After a nice little hiatus and a much needed escape from everything work-related for a week or two (see left), I'm back, as is el blogo, and I'm ready to jump into fall. Before delving into all the glory of fall...and fall-food-finds, I think it's important to comment on the necessity of taking a break from things -- from the stress of daily life, from your gym routine and your die-hard, uber healthy eating mantra (if you have one...you know I'm a big believer in balance).
Today's post was inspired by my good friend Margarita, who has been blogging for Glamour magazine about her weight-loss journey for the past 6 months...and is kicking some serious as*! She just returned from vaca as well and writes about letting go a little and eating foods that truly satisfy, taking in everything about a culture and their culinary-fare (she had the pleasure of discovering all the goodness of Croatia's cuisine and sites recently). Check out her blog, super cool and incredibly inspiring!
Ok, so why are vacations so damn beneficial? Why is it that we often return home a little lighter on the scale?
1. You finally are able to let your guard down and relax. Your stress hormones are shot to the point of no return for a few days (or hopefully weeks) and thus, your body actually sheds a few lbs that it was holding on to. Consistently high levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, can often cause our bodies to hold on to weight for dear life...no matter how impeccable your eating habits are. Yeah, not so fun.
2. You are likely more active on vacation than you think and hence, burning through those calories at a steady clip.
3. Thanks to your carefree 'do-it-up' vacation mindset, you're likely eating foods you normally wouldn't...possibly foods that are actually satisfying -- which typically means we end up eating less of them because they're satisfying. And shocker, you end up consuming fewer calories in the long run! I've termed this "Euro-eating". More to come in my next blog post on what the hell "Euro-eating" is and why Europeans tend to eat more 'indulgent' foods but are still slimmer and healthier than Americans.
So there you have it. Makes me want to plan my next vacation asap!
How can we now take this period of recharging and restoring and head into the fall season that's upon us? Get back into your groove with a new outlook, fresh for fall. Think back to high-school (scary as it may be) -- a new school year, a new fall sports season. Get psyched and get going! (I can't believe I just used the word psyched on a professional blog site). Make a mini goal list and post it on your fridge, at your computer, wherever you'll actually see it and stay mindful of whatever it is you've set out to accomplish -- whether it's incorporating more fresh produce into the picture, tackling the grocery store and your kitchen, losing (or gaining) a few lbs., or running a race (that's my personal goal, I've signed up for a 1/2 marathon in October...don't ask me why). Keep reading in upcoming weeks for the low-down on fall fruits and vegetables (and how to get them onto your plate) along with some delish autumn-inspired recipes.
More to come next week on my own vacation (that's me above in St. Barts) and my thoughts on "Euro-eating"!