So I’m a personal trainer and am devoted to being healthy yada yada yada…
But I love me some ice cream.
“LOVE” IN BIG, BOLD, CAPITAL LETTERS.
I just got back from a whirlwind trip to New England to visit with my fiancé’s amazing family and was introduced to Lago’s ice cream.
Oh. Emm. Gee.
(I refuse to write the actual letters)
The flavor options alone are enough to set me into a 5-year-old-giddy-giddy-frenzy!
Black Rasberry Chip. Coffee Heath Bar. Salty Sailor (salted caramel ice cream with chocolate covered pretzels… I know). And a ton of others I didn’t get to try because I think I would have actually exploded.
I went three times in my 3-day stay.
In addition to that, I discovered a deliciously evil new flourless peanut butter chocolate chip cookie recipe from epicurious (not healthy- don’t let the “flourless” fool you) to bring to a get-together. Most of the cookies made it.
When we arrived at said get-together, we were surprised with a congratulatory cake for our engagement! Not only did it literally have my name on it, but it was super light and fluffy. I stuck to one piece… it was a struggle.
Let’s just say I went over my allotted opportunities this week.
Hey, it happens. We’ve all been there.
I’m not trying to make excuses for the way I ate on this trip because it was my choice to eat the way I did, and I hold all responsibility for the puffiness I’m experiencing this morning.
But life is meant to be lived, and sometimes you just want ice cream 3 days in a row…
…as long as it’s once in a blue moon. This should be the exception to the rule, not the norm!
So now that I’m back to real life, and am faced with the weight of my decisions (pun intended, but you knew that ;)), I was implored by my future cousin and uncle-in-law for a post that would help those that go wayyyyyy off-plan to get back on track.
So here are the things I’m doing today to detox from my awesomely unhealthy weekend. Don’t worry: no lemon juice or cayenne pepper here!
Hope they help you get back on track for those couple of times a year that opportunities become opportuni-days!
The first thing I did after waking up from a groggy, jet-lagged sleep and showering? I drank a whole glass of water. Chugged it.
The second thing I did? Poured another glass.
After a long flight or car ride and weekend of not eating the best, one of the most important things you can do is rehydrate.
I’m not talking Gatorade or eloctrolyte-enhanced sugary nonsense. I’m talking the real deal.
Old school water. Drink it. A lot of it.
I drink more than I usually do when I get back from weekends like the one I just had. It flushes out a lot of that stuff that was sitting in there refusing to move: water you might have been holding because of excess sodium and a lack of water and potassium; waste- that’s enough detail on that one; shame…
In addition to giving your system a full flush, it helps your body reset itself back into it’s everyday routine. Hopefully, that weekend you just had was an exception to the norm like we talked about, so your body is feeling a bit shocked by your eating/drinking habits right now. By reintroducing consistent water intake, you get your diet clock back to normal.
Did you know that some of your food cravings might just be thirst? A lot of people fall victim to this trap! Don’t be one of them! Instead of reaching for whatever sounds yummy at the moment, reach for a glass of water just in case. Drink it and wait 5 minutes. If you’re still hungry, it’s genuine. If not, voila! Make sure you stay on top of the amount of water you drink to avoid cravings like this in the future!
For the first few days back, get more water than you usually do (say, 10 cups a day), then wean your way back down to at least 64 ounces a day (or 8 cups). If you’re active, you may require more than this, so listen to your body!
2. Go Über Clean
You don’t have to do this, but it’s a step I feel better taking after a weekend like the one I just had.
This is what I do when I go über clean:
Cut out all starchy carbohydrates
My body loves this step, but yours might not. If you do well with starchy carbohydrates, include them in their purest form for this step. For example, instead of breads, pastas, or cereals, stick to brown rice, quinoa and steel cut oats. If your body isn’t carb-friendly, cut them out completely.
Go full-blown whole foods
For these few days (or for the majority of the time if you can), cut out all the processed stuff. This includes protein bars, protein powders, frozen meals, pre-made sauces that have more than the essential ingredients (aka added sugar or things you can’t pronounce), and most anything that comes in a packet. Concentrate instead on foods fresh out of the ground, tree or pasture/coop/water.
Prioritize leafy green vegetables
These are my favorites of the moment: kale, spinach, asparagus, broccolini and brussels sprouts. They all help get those antioxidants, vitamins and nutrients back into your system that you may have been lacking over the weekend. An added bonus? They’ll really fill you up without filling you out! Another added bonus? Most of these veggies are rich in potassium, which helps counteract the effects of too much sodium (it helps things move out faster!).
Get plenty of lean protein
I go straight for these in the grocery store: chicken breast, turkey breast, shrimp, wild salmon, and ground chicken/turkey. There are SO many options to make from these selections that can be kept lean and don’t need naughty sauces to taste delicious. Check out the turkey meatball recipe here to make enough protein for your whole week!
Minimize sodium intake
Keep your added salt light for these days. Your body’s working hard to rid itself of the pent-up water and move things through. Excess sodium will stunt that movement, and add to your confidence-killing bloat.
How long should I eat this way?
This part is up to you. I usually eat like this most of the time, but if you’re brand new to it, this might sound like overload. Aim for 3 days for the detox and see how your body feels. You might not want to stop! And since there’s no reason why you should (this is not a dangerous detox diet like many of those others out there), keep going!
3. Work It Out
Oh come on, you knew this step was coming!
I like to consider these weekends a form of “carb-loading.”
Eating carbs the day/night before an endurance event such as a marathon, half-marathon or triathlon so that glycogen is more readily available in the muscles for fuel during long-distance events.
Good for long distance athletes.
Bad for those that don’t run longer than 5 miles at a time (i.e. me).
To make the best use of this excess glycogen build-up, however, I’ll schedule a good, long workout the day I get back. This can be a run, lift, swim, yoga class, or any combination of these and lots of other options!
Point is: don’t sit back and feel regret for having gone off-plan. Life happens. Take responsibility and make the choice to be healthy today, no matter what yesterday ended up being!
It’s never too late to start again.
On that note…
Are you getting excited for my book release yet? I AM!
If you want the best deal, make sure to sign up for the Strong Inside Out email list below; you’ll get a pre-launch subscriber-only deal and mega-cool status as deemed by me. ;)
Stay tuned, guys. It’s coming up quick!
If you liked this post, check out these preventative ones to stay healthy while traveling: Travel Well: Avoid Weight Gain, Sickness & Exhaustion and 4 Tricks to Staying Fit on Vacation.