And just like that…

by Valerie on September 15, 2013 · 7 comments

It is September 15, and back to school season has already been replaced with Halloween marketing. It has been just about 10 days since I got back from almost 2 weeks of travel, which was on the heels of almost another week of travel earlier in August, and life feels on warp speed.  

Sauteed greens quinoa black beans sweet potato tahini sauce

There has been lots of good of course – a retreat with some of my favorite bloggers, hosted by the lovely Shirley of gluten-free easily, where I got to finally spend quality time with Heather of Gluten-Free Cat, Debi of Hunter’s Lyonesse,  my DC-area neighbors Cheryl of Gluten-Free Goodness and Linda of Gluten-Free Homemaker (who I had only briefly met before), Andrea of Rockin’ Gluten-Free, Denise who is @managingGFree on Twitter, and Jennifer, an amazing yoga teacher from Richmond. I also went to Switzerland to see my parents, and also steal away for an afternoon to see Jenn of Jenn Cuisine, who brought her sweet toddler and her husband along. 


I promise a recap on the retreat soon, as both the food and the company were magical, but I put my camera away which in Switzerland, and managed to be technology-free for about half of each day I was there.  Feeling that unplugged in Switzerland was a nice contrast to a summer that was otherwise packed with work, 24/7 Ipad/email usage, and 6 trips in just over 12 weeks  – Pittsburgh x 3 (always in the above tiny plane), Boston, Switzerland and Central Virginia, which yes, counts as a trip because it involved driving in lots of traffic and Edgar the dinosaur as a navigator.  Be sure to see Cheryl’s post for a picture of Edgar, along with a great recap of the retreat which, yes, I will recap myself soon.

My trip to Switzerland was last and I am put in DC for another couple of weeks. Staying up for 21 hours in a row on the day I travelled back last week meant the jet lag was brief (though painful).  The weather is cooling, and I have some allergy/sinus thing/ear wax buildup thing, no doubt a product of much time in airplanes and being allergic to just about everything in Switzerland in the summer (I had not been there in summer in over 10 years)… tomorrow, I must call the ENT for an appointment, but in the meantime, warming foods are sounding really good these days.  As much as I love raw foods, and eat semi to high raw, I love to complement that with grounding warm foods, like the lovely bowl you see above: sauteed kale and a greens mix, tangy caramelized onions, quinoa, black beans, sweet potatoes, tahini sauce, chopped garlic and sliced jalapeno. With the exception of the greens and the jalapeo, everything else came from the freezer or pantry. 

A few tips for making return from travelling easier:

-Before leaving, freeze leftovers. I had containers of leftover quinoa and steamed sweet potato in the freezer, along with some black beans (cooked in the rice cooker in early August and frozen for another day), which made the above bowl a cinch. I also made sure to leave some cooked chickpeas in the freezer.
-Leave lemons, garlic and onion in the fridge – they last forever, and add freshness to your frozen leftovers.
-As soon as possible after getting back, hit the grocery store, but do not be ambitious  This is key.  If you are tired and overwhelmed (and can’t hear anything because, see wax situation, Wait. that’s just me.) the last thing you want to do is a big meal plan and grocery run.  Or maybe you do, but I do not, so my goal the first couple of days back is to just pick up greens and some cucumbers and peppers, which, along with my pantry and my frozen quinoa and beans make sure I can have filling meals, salads and green smoothies.
-Schedule an extra vacation day for re-entry, whether you are returning from vacation or work travel.  #adviceInevertake, but absolutely a useful practice.
-Stretch, do yoga, or go for a walk soon after getting back. It helps with resetting and travel soreness.  I usually hit the gym or yoga  the morning after getting back, but this time eased in with a couple of days of stretching at home, then a couple of yoga 1 classes, and then added more intense workouts in on day 5 of getting back.

My goal this fall is to blog again more often, and also be more active on social media. Hold me to that?  



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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cheryl September 15, 2013 at 9:50 pm

It was great getting to meet you and spend some time with you, Valerie. I’m glad to hear you’re back home and back to blogging! and I’ve been trying to plan in those extra days yet something always happens.


2 Debi September 15, 2013 at 9:55 pm

That dish looks so yummy! Glad you are back and blogging again. 😀 That extra day for re-entry, start taking that advice. I used to do that when I was working all the time. Especially when I went home. That jet lag is killer and the extra day not having to deal with crises after crises helped a lot. Miss you! *hugs*


3 kbutton September 16, 2013 at 4:34 pm

That meal looks yummy. I am new to your blog. How do I find the recipe?


4 Andrea September 16, 2013 at 7:35 pm

Glad you are back to blogging again, great post! Was so great meeting you and getting to know you! I really loved your cashew cheese, can’t wait to make it soon! Love the tips on what to eat after traveling, I’m sure I will be majorly jet laggin’ after 9 days in Italy. Hope to see you again soon, I think next time we may work in a trip to DC to visit! I will definitely be there Spring 2015 with my son for his 8th grade field trip.


5 Shirley @ gfe & All Gluten-Free Desserts September 17, 2013 at 10:43 pm

Boy, you hav been busy, Valerie! It was so wonderful having you here for the retreat and getting to finally meet you in person. :-) I’m so happy that you got to meet up with Jenn and her family, too. So much fun! Look forward to hearing more when time eases up for you, dear.



6 MM Curator September 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm

I cannot believe you had to travel that much…and lived to tell about it! I would have completely lost it! Glad you’re back and yes, I will hold you to being on more social media-wise!
p.s. The MARC will start running on weekends in December so visiting will be much easier!!


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