Well hello there, stranger. Fancy meeting you here. Welcome back from the unplanned hiatus that has been the past ten days...here's what happened. I planned to write a Fueled Up Friday post last week like normal, but then Friday arrived. And there was just no way on God's Green Earth to be fueled up last Friday, guys. Do you watch the news? I'm thinking about just stopping with the whole news thing. It's been too rough. So I was not fueled up, and I didn't want to pretend, so I just stayed silent. And then, this week.
Ok, so, we're leaving on vacation tomorrow (which I'm going to talk so much about in two shakes, hold tight) but this week a thing happened to me that happens a LOT before vacation. And the thing is, I spend the week preparing my home/job/self to leave for vacation, and that causes me to pretty much hate everything about my life. I like my job, and I liked the last job I had, but the week before I'm going to be out on vacation I am consistently convinced that my job is torture (and even more melodramatic than that, like, what am I even doing with my life!?) It's dumb. I can recognize and admit that it's dumb. But it happens, and no one would want to read a blog post that comes out of that head space. You're welcome, for not posting any of those.
But TODAY. Today I woke up and finished all of the work items, and bought the things that we need for our vacation, and put together all of the plans, and packed a bag, and now I am totally fueled up. And all I want to talk about today is vacation, so this is going to be a uni-topic post. Here we go.
We are leaving on a road trip tomorrow morning and I am PSYCHED. Here's the plan: we're heading to the Badlands and the Black Hills, and then on to Denver. The boy child is coming with, but the fur child is not. It's going to be awesome, I've decided. (I'll admit to waffling between "this is going to be awesome" and "I wonder how Dan and Kelly will do in the car for that many hours" but I'm off the fence. On the awesome side.) Don't worry, you'll hear a lot more about this vacation (maybe this week, maybe next week, you never can tell) but one of the things I'm particularly fueled up about is the snacks. Snacks are the BEST part of road trips, amiright?? I'm not alone in this in my family, because Kell dug through the bags from my shopping trip this afternoon and exclaimed, "S'mores Goldfish?! THIS IS THE BEST VACATION EVER!" Maybe I don't buy him enough fun food. But I digress. Check out these healthy snack options (S'mores Goldfish not pictured, but packed.)
So another thing that happened this week is I had an episode of stomach issues for a few days. This isn't out of the ordinary for me, but I usually know why/saw it coming (because I tried to eat cheese curds, or whatever). This time the reaction was set off by a big bowl of quinoa, which was unexpected. I eat gluten free grains pretty regularly without issue, but I don't usually eat a TON of them (like, a small side-dish serving is normal) and I went out for lunch this week and ordered a salad that turned out to be a pretty huge bowl of quinoa. I've ordered this salad before, even, but I think this time the restaurant was running low on greens/the other ingredients, and they were like, "Just put all that quinoa in there. Good. Send it out." And I guess it was just too much.
So a weird thing that happens when my body is throwing a temper tantrum is that my stomach swells up a LOT. I was texting a bff about that this week and decided to take some pictures, because this is weird and weirdness should be shared. So preface to these photos--I look pregnant in the first one, and I am not pregnant (but I'm smirking because I'm doing the preggo belly hold, and what's in there is QUINOA). I am also not pushing out or sucking in my stomach in either of these photos--this is just the difference in how my belly looks (when my muscles are relaxed) from the beginning of an episode to the middle/end. The photos were taken about five hours apart.
Isn't that ridiculous?! I have to hide in my office with my arms crossed over my belly in the first state so my coworkers don't ask when I'm due. Also, stomach, quinoa is healthy. Let's relax about the healthy, gluten-free, dairy-free foods, mmmmk? If you get any pickier, I'm going to have you fired.
The unfortunate part about having a fascist for a stomach (aside from the obvious parts about not being able to eat delicious gluten and dairy-rich foods) is that I get a little nervous about needing to eat out when I'm away from home for a long stretch. Even if I avoid the stuff that I know will set me off, cooking oils are different, and you never know ingredients (and I don't ask, because I'm painfully uncomfortable with inconveniencing people) so it's just likely that I'll eat something that doesn't agree with me. Also, I like french fries and road trip foods and so I'm for sure going to eat those (or the dairy-free, gluten-free ones, anyway). One way to navigate that obstacle course is to pack lots of good foods that I know I'll have along if nothing else is available--RX bars, Lara bars, nuts, dried fruit, etc. And, you know, potato chips. But no S'mores Goldfish for me.
I just think vacation time is so crucial. Taking an entire week to really unplug from life, and change your surroundings, and spend annoying amounts of time with your family--that's the glue for us. It recharges my batteries (sorry, I can't think of a better phrase so just go with it) and it provides memories that we squeeze for everything they're worth. Not kidding, Kelly still talks about a bowl of soup he had on our trip to Alaska like it was one of the defining moments of his short life. Kid's got a very healthy appreciation of food. One of his many stellar qualities.
So, we're setting out for the wild, wild West with some real fancy snacks and our trusty Jeep. I can't wait to tell you all about it.