It's not that I go "hog wild" on vacation, avoiding leafy greens in favor of Twinkies, but it's just that I let go a bit more - a cup of coffee in the morning (instead of my usual green tea), ice cream after lunch, a glass (or so) of wine during dinner, and maybe part of another decadent desert afterwards.
This time, however, I noticed that by my second week of vacation, not only was I having one cup of coffee every morning, but I was now having two. Not only was I having wine during dinner, but I was having a glass before dinner and during dinner - nightly. Not only was I sampling the desert, but it was becoming a regular part of almost every meal. How easy it is to develop some of these habits and how hard they can be to get rid of!!
What's a person to do? I was certainly enjoying myself, yet I did notice that I wasn't feeling as well as I usually do - my energy dipped in the afternoons, my skin started erupting, and, how shall I say this? My bathroom habits weren't as regular, which made my jeans a bit snug around the belly.
I decided to continue my carefree existence for the remainder of the vacation, while also re-instituting some better habits as well (reducing the deserts a little bit, drinking lots of water, and eating leafy greens as often as I could). I reminded myself that a few days of "cleansing" and eating well at home would bring me back into balance again.
Although my body was screaming "detox!" by the end of my trip, I knew in my mind that these few weeks were good for my soul. Sometimes it's psychologically healthy to accept these "hiccups" in our healthy habits from time to time. That doesn't mean that we have to forgo all the positive things we do for ourselves while we are on vacation and go completely wild, but instead, for us to know that our healthy bodies can tolerate occasional indulgences, and none of us need to be perfect all the time.
During your next vacation, enjoy a more relaxed attitude about your habits, if you'd like. But keep some of these tips in mind so you don't get way too far off track and, if you do, to help you come back into balance upon your return to reality.
1) Try to avoid the "all or nothing" mindset. Yes, enjoy the treats on your vacation, but don't use it as an excuse to eat and drink everything in sight.
2) Do ENJOY and savor the foods that you do eat, without guilt. (If you are going to eat it, don't waste your energy - or diminish the pleasure - by feeling guilty).
3) Water, water, water! No matter what else you may be drinking (and especially if you have upped your caffeine and alcohol intake), make sure to drink plenty of pure water.
4) Bring along healthy snacks on your travels. My favorites (these are GREAT for kids too) include: apples, cheese sticks, raisins, nuts, and high quality protein bars (a current favorite of ours is called "organic food bar" - we like the Active Greens Chocolate and the regular chocolate chip).
5) For a real boost, try carrying around a powdered green drink with you. One of my favorites is Berry Green, by New Chapter. You can buy the single serving packets and mix them with water - a great way to get your greens in even when you are stuck with airplane food.
6) Find fun ways to stay active when you are traveling - you may decide that you don't want to (or can't) continue your regular exercise routine, but you can probably find some fun things to do to move your body: walking, hiking, biking, or dancing, for example. Vacations are also a great time to try something new.
7) Continue to include fresh fruits and vegetables in your daily diet - they will help fill you up and keep your energy more stable, and the antioxidants they provide will help counteract some of the negative effects of the less healthy food and drink you may be consuming.
8) To detox mildly after vacation, continue to drink lots of water, and add some hot water with lemon to your early morning routine to help cleanse your liver. Dandelion tea is also good for the liver (which may need extra care now).
9) Use your vacation to get clear on your goals - not just health-related, but any goals. Think about what's going well in your life, and what you'd like to change, and use this time to get clear, focus and plan.
10) Use your vacation to RELAX and DE-STRESS. Truly, the health benefits that come from relaxing your body and your mind are incredible, and probably outweigh some of the negative effects of your overindulging.