It’s the morning after the final night of that awesome summer music festival you and your friends were at over the weekend, and you crawl out of your tent looking for water. You straighten your Woodstock-inspired Navajo headband that’s still around your forehead as you survey the dusty and trodden ground, littered with beer cans, red solo cups, half-eaten hot dogs, tipped-over camping chairs and crumpled-up chip bags. You feel terrible, immediately regretting the five or six beers — or maybe that was 10 or 12? — you had each day over the weekend, along with all the hot dogs, chips, candy and other festival food that was so hard to resist, especially after a drink or seven. You were doing so well with your diet before the weekend, eating mostly whole foods and lots of vegetables. Now you feel like you’ve ruined everything in one weekend. As you pull on your last clean pair of high-waisted, high-cut denim shorts and Bill Murray T-shirt before packing up your mess of a campsite, you vow to drink nothing but water and green juice for the next seven days.
That was pretty much the scene I witnessed as I left our campsite at the Sunfest Country Music Festival in August of last year. In case you’re wondering: Yes, I had some drinks over that weekend and indulged in chips and candy. No, I did not wear high-waisted, high-cut denim shorts and Bill Murray shirts. I wore respectable-length shorts and a cowboy hat — it was a county music festival, after all.
Another thing I didn’t do was feel regret after eating (and drinking) close to double my normal caloric intake over the weekend. My stomach felt gross from all the non-Bri-friendly foods I ate (chips, candy and apple cider), but not once did I avoid eating something because I was worried I was going to ruin all those months of marathon training last summer.
As music festival season is upon us once again, it’s important to remember a weekend of indulgence will not derail your diet, and it is absolutely not necessary to “try and make up for it” by doing a detox. Your body does a fine job of detoxing on its own (hello, liver), and doesn’t need a juice cleanse to return to it’s normal, balanced state. All it needs is for you to return to your normal diet and to feel happy that you had such an amazing weekend with your friends.
Although detoxing after a weekend of partying is not necessary, there are some things you can do to help feel less guilty after your next summer music festival or indulgent vacation:
- Even though summer music festivals and weekend camping trips are all about tasty and convenient food and drink, it doesn’t mean you can’t bring healthy snacks and treats. We’re lucky to have a camper trailer and a Coleman stove, so we make grilled meat and vegetables for dinner most nights during camping trips. For lunch, I usually just make turkey sandwiches and bring lots of pre-cut vegetables and fruit for snacks. Baby carrots and grapes hold up well without refrigeration, and you can usually get away with keeping deli meat for sandwiches in just a cooler over a weekend.
- Love wine or cider? Mix it with club soda to cut the calories (and alcohol) in half. Sometimes it’s hard to hold off on the bevvies when you’re camping in the summer, so pace yourself by mixing 3 oz of vino or cider with 3-4 oz of club soda.
- Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. Be sure to take in lots of water regardless of how much you’re drinking over the weekend. Aim to have a bottle of water in between drinks. You’re body will thank you for it later. Trust me.
- Don’t just sit there. If you’re camping, go for a hike or go swimming in a nearby lake. At Sunfest last year we went tubing down the Cowichan River one day and went swimming at Fuller Lake the next. We also wandered around the festival grounds, checked out Chemainus, and danced for hours during the concerts.
- When you get home after a fun weekend away, make yourself a good, healthy dinner with lots of veggies, some lean protein and a bit of fat. Have your green juice or smoothie if you really feel like it, but eat a normal meal, too.
- Go through all your photos and videos you took over the weekend and reminisce about how amazing it was while feeling nothing but happiness.
Are you going to any music festivals this summer? Have any tips to share about how to make a weekend of indulgence less regretful?