By Mairead Rodgers, RD PHEc
We’ve all been there. We have an amazing vacation or even just a weekend away, and feel super relaxed coming back, but also just feel like we’re lagging more than a little bit. Your body doesn’t feel it’s normal healthy shiny self and you want to get back to that! Heading into summer, you might be needing to feel like yourself again after a longer family vacation, a weekend out of town for a wedding, or even just a couple nights at the cottage. Either way, try some of these tips to get back to your normal YOU in no time!
- Drink some water. This is by far the easiest place to start. You know how plants perk right up after you’ve watered them? People can be the same. When we’re traveling, we’re not in our normal habit of getting enough water to drink, whether it’s because you’re driving and don’t want to stop all the time or because you’ve found tastier things to drink. Start by getting in some water as soon as you get home. Then as you go about your day the next day, make a special effort to drink enough; try carrying your water bottle with you, or track your water to make sure you hit at least 2 liters. You’ll be feeling better soon.
- Pack in the fruits and veggies! Do you eat as much fruits and vegetables when you’re traveling as you do when you’re home? I’m willing to bet that even if you did your absolute best, you still might not have your normal amount. So let’s get back to that! Make a special effort to start getting fruit and vegetables back into your normal food right away. Not “one more night of junk food and we’ll start tomorrow”. While we’re not likely to develop a deficiency of most of our vitamins and minerals in a matter of days, they are still important. So is fibre! Getting your GI system back to it’s “regular” self will definitely help you feel better too!
- Pair your carbs with protein and fat. Get off that roller coaster of eating something and then being hungry an hour later. By adding some protein and fat to your meals or snacks, you’re going to be better able to get back to your normal eating routine. Try cheese with your apple or crackers, some hummus with your veggies, half a peanut butter sandwich, Greek yogurt with a bit of cereal…. anything that’s going to help you stay full a little bit longer and not be crashing after an hour or two.
- Get organized! If you get home and the fridge has absolutely no fruits and vegetables in it, how likely are you to eat them? If it takes more work to make a healthy meal and you’re tired from unpacking or your first day back at work, how likely are you to order pizza instead? So with any energy you can muster, do a super quick grocery run for your normal foods that make you feel good. Take 5 minutes while dinner cooks or the laundry is in to chop up some fruits and veggies, or get tomorrow’s breakfast organized. Future you will thank you.
- Get moving! If your body is used to moving regularly and you stop, often you might start to feel more sluggish. Also, nothing keeps the post-vacation blues at bay like some workout-induced endorphins. The longer you wait to get back in the gym after vacation, the harder it is. So don’t want another 2 days or a week, which often turns into two weeks or a month. Do what you can to get moving the next day, even if it’s not a perfect workout or your best effort. Your body will still thank you. And every CrossFit-er in our gym knows that your first workout back is always the worst, and then it gets better, but the longer you put it off, the worse it’s going to feel.
More nutrition questions popping up as the seasons change? Email maireadrodgers@