I am fresh off the boat. Literally, the family and I just took an 8 day sailing vacation in the Bahamas. Our kinda of sailing trips are nothing like jetting off to an uber relaxing swanky resort. Our recent adventure involved strong winds, island hopping, fishing, crew work, cooking/cleaning and, of course lots of activity both on water and land. There is nothing like living on a boat with four other people to break you of life’s daily patterns. Although I had an amazing experience, I was also deeply grateful to get back home to, more than anything else, my routine. Diverging from the daily habits of life while on this trip, however, gave me some clarity on what has and has not necessarily been working for me in my routine, as well as, what I love and will not part with regardless of its health benefits. With that, here’s a little of what I learned about my routine while sailing the seas.
KEEP: I love coconut oil pulling. It eases me into my day and makes me feel fresh and clean from the inside out! I not only pull the oil in my mouth, but I use some of it on my lips and run a dab through the ends of my hair. I brought a jar with me on the trip and did it every morning while preparing everyone’s coffee. Now is oil pulling really effective at cleansing and eliminating toxins that have built up over night? There is certainly no scientific data, but personally, it feels good and, more importantly, it is a centering routine that gets me prepared for the day ahead. And that’s good enough!
LOVE: Coffee w/almond milk and coconut butter is the first thing I prepare and consume in the morning and it is a non-negotiable routine for me. I made my daily cup with two shots of espresso and steamed almond milk with a teaspoon of coconut butter melted in. At home I use a combo of homemade almond milk and almond milk “creamer” (not exactly uber healthy but whatever, I love its creaminess.) The butter gives me some healthy fat to get me through my AM workout.
LOSE: I used to down a tablespoon of ACV (apple cider vinegar) before drinking my coffee. Its quite severe and sends a shock through my system. I’ve recently read that the health benefits of ACV may be overblown. For now I”ll stick with using just a splash of ACV on my salads and spare myself the sour wake up call.
LOVE: If you know me even a tiny bit you know I’m not going to give up my morning sweat session. On this trip I managed to fit in a few runs and bootcamp sessions (see instagram!) while we were in marinas. My favorite time to work out between 7:30-9 AM.
LOSE: At home I workout EVERY DAMN DAY and its usually intense. A light day is a 45-60 minute run followed by power yoga. I often workout for 1.5-2 hrs., especially if I’m doing two classes like Barry’s followed by yoga or an outdoor bike ride followed by Flybarre (side note: as a freelancer / consultant I work from home so while kids are in school my schedule is often flexible). Clearly I could not keep up with this routine on the trip and you know what??? I didn’t get fat lol lol 😉 I kid, but seriously, it was enlightening to feel ok missing a few days of working out. I was actually less hungry and made better food choices as a result. Go figure. I also came home feeling super strong and physically fresh. The first class I took (a Barry’s Bootcamp with Ethan at Miami Beach), I went HARD and killed it whereas I usually feel super achy and sore and can’t go full on most days. Ahhh DUH CP, take days off!!
KEEP: Even though I’m an early riser, I don’t like to eat before I workout and I drink at least 2 liters of water during the AM hours so I’m generally not really hungry until around 11-12. I’ve been doing Intermittent Fasting since the fall and I really love it. Breakfast (break fast) is around 12-1PM for me and it works with my routine and lifestyle. I eat a smaller protein / vegetable snack around 3:30-4 like a 1-2 turkey meatballs wrapped in cabbage and then after my dinner at around 6:30-8, I don’t eat again until mid day the next day. There is a lot of information out there on the benefits of IF, so go and google to research whether or not its a good option for you. I managed to do IF on the trip and felt great wearing little else than my bikini most of the time ;).
LOSE: At home, for said breakfast at around 12, I got addicted to smoothies. Since moving to Miami I got back into the habit of making a daily smoothie that usually included: a pea-based protein powder, dark leafy greens, avocado, raw ginger and tumeric, berries, coconut oil, spirulina, almond milk, vanilla, cinnamon and stevia. I noticed that I would have a really uncomfortable full feeling afterwards and I actually even felt my belly distend more than usual. I went from feeling way too full to feeling hungry very quickly too. On our trip, I didn’t make one smoothie as they are a bit high maintenance, require a lot of ingredients and a blender that I did not have. Instead, my first meal of the day was a green salad with lean protein like chicken or fish, healthy fat (avocado or nuts) and some beans. I felt satiated all the way til an early dinner time and often didn’t even need my 4pm snack. The other pleasant side effect was a flatter belly. Huh, ok so there is nothing like breaking from a routine that you THOUGHT was extremely healthy to realize that something just was not working. I suspect the smoothie was not enough food and the protein powder might not have agreed with my system.
KEEP: Yes, gut health is a big old trendy topic right now. I swear by eating a few spoonfuls of kimchi for both my 12PM meal and dinner. Probiotics are crucial for me and keep my system humming. Eating a lot of healthy fat is another hot topic. I eat some at every meal and snack. My favorites: avocados, avocado oil, EVOO, all things coconut, nuts, seeds, and eggs.
LOVE: I don’t really need more cardio in my life. I do enough with my 2 runs and few bike rides per week. As I’m loving long time being in my early ’40s I’ve realized that its the toning and strength exercise (barre, bootcamp and yoga) that make the biggest impact on my body. That said, I need to move in the afternoon. My favorite thing is a 30-40 minute power walk listening to recently downloaded music (CP tip I make a playlist with tracks that are around 150 or 75 BPMs so I can walk the beat, which is a perfect brisk pace). Its almost meditative for me and its my alone time. Not giving it up.
LOSE: I drank wine every night on vacation. 8 days strong and thats a serious load on my liver. I have no regrets, it was vacation. Anyway moving on, no need to say more than I’ll shoot for no more than 2-3 evenings per week tops with the vino. BASTA.
LOVE: My entire family sits down to a homemade meal with cloth napkins, candles, a beautifully set dinner table every single night. This is not always easy as it required planning and time spent cooking and then cleaning in the kitchen. We kept this routine on our trip, ate at the big round table down below in the galley, even when the boat was super roll-y from the waves and wind. Hands down, it was definitely my most favorite part of the day, just like it is at home. Because we all have so much to say, my boys and I are working on chewing slowly, thoroughly and waiting to speak until the food is swallowed; a challenge with my crew.
KEEP: I have a massive sweet tooth, but instead of bringing along a lot of treats on the boat (I live for chocolate and caramels), we brought organic dates instead. I popped a few of those babies after dinner (no more than 2-3) and it helped curved my cravings. Yes, I know dates are very high in sugar but I don’t OD on them as I would if chocolate, ice cream or cookies were around and they are full of fiber. Win win!!