Exhausting Beach Trip

We got invited to spend a couple days at a beach house with my brother-in-law’s family. Of course I wanted to go, how fun!

It. was. ex.haus.ting.

I’ve decided that while spending time with relatives is valuable to me, it is not a vacation. I am one those people that really likes to do things at my own pace. Trying to match up to someone else’s timetable can be annoying, stressful, or just plain exhausting. And sharing a house with adults who stay up late and children who get up early, meant that I did not get nearly enough sleep because I need about ten hours to feel good (my body is trying to heal, after all).

I’ve learned that trying to pack everything up by myself is much more difficult without my husband’s help (he was on a work trip). That trying to bring “healthy” treats requires advanced planning (because gluten-free, low-sugar, non-refined flour/sugar treats can only be homemade, apparently). That getting enough sleep the night before is extremely important.

A real vacation–one that is restful, therapeutic, and health-promoting–means time for naps, taking things at a slow place, and consuming nourishing food.

Vacation does not equal junk food–at least not to me. Apparently my relative’s idea of taking it easy is to not cook real meals and to have plenty of junk food on hand. Despite my efforts to bring nourishing food with us, I was still partially undermined by the packs chocolate Costco muffins and bags M&Ms staring at me, and my boy was tempted by not only the sweets, but chips and hot dog buns. That was probably my fault for not packing enough carb foods. I’m all for having a few treats (that’s why I baked ‘primal’ cookies for the trip), and brought some dark chocolate bars, but if the vacation is going to have much therapeutic merit, it needs to nourish the body.

I need to learn to stand up for our “special diet.” Since neither my son nor I are “doctor-diagnosed” with food sensitivities, I worry that people will think I’m neurotic or difficult if I claim we can’t eat this or that. I worry that I’ll come off as a food snob. But I have to remember that most people recognize that people have food allergies and many others recognize food sensitivities. My sister-in-law gives her baby soy formula because she seems to react poorly to dairy. That should have been a clue to me that she would have understood. But I didn’t talk to them beforehand, so it made it very difficult to turn down the food they offered us. I suppose I need to practice saying, “Gluten upsets my digestion and upsets my son’s emotional state.” Or even something as simple as, “We have food sensitivities so will need to eat our own food.” At least it sounds a lot better than saying, “Sorry, we only eat real food.” Talk about sounding snobbish.

I also need to remember that it’s okay to sleep on the floor. The first night I got kicked and rolled upon all night long. I felt like a zombie. Sleeping on the floor would have been much more restful.

It’s okay not to take extra effort to go see something. My in-laws told me there were tide pools down the beach a ways. Not really feeling up to it, but thinking it might be worth the effort, we trudged along the beach. Little boy was so tired I had to carry him. Then on the way back my knee went out and really hurt. Also, walking on dry sand is a workout, especially if you aren’t used to it. My son really just wanted to dig in the sand–we didn’t need to go far at all to do that!

Running: What I felt like I was doing much of this trip. Except when I was vegged out due to pure exhaustion.

Don’t count on being able to sleep in, especially if with another family. We like to sleep late, apparently my little nieces don’t. I should have gotten us to bed earlier.

My body was clearly struggling through this trip. I was getting sores in my mouth, and was very tired. I succumbed to eating junk food. I didn’t take all of my supplements. I needed several hours more sleep than I got. My period started early. Almost as soon as we were safely home, I started flipping out over all the things that were suddenly “wrong”–ants in the kitchen, not being able to get my key from my neighbor right away, my cat whining at me, etc. When my husband returned a couple hours later from his work trip, I snapped at him and walked away. The next two days I stayed in bed until almost noon. It’s the end of my second day back, and I still don’t feel quite recovered. I’m a little shocked at the toll this trip took on my body.

I need a real vacation. Anyone out there have ideas for eating well on trips or when others are trying to feed you? On how to take things slow when others want to go go go? Ideas for a truly relaxing/nourishing vacation (that includes a three-year-old)? We’re going to probably try again in a couple weeks, just the three of us.


7 thoughts on “Exhausting Beach Trip

  1. Seems like you never have fun on these family trips. Or that it’s so exhausting while you are trying hard to heal maybe you should just give the stress of going up.
    I found, on my trip to my parents, that bringing our left over taco salad (grass fed ground beef, lettuce, tomato, cucumber, avocado and onion) doubled as a car lunch and a lunch for the next day instead of eating at my class reunion. We also brought boiled eggs, Lara bars, almond butter, jerky, bananas, blueberries, some salami, raw milk cheese and dark chocolate. The full day we were there I had the taco salad and had enough so I had that for lunch and a bit more so I wouldn’t eat so much for dinner. That way even if dinner wasnt exactly what I am used to I didn’t have to fill up on it because I had already had my food earlier. And there were lots of temptation type things there- chocolate cake for my grandmas birthday (wasn’t too bad saying no because almost everyone primal or not can agree cake isn’t good for you), rolls at dinner, low fat dressings with weird oils and snack crackers. But we didn’t eat them. And it’s not offensive to decline those snacky type things.
    Anyway, that’s just how I was able to eat better on this trip while others were feeding me.
    It’s hard though to not be offensive. Sometimes it seems easier just go go along and eat whatever.

    1. You know, after I had posted this, I realized I hadn’t mentioned that I did have fun. I was just too tired from lack of sleep to enjoy it as much as I could have. Every chance I got, I sat on my butt and rested.

      I think that’s a good idea to bring along a pre-made meal…only trouble is that it means more preparation before the trip–in fact, preparing snack foods is exactly what made me stay up late the night before…so I guess preparing further in advance is needed. I definitely learned that I need to talk to people beforehand about meals, so they don’t plan food for us that we shouldn’t be eating. And it’d be good to know if there will be places to buy wholesome food once we’re out there.

      Did I mention what foods we brought? Raw milk, string cheese, cooked bacon, primal cookies, candied walnuts (for treats), blueberries, currents, carrot sticks, bananas, dark chocolate, eggs, deli roast beef…I just didn’t bring dinner food, and I didn’t bring grains–which was actually a mistake. We are used to eating some grains, and since we didn’t have any of our own, it made the muffins and other grain-based junk food all the more tempting.

  2. Oh good, glad you had fun 🙂 It sounded like you had a terrible time!!
    I think next time I’ll forget the snacky foods and concentrate on some meals that are easy to snack on- like the taco salad, since it didn’t need to be heated. Because it seems like we don’t even snack all that much when we have good meals here, minus a couple things for Luke, so there wasn’t any point. Oh well, it still wasn’t bad eating so I’m happy. And your snacks sounded yum. It was probably because Philip wasn’t there to help you!

    1. I know, I made it sound awful, right? lol. Oh, and I forgot I brought yogurt, too. That’s a good idea, though, to focus on meals. Maybe I will try that next time. Oh, and since you mentioned Lara bars, I bought a couple today to try them. It’s a lot of sugar, but at least it’s just dates and nuts pretty much. They were way better than other bars.

  3. Did you get the chocolate chip ones?? They have a lot more sugar than the other ones. But it’s definitely ether in my opinion than anything with carbs or any other type of bar.

    1. Got a cashew one for him, and chocolate chip for me (heehee). Dates just have a load of sugar in them, but it’s obviously way better than refined sugar. I think I will get those next time I think we will need special “treats” for something, especially if I don’t have time to bake.

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