You may have seen this on social media but I’ve just been on the most wonderful & relaxing vacation! It was long overdue and very nearly didn’t happen, but for me, I know if I don’t take time to take the foot of the gas, juggling all the veritable balls that a single working mum has, then sure as chips are chips I would crash. I learnt the very hard way investing in yourself by switching off from the internet, disconnecting from everyday stresses and traveling somewhere that feels safe & peaceful is critical in this modern age.
Living long distance from the core of your family, brings many challenges, sometimes it is by choice, other times its by necessity but as our family can (not always) but can be the heart of our support system, making sure you connect with them regularly is key. I’m very fortunate that my parents and sister are willing and able to travel from England to Chicago but once a year we cross the Atlantic ourselves to connect with our larger family unit, and this year we were home to welcome a new addition, my cousin gave birth to a beautiful little girl. After a few days at home we as a family will stay either at a rented cottage or a holiday park staying in a new caravan/camper (always a new model caravan so that we don’t have any chance of mold exposure) so that we can visit a different part of England each year we return, its a wonderful gift and this year we visited my favorite location of all time Cornwall.
Relaxation is the doorway to both wisdom & compassion – Tara Brach
Cornwall feels like stepping back in time, and where seemly time stands still, the stunning wild flowers on the hedgerows, hydrangeas the size of cars and rich history not to mention cell phone signal is spotty. I’ve said it many times over but if I was to retire back to England, this is where I would call home.
Can you sense the serenity that I feel when even writing about Cornwall? Finding a happy place in your life is so incredibly important, and I’m so lucky that my family is happier hunting for crabs on the rocks or body surfing in the waves than wanting to spend vacation time in a less tranquil place!
Our caravan was situated with a view of the sea, upon waking in the morning, I could hear the gulls calling, upon walking into the living area, my eyes were greeted with spectacular views, and the sound of my family happy, there really is nothing better.
Sitting on the beach I was able to listen to the waves, always cathartic in meditation, sending negative thoughts out on one wave, with cleansed thoughts as the waves crash on the shore. The waves were amazing, and just 5 minutes walk to the bottom of a hill next to the campground and we were at one of the best body boarding beaches with small yet powerful waves!
Before traveling back to England, I had been in Stress City, my body hurt, my body inflamed, my mood drained, so much so that I joined our own program AIP Reset before traveling knowing that I felt so close to a major flare. However on Kennack Sands Beach I was agile, happy, and able to body board with my daughter for 8hrs at a time! Seriously 8hrs!!! I have RA, Lyme Disease and thanks to AIP I could body board for 8hrs!!!! We would step back on shore just to eat and re-hydrate, and we’d both be laughing and riding those waves, with not a care in the world. Best medicine ever! My parents having known how I’d been feeling prior to the trip truly couldn’t believe their eyes that I was being so active without any negative consequences. This investing in ourselves really works.
Now many people in my health coaching practice tell me the same, that they are able to “get away” with eating foods on vacation that they can’t successfully reintroduce back home, and its really true. Iexperienced the same, as I have done on past vacations where I can treat myself with some local delicacies that I could never imagine successfully trying in Chicago. The key here is the relaxation, and also doing the AIP Reset to ensure a happy gut before heading away! I also ensured that at other times I was still building on that nutrient density with leafy greens, oily fish & organ meats (more about that in another post).
So, you want to know what I tried? Well you can’t get more Organic than some Cornish Cider, an alcoholic treat, which helped further relax me LOL! Each morning I drank a cup of coffee while looking out across the stunning views, and last but not least thanks to Made Marion Gluten Free Bakery I was able to partake in a Cornish Pasty… yes can you believe it a Gluten/Dairy/Nightshade free Cornish pasty! Indigenous to Cornwall, this pastry filled with beef, rutabaga, white potato, and other left over veggies would be made for the tin miners to ensure they have a substantial lunch whilst down the mines… the crust deliberately bulky so that they didn’t need to wash their hands before eating, and they would just hold onto the crust to eat the filling then throw the crust away. I was incredibly impressed with the service provided by Made Marion, we called them on our drive to Cornwall, asked if they could make them dairy free, then threw them another curve ball “could you do one without, potato” and they had absolutely no issue in doing so, even froze them for us, so that we could have more later in the week! A culinary highlight of the week, being able to introduce my daughter to a dish I ate as a child – she loved it! While the pastry ingredients weren’t 100% AIP, I had no issues so if you live in the UK, are chilled and relaxed they also do mail order delivery so be sure to check them out!
Being conscious about the need for our bodies to take a break, play and relax will be a regular theme on this site. Jo and I both know from past experience that such investment in ourselves has actually been a greater reward at times than the focusing on the food. A peaceful mind, body & spirit inspires a healthy gut, looking at ourselves holistically has to be top of mind!