I went to Marrakech in search of magic

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Amanda Chantal Bacon defends vacation eating
Photo: Laura Bertocci
Travel Diaries

Amanda Chantal Bacon wants you to eat sugar on vacation

Yes, really.

by Amanda Chantal Bacon | 02.21.2018

Welcome to This Trip Changed My Life, where we spotlight the ways (good, bad, and everything in between) that travel has impacted the people we’re most inspired by.

You know what I’m most excited about right now? I just had my first vacation in a really long time. And because I’ve got an autoimmune situation that I’m always trying to handle, I work so hard to take inflammation out of my system: I’m sleeping on grounding sheets, I’ve got bio mats, and I’m alkalized, man, and I’m on every adaptogen, so many of them, and I’m taking my CBD—and all the things.

During the two weeks [I was on vacation] I looked at my phone at one designated time a day, making sure there were no emergencies and to check in on my child. I wasn’t even walking that much because I was in India and it was 120 degrees. I was also in Japan, so I was only eating rice—I don’t even eat grains [when I’m home], to tame the inflammation! When you’re eating vegetarian out you just eat rice, sugar, milk, and wheat, honestly. I ate all those things for two weeks, and I had all of the inflammation leave my body. When I came home, my clothes actually fit me—and I hadn’t exercised in three months.

Not exercising and taking a two-week vacation was the best thing that happened ever to my body.

Not exercising and taking a two-week vacation was the best thing that ever happened to my body. We’ve got a certain amount of adaptive energy in our bodies. By being on my phone like a freak, by using my brain absolutely too much, by not letting the body properly rest—and I don’t mean that in an Arianna Huffington get-eight-hours-of-sleep-way, though I do think sleep is important. You can meditate twice a day, as I have done for years, you can take all the [supplements], you can see all the right [practitioners], you can eat all the right food, and if you’re just jacked up and you don’t let go—or you’re letting go in, like, increments of 20 minutes—even that is too active.

And to go to places where people are really happy, and they’re getting to be very old, and seeing their grace and their beauty and their wisdom, and they’re taking some traditional herb medicine and they have daily rituals and strong family bonds—but they’re eating rice and sugar, and maybe smoking, and they’re having caffeine all day long, and no one’s having a boutique workout. And their bodies look great, and they’re strong, and they have got longevity and are beautiful? That has been the most exciting thing to me in the world of wellness.

I understand [people not taking vacation days] because I spent the last 10-plus years in that mindset: Oh, I’m just going to work. You know what? I woke up and I was a single mother, and seemingly had the house I had always dreamed of, and had the job that I had always dreamed of, I had the team of people that anyone would dream of, I had friends that people would dream of (I just don’t really get to see them)…. I had all these things, and I’ve never been married, I’ve never made myself available for partnership, because I was so focused on my spiritual practice and profession and this and that, and I never took vacation.

It’s a not a sign of weakness to take vacation, to want to go to your friend’s wedding and take a Friday off.

And I realized a year ago that I’m still not bringing the ease and fun that one can bring to a relationship. Why do all the work on yourself if you’re not going to actually go to the next level? It was a huge wake up call for me, and I made wonderful changes—I took a vacation with my damn boyfriend, you know?

There’s a message of being a girl boss, a push to work harder than men and prove ourselves. And all of that is fantastic, and yes! But if there’s one thing I could say to women right now, I would say it’s okay to be human—and to indulge that. And it’s a not a sign of weakness to take vacation, to fall in love, to want to go to your friend’s wedding and take a Friday off, to want to have a healthy pregnancy and take time off afterwards. That’s actually what life is. So that’s my thing in wellness right now.

—as told to The Glassy

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