Festivals: 3 Essential Factors for a Healthy Happy Festival

Don’t want to feel awful on Monday?

Glastonbury is easily one of my favourite long weekends of the year. It’s not just the headliners that have had me rebooking for the last four years, it wouldn’t be half as much fun if I wasn’t for the great company or the unique atmosphere we all share on Micheal Eavis’ farm once a year. 

However, there is always the impending Monday post-festival dooooom which tends to hit during the field departure debarcle. One my festival of my festival blues was actually spent in hospital… So I can definitely say i’ve learnt (the hard way) how to maximise fun and not get sick. So whether you’re off to Creamfields with ya mates or glamping at V-fest, here’s some advice to feel happy, healthy and awake on that Monday.

 

Step one: be prepared

 

1 Food

Big clue: your gut is where the majority of your serotonin is produced and where the majority of immune system is.

Don’t rely on eating from food trucks at festivals. The choices are often fried, full of sugars and unhealthy fats. What’s more is that they are also pretty pricey. Unfortunately .. they’re not just going to burn a hole in your pocket.. Pounding your stomach with fast food is not a good way to stay friends with your gut. Avoid sugar highs and lows, tiredness and get the most out of your festival. Don’t waste the Monday after.

I recommend packing breakfast so that you can promise yourself you’ll eat at least one healthy meal. It also means you don’t have to leave the tent in the morning.. Double win. I usually bring:

A loaf of gluten free homemade bread (i’m wheat intolerant)

2 nut butter Pip and Nut squeeze packs for each day 

A jar of peanut butter

Apples

Honestly these three together are the dream. They also balance out the fruit sugar with fats.

Don’t get hangry and make bad choices! So easy to do.. Instead stock up on some healthy snacks to keep with you:

Energy balls (Deliciously Ella, Bounce Balls..)

Tangerines

Brown rice cakes (I like Kallo chocolate coated)

For lunches I would recommend Jamie Oliver’s lentil packets but inevitably you’re going to want to try some of the food at the festival. I certainly did! 10/10 burrito by the Pyramid Stage. However when you’re choosing, choose well. For example if you’re wheat and dairy free, don’t choose a pizza. If you suffer from intolerances in anyway like me, you’ll be left with a foggy brain and semi-pregnant belly. Instead of a recipe for intolerance disaster, indulge in a Thai curry or some sweet potato fries.

 

2. Alcohol

Most of us enjoy a few drinks at a festival. I respect those who are t-total for health reasons. I have had periods of up to a year where I haven’t touched alcohol for the benefit of my health. However, as time has gone on, I’ve learnt that drinking alcohol is about balance. Principally the balance of mental and physical health: enjoying a few and feeling included in social situations. Undoubtedly,  I also try to balance frequency and quantity so that essentially, I feel happiest during, and after drinking.

I do often enjoy 24 hours of not drinking at a festival. Try it! You realise that you really don’t need to be under the influence to soak up the atmosphere and it’s important for me to remember every single second of some acts.

When I do choose to drink, I tend to stick to white spirits such as gin and vodka. They contains less tannins than rums, whiskeys and wines. Tannins can exacerbate a hangover. I also choose mixers with less sugar such as slim line tonic. Although alcohol already has sugar in, choosing a low sugar mixer can reduce sugar peaks and falls. 

Water is so important at a festival. Flush out toxins and stay hydrated. Bring a refillable water bottle with you. (A BIG ONE).

 

3. Sleep

I have no shame in taking a nap during the day. The amount of times I heard “sleep when you’re dead” brashed around by campsite neighbours and toilet queues. Been there. Done that. You end up moody, spotty and miserable. Festival nay. Napping allows me to make the most of the evenings.. so you’ll find me cosied up with eye mask and sleeping bag around 4pm with alarm set.

So that was three key elements to bare in mind. Maximise how much you enjoy that festival and minimise the festival Monday (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday…) blues.

Get packed and have the best time!

 

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Lazy. Remember when lazy was a mood and not an insult?

2005

Alice: “I’m having a lazy day tomorrow”

Best friend: “Me too”

 

2017

Alice: ‘I’m having a lazy day tomorrow”

Bae: “I’ve booked us into a 7am spin class, then we’re going to the other side of London for brunch, there’s an event at 11am i’ve got us tickets for and we’re going out tonight. Be lazy another day.”

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The health industry has developed and thrived in the last decade. We’ve gone from skinny to strong, low-fat to balanced and low-cal dieting to exercising. The focus shift away from being skinny is a mark of success for the health industry; how much the industry has learnt as a collective and how successful it has been in educating others.

However, as we seem to get forever and ever busier, squeezing in a HIIT class here and  some food prep there, we seem to have forgotten the importance of rest. There are of course ‘rest encouraging’ voices around. For example the recent popularity of yoga has helped spread the message of the importance of rest and respect for our bodies. I would also argue that Instagram is trending towards a more honest approach including whispering about the need to chill out.

Whispers are great but the importance of rest in our day to day lives requires a slightly louder approach. When we don’t give our body the break it needs, our stress levels rise which affects the body both mentally and physically. Aside from stress related injuries and grumpy moods, I’m talking about the effect on our gut which can lead to IBS and further issues. 

Rest can mean being horizontal on the sofa but it can also mean a lie in, having a day off from the gym, having an early night, having a break abroad, not drinking alcohol.. If you listen to your body, it’ll tell you when you need rest. Hints: tiredness, injury, headaches and pain in general.

My lazy days are often on a weekend. I lie in, tell my friends i’m busy till the afternoon (or sometimes evening) *embarrassed face emoji*. I love resting. I have guilt-free me time. I whip out my yoga mat and just do what I feel like doing. I make an easy lunch of brown rice pasta and pesto. I read my book in bed or if i’m really lazy, a magazine. I eat some chocolate (as seen above). I leave my phone in another room. It’s bliss. Try it.

Busy people like ourselves need lazy time. 

Anybody else got any tips for how you rest? Tell me! If you like what you see hit the big red follow button on my main page here. I don’t have anyone to sell your email address to! You’ll just get a notification when I write a new yummy/thoughtful post every few weeks.

Happy Sunday. I’ve got plans till 3pm….