The bags are (almost) packed, and the grocery list is nearly complete as we head out of town for our annual summer vacation up north. My husband and I look forward to this low-key time together every year. We'll tap out of nearly all electronic devices – the computers stay home and the phones go on airplane mode - and we'll bring food for every meal so we don't have to drive anywhere. All this to soak in family time, sun, water, nature and down time.
Our boys will spend their days digging holes in the sand, fishing, jumping off the dock, playing catch, running about with their imaginations and soaking up unplugged family time.
My husband and I will enjoy the restoration and recharging from our daily work with swimming in the lake, kayaking, walks, a good book, daily naps, beach time and late night campfires...and really really good food.
We'll soak in the quiet, uninterrupted space with our boys.
We'll soak in their sweet silly laughter.
The slow lingering breakfast & conversation over morning tea.
The nature around us.
The beaver dam.
The sound of the loons.
The campfire crackle.
And 50 games of Uno.
Breathing in a SLOWER pace….
And there you have it; the menu for my summer vacation.
If you are curious about our actual food menu, let me just say it's amazing. We'll wake up to morning green drinks, Paleo blueberry pancakes or veggie sauté with eggs and lunch on chicken curry lettuce wraps, salads and gobs of organic blueberries from our local farm and feast on mussels, wild salmon, tuna burgers and farm-to-table chicken, beef and veggies for dinner. Delicious!!
All this great cooking has me thinking about the menu for our upcoming NtF 14-day Reset...I'll be bringing a few new recipes to test on my family on this trip. But for now, let me leave you with one of our favorite summer meals: Chicken Curry Lettuce Wraps. My boys dig these. They're easy to make ahead of time + I double the recipe and we eat them for days.
**Even if you’re not taking a vacation anytime soon, the good news is you can implement this menu no matter where you are.
If we were to pick one thing off this menu as a helpful tip for you today, it’s simply to breathe.
We share this tip in our eGuide 7 Ways to Nourish Your Life Each Day. It’s something on Jill’s summer vacation menu AND it’s something we use each and every day to reset our minds and bodies.
Breathing has been scientifically proven to affect the heart, the brain, digestion, the immune system — and maybe even the expression of genes. It helps control pain. It shifts your body from flight or fight mode into rest and digest mode. It lowers blood pressure. There are so many reasons to use your breath consciously. Yet we don’t consistently do it because we forget to.
Today, we want to remind you to take your own little “vacations” each day with your breath. it’s a powerful tool and encourage you to use it.
When you’re feeling your heart race, close your eyes and take 5 slow deep breaths.
When traffic seems stressful, take slow deep breaths. Drive in silence or put on soothing music.
When the kids are yelling or crying or screaming, remove yourself from the room and take a few quieting breaths.
When the work stack is piled high, set reminders on your phone every hour to stand up, take a walk around the block outside with some deep cleansing breaths.
Before you dive into your meal without thinking, sit down, take 5 deep breaths and be with your meal.
Start your morning and end your day with some restorative breaths, and when life hands you some crazy, or the schedule is too full or the mind is in overdrive . . . take some slow deep breaths.
Starting to get the idea? Simply step away from the hectic, from “the list”, from the noise and just breathe, darlin’.
And while you're at it, enjoy the chicken curry lettuce wraps!
Chicken Curry Lettuce Wraps
Recipe by Jill Tanis
Makes 10 wraps
3 cups cooked chicken, cut into chunks
½ cup celery, chopped
4 scallions, white and pale green parts sliced thinly
2 cups cherries, pitted and halved*
1/3 cup slivered or sliced almonds, toasted in dry skilled until fragrant
Combine ingredients into a large glass bowl. Make dressing.
¾ cup avocado oil mayo
2 TBS mango chutney
3 tsp curry powder
2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon tamari soy sauce or coconut aminos
Combine ingredients in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Fold dressing into chicken mixture and mix well.
1-2 heads of butter head lettuce
Remove leaves and gently rinse without damaging or tearing leaves. Pat leaves dry with a paper towel. In the palm of your hand, hold one lettuce leaf like a cup and add 2 heaping spoonfuls of curried chicken salad. Set on a platter. Continue this process until you have used up all the curried salad.
*you can also use fresh seasonal blueberries or grapes or 1 cup dried cherries in place of cherries