How to Beat Post-Vacation Blues

The Post-Vacation Blues. They are brutal. You enjoyed yourself on your vacation, probably had nice weather, and then the harsh reality of returning to the grind of work can be utterly depressing.

Some ways to beat the blues:

1. Relive the trip through photographs.

I absolutely love taking pictures. I wish I could take a photography class and really learn how to use a fancy camera.


One of the best parts about a vacation is reliving the experience through the photos. I ordered a bunch of prints from Kodak.com and when they arrived I happily organized them in a photo album and also hung a few photos in my cubicle at work.


There’s nothing better on a long, rainy workday than staring at photos of my sunny vacation. 😉

2. Eat food that reminds you of your trip.

After eating some Southwestern and BBQ food in Tucson, I was determined to try a few recipes that reminded me of it.

I found a few recipes I want to try:

Yum! My mouth is watering at all these recipes. Plus if you’re like me, you probably eat out more on vacation. And it’s food that’s not normally in my diet. So it’s a nice thing to eat familiar, comfort foods are home. Especially if on vacation I wasn’t eat much in the way of veggies…(And no French Fries don’t count!).

3. Start planning your next trip!

Michael and I have a few vacations planned for 2011. The next trip we’re hoping to do is Vegas. It’s been way too long since we’ve played in that playground.


The second trip is this fall: Texas! I’ve never been to Texas (or the South really). I’m looking forward to another adventure.

4. Start a new project!

After reading Julie & Julia on my trip to Tucson I decided that I wanted to try a cooking experiment: French cooking. But since I’m trying to keep those pounds off, I’m determined to figure out “lighter” ways to recreate Julia Child’s recipes. We shall see how I fare.


I’ve picked up some cookbooks by Julia Child from the library and in the next few weeks I will be seeing how I can monkey with them to make them lower in calories. I’m really excited about this!

 

5. Take a Mini Break

After I got back from Arizona, the one thing I really wanted to do was visit the beach.


It had been awhile since I made a day trip to the Oregon Coast and I after spending a week in the desert the pull to the Coast was even stronger!


Michael and I also booked a one night getaway in a few weeks for Hood River. It will coincide with us picking up our case of wine from Quenett.

6. Continue Regular Fitness and Food Habits

Getting back on track with normal food, routine workouts are important too. It’s nice to take a break from the routine on vacation but it’s crucial not to completely abandon the healthy ways I established before the vacation.

 

It was a pretty seamless transition for me after vacation. I took one day off and then started back with my workouts. It really helped stave off the blues.

 

QUESTION: How do you keep the post-vacation blues from plaguing you?

10 Things The Kitchen Taught Me in 2010

Cooking is Hard Gif - Cooking is Hard
Cooking is Hard

If you’re new to my blog let me inform you that I am not much of a cook. Or at least–I never used to be. When I was a single girl living alone I ate a lot frozen foods and foods that came from a box. In my journey to lose weight and live a healthier life I realized I had to start eating REAL FOOD.

I also realized how much fun trying new recipes can be!  I learned a lot this year and wanted to share a few gems.

Some Things the Kitchen Taught Me in 2010

1. Don’t Broil Fish. Ever. While that experience was awful at the time I’m glad I managed to turn around a Kitchen Failure into something pretty darn delicious.

2. Don’t add water to Pumpkin Puree. This turned out to be a really delicious dinner– saved from disaster!

3. Put Sugar Cookie Dough in the fridge in between each batch for easier rolling/cutting. Oh and always take your cookies out a minute or so early. They’ll still cook on the baking sheet.

4. Always read instructions. Before trying a recipe. One of my flaws is impatience. I know this about myself and I try to improve my patience whenever I can. But sometimes it gets the best of me. I’ve been known to skim recipes, think I have everything and understand the instructions, then half way through cooking realize I made a stupid mistake. Ooops.

5. Don’t substitute weird things. My mom isn’t the best cook. It’s kind of the family joke but it’s sadly true. She can bake but when it comes to cooking her skills lie elsewhere (she’s a wonderful artist). To give you an example: the first time I took Michael home to Seattle to meet my family my mom made this horrible dip and we all ate it and said it was wonderful but…yea…So she made a Spinach Artichoke Dip but she didn’t have artichokes so she substituted a can of diced chilies. What? There are no words to describe it. We just laugh now. And it’s funny because sometimes I ask Michael if I can substitute a certain thing in a recipe and he says “Don’t be your mother. No substituting!” 🙂

6. Make sure I have ALL of the ingredients before I start cooking. I’ve made this mistake too many times to count. “Oh crap I don’t have a Bay leaf!” or “Uh oh, I have the wrong kind of canned stewed tomatoes–back to the store I go!”

7. I can cook a whole chicken! I was really proud of myself for attempting this recipe and NOT getting freaked out by the whole “cooking an entire chicken” thing.

8. Trying new things can be awesome! The West African Cashew Soup is probably by far the best recipe I’ve tried in 2010. I am really happy with how it turned out; the soup was delicious, and the fact that I’m still thinking about how good it was a month later means it was a good recipe!

9. Bacon makes everything better. There’s no further explanation needed.

10. Cook for someone you love. It makes the food taste even better.

Check out my new page for my Recipe Index!

QUESTION: What have you learned in the kitchen this year? Any tips, tools, recipes, lessons you want to share?