My weekend was straight up debauchery. I ate and drank like a madwoman, slept
very little and played very hard. My husband’s 40th birthday was Saturday. I planned,
hosted and DJ’ed the party, ordered the food, made the birthday cake and stressed out most of the
weekend making sure he was one happy 40 year old dude. With lots of friends and
family in town, the drinking started early Friday and didn’t stop until late Sunday night. While
making his favorite Tres Leches Cake (for 40 ppl!) I managed to hide the creamy
bowls and spatulas from my children so that yours truly could do the licking. I came
home tipsy on Saturday night and polished off what remains of my sister-in-law’s
banana cream pudding. On Sunday, I thought it was a good idea to grill
cheeseburgers and make truffle twice fried French fries to go along side my bottle of
red wine. And then of course, there was more ice cream. Yeaasssss my friends, it was
not cute but extremely fun and definitely stress-induced.
I have these weekends every once in a while and often feel shitty both physically
and emotionally, like I want to press a delete button and start all over again with a wee bit
more self control. Aside from promising myself that I’ll behave better in the weekends to come,
I’m over sharing here not only indulgences, but also my go-to strategy for feeling and looking better
as quickly and safely as possible. Because, let's be honest, you’ve probably been there
or will end up there at some point with this warmer cocktail-loving, ice cream-begging
weather that’s fast approaching (hallelujah).
My plan doesn’t involve super restrictive cleanses that cost hundreds of dollars or
subscribing to some website for what is straight forward advice either. If you’ve read
any previous posts, you know that I’m not a fan of the juicing cleanse and a big believer
in eating whole clean food. Plus, while those crazy restrictive cleanses may result
in temporary weight loss, that often just comes creeping right back once we resort
to our regular lifestyle habits. The point here is even though many of us have a
mainly healthy lifestyle, fuck up’s happen, we need to get over it and back on track
quickly. So its more like pressing that reset button instead of the delete buttom.
It’s a physical and emotional plan that is super easy and straight forward too.
EXERCISE: Get in extra sweats before a big weekend of over-indulging
I exercise every day, even on weekends like the ones I describe above, however,
for the week following a food/wine throw down, I ramp up the intense sweaty interval-based
cardio, add an extra endurance run to clear my mind and do more hot yoga. So instead of
one long run and 2 cycle classes, I’ll do 2 runs and 3 classes. I usually go to my favorite
Modo hot yoga studio once or twice a week, but if I know I'm going to over-indulge over
the weekend, I’ll schedule in three. So whatever your set point is for
exercise, aim to add a few more sessions of full body super sweaty movement.
LIQUIDS: Flush it out
I drink 3-4 liters of filtered water with lemon all day long. I aim to drink 1 liter
before each meal. Yes, I’m constantly peeing and feel like my bladder is in a constant
state of fullness, but water is the best way to flush out all the bullshit. I can’t go without
my morning coffee, so I’ll have that but certainly avoid the “creamers” that have found their way
into my fridge (even if they are soy or almond milk creamers, its still processed and
has sugar). I drink 1-2 cups of green tea too.
FOOD: Eat Your Greens Plus! Sample Menu
Pretty simple, I eat as much dark green vegetables as possible (dandelion greens,
kale, leafy salad greens) with some lean and light protein. For first few days, I cut out chicken
(rarely eat red meat and pork anyway) and focus more on eggs and fish for my protein. I
drop the sugar, including most fruit sugar like oranges which are my favorite snack. I still go
for the blueberries in the a.m. Here’s an example of my Day 1 after a binge weekend (Monday):
First thing: Coffee with homemade almond milk, stevia and tsp. of coconut butter
Breakfast: One egg with a LOT of sautéed kale
Lunch: salad greens with avocado, seafood sausage, almonds, mushrooms and
Snack: carrots & seeds
Dinner: Roasted Hake with sautéed asparagus and dandelion green salad
(EVOO and lemon).
I skip some of the staples in my regular diet like chickpeas, cauliflower and broccoli
because they can be bloating. While I normally eat cheese and whole grains once or
twice a week , I also cut out these foods.
Finally, especially on Day 1 and Day 2, I try to eat in very moderate amounts. I’m the last
person to let myself go hungry, I can’t deal with that AT ALL, but I don’t go back for
seconds and certainly avoid stuffing my face.
FOAM ROLLING: How the celebs get ready for award show season
This is probably the most underrated lengthening/toning exercise. A trainer in my
building once told me that when he gets his celebrity clients ready for special events
and award shows, he has them foam roll for up to an hour a day the week leading up
to the event. Anyone who works out should own a foam roller. Period. Do it while you’re
watching TV or listening to music. It is amazing to see how effective foam rolling is
to stretch and lengthen the muscle fascia that regular stretching can’t even touch. So
you get to look longer/leaner AND support muscle recovery.
SUPPLEMENTS: Help speed up the process and curb cravings
I’ve written about Dr. Frank Lipman’s practice before. I’m a fan. He has a host of
really awesome supplements that can be helpful, but definitely can’t hurt. The goal is
to eat so well that the multivitamins aren’t necessary, but we can’t always get
everything we need from the whole foods we eat. Here’s what his practice suggests
while on a slightly restrictive “clean” diet:
Glutamine: diminishes sugar cravings and heals the lining of the gut. Personally,
glutamine doesn’t make a dent in my sugar cravings because my cravings are hard core, but
according to one of their health coaches, it can certainly help with some clients.
Probiotics: helps keep things moving if you know what I mean. Without the beans,
whole grains and slightly smaller amounts of food you may need this ;) According to
Dr. Lipman, the probiotic powder is more potent. Use it in your smoothies or mix into your
GI Herbal Formula: helps create a healthy digestive environment and supports
MIND SET: Get over it!
My biggest challenge is all in my head: getting over the missteps and moving on. I
seriously beat up on myself mentally after over-doing it and have a hard time letting
the regret subside so I can get on with my life for f’s sake. I’m an incorrigible
perfectionist (to the 9th degree) and, full disclosure, if I feel physically bad or
uncomfortable, I won’t even look at myself in the mirror. Just today I went through
an entire hour of hot yoga, in the front row and didn’t look at myself ONCE. Anyway,
now you know, but my point is, these negative, self-deprecating thoughts are a
waste of time, space and mental energy and actually hinder us from cleaning up our
acts and resetting back to our healthy state of mind and body so we can focus on better,
more important and less superficial things (for me that would be my kids and work).
Do yourself a solid and get over it as quickly as possible. Remind yourself that feeling bad is temporary,
everything will pass and you have the rest of your life to workout and treat your
body, mind and spirit with care and respect.