Vacation Recovery: Looking and Feeling Good After Too Much Indulgence

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We have too much fun, and sometimes I make poor decisions when we’re having fun. Relax, friends; my decisions aren’t that poor. I’m talking about purchasing shots for a group of 12 knowing how I feel after a shot, or ordering a quesadilla for lunch alongside a couple of bloody Mary’s and a bucket of beer. Those types of poor decisions. I know y’all won’t just because you’ve made the same poor decision a time or two.

I’m typically a healthy eater. I like good food, because it makes me feel good. Don’t get me wrong; you hand me cookie dough, and you will never see it again. My sweet tooth isn’t insane, but I do crave something sweet every so often. I never worry about indulging when I do, because I don’t do it often enough to matter in the overall scheme of things.

But sometimes life hands us situations in which I fail to stop myself from indulging a bit too much. While a weekend away usually does nothing to me in terms of bloat or weight gain that a day of good health can’t cure, three weekends away in a row has a different effect. It’s every meal at a restaurant, and I don’t do fast food. While that might sound healthy, it’s probably not. I will eat a hotel room service burger all day long if I can, or bacon, and I always order dessert. And the drinks. Bottles of wine. Mimosas. Bloody Mary’s. Mich Ultra by the pool on a hot day just hits the spot.

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Three weekends now we’ve been traveling, and having the best time; but I’m not feeling or looking so good this week. I over-indulged too much, and it’s hitting me hard this week more so than the few before. It happens. Am I guilty of not being very good the past few weekends? Yes. Am I feeling guilty? No. Why? Because all I need is two or three days of good health to get me back on track looking and feeling good again.

I know many people who swear by juice cleanses, or detox drinks, or whatever. I don’t know what they’re like, because I’m just not doing them. I’m a big fan of just being healthy overall and not caving into those fad diets, so I’ve never tried them. I have no desire, but I don’t care if you do. If you’re like me, you might want to figure out a way to get good and healthy again in a few days – even if you still look good. Sometimes it’s just a matter of no longer feeling very good – and I know that feeling.

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Hydrate, Hydrate, Hydrate

True story. When we leave for a weekend away, I take my Yeti cup filled with ice water in the car with me. I mean, I take it like that everywhere I go all the time, but I leave it in the car with valet and never look at it again when we travel. I ‘get my water on’ on the way to a hotel or airport, and then I forget to drink water again the rest of the trip (unless I wake up in the middle of the night feeling like I might die if I don’t get some water, stat).

It’s bad, bad bad. I know this. I do. But when I get home, the first thing I do is wash the Yeti, fill it up, and drink like I just left the desert after four waterless days. And I drink so much water. When I’m not longer thirsty, I keep drinking. By day two, I feel hydrated again. You can see an improvement in my skin, my body, and I feel much better.

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Bye Bye Booze

I love a glass of white wine while cooking or a glass of red after the kids go to bed, but not when we get home from a trip. I usually drank my fill of alcohol on a trip – beginning with mimosas at breakfast – and I no longer want any wine. It might take me a week or two to pour a glass of wine when we come home. I know I overdid it, and my body is done with it. If you still want booze when you get home, I’d recommend you not drink it. I know it’s hard when you want a glass of wine at the end of the day because of the crazies you call your kids, and all that life has to offer, but just skip it. Your body needs to heal, and alcohol isn’t helping. I feel so refreshed after a full day of not drinking anything but water and coffee, and it’s amazing how fast the alcohol bloat disappears.

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Double Up on the Sides

Confession: We rarely do a starch side in our house. I don’t know why, especially since I grew up with a very meat and potatoes kind of family. We always had a meat, a starch, a vegetable, and a dinner roll. In our house, we always have meat and two vegetables. That’s it. And we like to keep our meat light. We love steak, but we limit ourselves to picking something like Filet Friday or Monday or whatever so we don’t eat too much red meat. It’s chicken and fish up in the Raiford household – and none of that prepacked, frozen stuff.

When we get home, I cannot function without vegetables. I want more than ever, because I probably didn’t get much over the weekend. I’ve found that veggie-heavy meals for the first few days make me feel better, look better, and want to eat better once again. My body knows what it needs, and I listen to it.

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You don’t have to do what I do, and it might not even work for you. I just know that I don’t need to come home from a trip and go crazy on a cleanse. I just need two or three days of healthy eating to get back to normal. In fact, I usually feel much better than any other day when I’m two days into heavy water and veggie consumption. I’m more rested, I’m less cranky, and I like what I see in the mirror.

What do you do when you over-indulge? I’m not a fan of deprivation, but I also know it’s easy to overdo it when you’re not home. What’s your secret to getting back to normal following a trip?


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