DISCLAIMER: The following is an example of someone going COMPLETELY over the top and I do NOT recommend you do the same. I’m merely laying out, in all honesty, what I did this past weekend and what I’ve been doing to get things back under control. Should you ever find yourself in a situation with 8 college friends in a house for 4 days (with no kids and no responsibilities), you might need to let loose. That said, you still have to function on Monday morning and the details below are how I accomplished that small feat.
This past weekend we spent 4 days in Cape Cod. Brit and I had never visited the area before and it was our first time away from kids in 2 1/2 years - so you could say I had a propensity to indulge. Adding to that, we were attending the wedding of one of our best friends with a bunch of college friends who knew me back in my partying days. Our kids were at home and the team at 2020 took everything over, so I could completely sign out and enjoy the time away.
I’ve outlined everything I did and most things I ate on the trip and I didn’t hold anything back. To reiterate, this is not a suggestion that you do the same, merely a representation to show you what I do when I act like a total degenerate AND I need to function at a high level the following week.
I had a firm grasp on wanting to feel good when I got home so I’ve laid out the steps I took to ensure I could 1) have an amazing time not being a Debbie downer and 2) be my best self upon returning and not need a vacation from a vacation like so many of us do.
First off, here are the three supplements I never leave home without:
1) Psyllium husk. Staying normal is number one as I have a tendency to get dehydrated and ‘locked’ up when I fly or drive long distance (if you’re having trouble translating, I’m talking about getting constipated). I try not to drink caffeine when I travel but I know that works for many people to keep things moving as well.
2) Activated charcoal. This is a must if you’re going to binge. It also forces you to hydrate like a boss. It helps with eliminating gas and it helps take unhealthy food through your system more efficiently. I first learned about the benefits from Dave Asprey
3) I bring electrolytes for travel days and any time I’m going to drink alcohol, whether recreationally or professionally. (I use Ultima that we carry here at the gym). When I attend weddings, I tend to be on the professional level & I can’t overemphasize the importance of staying hydrated when consuming alcohol. If you’re not drinking a ton of sugar (I prefer C-Lite, Guinness, vodka or tequila), the reason for the headache in the am is largely dehydration which can be completely avoided.
Travel rules I follow:The Day of travel:
- No eating in airports. Ever. Period. Only water.
- I do not eat until I’ve arrived at my destination that day. So if my flight is at 8 am and I don’t arrive at the hotel until 2 pm, I do not eat until 2 pm or later.
- I consume 32 oz of water on a typical 2-hour flight WITH electrolytes. I usually have to go to the bathroom once but in this case, I’d rather be over hydrated than under.
- Must must get barefoot in grass upon arriving if you’ve changed time zones, even if just for 5 minutes.
- Do some sort of full range of motion exercise. Even 5 push-ups and 5 air squats to move the body. More is better. Some is fine.
While on vacation:
- Take fiber in the morning + drink at least 20 oz of water upon waking.
- Do some sort of full range of motion activity each morning.
- Break a sweat 1x per day. This could be laying out on the beach or going for a run.
- Stay hydrated. All-day.
- Go to bed sober if possible.
- Have fun.
Here's the day by day action:
Day 1- Our flight was at 5:45 am so I fasted until we arrived in Boston at 2 pm. First meal - Tiramasu from Mike’s Bakery. Then crab cakes and french fries, oysters, cornbread, and a salmon salad. Finished eating at 4 pm for the day. The activity I did this day was a 3-minute workout before leaving the house in the morning. No alcohol this day and we went to bed at 9:30 EST.
Day 2- Started the day with a Soul Cycle class where I broke a decent sweat. Went for a latte and coffee cake (took my charcoal pills), then a great egg scramble for breakfast with a piece of GF french toast for good measure. Then we were off to the Cape. Lunch wasn’t until 2 pm and I ate my body weight in crab cakes and french fries. This was my last meal for the evening (until snack time). Then party time - I had a good amount of Corona Lites (they’re gluten-free and don’t give me a headache), and then some Guinness while we played some games. Finished the night with frozen pizzas (GF), and some delicious cereal. Took some electrolytes and a couple of charcoal pills and went to bed.
Day 3- I did not feel good when I woke up. Actually, I felt horrible. However, I’d made a commitment to my housemates that I’d get up and run to and from coffee. 3.4 miles total. Felt refreshed afterward. Did not eat breakfast - just hydrated and had a bunch of fiber. Lunch I slammed some carbs that were lying around the house including a bagel and egg sandwich + chips and fruit and took a nap. Upon waking, I had a big ice cream cone that was dipped in chocolate. Dinner was lobster, potatoes, corn, and cornbread of which I doubled up on. The dessert was a key lime pie tart and I think I had 4-5 of them. Alcohol was Corona Lite again for the evening. Late-night snacks were pizza and chicken nuggets + a couple of bowls of cereal, some dark chocolate, a banana, and bag of chips - Seriously.
Day 4 -Wedding day. I skipped breakfast and just focused on hydrating. I needed my game face on for the night. Went until 12 pm before eating and had a ham sandwich plus a huge yogurt parfait. Then I had a triple scoop of ice cream in a waffle cone. It was so good I grabbed another one as everyone else was checking out (I finished the first in the store). Then I went for a several minute ocean swim which made me feel better about the 1/2 gallon of ice cream I’d just eaten. Wedding night you could say we got after it a bit with C-Lite’s again being my friend. Dinner was surf and turf with veggies + a couple of bread rolls. There was a dessert bar that I indulged in pretty heavily between beverages. Upon returning home we did some more munchie damage, this time largely focusing on rice crispy cereal with a banana (I had 3 bowls and 3 bananas).
Day 5 -The shenanigans are over. On the day of travel home I dial it back in or I find it impossible to function during the week. While packing I snuck in a little workout: I did 3 minutes of double leg pulls and 3 push-ups (the length of the yard on the single-leg pulls). Then before I hopped in the shower I did 25 push-ups. I do not eat on travel days until I arrive at my destination. We left the Cape at 10 am and I just had coffee. I was hungry but after a couple of hours it started to feel really good. My first re-entry meal was dinner of chicken and veggies and I was done eating by 7 pm.
Follow up - Intermittent fasting brings me back to life.
The most important part of the recovery are the days following your re-entry. On MondayI did not eat until 2 pm and was finished eating for the day at 4 pm. I had bone broth at 6 pm but that was all I consumed. I’ll typically commit to doing this for a couple of days post-travel to get my system caught up. Workout wise, I did the FIT class and put forth a good enough effort to break a sweat - not much more. I had tons of energy but I know it was elusive and didn’t want to wear myself out after the travel day.
Tuesday- Energy was still great this day however I went easy again in the gym, doing the FIT class with enough effort to move my body and get a sweat. For lunch/dinner I had a huge Chipotle bowl with white rice and 3 servings of guac (yes 3) around 3pm. I then had a 1/3 bar of 85% dark chocolate to wean myself off the sugar but I was completely done eating for the day by 4 pm. Again - bone broth for ‘dinner’.
WednesdayI had a naturally busy day so it was easy to make it to lunch before eating and then I had a busy evening so I skipped dinner again and had my last meal around 2 pm. I had gained 5 lbs on the trip and as of Thursday, my weight was back to normal. Energy wise however on Wednesday I had fallen flat. The weekend finally caught up with me and I was grateful I took it easy physically Monday and Tuesday
It’s now Thursday and I feel my health is back under control. My energy is back to where I want it to be and the belly that I felt build up over the weekend is now under control. Life is a series of cycles and every now and again you have the opportunity to have a blast indulging in some things you don’t do in your daily life. The emphasis however is you cannot let it affect your productivity when you get back on the ground.
There is a reason I take care of myself daily, avoid alcohol 99% of the time, try to get adequate sleep etc. I want to and NEED to perform at my best every single day for my wife and kids, the 2020 Community, and myself. That said, if you have the opportunity to let loose when you’re away from your daily responsibilities, you can do it while keeping your health dialed enough to not have too negative of an impact on your productivity following your time away.
Here's to feeling amazing,