Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A Rainy Weekend Escape

Recently, the Coastie and I went to Monterey and Carmel, California. We knew that we were in need of some time away from our everyday stressors. The past four or five months have been exhausting. We really wanted time for just the two of us, to be away from home and work, and just BE in a new place with each other. We love exploring and traveling, but with only a weekend available to us, we had to stick pretty close to home. We chose Monterey and Carmel because they are such beautiful, peaceful, and friendly towns.

We stayed in Pacific Grove - a tiny little place in between Monterey and Carmel. Unfortunately for us, our weekend away coincided with the Pro Am Golf Tournament. This tournament is probably one of the biggest tourist attractions and cash flow for the area. So we definitely did NOT stick out like sore thumbs as tourists! It was also the last days of the "Community Appreciation" days put on by Carmel, so a lot of the attractions were free to the local residents (i.e. the Monterey Bay Aquarium).

Plus, it rained the entire weekend! The Coastie and I have desperately missed rain during this drought in California. Rain also reminds us of home, family, and the Great Smoky Mountains. We didn't let a little rain damper our spirits! We absolutely loved it! We had to forego our idea of riding bicycles out to the Lighthouse because of the rain and a 5K run for charity that was blocking all the roads, but we still managed to do and see a lot, as well as rest and relax. Our hotel room even had a wood burning fireplace, so we got to cuddle up on the cool, rainy nights in front of the fire! It was perfect and amazing! We returned home feeling rested, connected, and rejuvenated!

Elephant seals near San Simeon Lighthouse

Golf course is in the distance

Top of Monterey Bay Aquarium

The sun was shining for just a little bit...


Cannery Row in the rain.

Last morning's breakfast at Holly's Lighthouse Cafe. Yum!

The Lighthouse! (Closed, but I still got the photo!)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Trial

I have been very blessed to be healthy my entire life. I've danced for almost 15 years, been practicing yoga for about 10 years, and have recently taken up running. I've also been blessed to be naturally fit and happy with my body.

However, lately, some health issues have begun to creep into my life. In order to avoid any invasive Western medicine procedures or medications, I've turned to acupuncture, Chinese herbs, and holistic approaches.

The most recent venture I have begun is a trial of eating gluten-free and dairy-free. I plan to try this for one month, with the exception of a cheat day on my birthday. I hope after one month, I will know if eating gluten- and dairy-free have made any positive impact. If it has not, watch out world - I will be eating cheese, pasta, bread, and yogurt (not necessarily all at once... yuck). 

                                Today's inventory of health at the beginning of this journey:

Almost consistent heartburn after any type of meal.

Feeling flushed and exhausted from sinus allergies.


Poor digestion and the issues that follow.

Moderate energy.

Moderate mood.

Blemishes on chin.

Cravings for salt and sugar.

This inventory has little to do with my current lifestyle - I exercise regularly, drink water constantly (over 80 ounces a day!), etc. I just wanted to write down any trivial fact that may help me deduce the outcomes of this trial period.

Wish me luck!!!

PS - The hardest part of this will be the Girl Scout cookies that were delivered today....