It started with Halloween candy and moved on to pumpkin pie and then eggnog and peppermint bark.
After weeks of indulging and overindulging, it’s time to get back on a healthier track!
Here are some tips to get you started courtesy of California’s legendary Golden Door Spa, which has seen everyone from Gloria Swanson to Lucille Ball to Oprah.
Always eat sitting down.
Never eat out of boxes or bags. This acknowledges, signifies and honors the meal and can help you avoid mindless eating.
Take three long, deep breaths before you eat.
Do this every time you sit down for a meal. This is easy to do anywhere and in any situation and it will help you relax your body, focus on the food and put an end to mindless feeding.
Chew your food slowly.
It takes 20 to 30 minutes for the message to go from your stomach to your head that you are full, so the best way to eat just enough is to slow down the eating.
Make a great breakfast.
Set the table, sit down and enjoy your meal - this is ‘mindful eating.’ If you’re more of a yogurt-type of gal or guy, make a beautiful bowl of yogurt, fresh cut fruit and a few tablespoons of crunchy granola or whole grain cereal. It might make a difference to know that you get a major metabolic kick when you start with breakfast and research has shown that eating breakfast is one of the very top strategies for people who’ve not only lost 30 pounds or more, but most importantly, kept it off for over 7 years on average! You can try the Golden Door Oatmeal.
Take a mid-morning and mid-afternoon ‘veg-out’ – and by this, I mean a quick (literal) breather and a potassium broth break. Without fail, every morning at Golden Door, guests convene outside the Wisteria Lounge poolside for a brief stopover break to enjoy a hot cup of potassium broth. Made from the fresh vegetable trimmings from the garden’s fare of the previous day, this low-sodium, high-potassium, antioxidant-powered, tomato-based broth is then individually spruced up with a variety of options from ground flaxseed to red pepper flakes to wheat germ and black pepper. At home, for a spa-healthy store-bought option, try R.W. Knudsen’s Very Veggie juice or Low-Sodium regular or Spicy Hot V8 juice.
Nourish yourself with a spa lunch. Keep it simple with a soup or salad.
Soup is so spa nourishing - and research has shown that individuals who ‘add’ soup to their day tend to eat less calories overall and lose more weight. Have a bowl of bean and vegetable based soup or a low-sodium chicken, veggie and rice soup. Enjoy with a piece of whole grain toast or half a toasted pita. Top off the meal with a cup of red or green grapes and a cup of nourishing and hydrating green tea. This kind of lunch should make you feel energized—and not sluggish—and your body will thank you.
…and incorporate super spices into your day. As we seek to reduce calories, fat, salt and sugar, very typically the flavor of our food tends to head to ‘blahs-ville’ – but this is because we’ve been trained to think that diet food is steamed veggies and plain grilled chicken breast. Spices and herbs are naturally concentrated sources of antioxidants – and they’re super simple to sprinkle onto your food, no matter how you ‘cook’ or ‘assemble’ meals in your home. In fact, 1/2 teaspoon of dried oregano has as much antioxidants as 3 cups of fresh spinach (… that’s why I’ve been known to call it a ‘mini salad’!)|
-Add cinnamon to morning oatmeal or into your coffee grounds before brewing your morning pot.
-Sprinkle oregano into tuna salad at lunch or into pasta sauce – even commercial sauces, to give it a boost of flavor and antioxidants.
-Add rosemary on roasted potatoes for dinner and even yellow curry to popcorn for a super-tasty snack or to rice dishes.
Avoid portion distortion
Sophisticated spa-going diners learn to eat for ‘their size’ (it’s like custom-tailoring your clothes) and not for ‘generic’ customers at a restaurant. Aim for a deck of cards-sized of protein (lean poultry or fish), a tennis ball-worth of grains (brown rice, quinoa, purple potatoes) and two tennis balls of veggies or combined veggies and fruit per meal.
For more information, check out www.goldendoor.com.