My Aunt Lucille celebrated her 100th birthday last weekend with a family reunion in Los Alamos, NM. (I did not make the cake!) With that as the impetus, dh and I flew south to visit daughter Becca (Sam’s little sis) in Arizona, were later joined by my mom and sister, and then we four hopped over to the very VERY chilly high desert of northern New Mexico to finish off a busy vacation with the birthday festivities.
Things were blooming in central and southern Arizona!
OK, scrapbookers! Doesn’t it look like this cactus has its edges chalked?!
Do you get that blah-health feeling after traveling? I do! Usually toward the end of a vacation, I start craving plain, familiar, and healthy food. I also crave eating on my own timeline, sleeping on my own timeline, and dropping down to rest when needed.
It is not that I don’t love to travel! I do, very much! I love the adventure of checking out new places, learning about new areas through visiting the touristy sites, hanging with the peeps I’ve gone to visit (if any) and leaving behind the daily routine and concerns of home. And I love the opportunity to try out local cuisine and even restaurant chains that aren’t available in my area. Hello, Chili’s in Casa Grande, AZ!
Ancient masters of materials — the Casa Grande Ruins and ancient pots… Zentangle and pattern doodling, anyone?
New pottery for sale at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum… traditional patterns look like trendy art doodling, too.
I have recently returned home from my southern vacation. Since both Arizona and New Mexico are dry climates, we were all conscious to drink lots of water. Lucky for me, that was one habit I needed to get back on track with, so I brought that particular healthy thing home with me. Yay!
February visits to Becca mean coordinating everything so we can attend a Desert Diamond Cup soccer tournament game featuring our Seattle Sounders! It is glorious to sit outside comfortably for a soccer game in February. Not something we can do in Washington very often, but down in Tucson, yes!
Since it is all fresh in my mind, I thought I would share my tips and techniques that help me start feeling better immediately once I get home from a trip. I don’t go to extremes with juice cleanses or fancy/expensive stuff so these are doable by most anyone. Here we go…
1. Fresh fruit! Bringing that apple-a-day routine back into play, plus going for an orange, or pineapple in my cottage cheese, thinly sliced pear on a salad (and the rest of the pear to just eat!) Fiber, Vitamin C, and uncomplicated flavors refresh me.
2. Control the caffeine. You have likely, just maybe sorta, picked up on the fact that I love my coffee! Being on the go during a vacation often means that my at-home caffeine routine of one half-decaff latte in the morning gets changed up to full caffeine and an afternoon hit as well. Tapering back slowly once I get home keeps me from getting headaches and helps me operate more on my own energy, and THAT lets me rest when needed… which brings us to:
3. Stop and go at my own pace! I come back from vacations both tired out, but also with more stamina because of pushing my “go” limits. Getting rested up while still maintaining some of that extra ability that I’ve developed is tricky. Having fibromyalgia, and having my biggest symptom be my energy levels and fatigue, means paying closer attention to my daily do/rest cycles than almost anyone else. It’s comparable to constantly recovering from mono in a way, although usually I rarely let myself get fatigued to that extreme anymore.
These creatures (Radar, Becca’s tortoise above, and the lizard below) sure know how to take it easy.
4. Plain food, to settle down the craving to eat! I’m one of those people whose tastebuds can overrule all common sense. Do you know what I mean? Argh! Getting back to both familiar tastes, and intentionally choosing fairly boring foods for a few days normalizes me. Tastebuds, settle down!
This lamb and feta sandwich with coleslaw looks pretty tame, but the chocolate mousse we had afterwards turned this meal into the kind of splurge requiring recovery! Mmm, thank you, Blue Window Bistro in Los Alamos!
5. Drink water, lots of water. I said above that on this particular trip, I’ve actually come home with better water-drinking habits than I left with, but otherwise this would be a focus.
6. Sleep — two to three days of making sure I allow extra hours to devote to sleep feels soooo good and helps boost my energy if needed. But those who know me well also know that I always put sleep high on my priority list, so that’s really more of a reminder to the rest of you ;)
7. Vegetables. I hope you didn’t think I’d skip a mention of vegetables! #veggielover here! Along with refreshing fruit, raw and plain-cooked vegetables of the non-starchy kind do so much to make us feel healthy! Between the vitamins and trace minerals, the potassium and magnesium, the fiber and antioxidants, vegetables make you healthier and make you feel healthier both now and later. From crunching a raw carrot, to eating a sliced Roma tomato as a side to a half sandwich, to having a green salad (with at least 5 things that used to have roots besides greens in it) every day, and including steamed, stir-fried, or roasted vegetables at dinner (no sauces! no butter! no cheese!) I feel recovered!
No vacation feels complete without a little weather drama, but a Winter Storm Warning and sub-freezing temperatures were more than we were bargaining for in Los Alamos. Brr! But I got some snow — I love snow!
Now, of course you could just go ahead and “behave” while on vacation.Then you won’t need any recovery tips. I’ve done it before once or twice, especially on longer trips and especially when refrigeration is available. But I, along with most of you I’ll bet, view vacations and holidays as time to set aside sensible considerations, right?
So the next time you come home feeling wiped out, too bulky, and resenting your vacation for it, just hop on my post-vacation techniques for a few days (or forever!) and get back to feeling as awesome as you can and should!