Summer is a beautiful time to step away from your normal routine and visit a new city, go on an adventure, or relax by the ocean. Vacations can be the perfect medicine when we’re feeling overworked, stressed, and burnt out. But sometimes, traveling takes a toll on our bodies. Maybe it’s a week of eating out, or a few extra glasses of wine, or one too many late nights.
After taking time off, I struggle to get back into my healthy routines and rituals. This upheaval often leads to a cycle of non-beneficial behavior. I fall into old patterns: not moving my body, not focusing on work that matters to me, not caring for my body with nourishing foods.
This downward spiral can bring me to a place of deep, dark depression.
If you’ve been following along on my Instagram stories, you may have seen that while traveling I’ve been eating dairy, gluten, and sugar in copious amounts (← the phrase my loving husband uses to describe my intake of foods that my body doesn’t like).
Now, before I continue, I need to make one thing clear…
Having battled a serious eating disorder, I’m grateful to be in a place where I can enjoy unhealthy foods without guilt, fear, or panic. I’m truly thankful that I can live in the moment and enjoy a sweet, sugary pastry without experiencing massive anxiety.
For years, I lived on steamed veggies and pushed my undernourished body to endure hours of workouts every day.
For years, I never consumed bread, butter, desserts, french fries—just seeing those foods filled me with intense fear.
For years, my friends and family stared at me across the dinner table, watching to see what I ordered, or what I ate, or if I was okay.
Today, my relationship with my diet and my body is very different. I embrace a zero-restrictions practice in my approach to food. I’m allowed to eat anything I want to. Food is neither “good” or “bad.”
However, I know that certain types of food make me feel vibrant, energetic, and alive, and I choose to eat more of those ingredients. For example, eating gluten leaves me feeling exhausted and in pain, so I consciously avoid gluten-heavy foods.
But I’m human...and sometimes I make exceptions.
Vacations are one of those times when I stray outside the bounds of my normal healthy practices, and sometimes that leads to overindulgence.
After a week of less-than-nourishing eating, I’m tempted to slip into these unhealthy rhythms and embrace them as “the new normal.” I get used to consuming sugar and gluten every day. I get used to feeling sluggish, unmotivated, and bloated.
Can you relate?
It’s dangerously easy to fall into negative patterns, and it’s so important to be intentional when you return from a trip filled with booze, late nights, and lots of extra treats.
When I’m returning home, post-vacation, I immediately commit to positive choices and mindful change...beginning the morning after my return.
Here’s how I get back on track (so that I can start feeling alert, vibrant, and recharged again):
Double my water intake. Since hydration is so closely connected to health, I try to practice this while on vacation as well.
Take my daily probiotic. I try to stay consistent with this while traveling too, and, on my first day back, I’ll take a second capsule later in the day. This is the only daily supplement I take, and it makes a huge difference with my digestion—especially when I consume lots of rich foods. My go to probiotic is Prescripts Probiotic.
Practice intermittent fasting. I naturally eat breakfast on the later side, but during a “reset,” I specifically focus on giving my digestive system a break by refraining from eating for sixteen hours (which then gives me eight hours each day to eat my meals). This allows my body to heal and rest, while also helping me to break the cravings that were created by eating foods that aren’t a normal part of my eating habits. Intermittent fasting isn’t a good fit for everyone, so spend some time on research and decide if it’s a healthy practice for you.
Schedule three workouts for the week of my return. For me, this might be a scheduled workout at a boutique gym, a walk-and-talk date with a friend, or an appointment with myself that I refuse to break—focus on choosing workouts that excite and motivate you. I schedule my first workout for the morning after I return, and I often complete this workout on an empty stomach. This might work for you, and it might not. Every body is different.
Consume blended meals for the first day. I like to stick to liquid meals when I’m starting a reset, in order to be gentle with my digestive system while also getting lots of nutrition. As you may now, at Gingersnap’s, we offered a wide variety of cleanses. My favorite was the [GO] Blend, which included healthy amounts of fiber and fats. This was my go-to liquid fuel when I got back from vacations, and I now i use recipes from my book, Juice It, Blend It, Live It: Over 50 Easy Recipes to Energize, Detox, and Nourish Your Mind and Body. As a general guideline, I’ll make five savory blends and one fruit blend on my first day back.
Get my sweat on. I am in love with infrared saunas (I’ll post more about these soon), but any sauna experience is a great way to jumpstart the detox process and eliminate toxins from your body.
Take a hot bath. I love to create a relaxing, sacred, healing space with Epsom salts, candles, sage, incense, and music. I always bring a big glass of water with me, because, as the toxins are released, I often feel tired and wiped out, and a cool drink of water is rejuvenating.
Read something inspiring. At any given time, you can find me reading a variety of different books. When I’m back from vacation, I usually choose ones that motivate me to get working. So, in the sauna or the bathtub, I’ll often choose an inspiring, motivating text to read. This helps me move out of vacation mode and into a place of taking action.
Gently add whole foods. After a day of eating only blended foods, I begin to add solid foods back into my diet. I keep it light at first and typically maintain a plant-based diet for a few days, making simple, basic meals based on a few wholesome ingredients.
Rest. For the first few days after travel, I avoid making too many plans or setting over-ambitious deadlines. This gives me time to settle in and get grounded without stress, pressure, or anxiety.
If you choose to begin a “reset” practice after a business trip or family vacation, I want you to keep one thing in mind…
None of these practices are based on punishment, deprivation, or restriction. You want to be in a mindset of self-care and self-love, not harsh self-discipline.
I know that my mental and physical health are impacted by my eating choices, and I want to live in a feeling of rested, vibrant energy. I enjoy indulging in a few special treats on vacation, but I know that if I eat that way for too long, it negatively impacts my energy and my health—and I don’t want to accept sluggishness, brain fog, or bloating as “normal.”
At the end of the day, this is about empowering you to create healthy, long-term habits (that support your once-in-a-while indulgences). If you are looking to take your life to the next level, book a one on one session with Jamie