Elaine Chukan Brown - Writer, Speaker, Illustrator, Wakawaka Wine Reviews (USA)
Years In Industry:
My shift to working in wine began in 2012, after serving as full-time university faculty in philosophy. Today I serve as a writer, speaker, and illustrator of wine and social issues. In wine, while I travel, taste, and research wine globally, I have specialized in California, Oregon, and New Zealand. Beyond wine I am also often asked to speak on ethics and socio-political issues as in my previous career that was my focus.
My Biggest Challenge To Wellness:
My work includes extensive travel around the world. The research side puts me in situations where for days and weeks in a row my focus is on intensive listening and observation of the work people do for wine growing and winemaking. Then, the public speaking side of what I do, puts me on stage in front of large groups of people sharing that information for several hours at a time, followed by meeting those attendees in person afterwards to answer questions and listen to their personal stories.
Both the research and speaking aspects of my work can make it challenging to find time for me to simply rejuvenate myself. Maintaining a balance of rest, nourishment, and quiet, while changing locales and focusing so heavily on the work of other people and other places can be difficult. At the same time, I was raised commercial fishing for salmon in remote Alaska, starting at the age of 9.
Because I began at such a young age doing such serious physical labor, I have a lot of innate endurance to handle travel and the work I do. But that has brought its own challenges. Since leaving commercial fishing, I've had to re-teach and re-train myself to stay in tune with my own physical needs - to practice eating regularly, staying hydrated, and getting regular sleep to find a healthier overall balance.
How I Keep It Together To Stay Well:
Currently I am following an AIP diet to focus on digestive health while also reducing overall body inflammation. At the same time, eating regularly during daylight hours proves very important for my overall stamina levels and physical comfort. I make sure to drink water regularly throughout the day and until bedtime. In order to ensure my nutrient levels are good, I get those tested twice a year, and adjust supplements if needed to maintain healthy vitamin B, vitamin D, vitamin C, magnesium, and iron levels - all of which help the body deal with stress more easily.
Several times a year I schedule a check-in appointment with a counselor I have had for twenty years - it is an easy way for me to stay committed to care for my own mental and spiritual health while also ensuring I have a place to find extra support if more challenging circumstances arise.