Vacation Message

You can have your vacation, and eat healthy/ exercise/ relax/ sleep, too!

This is our family vacation, and I mean family: Grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, cousins… The idea is very simple. We rent a house near the beach in Maine, and then everyone takes turns visiting for the day and/or night. We have a roughly organized schedule of meal prep and activities, but usually it’s a play-it-by-ear-and-the-weather loosey-goosey kind of thing.

One thing that is NOT negotiable is physical activity. This vacation is our mental health reset, and moving our bodies as much as possible is critical to that. I’m an early riser, and vacation is no exception: I’m up and out the door walking/ jogging as soon as I’ve had my coffee (and plenty of very strong coffee is also non-negotiable!).

In the early mornings it’s just me and the sea birds and maybe some dog walkers out on the sand flats. I forgot my headphones but I think that’s a good thing.

Being alone out in nature and without distractions allows my brain to work out all sorts of problems. The wide open spaces, fresh sea breeze, and rhythm of movement are naturally meditative.

Hills Beach, Maine, at low tide.

The kids are up and out the door as soon as they’re awake, endlessly hunting for hermit crabs and sea glass, boogie boarding, sprinting up and down the sand all day long.

As far as eating and drinking, we’re still emphasize plants, and every day begins and ends with fresh fruit. We like eating seafood (that’s not fried) and grilling (lots of vegetables) so meals tend to be healthier. Mussels have been a hit, made with with olive oil, garlic, fresh herbs and greens, and a broth of white wine or beer with fresh lemons. There’s the requisite steamed lobster and corn on the cob, without butter. But there’s been chips and dip, burgers and fries in there as well, and that’s okay, I’m not stressing.

Yes, there is ice cream, alot of really amazing local ice cream. And fresh berry pies from the farm stand down the street. Meals are enjoyed with family, drinks in hand, everyone at some point saying out loud: “This is so freaking awesome”. Then we go to bed early and sleep well!

And that’s the recipe: Plenty of physical activity, nutritious food throughout the day (and treats in moderation, without guilt), loads of relaxing downtime shared with loved ones, and solid sleep. Repeat, repeat, repeat, and there’s the perfect family vacation!

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