working with right now because I’m also working full time as a nurse practitioner. I haven’t necessarily been actively seeking out new clients, but I have been kind of taking referrals as they come from friends and family. So, um, I, I do it in different ways, either as a one time consultation or as like kind of a coaching package over the span of three to six months depending on what the needs are of the particular person. So something. Yeah, I’m definitely open to if there is interest. Um, the other thing I’ve done a couple of times that I did twice over the course of remote year is I had this 30 day plant based challenge that a lot of the people in my group ended up joining in on. And the goal wasn’t necessarily to eat 100 percent plant based know over the course of the 30 days. Some people did do that, but others just were looking for a way to eat healthier while they were traveling.

Kara Mosesso – 42:40 – So kind of joined in and I sent out daily emails with tips about how to do it as well as certain like educational components about why it was important to, to eat healthier. And it’s something I’ve been considering running again. So you know, if people that listen to this podcast express interest in that, I’m kind of trying to gauge what the interest level is, but I was thinking about running and again in the next month or two

Sean Tierney – 43:05 – I will, I will definitely take you up on that whenever you run it. I’m on your newsletter now, so I’m assuming you’ll send out something

Kara Mosesso – 43:13 – Yeah, definitely.

Sean Tierney – 43:13 – Cool, but I did think of. One thing I forgot to ask you. So we didn’t really. I mean we talked a lot about nutrition and the theory of it, which is great, but like what about just practicality when you’re on the road, you don’t have your kitchen, you know, obviously you’re in a new place every month. How, what do you advise there? Is there any kind of hacks or tips or tricks for being able to cook better when you’re like that

Kara Mosesso – 43:37 – Yeah, you know, so travel obviously adds an extra element of when you’re trying to plan things out. But for me it was really helpful to kind of seek out farmer’s markets and the places that I was traveling to. Um, you know, it depends where you are and what time of year, the way I tended to travel with my group, it was, we kind of followed summer all year, so it was really easy to find farmers markets pretty much wherever we were. Um, but I found that really helpful just in terms of getting fresh, fresh produce. I also think it’s really helpful to kind of look at the bulk bins and the grocery stores, your ad to look for things like brown rice and grains that are really cheap and easy to make it home. Um, one thing I did, Malaysia was the first country I traveled to this year and I ended up buying this $1 can opener. That was just one of those little ones like this big handheld and traveled with that for the year. So it was really easy to eat things like can of beans and you know, something that’s pretty simple to me.

Kara Mosesso – 44:34 – I’m also like fresh fruits and vegetables are always more preferable, but canned and frozen is better than no fruits and vegetables. Right. So if you can, if you don’t have access to really good fresh vegetables and canned vegetables and using your, you know, your can opener is another way to kind of squeeze in, um, you know, more nutrients or you might not be having them otherwise. Um, I also think it’s really helpful. The other thing I traveled around with was a collapsible vegetable steamer, so something that you could just stick into the pot or pan and steamed vegetables pretty easily. Um, it’s also really helpful.

Sean Tierney – 45:08 – Do you travel with your vitamins or not?

Kara Mosesso – 45:11 – No. That’s like the one thing I, there was no material possessions I missed while I was traveling except my vitamins. That was the one thing that I did. I really miss. So

Sean Tierney – 45:21 – We had a guy in our group who did, he brought it and it required bringing this giant generator, his name was Monterey and he, it must have been at all like 40 pounds of stuff that he’d lugged around within the entire. And yeah, it’s cool. I lived with a month and we made smoothies, but man, that was like the massive thing to bring with.

Kara Mosesso – 45:37 – Yeah, serious commitment takes up a lot of your baggage weight. But um, yeah, I, I wish I had mine with the smoothies, you know, I relied heavily on those beforehand so that was definitely something I missed. Um, and I also think it’s really helpful just, you know, if you’re traveling with other people to kind of pull together and buying ingredients and cook together, I think kind of one of the biggest deterrent for not cooking is that you don’t have like spices or vinegars or things like that available. You don’t want to spend the money on them for a short amount of time and then throw them away when you travel. So I think if you kind of joined forces and kind of tie those things together and share them, it kind of motivates you to either cook together or use them on your own. Like trade off. I also traveled around with little zip lock bags of like Turmeric and ground flaxseed and that sort of thing. So if I couldn’t find them in a particular place, I always had access to them.

Sean Tierney – 46:33 – You stopped at Tsa Ziploc bag of?

Kara Mosesso – 46:37 – Surprisingly no, I always put it in my checked bag. But yeah, surprisingly I never got questioned it.

Sean Tierney – 46:45 – Cool. nomadicnutrition.com.com

Kara Mosesso – 46:53 – nomadicnourishment.com

Sean Tierney – 46:54 – nomadicnourishment.com. Sign up for the newsletter there and get the tips and yeah. Any, any parting thoughts for people listening that are like considering the plant based Diet? Considering going nomadic?

Kara Mosesso – 47:05 – Yeah, for a little bit of both. Just to kind of like put things into perspective just in terms of lifestyle changes in general. I think a lot of people tend not to make changes until they’re at a point where it might be too late or there already sick or like trying to recover for something, but just to like kind of give you an idea. So for example, like a lot of times if there are children that died at undergo autopsies, a lot of children that follow a standard American diet by the age of 10 when they undergo autopsies, they already have atherosclerotic plaques in their arteries by age 10. So like even by that age, it’s not an issue of prevention. It’s already an issue of reversal. So I think just realizing that like there are a lot of things happening in your body that you know, might take a while to come to fruition to cause a major problem that you might not know exist. So making lifestyle changes before it gets to that point is really important.

Kara Mosesso – 48:04 – Um also like what you eat, you are what you eat. Like in a literal way like anything you put in your mouth affects you on a cellular level because it becomes the building blocks of what makes up your, your actual body. So you’re constantly in a state of cellular turnover and like almost every year to every few years you have completely new cells and what you ate the year before effects kind of what, you know, what makes up those cells. So I think when you think on it, think about it at that level, it kind of shifts your perception about what you should be doing in a different way. Um, yeah. And just in terms of the nomadic lifestyle, I think it was a really important lesson and minimalistic living, adaptation and just a really great way to expose yourself to other cultures and make you a more empathetic person in general. Um, it was such an amazing experience and it nothing I would give back, you know, for anything in the world. So if anybody’s been considering doing it and hasn’t been out there yet, I would strongly recommend it.

Sean Tierney – 49:04 – Thank you so much for taking the time. I appreciate you coming back for a second time.

Kara Mosesso – 49:09 – Yeah. Sorry about the connection issues before.

Sean Tierney – 49:13 – No worries at all. Alright. Thank you so much. Be wellcare. Same to you. Bye, Sean. Okay. That was my conversation with Kara Mosesso. If you have a question for Kara, you can leave for a written or a video comment underneath her episode and she said she would be happy to answer questions. Um, so I did talk to her after the episode and she said indeed she is running the 30 day plant based challenge and that’s coming soon. So if you want to be a part of that, make sure you sign up on her website. That url again is nomadicnourishment.com. So coming up next episode, next week we have Bernie Miller was a sleep specialist with the Mayo Clinic in Arizona. He’s going to be talking to us about how to get better sleep on the road when your bed is changing week to week. It can pose a challenge there. And personally this is a very useful conversation. I have struggled with sleep myself. And so, uh, this is, uh, this is a great topic. If you are someone who struggles with sleep, going to want to make sure you listen to that.

Sean Tierney – 50:15 – So a couple bits of housekeeping here. If you’re considering doing a nomadic tribal program, you can save up to $300 off select programs simply by going to our discounts page. You’ll find that link the footer of our site under program discounts or simply go to nomadpodcast.com/discounts. To apply for any of the available programs. Know that if you do apply directly to the travel program, it does invalidate your opportunity to get the discount, so be sure to apply via the form on our website nomad podcast is supported in part by nomad prep, an online academy for aspiring digital nomads taught by yours truly that teaches you everything you need to know to make the transition to the digital nomad lifestyle. Get your first four days of this two week program completely free by going to nomad prep.com/podcast. Nomad prep. Take your job on the road and take on the world. If you are a travel blogger, we now have a platform that will allow you to reach a wider audience. You can go to nomadbloggers.com and click the submit link in the header, the blue button up there,

Sean Tierney – 51:18 – uh, to add your blog if you’ve enjoyed the content thus far, the greatest compliment you can give is that of a referral can still consider sharing this on your social media where the weather that’s a tweet, a Facebook share. Uh, you can also now share Instagram stories and make it very easy to share any Instagram post to your story. So our social media handle across all of those channels is no mad prep and also what helps is leaving a rating or review on your favorite podcasting platform. So if you found this content valuable, doing that, just taking a few seconds to do that really helps us grow the audience. It helps us cut through kind of the noise out there in other podcasts and reach more people. So take a moment if you would, and leave a rating and a review on your favorite podcasting platform. All right, so that’s all. Thanks for listening. As always, I mean this is such a pleasure to be able to have this role to help disseminate information that’s helpful for nomads. And so I hope you’ve enjoyed it. I hope you’ll come back and tune into a future episode. Until then. It’s a big world out there. Get out there and explore it. I’ll see you on the road.

Speaker 1 – 52:28 – Nomad, nomad, nomad podcast.

Ask Kara a question

Record a quick video question via your webcam and ask Kara anything (we curate this and post the best questions):

Pre-interview Questions

Name
Kara Mosesso
Instagram
@kmo_onthegogo
Facebook
https://www.facebook.com/kara.mosesso
LinkedIn
https://www.linkedin.com/in/kara-mosesso-9a893223/
Personal Site
https://www.nomadicnourishment.com
Links to anything you’ve written (or recorded)
https://www.wellandgood.com/good-food/how-to-make-your-pumpkin-spice-latte-healthy/slide/2/

https://www.karamosesso.com/blog/2017/5/3/reaching-to-the-other-side-of-fear
Current Company
City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center/Nomadic Nourishment
Current Title
Nurse practitioner/certified health coach
What’s something noteworthy about yourself?
I love to combine two of my passions: running and traveling! I have run 26 marathons all around the world and have one coming up in Antarctica!
Nationality
United States of America
Countries Visited
  • Argentina
  • Aruba
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Bulgaria
  • Cambodia
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Curaçao
  • Dominican Republic
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Guatemala
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Jamaica
  • Jordan
  • Malaysia
  • Mexico
  • Myanmar
  • Netherlands
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Saint Martin (French part)
  • Serbia
  • Singapore
  • Sint Maarten (Dutch part)
  • Slovakia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Tanzania, United Republic of
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • United States of America
  • Uruguay
  • Viet Nam
  • Virgin Islands (U.S.)
Where in the world are you now?
Los Angeles
Where were you living when you decided to start a nomadic life?
NYC
What were the initial set of circumstances or motive(s) that led you to experiment with a nomadic life?
Ending a long term relationship was the catalyst for my entry into nomadic life. I had always wanted to travel long-term and adopt a more minimalistic lifestyle and I was at a point in my life where it finally made sense to do it as I was financially stable and didn’t have any responsibilities holding me back. I left my permanent position in New York and I have been living out of two suitcases and haven’t slept in my own bed for 2 years now.
Was there something specifically you were looking to gain or escape from that you’re willing/able to share?
No
What did you do for income/work while traveling?
Nurse practitioner for telehealth app called Maven Clinic and health coach for my business Nomadic Nourishment- these were both very part time roles! I am still doing health coaching and working for the telehealth app on the side, but am also working full time in a travel nurse practitioner role at a major cancer center in the LA area.
Did that situation change at all during the course of your travels?
No
Are you still doing the same work today as when you went nomadic?
Yes
Did you find it challenging to do your work from abroad?
No
What type of personal or business growth did you expect to experience and how did that turn out in actuality?
Funny enough I think my most important realization was that it’s just as important to find peace in the ordinary as it is to explore the extraordinary. Travel has been my number one drug of choice, offering an unparalleled mode of escapism and quelling my fear of stagnation. True happiness, however, arises from internal rather than external sources. People and places can certainly enhance or detract from your experiences, but ultimately you create your own perceptions and realities. Staying put doesn’t have to equate with stagnation because when you operate from a place of intrinsic motivation you can create knowledge, growth, meaningful connections and adventure all around you (independent of location). I certainly don’t value my travel experiences (or the people I’ve met along the way) any less and will continue to travel as long as my little plant-powered heart is a pumping, but this realization has helped me feel as present, happy, grateful and healthy as ever.
What was the highest high-point and lowest low-point of your travels?
Lowest points: Unfortunately personal problems transcend time zones and I experienced a somewhat traumatic event with someone at home while I was in Vietnam. My grandfather also passed away while I was in Argentina. However I felt so fortunate to have such a loving and supportive community around me. I think having this community actually helped me work through these issues a lot more quickly than I may have otherwise.

Highest points: seriously everything else!

Was there ever a point at which you gave serious consideration to quitting the nomadic journey?
No
What did you learn from your nomadic existence that was unintuitive or unexpected but obvious now in retrospect?
How little I can live with! I was living in a 450 sq ft studio in Manhattan before I left, so I was already somewhat accustomed to minimal living, but aside from my Vitamix blender there was seriously nothing else I missed that couldn’t be lugged around in my two suitcases.

My perspective on life was shifted in general. I volunteered for a hospital in Cambodia that was built out of shipping containers and meant to serve the ethnic Muslim minority. We did ‘home outreach’ one day where we delivered food and medicine to families in this community by the river. The ‘homes’ were all made of dilapidated cardboard boxes, yet everyone in the community was smiling, joking and seemed genuinely happy. It made me realize I have NOTHING to complain about in life.

Was it hard to re-integrate back into society after your travels?
Yes
What specific challenges have you faced following your journey?
I went through a weird transition period while I was waiting for my current contract to begin where I was staying at my parents house in a 55+ community in Massachusetts (while they were in Florida). I was on a very strict budget and I went from 13 months of non-stop adventure and being surrounded by an amazing community, to sitting alone in the middle of winter in Massachusetts. I barely left the house except to go for a run and go to the grocery store and many day my main form of human contact was the patients I was seeing by video appointment! Life is much better now 🙂
Is there a piece of gear you could you not live without at this point?
No
Any particular routines or rituals that kept you fit/healthy/sane throughout the year?
yes- we can talk a lot more about this on the podcast! Plenty of health travel hacks.
Any ideas for a product or service to solve a pain point for nomadic travelers you believe should exist?
No
Are you open to answering listener-submitted video questions here if someone has a question?
Yes

sean

Sean is the host of Nomad Podcast and author of the Nomad Prep eCourse to help others successfully transition to the nomadic lifestyle. Sean currently lives and works in Lisbon, Portugal as Director of Sales for Pagely.com (a remote-friendly company which is hiring). Read more from Sean on his personal blog.

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