In this WIAW I talk about how I've often been sick since we moved to China and What I Ate This Wednesday while being sick... again.
Sick After Moving To China
I wish I could say that my plant-based diet, active lifestyle, and previous travels overseas have built up my immune system enough to protect me from getting sick since moving to China, but unfortunately that's not the case. In fact, I've actually been more sick these past six months than any other time in my life. I've had more extreme sicknesses in the past (such as tonsillitis, poisonous snake bites, food poisoning, etc.), but I've never been sick this often...we're talking on average about once every 1.5 months. That's a lot!
The weird thing is, it's been almost the exact same sickness every time. It hits me like lightning. I'm feeling fine one evening with no signs of sickness and the next morning I feel like rubbish. A fever quickly builds. I start feeling achy. I get the chills. My nose runs and my throat hurts. These symptoms are intense for about a day or two and then they wear off. This sickness usually forces me to rest a LOT and take a break from working out for about a week.
This isn't the only kind of sickness I've experienced, however. As I'm sure a lot of you who have traveled can guess, stomach problems are a common occurrence around here. When I'm eating food I cook myself, I feel great! However, eating out where I can't control the amount of oil or MSG in my food often gives me the runs (sorry if TMI)!
It's weird to feel like you're home somewhere, but to be sick so often. When living in America, I would often get sick during or after a trip overseas. I would get sick occasionally when in America, but not nearly as often as when I was traveling and dealing with a different climate and cuisine.
Now that I live in China, overseas IS my home! I was hoping my body would adjust quicker, but it seems like that's not the case. We've been living here for over 6 months (crazy!) and I'm still continually getting sick. It's definitely confusing and discouraging to be sick so often; to constantly have to miss out on language class or social events because I'm not feeling good. I'm justing hoping I can pinpoint some causes of my sickness soon, so that I can make changes to being healthier here in the future.
Enough about me though! Let's talk food! This day of eats was from a sick day where I was home and resting. Unlike normal sick days, I actually craved veggies and things other than oatmeal. But let's be real. Oatmeal still happened. I hope you get some meal/recipe inspiration from these meals!
Carrot Cake Oatmeal: I blended up a carrot in some water and cooked my oats in it, whipping in ½ ripe banana for sweetness. Then I topped everything off with more banana, raisins, shredded coconut and peanut butter.
Lunch was a Japanese sweet potato, roasted veggies (asparagus, carrot, pumpkin, and red pepper), Sriracha and nutritional yeast. SO filling and delicious. But sadly, I've realized that the Japanese sweet potatoes here are a little weird in that they remain super starchy and don't turn gooey and soft like most Japanese sweet potatoes. Their starchiness usually upsets my stomach and this was probably the last one I'll eat.
Super Simple Stir "Fried" Rice. This recipe is my new favorite and I'll be sharing how I make it soon! It takes me about 10 minutes to prepare and I love all the textures and soy sauce flavor!
By the time dinner rolled around, I was feeling more energetic and was planning on hanging out with friends afterwards we finished eating. Towards the end of my meal, however, I started to feel really sick and long story short, I ended up having to stay home and deal with another kind of sickness. Gotta love China!
Before bed, to help my stomach, I ate a dried persimmon and a banana. So sweet and delicious.
Some of you may be wondering if I still enjoy living in China considering all the sickness I've been experiencing since I moved here. The answer? YES! I believe my health isn't fully in my hands. While I can do my best to eat healthy and stay active, the One who made me is in control. I could be even more sick if I was still living in America where I had access to all kinds of healthy food and organic produce. While China may not like me very much, I'm still so in love with China and wouldn't want to be living anywhere else. Don't get me wrong, after a week of being sick I definitely start feeling a bit sad and stir-crazy, but I know it will pass eventually and I'll be back to my normal self soon enough.
Thanks for reading and thanks for the link-up!
Now tell me:
What's the worst sickness you've ever experienced?
Do you get sick often?
How does your body/health hold up traveling?
Hello there! How's your health doing after almost three years? Are you still in China? My wife and I have been loving life in Chile for the last year, but each of us has gotten sick 5 or 6 times! All kinds of stuff, bronchitis, the flu, strep throat, the list goes on. Did you find that you finally got better after 1 year? We're really looking forward to that moment, whenever it comes!
Hi! So cool you've been living in China! I forgot about this post actually. Yes, thankfully the sickness did stop. I don't know if I ever figured out what caused it. I didn't eat out much and that really helped my digestion/stomach sicknesses etc. But in general I haven't been sick in a while! We sadly aren't living there anymore. We recently decided to move...just haven't decided where yet! I hope you guys start feeling better and that all the sicknesses subside!
Thanks for the reply! We're actually living in Chile, but the situation is much the same as China: awesome culture and new experiences...with air pollution for more than half the year! A lot of people think the pollution is the cause, but it's not totally clear (I got my last cold in the purest air of Northern Chile! haha). Anyway, I'm told by others that it improves with the years...fingers crossed. Enjoy your next destination!
Oh man, I definitely read that wrong haha! Chile is definitely a different country than China. I'm sure it's beautiful and quite the adventure living there! And yes, I hope the sicknesses stop soon. Thanks for saying hey Chat!
Candy girl says
This article is so real. I experienced the same illnesses as you for two years in China . I never imagined it was so bad until last night.
I left China and traveled Oceania and South East Asia feeling amazing. I went back to China this weekend to visit and immediately got sick. After two days!! I knew I wasn’t crazy. Thank you for this post.
I’m so glad it was helpful to know you’re not alone! Thanks for commenting!
William Moore says
(I little background info) I have been in China for about 10 months now. Not my first Trip overseas however, I have actually been out of the USA for some time now, Japan, South Korea, Russia, Georgia, Parts of the Middle East and Africa. And I normally stay in one place for six months to a year)
I normally never got sick until a few years ago when I got shingles. (And the PHN) After that I tended to have little flare ups when I would get run down, but nothing else. Never the flu or cold. And Could eat anything.
And agreed I have never been this sick before.Maybe once a month I will have something.
I have had Shingles twice (Which indicates a run down immune system)
Walking Phemonia once. Flu. A staph infection. Runs. Rash's. You name it.
Part of my Issue is that the Air/Water Quality is just terrible where I am. I actually got a light chemical burn from the shower where I live When I first got here. (Had to get a new/special shower head for that)
That on top of the pretty obnoxious level of racism directed at my fiance here has unfortunately put China at the top of the "Worse places I have lived list" Right above Russia. Which is a real shame I actually tend to like most of the people I get to know here. Chinese people are very friendly... after I bludgeon into there minds that my Fiance doesn't have a terrible disease and is not going to rob or murder them.
I honestly have not even been well enough to see/travel much of any place in China sense I have been here. And at this point with only two months left to go on my contract... I don't know that I want to now.
A real shame I hate to leave a place that has had me as guest for a full year and have very little nice to say about it.
Wow. What an experience you've had! I'm so sorry your time in China hasn't been very good and that you've been sick so much. That's not fun at all. I've honestly loved living in China since I moved here (we have fairly good air-quality where I live), but the first year I did get sick a lot. I've actually been saying to my husband that I can't believe how long it's been since I've been sick! I think my body just adjusted eventually and now my health is doing great. I feel like the first year living in China is the hardest, so I'm sad you're leaving so soon! It's definitely not the easiest country for foreigners to live in though. Do you know where you're living next?! I hope your health is good right now and that you're last two months in China are the best of them all! Thanks for commenting and sharing your story with me!