I try to make clean eating a lifestyle, but it’s not easy on vacation! We were at the beach last week for my mom’s birthday, and we all indulged a little too much on fried food, birthday cake and toaster strudels (my personal favorite guilty pleasure, haha). Vacation can be tough on your body – you’re probably not sleeping as well as you do in your own bed, and odds are you don’t eat as healthy or drink as much water as you do back home. And exercise? You can forget it! I always come home from vacations feeling tired, bloated and anxious to get back to my normal routine – which is why I’ve made a habit of “detoxing” at home after traveling. I usually will follow this routine for three full days – and it really works for me! Usually by the second day I already feel SO MUCH better, and more “myself.” Before we get into the nitty gritty, I have to tell you the number one key to getting back into a healthy routine, and that’s PREPARATION!
The first step to a successful vacay detox is preparation. Let’s say you get back from vacation on a Saturday, then you should spend Sunday preparing for the week. This will set you up for success! The first thing I do is throw out all of the old food in my fridge and pantry, especially junk food. Then I make a meal plan and grocery list for the week, including all of the ingredients I need for healthy smoothies, snacks and meals. I have been ordering groceries lately (Whole Foods has 2-hour delivery through Amazon Prime), which makes this whole process even easier. Once the groceries arrive, I put everything away and go ahead and do any meal prep that will make the week easier, like chopping veggies, roasting sweet potatoes, etc.! Another thing you should prepare for is workouts. Take a look at your weekly calendar and schedule in a few morning workouts or even just a 30-minute walk on your lunch break. I promise that preparation will make the next couple of days so much easier and set you up for success.
Wake up and Hydrate
The first thing I do every morning after I wake up is drink a large glass of warm lemon water. I do this before breakfast (even before coffee). And here’s why: lemon is AMAZING for flushing out your system and getting your digestive system moving. Lemons contain an antioxidant called d-limonene, which has been shown to activate enzymes that help kick your liver into detox-mode, helping flush out built-up toxins. I also feel like it helps me wake up!
Eat Raw Vegetables at every meal
When you’re trying to get back into your routine and detox from fried foods and alcohol, raw veggies are the way to go. One of the biggest benefits from eating veggies raw is a higher vitamin content and more water-soluble nutrients (versus cooked veggies – antioxidants and vitamins can actually break down during cooking!). This might sound intimidating to try to eat raw vegetables at every meal, but you can easily sneak them in! Green smoothies and cold-pressed juices are loaded with raw veggies like spinach, celery and kale. If you don’t have any raw veggies in your actual meal, try snacking on carrots and hummus or broccoli as a snack before your meal. Better yet, make a huge salad for lunch or dinner, pile on the veggies and you are good to go! Raw vegetables make me feel AMAZING and are known for removing toxins and healing your body fast.
Tea is so good for you and makes the perfect afternoon or evening drink to both calm you and help detox your system. I love all kinds of tea, but Dandelion Tea is DYNAMITE for reducing initial swelling or bloating after traveling. It also significantly reduces water retention after a heavily salted diet. Last week at the beach, we ate out almost every single night and I could tell there was tons of salt in every meal! If you need a caffeine boost, I also like green tea in the afternoons. Green tea is good for so many reasons, but in particular it reduces free radicals in your body and is a natural flush for your system. I add a little bit of manuka honey to my tea to sweeten it a little bit and to add some antiviral and anti-inflammatory benefits.
Get Enough Sleep
I don’t know why, but I never feel like I get adequate sleep on vacation! It could be because I’m used to my comfy bed, or that margarita at dinner messes up my sleep cycles. It’s so important for your brain and body to have enough sleep every night to adequately recover. I aim for 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night at home, and I’m usually in bed with lights out by 10pm!
Sweat It Out
I always find the best way to get back into a healthy routine is just to dive right in – starting with a workout on Monday morning. I will go ahead and book my Pure Barre class in advance so that I don’t have an excuse not to go! If I work out in the morning, I’m more likely to stick to my goals the rest of the day. Also – I don’t do an intense workout every day. Although I like to start off the week with one, other days I may go gentle by taking a 30-minute walk with Winnie or doing a yoga class via YouTube. The important thing is just getting up and moving!
A Sample Detox Day
This was actually my exact day on Monday 🙂 It varies day to day but this is a good example of how I eat when I’m “detoxing” for a few days!
- 7:00am – Wake up and drink a large glass of lemon water
- 7:15am – Throw a bunch of veggies and frozen mango in the Vitamix to make a green smoothie (my favorite recipe is here)
- 8:30am – Pure Barre class
- 10am – Snack on a handful of raw walnuts and almonds + drink a glass of water
- 12pm – Pick up a cold pressed juice + salad from my favorite healthy restaurant for lunch (my go-to salad has brussel sprouts, tomatoes, organic spinach, quinoa and avocado on top)
- 4pm – Snack on hummus and raw carrots and broccoli + green tea
- 7pm – Make Cajun Corn Chowder with my husband for dinner + drink a glass of water
- 8pm – Two chocolate chip cookie dough bites for dessert
- 9pm – Drink a mug of dandelion tea while watching TV in bed
- 10pm – In bed with the lights out!
It’s also important to note that I’m not a nutritionist or doctor. This routine works really well for me, but feel free to adapt and make changes so that it works for you, too. Even just adding one of these tips into your routine is better than nothing. For example, you could stick to your normal routine and just add in dandelion tea in the afternoons. 🙂 If you have any tips for getting back into your routine after vacation, I’d love to hear them, so please comment below!