Recovering From Travel Blues and Eating Bitterness
Does anyone else get the travel blues?
Taxis are so expensive!
After getting home from my interview trip last week, I was exhausted and just not myself. The jetlag (from coast to coast), limited choice in what to eat, lack of exercise, and constant socialization on the interview days (they actually last an entire day… so draining!), all took a toll on me. I’m happy to report that I’m finally feeling better after a blissfully long night of sleep, lots of veggies and fruit, and some sweaty workouts. Those are my go-to cures for the travel blues!
The past few days, I’ve been incorporating more high impact moves into my workouts since my ankle is pretty much recovered. I’m loving burpees, mountain climbers, skaters, and squat jumps! They make my heart rate soar and get me nice and toasty – perfect for an endorphin rush. Today I also got in a nice swim. I can’t swim very well, but it felt great to be in the water and enjoy the beginning of the sunset. Arizona is beautiful this time of year – it’s going to be 79 on Friday! HOORAY!
Today I want to share a yummy and easy recipe for bitter melon. In Chinese, there’s a proverb that basically means, “The more bitterness you eat, the better you’ll become.” Eating bitterness includes things like going through a hardship, facing a challenge, etc. Literally, though, I eat bitterness all the time by cooking up some bitter melon! There are two main varieties:
Chinese bitter melon [Picture: Source]
Indian bitter melon [Picture: Source]
I like the Indian variety more – it’s a little less bitter and has better texture. Both kinds are seen as medicinal in the Asian tradition: they treat gastrointestinal inflammation, guards against viral diseases, and help regulate glucose uptake in diabetics. Not bad at all, I’d say.
So what do I do with this weird spiky thing? First I wash it…
Then I cut off the ends and slice each one in half (the long way):
Sometimes the seeds are red; sometimes they are white. I can’t predict what I’ll find when I cut the melons open!
Then I remove the seeds…
Slice them thinly on a bias.
While the wok is heating up with some coconut oil, I make my “sauce”: about 2 TBSP miso paste dissolved in an equal amount of water, plus a generous spoonful of chili garlic sauce (to taste – I like my food spicy!).
Add the bitter melon to the hot wok and sautee for about 2 minutes. Then pour in the sauce and let everything simmer together for another 2 minutes or so.
Spicy miso bitter melon!
And that’s it! Delicious, healthy, and so easy. Next time you see this spiky reptile-like vegetable in your Asian supermarket, don’t be scared to try it out!
I apologize for the sporadic posting lately. My travel blues hit me pretty hard this time, especially because I know I’m leaving on another interview trip on Tuesday and will miss both my birthday and my mom’s birthday (only one day apart!). But I’ve been taking great pleasure in the small things that make home so sweet:
A furry dog curled up next to me on the couch:
And good, clean food:
Let me know if you want the recipe!
Do you ever get the travel blues? How do you overcome them?
Have you ever tried bitter melon?