To tell the truth, my life is already half-vacation. As a self-employed person, I pretty much make my own rules, and as a hypnotherapist, I have a tendency to go DEEP into relaxation, especially at work! But this semi-retirement has a flipside; while my regular life might seem relaxed to many, I don’t really know how to take vacations. I think I feel a little guilty about living a cushy life, so I don’t know how to unplug completely. The iphone is always at the ready, emails flying and my on/off button is rarely entirely off. So it was with great pleasure that I invited a friend from New York out to California to take HIS vacation, thinking I might pick up a thing or two about diving into the vacay.
My friend Hiram, had never been to California. He’s been many, many other places in the world, but never here. I looked forward to watching his pupils dilate and his jaw drop open as he took in some of the many gifts this state has to offer. After a tofu turkey Thanksgiving (if you plan to make one for xmas, click here for recipe) dinner, we headed to Big Sur, a hefty chunk of real estate where the Santa Lucia mountains decide to rear their heads along the Pacific coast. Among its bon bons of eye candy are images like this: and this: and oh yeah, this:
but forget the lousy aesthetics; the best part of Big Sur? No Cellphone service!!!
Being a bit of a researcher, Hiram found us a place to stay called Treebones where groovy meets sunset, all wrapped up in a yurt. You heard me: a this: . Sort of half-tent, half-teepee, a yurt is completely round and well, the feeling inside is… groovy. There’s even a big skylight at the top, through which you can see the treetops and at night the moon shone through so brightly well, it was almost rude, frankly. THE MOON NEEDS TO TAKE A VACATION! First with the tides… then with the menstrual cycle… OY! But it wasn’t just the moon that interfered with urban rhythms… it was the crash of the tide and the annoyingly cute elephant seals playing in the middle of the night… Whatever!
Treebones, in all its grooviosity, served ridiculous, organic, fresh-from-their-garden meals that looked like this: and offered COMPLETELY overrated sunsets from this porch: . If that wasn’t bad enough, Treebones had the bad taste to offer a hot tub in which Hiram’s and my relationship sank to new lows: . After just ten minutes in this torturous contraption, Hiram was rendered speechless: . I couldn’t blame him. Vacations are clearly awful and I’m not surprised I have avoided them for so long.
P.S. A practical tip: Many people ask me about how to stay macro while traveling. In the past, I brought a whole mini macro kitchen on the road with me. It was a knapsack-like bag I packed with small amounts of a few grains, beans, sea vegetables, dried fruit, salt, kuzu, ume plums, miso and just about every seasoning and condiment I could think up. That way, I just had to find veggies to round it all out. These days, I’m a little more chill, but I do adhere to 2 basic rules: No white sugar and no dairy (and I don’t even worry about red meat or chicken–they’ve been off the radar too long). These two "foods" have a tendency to bring a vacation to a grinding halt, either with mood swings or stomach cramps. They also set up cravings for more of the same. I find that it’s possible to get beans (or fish), vegetables, fruit and some kind of complex carb anywhere I go. When craving sweets, I find something made with maple syrup, agave, or I give it a pass. Even convenience stores have little gems like sunflower seeds and apple juice. Did you know that Fritos (yes, Fritos by Frito-Lay) are made of corn, corn oil and salt? No preservatives or flavorings or chemical additives of any kind!! Sure, they’re GMO and deep fried, but life is life and I might have them twice a year in a pinch. If you’re dealing with a serious health condition, take the mini macro kitchen and take your practice very seriously. If you just want to enjoy life and not arrive home with a food hangover, stay away from the big baddies and have a great time. Oh yeah, and chew well. That makes all the difference in the world.