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The top chef for the world-famous Canyon Ranch chain of spas offers tips for eating and living well.

If you're eager to begin a new healthy eating regime, or get back in shape after too much holiday indulgence, Canyon Ranch spa is the place to go. Since 1979, people have visited the original Canyon Ranch in Tucson, Ariz. for rest, restoration, and support in developing -- and maintaining -- a healthy lifestyle. Today, Canyon Ranch has a sister site in Lenox, Mass., as well as spa clubs in Las Vegas, Kissimmee, Fla., and on board the Queen Mary 2.

Even if you can't drop everything and take a trip to one of it's facilities, you can still practice the Canyon Ranch way -- right in your own home. WebMD consulted Canyon Ranch corporate chef Scott Uehlein for tips on how to develop a healthy eating lifestyle.

Uehlein's first piece of advice: Don't diet.

"Don't do it," Uehlein told WebMD. "Don't tell yourself you are going to commit to a diet for a certain number of weeks or months and once you lose weight, then worry about what's next,"

Instead, Uehlein, who oversees menu development for the kitchens at all Canyon Ranch locations, suggests making lifestyle changes. Make small commitments, such as walking every morning or working out after work a couple of times a week. And when it comes to -- eating, "moderation not deprivation" should be the focus.

"If you try to deprive yourself of something, you will eventually want to have that thing you are depriving yourself of," Uehlein points out. "In the '80s, we deprived ourselves of fat, then starting in the '90s, it was carbs. Finally, I think we are coming around to pledging to lead a healthier, balanced lifestyle."

A good place to start is to simply eat less. "Whatever you are used to eating, cut by a third," Uehlein suggests.

In the spa's most recent cookbook, Canyon Ranch Cooks, Uehlein and colleagues established guiding principles for a healthy lifestyle. The book also offers advice on how to stock your kitchen for healthy cooking, and includes 214 recipes (and sample menus) so you can create fresh, flavorful Canyon Ranch-style meals at home.

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