Sake Bombs or Kale? Vacation Review

At the risk of sounding insufferable, I have to share some thoughts on two side-by-side vacations.



Let me preface our discussion with two disclosures:  I have adrenal dysregulation and two young kids. While I’m in adrenal “recovery,” as many of you know who are on this path with me — recovery takes a long, long time.

Vacation #1: Bolinas. We rented a small house on the mesa in late December. We slept a lot and watched deer (here’s a YouTube of watching deer as meditation). We ate incredibly food that was picked that day from the local Gospel Hills farm stand, which operates on the honor system. You can see some of the chard and kale in the foreground of the photo I took (above). We did some serious chillaxin’. We hung out. We walked. We did lots of sleeping. We came home after 5 days, tanks full.



I kid you not about the honor system. Here’s where you put your mula – at $2 for organic dino kale, life is good.


Vacation #2: Tahoe. We rented a tiny condo in Northstar Village but double the cost of the Bolinas house. We tried to gather used gear for the kids to ski but could only find weird bits and pieces so we spent 3 evenings before we left spending about $500 to outfit the kids fully. We were worried about taking our little Prius on big mountain passes so we rented an SUV for another $400. We left early because we were worried about traffic (my last trip took 9 hours in traffic on a Friday afternoon from Berkeley). We got up early to haul our semi-reluctant kids to ski school. We stayed out late drinking too much with friends. Sake bombs, anyone? I learned they can ruin a good liver in record time.


I think you know where this is heading.

I was thinking about a sweet 4-mile hike in Bear Valley with our kids versus the cold, exhaustingly agro-ness of hustling around Tahoe. But it is awfully pretty to be in the mountains.

Let me add that I was super fun to be around while in Tahoe: donning my one organic wool sweater and leggings for 4 days straight and scouring every menu in Northstar for something I could eat that aligns with both my organic experiment and the Gottfried Cleanse I began last Wednesday. Been around folks who are detoxing? One word: I – R – R – I – T – A – B – L – E .

While body weight is an arguable criterion for ranking vacation, it’s a great proxy for cortisol: I lost 5 pounds in Bolinas, maintained it for 3 weeks, then gained it all back in Tahoe.

More worry = high cortisol = more sugar cravings = weight gain + muffin tops. More on that this Sunday at our Stress Resilience workshop.

At the end of the day, I only have two compelling reasons to go to Tahoe: I love to cross-country ski, and I’d love for my kids to be proficient at skiing (or snow-boarding) down a mountain. It’s one of those nice sports that adds to your social card and it’s a fun way to burn calories.

But I found it also burns out adrenals, at least my adrenals. Yours?