France – A country designed for Indulgence
I have recently returned from a trip to Vietnam and France sampling the wonderful foods and attending cooking demonstrations from both these countries and admit that I brought some souvenirs back from these countries around my waist line. However, although I may not enjoy my jeans being a bit tighter I did not get guilty and beat myself up. Instead I enjoyed reflecting on the wonderful meals and times experienced. What I did though is took action immediately visiting my local farmers market and planning my meals and exercise activities for the next week. One week past and I’m almost back to my normal weight.
Food is I believe one of the great pleasures in life and should be embraced. I advocate and educate an 80/20 philosohpy when it comes to food. If you eat healthily 80% of the time you can afford to indulge in foods that nourish your desires 20% of the time. There is so much conflicting advice available telling what you should and shouldn’t eat that many people are confused about what they should be eating or are guilty most of the time when choosing what to eat.
When I travel I like to open myself to the opportunity of trying all the various foods available from a culture and to enjoy hospitality extended to me without being paranoid about whether the balance is exactly perfect. I love good food and France in particular has an extraordinary array of beautiful options such as there cheeses. So when I am on the road my food balance tips away from the 80/20 although overall I maintain an 80/20 philosophy.
How to stay on the 80/20 route and indulge when holidaying.
1. Preparation – Prior to departing undertake a cleanse style eating plan for a couple of weeks. Eat well 100% of the time for this period and undergo a mini detox so you shed any sludgy weight and your body is topped up with nutrients. Being active and exercising regularly is part and parcel with staying healthy.
2. Enjoy yourself when on holidays but still be mindful not to overeat. By all means enjoy the variety available but stop when you have sufficient to satisfy your hunger and your desire for that food,
3. On your return – If your weight has crept up a little or you feel not as healthy as normal, don’t beat yourself up and accept the fact that you enjoyed your time away. The fridge will be empty so fill it with lots of lovely fresh produce. Jump back onto a mini detox, eliminating all processed foods and alcohol. Eat moderate amounts of whole foods and drink lots of filtered water and herbal teas for the next couple of weeks again until you are back on track. Also commit to being regularly active as each step will whittle away those extras you brought back from holidays.
This way although your eating might be 50/50 when away, it is balanced out by the 100% healthy eating either side to maintain your 80/20 plan.
So you really can have your cake and eat it too!