Let’s face it.
If a 30-day juice fast, daily diet pill or extreme detox was healthy, maintainable and actually worked, we’d all be doing it. But it doesn’t work. In the real world, we need to be more, well…realistic. After a weekend of one too many spoonfuls of blue cheese, no workouts and paltry amount of fruits + veggies, there is no need to feel guilty and force yourself to detoxify in crazy, unhealthy ways (which I used to do, with NO success…ever).
“The Healthy Everythingtarian’s 12-Step No-tox!“
No gimmicks, no crazy pills, no fasting. When I feel like things have gotten a lil’ out of balance, here are the 12 steps I live by to even things out and get back on track…
- Sleep. Last night, I went to bed at 9:30pm and woke up at 6:30am feeling refreshed. It may seem like a lot to many people, but nine hours of sleep is perfection to me.
- Eat a balanced breakfast. Peanut butter + banana on sprouted Ezekiel bread works everytime for me – it is such a good combo of carbs, fats and proteins that is sure to last me at least 3-4 hours.
- Drink an extra cup of coffee (or two). Contrary to popular belief, I am a firm believer in caffeine. When I am getting back in the saddle after drinking too much wine falling off the horse, an additional cuppa joe (or tea, for that matter) gives me the extra boost I need to make it to step 12.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Preferably, with water. H2O is a great cleanser for the body. If you are feeling a little off or ishy, shoot for at least eight 8-oz. glasses of water. And…don’t argue with me about whether or not the eight glasses of water a day rule is fake. Just do it.
- Be a planner. When time is of the essence, I rely on organized to-do lists to make sure I get everything done I need to. This includes meal planning, workout planning AND general life planning. Somehow, once I have everything down on paper, I feel ready to attack the week!
- Be a snack pack(er). Not the pudding kind (although delicious in its own right). Eating every couple hours will help even out your blood sugar levels and hopefully keep you from dippin’ your hand in the candy bowl, chip bag, ice cream carton, doughnut box…you get the picture. And, if you have a crazy imagination like me, have fun with your snack (see below)!
- Make a big batch of a veggie-filled meal to enjoy all week. I took my recipe for Veggie Spaghetti, added a can of garbanzos and came out with five Tupperware containers filled with lunch (or dinner) for the week. Bam – donezo!
- Take 5-minute breaks every hour. Whether you work behind a desk, are busy studying in school or doing whatever it is you do, make sure to take small breaks every hour or so. They can go a long way in restoring mental sanity and ensuring you won’t need bifocals before the age of 50.
- Wear something cute (or cool, if you are a guy and cute isn’t your thang)! I am a firm believer in look good, feel good a la Stacy + Clinton from What Not To Wear. It is amazing how much better you can feel after a bit of overindulgence if you put yourself together. Today, I chose my fave Vans shoes, black skinnies and new red plaid shirt for a hipster yet work appropriate look…
- Fatten up! Healthy fats go a long way in restoring skin elasticity, making your hair grow, brightening your mood and improving your overall complexion. For. Reals. Need some help in adding good fats to your diet? Give Susan’s Fatty February Challenge a shot!
- Work it out. Yes, as hard as it is to get back in the workout groove after missing days or weeks, you just gotta do it. It is truly amazing how just ONE workout can significantly improve your mood and help get your body back on track. To make it easier, pack your gym bag at night so you have no excuse not to go bright and early in the morning or right after school/work (which is what I did today – 60 minutes of sweat-tastic spin class)!
- Don’t skip meals. Ever. Not eating is NOT going to make you feel any better if you’ve been indulging. In fact, it will probably make you feel worse because eventually you will binge, eat more than you wanted and feel far worse than you did in the first place. Or maybe that’s just me. Enjoy your post-workout glow with a spinach-filled green monster smoothie (mine = organic skim milk, banana, frozen strawberries + spinach) and load up on those veggies!
There you go. Twelve easy steps to getting back on track without sacrificing your health, sanity or hunger. I plan on following these rules all week, and by Friday, I am sure I am going to feel 100% again.
Screw the crazy diet fads and just live. Life calls for indulgence, so don’t be afraid if you overdue it now and again. Your body is amazingly resilient, and with just a bit of work, you can bounce right back. And quite frankly, I wouldn’t have as many hilarious stories if I didn’t go off the deep end every now and again :).
What is one thing you do to get back on track after too much indulging?