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Thursday, March 17, 2011

Nutrition?? What nutrition...

Vacation is tough when it comes to nutrition.  This country makes it difficult to eat in a healthy way while traveling – with nonstop fast food and processed food in vending machines all over the place, finding a piece of fruit can sometimes prove too laborious.   Day 3 of the vacation and my stomach is unhappy.  I have relied too heavily on cheese and bread - cheese pizza, veggie pizza, mac and cheese at the world famous Beecher’s at Pike Market in downtown Seattle…(unbelievably delicious, but ugh).  My tummy aches just thinking about it. L  Thank goodness I had the foresight to pack some ginger to soothe what ails me.  Other than a salad add-on at the airport and a spinach salad with the veggie pizza, vegetables have not been my mainstay either.  I guess I thought that the uber-healthy Pacific Northwest would be just rife with fresh produce options.  Now don’t get me wrong, there were plenty of fresh produce stands at Pike Place Market – but how was I to know that that would be the ONLY place I could see fresh food for days.  The downtown Seattle area seems to cater to the typical American tourist – very pricey restaurants with fancy names and high sodium contents.  Oh my.  Not good for yours truly who doesn’t like meat, fish or the like.

So, I am hoping that the next leg of the trip to Portland will prove to be more nutritionally sound.   So much for vacation vegetarianism…

As I wait in King Street Station in Seattle to catch the train to Portland, I am dismayed to hear that all trains are cancelled.  We are going to have to take a bus to Portland.  Not the experience I was hoping for – the romance of riding on a train gently swaying to and fro down the tracks is a totally different picture than the crammed on a bus with stinky people vision that I am about to embrace.  My day isn’t going as well as the past couple of days.  Certainly no peals of laughter other than from H who can’t help but laugh at my sour puss face.  Maybe I need to spill some more water on her  :P

Why can’t there be fresh fruit and vegetable carts all over the place?  Why can’t King Street Station have a Jamba Juice or Starbuck’s (which there are some 84 of in downtown Seattle) like Union Station in Chicago?  (My all time favorite train station).  Obviously, by now you are making the correlation between my usually optimistic nature to my usually fiber filled day.  If you can’t poop, you can’t smile, in my book.  LOL.
Well, off to board the bus…  I will hopefully write more after a good healthy meal.

ADDENDUM:  After writing this in a very grumpy-mood-morning at the station, I have found several healthy meals - lot's of veggie and vegan friendly options, good micro-brews in Portland, excellent coffee and teas and plenty of oatmeal.  Had I known better, I would have made some better choices in Seattle and now know what to look for (Seattle, you still have my love).  My mood and digestion have greatly improved due to lots of walking, lots of good food and even one world famous Voodoo doughnut in Portland.  Now, it's on to Eugene...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Back To the Blog - Vacation Edition

Hello All!

Nothing says living a healthy life like taking a well deserved break, right?  Well, I am on vacation right now, so this is the vacation edition of my blog.  Finally some time that is a break from school, work, work, house, dogs, family, etc.  Vacation always brings thoughts of relaxation, freedom and a lack of structure that is absolutely tantalizing.  There is just nothing better than sleeping in and not having to cook dinner. 
So the vacation starts out with H and me heading down to St. Louis (where we were flying out from).  We had an easy trip – found the downtown hotel with relative simplicity, no traffic or parking issues and a breeze checking in.  We even got a free bottle of wine while in the lobby of the hotel!  Yay us.  We were patting ourselves on our back due to the luck of the beginning of the trip.  We slept well in our luxury king bed (Hotwire Hilton - $67 a night) after a long drive and a hot bath.  Then we woke up to a glorious Missouri morning – the sun was shining on Busch Stadium and hundreds of runners in green preparing to embark on the St. Patrick’s Day run before the parade.  What a morning!  60ish degrees and a light breeze – I couldn’t ask for a better start to the vacation.
But apparently St. Patrick’s Day is kind of a big deal in St. Louis.  Runners aside, there were literally hundreds and hundreds of people out on the street decked out in their finest – green wigs, green tights, green t-shirts and socks.  It was as if all the leprechauns in Ireland exploded in downtown St. Louis.  J
I was enjoying the sunshine and typing away on some last minute homework when I heard the noise.  A loud, annoying, (think world cup horns, folks) horn blowing down the hall.  I had heard them on the street, so I knew they were being sold from a cart down below… but the hall of the Hilton? Really?  At 9:00 a.m.?  Ugh.  I flippantly mentioned to H that I was annoyed.  I think the exact words were, “well, that doesn’t suck or anything.”  Ha.  So, with a look of fierce determination, my bold spouse (who never really minces words because there is no need in her world to do that) stepped into the hallway and said, “That is NOT ok.  Knock it off” to the 11 year old boy trying to irritate his friend in the room across the hall.  She sounded like the nurse she is trying to become – bossy, firm and not to be messed with.  I could not stop laughing.  What a time!  I have been laughing about it all day long.  We even laughed about it as we were all over the Gateway Arch – acting the part of the American tourist.
Which brings me back to the break… oh, how I have missed laughter.  In the frenzy of this semester, it seems to have eluded us.  We stomp around the house in between where we need to get to next and gripe at each other.  We forget how important and necessary laughter and time off are in the grind to accomplish the next big thing.  One little incident with a naughty 11 year old boy has quickly reminded me that I have been taking life way to seriously lately.  And I plan on being less serious over the course of the next 8 days.  Hopefully it will stick and will continue into the next part of the grind.  Laughter really is the best medicine.