Tracy Shields, Writer, Triathlete, Nutrition junkie
1. On Vacation: I don’t know about you, but when I’m on vacation, I tend to eat healthier. While in Sedona at the Enchantment Resort & Mii Amo Spa, I had a shot of wheat grass juice for breakfast every morning, gazpacho with heirloom tomatoes and avocado for lunch, and a light, healthy dish like salmon over a bed of brown or wild rice, with veggies for dinner.
2. At Home: I tend to run out and get a slice of pizza or a burger and fries when I work because I’m usually rushed. For dinner, it’s pasta, turkey tacos, chicken cutlets or leftovers. And while my dinner options aren’t unhealthy, per se, I’m running out of ideas and bored with the same old meals.
3. Solution: Figuring out what to eat three times a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year is a job for an insane person, or maybe Julia Childs. So, why not join a healthy recipe community like EatingWell. There are thousands of healthy recipes that can help reignite your love of (or in my case tolerance for) the kitchen. What about posting on Facebook, “Any great recipes for dinner?” That usually gets twenty responses from my helpful friends. Or, take yourself out for dinner once a week. But stay away from the fast-food joints. It helps if the ambiance is a little more dreamy than a red and yellow plastic interior that serves foods wrapped in paper.
1. On vacation: How do you feel about five in the morning yoga, outside on your back patio, poolside, chiminea ablaze, surrounded by mountains and warm air, under a sky lit only by stars because the sun hasn’t even come up yet? To me, it sounds like heaven. Or what about a hike through the redwood forest in late afternoon? Or even a couple aerobics classes at the spa, before a massage or facial? These are the kinds of activities I love to do while traipsing the globe.
2. At home: Wake up, get kids ready for school, scurry into a cold bedroom to throw on some old workout clothes and race out the door to go my local (stinky) gym where the classes are packed and there’s a waiting list for the treadmills. Occasionally, I’ll forego the gym for a bike ride down, ugg, highway 70. If I’m really pressed for time, forget it. I don’t exert one bit of energy save what it takes me to get from the bedroom and out the door to work.
3. Solution: Break out of your routine. One of the joys of traveling is that we tend to be more adventurous, willing to try new things. Don’t kick that risk-taking mentality out of your life. Incorporate unconventional activities into your weekly workout. Instead of taking your usual aerobics class at a conventional gym, what about taking a Hatha yoga class at a yoga center where there is more emphasis on breathing, mindfulness and meditation, rather than keeping your heart rate up. Or joining a group that practices the Korean tribal art of Kuk Sool Won. When you open yourself to other cultural activities you are not only participating in a new activity, you are learning a new culture.
1. On vacation: Blah, blah, blah, I can’t hear you. This is my brain on a vacation. Mushy, uncomplicated, at peace. Enough said.
2. At home: Quite unlike vacation-mode, my brain at home or at work is in overdrive. I have a million multi-tasking facts swimming together naked in an overcrowded pool of sludge (all with little sticky notes and multi tasks of their own). Because I wear several hats ( a writer, a designer, a board member, a committee member, a volunteer, a homeowner, a mother of two, etc.) it’s sometimes hard to keep it all together. By the end of the day, my brain hurts. To make matters worse, I am in bed reading until my eyes blur.
3. Solution: Woah, Nelly! It’s all about chill-laxing. If that’s impossible during a work day, maybe it’s more about clearing some stuff off your plate. Or better yet, make time during your day to create a sacred place at work or home where you can calm your thoughts. In fact, here’s an idea. Set a timer for 10, 20 or 30 minutes where you just sit still and do nothing, think nothing. And while it’s impossible to empty your brain completely, you can take this little chunk of time to visualize a future vacation place, perhaps, or simply rest your eyes. If this daily meditation trick doesn’t rejuvenate, try a temporal lobe lobotomy. Or simply do like I do, and drain the pool.
Tracy Shields is co-owner and Marketing Director of N3 Oceanic, Inc., maker of Res-Q products, and Nature's Shield, a subsidiary of N3. She is a writer, a triathlete, a nutrition junkie and a devoted mother of two boys.