Unwired: The AIP Vacationing Series

Our vacation was so rejuvenating for the whole family.  There are lots of reasons for that, but I think a major one was that we took a technology break.  It was really important to me that we unplug while we were in Montreal and the results were well worth every minute away.I'm not a tech hater.  Very honestly, I heart the Web about as much as I heart Paleo.  I was captivated as a child by encyclopedias, dictionaries, atlases, and other reference books.  For me, the arrival of the internet was like having this endless, deep source of all the fascinating info I had craved as a kid.  (When I try to explain this to my daughter, she acts like I am a total weirdo . . . she's never existed in a world without the internet, so I guess it makes sense.)  I also don't hate the social media aspect of tech.  I think it is an extremely powerful tool of connection.  I would have never found the answers I needed to heal from Celiac and I would have never been able to use my journey to help others find those answers without it.  I like the ease of cell phones and even TV.  (Gasp!  She likes TV!)  There's lots of great stuff on TV.

Anyway, all of the above was to emphasize that I am not a tech hater.  I am sensible though.  I know that all that constant information flow, in all its varied forms, sometimes needs to be stopped.  If we aren't careful it can make us stressed, distracted, and actually weaken, rather than strengthen, our bonds to each other.  I'm sure you've noticed this phenomena.  A person can become, ironically, better emotionally connected to "friends" hundreds or thousands of miles away than to the members of his or her own household.  I wanted to make sure we slowed down internally and nourished our family connection.

When we reached the Canadian border, we turned off our cell phones (it helped that the rates suddenly shot through the roof to "international" charges).  We agreed that we could access the internet for information about things we wanted to do in Montreal and quick searches for recipes I wanted to try.  Our daughter was in the middle of an Instagram challenge, so she was allowed to post one photo a day.  All other uses, ESPECIALLY Facebook, were off limits.  (No denying it, without proper self-control, FB is the devil.  We all know it.)  We watched a very small amount of TV . . . in French . . . about the Canadian news and weather.  That was more like a cultural experience.  And on a few evenings my husband and daughter watched "The Walking Dead" on a laptop together.  Hardly an educational program, but it's their thing.  This is where being sensible comes in, right?  I could see that it was strengthening their bond to snuggle up and watch a scary show together, instead of making them zone out and disconnect . . . so it was allowed.

The results of the tech break were immediately obvious.  We were all very calm.  We were laughing.  ALOT.  TOGETHER.  We paid more attention to little details of our surroundings.  On our last day we left the city and drove out to a beach on a nearby lake.  It was quiet except for bird sounds and the mixed English and French voices of the few other families visiting the same spot.  We lounged in the sun.  My daughter read her book and then waded in the lake and studied tiny fish.  She and my husband dared each other to swim into the icy waters.  We took a short walk and ate a picnic lunch.  On that day, in particular, I felt the stresses completely melt away.  I could literally feel our family connection being reinforced while our hearts recharged.

The tech break did something else for me.  It inspired me.  I thought the whole time of projects I want to do and all the writing I was suddenly more energized to do.  And I was full of meal ideas and newly motivated to do all sorts of cooking.  Below is another recipe for a delicious meal I came up with and we thoroughly enjoyed.  Give it a try and let me know what you think.

One other thing . . . did I CHEAT on vacation?  Check in on Friday to find out!

Cheating: The AIP Vacationing Series
Baked Salmon Stuffed Zucchini w/ Asparagus

Baked Salmon Stuffed Zucchini
2 large zucchini
1 can salmon (look for good quality)
1 c. cauli rice
1 tbsp. lemon juice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 an onion, finely chopped
1 tsp. sea salt
1 tbsp. duck fat

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Wash zucchini, cut in half the long way and scoop out seeds (making a little hollow "boat").  Mix remaining ingredients in food processor until it forms a patty mixture.  Scoop into zucchini and bake in oven for 45 minutes.  I turned the broiler on for the last few minutes to make the tops a little browned and crispy.  YUM!

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