I ate bread (and how I recovered)
Yep, you read that subject line right.
I ate bread and not just a little. I had it at least 3 times in the past 3 weeks.
I am human, health-minded as can be, but human.
I also drank a LOT of wine and ate quite a bit of cheese. But when in Portugal, you must do as the Portuguese do.
You’ve probably heard me talk a lot before about how important it is to avoid inflammatory foods such as gluten (bread, etc.), dairy, sugar, soy, alcohol, and even all grains, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, and nightshade vegetables if your body is in a pro-inflammatory state.
So knowing that I had gluten, dairy and alcohol might come as a surprise.
Even more surprising is how I was able to have all of these things without experiencing any energy, weight, hormone or health setbacks.
You might be wondering how this is possible.
Europe and many other countries thrive on local and organic products, free of pesticides, chemicals, and GMOs that contribute to the inflammatory load. They tend to make food products the old way some would say, with cleaner sources, using fermentation practices to help break down the hard-to-digest food molecules in what we would typically think of as inflammatory foods.
This approach, with food, reduces digestive stress; making it easier to eat certain inflammatory foods without the usual consequences.
I still wouldn’t recommend eating these foods all of the time, even if you lived in Europe, because the body can only handle so much. However, when you have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to really experience another culture, you have to take it!
Feeling like your best self means giving your body the foods it needs to function at its potential 95% of the time and reserving 5% of the time for special indulgences.
When you indulge, it’s critical to support your body in other areas to help it bounce back.
When you do this, you can create metabolic flexibility that allows you to live life to the fullest while feeling like your best self!
In this week’s video and blog, I’m sharing my tips and tricks for creating metabolic flexibility so you can indulge and bounce right back to feeling like your best self.
This week, I’m hyper-focused on getting back into my daily health routines that will give my body everything it needs to fully recover from my trip to Portugal and all of the indulgences.
Taking a break from your normal routine is vital for rejuvenating your mind, body, and soul. If you do it the right way, you don’t come back feeling fat, tired, and sick.
Although my body tolerated bread, wine, and cheese, that doesn’t mean it was ideal fuel. My body functions best on animal proteins and healthy fats, so eating simple carbs such as bread can take its toll over time.
Knowing this helps me make choices that are in alignment with how I want to be feeling; energetic, clear-minded, strong, and slender.
When I choose to eat foods that are not exactly in alignment with what my body needs, here are 5 vital actions I take to help it recuperate…
# 1- Get to Bed by 10 pm
This one is super essential since the body does its major repair work from 10 pm to about 4 am. Being asleep during this timeframe lets your body focus all of its resources on repairing damaged cells, digesting, and detoxing toxins.
One of the worst choices you can make after indulging in some less than ideal foods is robbing your body of this precious time it needs to restore the damage these foods can cause and some of the toxins that come along with them.
#2 – Workouts = Walking
This is true for me most of the time, and if I’m not walking I’m doing low-intensity weight training. After indulging, most people want to “burn off” what they ate at the gym and end up doing more damage than good to their body than good.
Think about it. Most foods you indulge in are less nutrient-dense than ideal food choices, leaving your body in a nutrient-depleted state. Doing intense workouts requires an abundance of nutrients for recovery.
Exercise can add additional stress to your body when it’s already in a depleted state resulting in low energy, weight gain, hormone imbalances, and other health issues.
So opting for less intense forms of movement will help your body bounce right back after a few treats.
#3 – Balance Food Ratios
Yes, I ate bread and drank wine but I didn’t indulge in these alone because I know having carbs or sugar all by themselves is the quickest path to an energy crash.
Pairing carbs and sugar with protein and/or fat will help balance your blood sugar levels, giving you even and long-lasting energy.
Luckily in Portugal, there was a wide variety of decadent meats and seafood to choose from as pairings. This is also why I allowed myself some cheese for its high-fat content to strike a balance.
#4 – Establish Eating Windows
When I’m stressing my digestive system with indulgences, I also give it a recovery break by establishing eating windows. Typically this eating window is from 11 am to 8 pm, giving my digestive system at least 15 hours to recover.
Some might also refer to this as intermittent fasting. Balancing your food ratios with plenty of protein and fat is the key to having plenty of energy while doing this.
When ratios aren’t balanced, you’re sure to experience a carb or sugar crash that drains your energy and makes it difficult to avoid food outside of your eating window.
#5 – Work in Water
It’s easy to forget to drink water, but it’s the most essential nutrient needed for every bodily function. You should be drinking at least half of your body weight in ounces of water per day (200 lbs = 100 ounces of water daily), and when you’re indulging, you’ll need even more.
I always aim to drink at least half of my water intake before starting my eating window, and you’ll almost always find me with a bottle of water within reach.
Every time I ordered a glass of wine, I also ordered water.
Water keeps you hydrated while consuming things that dehydrate you, and it flushes out toxins. So remember to always work in your water.
By doing all of these things during my trip to Portugal, I returned home feeling 100% and even lost a pound!
Anytime you go on a healthy hiatus, it’s beneficial to do some additional cleansing and restorative work.
For the next few weeks, to help my body fully recover, I’ll be doing some deeper work such as:
- Using a castor oil pack 4 times/week to boost digestion and detoxification
- Going 100% Autoimmune Paleo and alcohol-free to reduce inflammation
- Hitting the chiropractor and acupuncturist to eliminate physical stressors
- Sitting in my infrared sauna followed by a cold shower to flush toxins
- Taking collagen peptides daily to help repair my gut lining
Life happens. How you choose to navigate it is what makes all the difference in the world to your health.
It’s ok to indulge every once in a while if you take action to help your body bounce back.