Last week was a really good week. My youngest daughter, Alex, killed it at her Spring Musical at her school, where she played Asaka Mother of Earth in Once On This Island, Jr. And the musical was even better for having my oldest daughter, Grace, and her best friend choreograph the whole thing.
Also, the bathroom renovation that would never end has finally ended. I can’t explain how excruciating a bathroom renovation is with a teenage girl. Having only one bathroom was tough. Announcing that she was going to be using the bathroom for 30 minutes was apparently more than she could handle. But then again, I might be expecting too much. Throwing anything away is expecting too much.
Cleansing wipes, cotton balls, tissues. These must take some serious concentration to remember to throw them away. But I digress. . . .
This isn’t about the stress of a renovation. Or the fact that teenagers can’t throw things away. Neither of these things are new. As long as renovations and teenagers have existed, so have these annoyances.
No, this is partially about finally getting to wind down a bit, and mostly about a question I was asked last week.
Billy had to be away for a conference in Florida. Spouses were invited, but I had so much going on that it just wasn’t going to be possible to go.
Or did I?
Originally I did. But one by one, all of those barriers seemed to have taken care of themselves. So at 9:00pm on that Sunday night, I made the decision. I would head down to Naples, FL and surprise my husband the next day.
And that’s exactly what I did. He was stunned. And it probably didn’t help that I showed up about 5 minutes before he was to do a presentation. Though, if I know him, he was still a rock star.
Now, I won’t lie. While my driving factor was that I would get to be alone with my husband at some point over the next couple of days - something which hasn’t happened in quite some time - I can’t deny that the idea of lying on beach in the warm Florida sun didn’t hold it’s own appeal.
So I hit the beach for the afternoon, while Billy finished up and then he joined me. And while Billy golfed the next day, I spent the day in complete and utter relaxation mode.
By 9:30am I had staked out my place on the beach. I had already arranged for a massage at 11:00am, in a fabulous spa at the hotel that is more than just services. Therapy rooms and pools galore. So I showed up a little early, soaked in the mineral pool, then had my massage.
Afterwards I soaked in the whirlpool, then did the cold plunge pool, then the sauna, another cold plunge, then the steam room, then off to lunch at the beach bar.
Let’s face it, I wasn’t exactly roughing it. Okay, so maybe the fact that the conference was at The Ritz-Carlton played a factor as well. It certainly didn’t hurt!
But lunch is where the reason for this article happened. A couple of chairs away was a couple who I had seen somewhere around the resort before. The woman had noticed my tank top and asked me what it meant.
I was wearing my “Go Betty” tank top from Betty Designs, who makes swimsuits, cycling kits and triathlon gear for women. So I explained what it was and of course that opened up into a wonderful conversation.
The couple was in town to relax and have a great place to get in some recovery swim sessions before heading to Indianapolis where the wife was competing in the US Swim Masters National competition. Very impressive!
They asked what I did for a living, and I explained that I was a Holistic Health Coach, and that’s when I got my question. She asked me, “What are your three top tips”.
So I’m going to share with you what I shared with her.
1. CHEW YOUR FOOD
At the risk of sounding like your mother - or sadly, maybe not as I believe this traditional wisdom has been thrown to the wayside in the last generation or so - chew your food! We rush to get everything done now, including eating. But our body doesn’t like that. The process of digesting food is slow, chewing your food shouldn’t be quick either.
Chew your food. To liquid. If you’re someone that likes a number associated with that, well it’s probably around 25-30 chews. But that’s all dependent on what you’re eating. So I prefer to go by feel. Liquid, or total mush. If there are bits that your teeth can still breakdown, keep chewing.
2. EAT SEASONALLY AND LOCALLY
Your body is constantly sending and receiving messages. What you eat is a message to your body as to where you are and what time of year it is. It gets very confused when you’re sitting in Canada and eating a banana. One banana isn’t the problem, but it’s bananas and berries everyday when it’s the dead of winter where things start to go amiss.
Finding it hard to warm up in the winter? Look at what you’re eating. If it’s a lot of tropical fruits and/or summer fruits, you’re body is spending time trying to cool down. It’s confused. Try more root veggies and see if you don’t feel a bit warmer.
3. GET YOUR SLEEP
I can’t imagine this is news to most of you. In general, we just aren’t getting enough sleep. At absolute minimum, you should be getting 7 hours, and now experts are saying it should be more like 8 to 9 hours. Yet, millions are existing on 5 to 6 hours or even less.
This works for awhile, but for prolonged periods of time it causes a lot of undue stress on the body. Nothing can recover. Sleep is a time of rest, relaxation and recovery. If we aren’t getting adequate sleep, we are only aging faster.
I’m going to spend the next three weeks writing more about each subject. In the meantime, pick one thing to start focusing on, and see how you feel. And then share your thoughts on my Facebook Page!