The honeymoon, that is! Yep, we’re back! And not 100% thrilled about it, what with the drastic weather change and the reality of going back to work, but… it’s the Year of the Rabbit and it’s going to ROCK! In no small part due to its strong start – what better way to kick off a year than spend over a month with your favorite person in the world exploring new continents and NOT worrying about your day job? It sounds obvious but a good dose of vacation does wonders for your health, both mentally and physically. The nuts part is that people we met along our travels weren’t the least bit shocked by our adventure – only in the US is it outrageous to take more than a few days holiday at one time. I gotta say, my body has never been happier.
It’s never really been a secret that I prefer 80+ degree weather to sub-freezing temps and heaps of snow. (I mean really, what better way is there to eat a meal than this?) Most of the health- and fitness-related lessons from the trip were equally unsurprising, but it was nice to put theory into practice and see that I actually know what I’m talking about and can follow my own advice.
Lesson #1: I work out most days in general, but on the honeymoon getting to the gym was not my top priority, and rightly so. We went a few times and also got in some great outdoor runs, but mostly we just did a ton of walking. And wow did we cover a lot of hills! On most days here at home, we sit at work all day and then hopefully get an hour or so of gym time. My body was much happier with the constant movement. And I hardly even noticed I was exercising because it was fun, not something I was forcing myself to do! (That’s key to keeping it up.) But what can you do, we have to work to make a living and most jobs tend to be sedentary. At least we can make an effort to break it up a bit. I can’t tell you how much your body will appreciate it! Try to get up every hour or so and walk around, or go for a brisk walk outside. How can you expect everything to function properly when you sit all day – if you are stagnant, your insides are going to be stagnant too (if ya know what I mean!)
Lesson #2: Eat real food! (“Not too much. Mostly plants.”) I’ve said it before and I will say it again. Don’t eat stuff out of boxes. Don’t eat low-fat, sugar-free adulterated garbage, just eat real fruits and vegetables! I barely had any dairy while we were away but the very little I had was full-fat, regular milk. (In Japan I had a few soy lattes and wow was their soy milk better than ours in the states!) In any case, we didn’t find the fake stuff so easy to come by – not that we would have wanted it. Look at this delicious real meal – best sushi I’ve ever had! Note the not-huge portion size.
And look at how tiny this restaurant was!
OK I’ll admit this traditional Japanese breakfast left a little to be desired.
But dinner the night before was amazing!
Lesson #3: Take your time at meals, enjoy the company and focus on what you’re eating. It’s so easy to eat in front of the TV at night and not really pay attention to the fact that you happen to be shoveling food in your face. We tend to eat way too fast. Often while we’re on the go, running from one place to the next. When you’re forced to eat out at restaurants almost every night, watching TV isn’t usually an option. Relax, slow down so your food can digest and enjoy the person you are sitting with. What’s the rush!
Lesson #4: Eat at home! Good God, after all the restaurant-eating we were dying for home-cooked food. Thankfully we had a few visits with friends and family along the way, so we were able to get our fix. I really missed the ability to eat clean and make the things I want the way I want them. I never knew how much I would crave plain vegetables! Grilling! There isn’t enough space in this blog, or your attention span, to begin to describe all the benefits of making your own meals. Have fun with it! Even if you don’t think you are a good cook, it can be so great to experiment – we all have to learn somewhere. Make the effort to choose organic vegetables, humanely-raised meat. It’s much more satisfying to eat when you’ve gone to all the work of preparing everything. I can’t tell you how thrilled we were to get to my cousin’s house and find a whole salmon in the sink.
Lesson #5: Be thankful for what you have.
Happy New Year!! The year of the rabbit is my year so I plan to make it ridiculously good. And why not?