Rock the Bloat

Have a little too much fun on vacation or on a weekend getaway?  Don't freak out.  Do something about it!
Last month I spent 2 weeks on a boat.  Well, not just any boat.  Actually it was a ship, though, not just any ship.  The ship is called The World - Residences at Sea.  And they mean it!  This is a floating luxury apartment building and residents live on the ship day after day, year after year.  So along with incredible ports-of-call and land adventures, the residents have great adventures in eating and drinking. So when in Rome... 
The Back Story
My husband and I were invited by a couple of friends to join them on a cruise around Vanuatu.  Right now you are probably thinking "Van-u-what-tu?"  Vanuatu is an island archipelago consisting of about 82 small islands, north of New Zealand and East of Australia.  I'll admit, I didn't know anything about Vanuatu or New Caledonia, where we boarded the ship, but, like most things in life, you quickly learn once you immerse yourself.   
Prior to The World, I had only experienced one cruise through the Caribbean and I swore I'd never do it again.  Between ports-of-call, it was a bit boring.  Things to do:  sun bathe, eat, drink, sleep.  The best part of the experience was scuba diving in Cancun and the Caymans. But other than that, not good.  So, I must admit, I wasn't as excited about this upcoming "cruise" as I could have been.

The World was different.  While I did my best to read all that I could about our cruise and what to expect in Vanuatu, there wasn't much to read.  That's because when the ship goes into "expedition" mode, they aren't really able to schedule specific events, like say, a hike to the edge of a live volcano for a fireworks display, because they don't know if the vocano is active at that time.  They hire people from the area -- anthropologists, educators and guides--only weeks and sometimes a day or two prior to the adventure to scope out the islands, meet with the locals and find out what is possible for us to experience.  That was great, because it allowed the ship to anchor off of remote islands, so guests may have a truly authentic experience. 
 Pentacost Dancers
Life on The World
What I enjoyed the most was every evening we'd all collect in the "Colliseo" and listen to the experts talk about what we might see and experience the following day.  For example, some people might enjoy visiting the local village and drinking kava (a drink with sedative and anesthetic properties) with the village chief, while others might enjoy a 13-mile roundtrip hike to the edge of an active volcano to see a boiling caldron of hot magma.  Most days, my husband and I chose the active adventures - the hikes, the snorkeling, the Land Divers (see video below). Each day was completely different, a complete surprise, and we'd return to the ship completely spent.  So imagine boarding the ship at the end of the day filthy dirty, tired, sweaty.  Great feeling, right?  The catch is, that each evening you've got to clean up, dress nicely (some evenings in cocktail attire--gowns accepted), because there are rules... No tank tops, no filp-flops, no shorts.  Even in the morning, the rules apply.  So hardcore adventure all day and soft-core glamour at night--complete with gourmet meals and big wines (even wine tasting courses in the evening, to make sure you can appreciate each sip).  

Tanna Volcano
Life After The World
Well, I have been home for 2 weeks and still rocking the bloat after my time on the boat.  Although I know better, it amazes me just how quickly the lbs. can pile on in such a short amount of time--even while being active all day long. Oh well. I enjoyed each and every bite, every sip, every-everything!  AND now I am paying the price!  Which is ok.  I have learned never to freak out, or to get anxious about it.  Just take care of it.  
How I am Taking Care of it
Along with Outdoor Fitness (60 minutes today), I have been on a basic raw foods diet for just over a week and I must say it is working!  I have rocked that bloat and figure I have another week (max two) to go to get back to my pre-World condition.  The premise for this eating plan is to eat minimal quanities (calories) of food that pack a high ratio of nutrition. The formula is Health = Nutrients/Calories.  When the ratio of nutrients to calories is high, excess fat is used for energy, thus, the bloat goes away.  The part that I love is food tastes really satisfying--the tomatoes burst with flavor, the greens feel good in my body, and best of all, no cravings for heavy or "bad" stuff.

The only downside to a meal plan like this is that it is heavy on labor, thus time consuming.  Lot's of chopping, slicing, dicing and puree-ing of fresh, seasonal produce, nuts, and seeds. Tomorrow I will post a few recipes to share with you.
Below, you will find more about the "Land Divers" the inspiration for Bungee Jumping.

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