You may be wondering why I haven’t posted about our trip just yet…or anything else, for that matter. To be completely honest, I’ve found it really challenging to get back into my routine since we returned to the US on Mother’s Day.
We landed JFK around noon and took a car back to our apartment on the upper east side. Came inside, my husband took his stuff out of the suitcase, I threw fresh undies in, and we bolted to Staten Island to spend Mother’s Day with my mom, even though we were both jet-lagged, exhausted, and in need of a serious detox.
My mom had been taking care of Fozzie while we were away, so I wouldn’t have felt “right” about not going to her house for Mother’s Day (guilt, the biggest BS emotion!). My hubs went home that night, as he was returning to work the next day. But I promised my mom I would spend the week with her and help her around the house.
Not sure if it was all the delicious food, or the lack of rest, or all the inexpensive wine, but I did end up getting pretty sick that night, and by sick I mean I couldn’t open my eyes, let alone stand up.
I spent the next three days in bed, with the exception of frequent visits to the loo, and a visit to an urgent care clinic on Tuesday. Detox was critical.
I really did not have the wherewithal to write a coherent post last week, but I wanted to at least say, “Hey, I am alive, just detoxing and settling back in.” At the time, I didn’t think it was necessary to talk about the fact that I was bedridden sick. But I realized later it’s important to share the bad with the good. Look, my life isn’t all carob powder and chia seeds!
On Thursday, when I started to feel a little better, all I wanted to do was sleep in my own bed and go to yoga, but I was still on Staten Island and still wouldn’t have felt “right” about leaving my mom. We were both frustrated. She because she wasn’t getting the help she needed, and I because I was sick and unable to help her. I was also PMSing badly at the time (sorry for TMI!). Not a good situation all around.
Ok, so now I’ll give you a little more detail about my detox. One thing I have to say first, though, is that food sensitivities you might have here in the US, you actually may not experience abroad. Sounds crazy, right? The reason for this is that European laws are way more strict, with much higher standards and guidelines on food manufacturing (you need to read this article when you’re done here). For example, here in the US, we add things to food to give it a longer shelf life (i.e. extra gluten), whereas in Europe, they are just not allowed to do that. Bread is typically baked fresh the same morning and wheat and veggies are growing in much higher quality soil. So, where I may have diarrhea for a week after eating one slice of regular glutenous bread that was made in the USA, I would have a very minor reaction eating one slice of bread in Spain. However, I ate way more than one slice of bread and way too much cheese and ended up having a buildup in my system around my liver and gall bladder, which caused hyperdefaction and a ton of mucous in my sinuses (again, sorry for TMI!), which led to a pretty bad upper respiratory infection!
That said, here is what I did for detox:
Fortunately, I was sick enough the first three or four days after arriving home that I was able to fast without trying too hard (see, there is a bright side to everything!). I ingested nothing but water on Monday and Tuesday, and only water and no sugar added apple juice (to restore electrolytes) on Wednesday. My appetite resurfaced on Thursday, so I started the day with a high protein plain gluten free oatmeal (I LOVE Modern Oats Just Oatmeal) and added one tablespoon of Woodstock Lightly Toasted Smooth Unsalted Almond Butter for the extra protein and healthy fat (it is a bit pricey, I’m not gonna lie, but one jar lasts me about three weeks, and it is pure almond butter, no palm oil, sugar, or salt. Just the way I like it.)
For lunch, an entire quart of Imagine Low Sodium Vegetarian No-Chicken Broth, with a side of broccoli rabe sautéed with olive oil and a half of a plain baked yam (note: broccoli rabe and baked yam are gonna make you go. And, even though I was already going, I knew I needed to go more. Just be careful with these if you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome or any other type of inflammatory bowel disease.).
For dinner Thursday evening, I had a grilled chicken breast for some protein with a side of my mother’s famous dinner salad (romaine lettuce, cucumber, tomato, red onion (which I hate, so I pick it out), Italian seasoning, extra virgin olive oil, a drop of balsamic vinegar and a drop of red wine vinegar. On detox, substitute balsamic and red wine vinegars with one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar.
I pretty much stuck to this bland regimen until we came home on Sunday, when I could really get back into my routine. I pushed myself to go to yoga Sunday night, and started to feel a bit more like myself on Monday. Now I’m back on my Type A Morning Smoothie (with modifications for the warmer weather which I will post soon), my Anytime Soup for lunch (recipe coming soon), and a lean and green dinner, all with daily variations so as not to cause a build up or sensitivity due to overexposure.
I am also back in yoga one to two times a day, which is HUGE for me. I think it was what I missed most (second to my furbaby, Foz) while we were away. Even though you can practice anywhere, you, unfortunately, cannot bring your favorite studio, community, and teachers along!
So, now that I’m feeling a bit more like Michele, I will be able to write about our adventure en España.
Please stay tuned. I guarantee it will make you want to go (to Spain, that is).