Dr. Boyd Visits Sayulita, Mexico for a Self Made Life Changing Retreat, All While Staying on Symmetry’s Nutrition Plan!
As some of you already know, the fall is my favorite time of year to do a diet restart, mainly to undo summer indulgences, and also because it is the perfect way to get a brace on the upcoming holiday season.
It is always empowering to enter the New Year not feeling like I have gained a ton of weight, having to follow the typical New Years resolution fads. I have written about this in previous e-mail newsletters and recently wrote a blog post on the topic.
This past September, marked a significant turning point in my life, and all of the sudden seemed to be the year I needed to do something about my health more then ever. I found myself facing a reality that I did not want to see. I hit a personal rock bottom. Only those that truly know me would have ever seen it, as I am pretty good at hiding how I feel. I always seem to focus on making sure everyone else is ok, not putting myself first. I had one of the hardest years personally in my adult life and it was truly showing in my productivity, energy levels, happiness, and even the way my clothes were fitting.
My entire sense of being was suffering and I was aware of it more then ever. Diet has always seemed to go hand in hand with how I feel, function and relate to others. You truly are what you eat. I was hearing the words I have used so many times before when teaching Ideal Protein workshops. “When you start blaming the dryer for your clothing fitting too tight, its probably time to get on the scale and face reality.” The truth was, I hadn’t been on the Biospace InBody 520 since Dec. 2012. I had avoided it. This was the first fall season since bringing Ideal Protein in to Symmetry that I really wasn’t prepared to do a restart. And to be completely honest, I really didn’t want to. It wasn’t until I woke up one Sunday morning feeling so terrible about my self, my life, who I had become that I realized the only thing I could do was practice what I preach, as that was the only thing I had control over. Life’s circumstances were not falling in my favor, but I knew that if I really wanted to feel better both physically and mentally, I would have to take charge and gain some control over my state. When I go through rough times, like many, I struggle with taking care of myself. Instead, I eat more, drink more wine and seem to blow off my yoga and exercise practices making more room for restaurant hopping and activities that only fuel my downturn. Basically, I get lazy! As I have gotten older I have also gotten better at recognizing this and catching myself. Now that I have Symmetry Health Center in my life as a resource to fall back on, my down turns don’t seem to last as long.
In early October, I decided to take drastic measures to ensure I could get my self back. I started looking online for retreats in Mexico that might help me get on track. I then thought of all of the dieters at Symmetry who go to Mexico or other vacation destinations and return saying “I completely blew it. I went off plan and ate everything and anything I wanted and gained weight on my vacation.” Thinking about all of these cases, I wondered if I could do the opposite. I decided to have Owen become my Ideal Protein coach so I could do a restart and go to Mexico staying on plan. I chose to visit Sayulita, as I had been there before and knew how magical a place it was. In my search for accommodations, I found a place called “Paraiso Yoga.”
Paraiso is a small property in the small Pacific side city of Sayulita. On site is a roof top Palapa covered yoga studio that has the capacity of about 15 yoga mats. Also available are 3 bungalows that can be rented for about $50 a night, each including a private bathroom and use of the large kitchen and common areas. It seemed like the perfect place to call home for my trip and very affordable compared to the other options! I booked my stay through Airbnb.com.
I flew in to Puerto Vallarta on a relatively short Virgin America flight, and used a trusted local taxi service to take me on the 30-minute drive North. Sayulitalife.com is an excellent resource for all things Sayulita such as taxi services and other travel related resources. On the way to my destination, the taxi stopped at the Mega market in Vallarta where I was able to stock up on food for my strict menu.
When I arrived at Pariaso, I was pleasantly greeted by Nara who runs the show. She teaches Hatha Yoga at her studio, along with some other excellent instructors such as Jennifer Issacson who have a more intensive flow style practice.
From the minute I arrived I knew I had to get to work to stay on plan. I started prepping all of my veggies by cleaning them and storing them for easy access in the fridge. I soft boiled some eggs to have available for a quick high protein snack option. I find hard/soft boiled eggs are great to have on hand especially when my activity levels are higher. They are a great recovery food post workout, or a great option for a quick breakfast when you are on the go and need to get something in your belly fast. In Mexico I found love for these eggs with Valentino hot sauce, fresh cilantro, raw sliced onion and sea salt! (see our recent blog for the best results with soft boiled eggs.)
I also regularly prepped lettuces and cucumber salad so if I became hungry I could just grab something quick. I know that dieters have hiccups in phase 1 and 2 when they are not prepared, blood sugar gets low and hunger starts raging. This is when people grab the first thing they see which isn’t always the healthiest. Having Ideal Protein items such as premade chocolate pudding, bars, and other pre made snacks also helps this type of hunger and craving which can be a source of getting derailed from the plan.
I ventured around Sayulita and found many places that were very accommodating to my restrictions. I found myself at Sayulita Café, Capitan Cooks (oceanfront with free wifi and beach chairs!), Leyza’s, El Espresso (for breakfast and coffee) and many other locations that I cannot recall the names of! There were excellent street carts with marinated meats on rotisserie spits and a grilled chicken cart that became my go to! I frequently ordered cevices, fajitas, whole roasted fish and other seafood dishes that were all easily converted to “Ideal Protein Legal.”
I even went on a fishing trip and arrived prepared with chopped cucumbers, onion, chilies and lime to make fresh ceviche right after arriving back to shore. The fishermen will gladly filet and chop up the fish if you are willing to share your catch!
Besides eating like a King, I spent most of my days practicing Yoga back at my home base. October is very hot in Mexico, and although outdoor, the heat made each class feel like Bikrim Yoga allowing for lots of sweat! I worked very hard to show up in class each morning, only taking a break to do other activities, which called for morning start times. I did 12 days of yoga in all, out of the 16 days or so that I was there. This renewed my love for yoga and significantly changed my body in a short time.
To make a long detailed story short, my trip turned out to be life changing. I came home renewed and in many ways I feel re-born. I have a new body, a stronger spirit and a new mantra. “Remember Why You Started.” Sometimes when I feel like grabbing a glass of wine, or eating that hunk of cheese, I remind myself where I was just a few months ago. I don’t want to go back there. Ever. It takes discipline, planning and preparation to be successful on any plan, but if you have a reason good enough you will find the motivation to make it work. In Mexico or in the Bay Area, there are ways to make inexpensive life changes and habits that will allow you to get back to being you!
During my stay at Paraisio Yoga, the local website Sayulitabeach.com was doing a story on the location. I happened to be attending the yoga class that was used for the site photo shoot. See the link below for the full story. I hope you all get to visit Sayulita some day. It is a special place and very easy to get to from the San Francisco Bay Area.