I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t hold back on the extra calories when I travel! I do my best to eat healthy where possible, but there’s no denying that a lot of the time it just isn’t possible to eat 100% healthy (or anywhere even close). Also I can’t help but to try a little bit of everything when in a new country which often results in a full tummy! But I’d rather leave without regrets and be able to say I at least tried everything, even if I don’t always enjoy it!
So when I get home after a big trip of indulgence, I often feel the need to flip my eating habits and engage in a 7 day post travel detox. This leaves me feeling as though I have switched back to my better eating habits and got the bad stuff out of my system (until the next trip at least!!!)
Here’s how to get back on track with my strict 7 day rules, followed by an effort to incorporate them into my life every day after the seven, but allow some cheeky treats as well!
Goodbye fizzy diet cokes to stave off the hunger until I find something decent to eat or 12 coffees in the morning to push myself out the door and en route to an airport! For the first 7 days after a trip be sure to drink plenty of water – at least 6-8 glasses per day. Always carry a water bottle around with you (it makes it a lot easier to drink so much water as it becomes habitual) and drink as much green tea as you like to flush out your system. If you don’t like the taste of water, try infusing it with some lime, cucumber and mint for flavour. Berries also work a treat if you have a sweet tooth!
As a self-confessed breakfast smoothie bowl junkie, I really don’t think there’s a better way to start your day than by eating a colourful bright bowl of sweet, indulgent happiness! My favourite smoothie bowls would have to be an Acai bowl (here’s my recipe) as it is packed with antioxidants and perfect for a detox that isn’t boring – these things taste better than ice cream!
After a super filling breakfast, you won’t be too hungry at lunch time but its important to treat your body to some leafy goodness so you can stave off hunger and/or sugar cravings later in the day. A light leafy green salad (add some goat’s cheese, balsamic reduction and walnuts for flavour) is all you need to push you through until a late afternoon snack + dinner in the evening!
This is one of the easiest meals to “fall apart” on during a travel detox, as you’re often tired, jet lagged, and just want to grab take-out or something easy. But don’t let it happen to you! Cook a big plate of veggies (grilled with goat’s cheese gives a lot of flavour or a quick stir fry with soya sauce is a much funner way to eat veggies) and some grilled meat if you’re not a vegetarian. I’ve been a vego for ten years and love vegetables but understand not everyone does – however don’t write them off without trying to cook them different ways!
The worse part of a detox is feeling bored and deprived – don’t do it to yourself!!! It is important to note that everyone and everyone’s bodies are different, so listen to yours and act accordingly. If you’re craving sugar, grab a banana – not only are they sweet but they are also very filling and full of fibre. If you just want a light bite, try an apple. If you’re craving something savoury, try some veggie chips or kale chips. Et voila! You’ve stuck to your fruit + veg detox!
One of the best ways to keep on track during a detox is to forego eating out and prepare/cook for yourself! That way you know exactly what is in your smoothies (no added refined sugar), exactly how much oil you’re using on your veggies, etc. etc.
Yep…. you knew this was coming! The only way to stick to exercise (if you ask me) is to not think of it as exercise. Instead of making a point every day to “exercise”, think of fun activities you can do to get outdoors – walking, hiking, running in the outdoors, etc. It may even just be that you dance in front of your mirror for half an hour like you’re in a high intensity 80’s aerobics video! Going on a bike ride with a friend can also be a great way to re-explore your neighbourhood or try a new yoga class you’ve always wanted to do! The point being: exercise doesn’t have to be inside the gym!
And finally, a detoxing ritual that I wish I could engage in more frequently, but sadly my small hometown doesn’t allow for it! If you have access to a sauna and steam room, this is a great way to naturally detoxify your body and leaves you feeling uber rejuvenated. Hot yoga (also known as Bikram) burns around 500-600 calories in a class and is another great way to sweat out those yucky toxins. Give it a try – you never know, you might really enjoy it!