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Eating Healthier the Canyon Ranch Spa Way

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

The Canyon Ranch Way: What types of Food to Eat continued...

Balance meals with some protein-rich food.

Include protein in each meal to help control hunger and stabilize energy levels. Good sources of protein include: beans, soy foods, nut butters, low-fat or nonfat yogurt and cheeses, eggs, and poultry.

Limit sugar in your diet and avoid artificial sweeteners.

Go for the natural sweetness of fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts. If you must sweeten, go natural with small amounts of maple syrup, honey, brown rice syrup, or unrefined sugar. Choose fruit for dessert. Try cinnamon, vanilla, and freshly grated nutmeg as a substitute for sugar when you can. Artificial sweeteners can boost sweet cravings.

Be sensible about salt.

Use salt moderately, and try substituting with other herbs and spices.

Drink plenty of water every day

Eight large glasses a day is a good rule. To make it more tempting, use a beautiful tumbler, and add ice and a slice of lemon or lime.

The Canyon Ranch guidelines are probably not very different from common sense, good-health rules you've heard before. The key is to slowly incorporate these practices into your day-to-day life.

To get a clearer picture of how to do that, WebMD asked Uehlein to describe exactly how he puts the Canyon Ranch philosophy into action, meal by meal.

The Canyon Ranch Way: Meal by Meal

Breakfast

"If you like eggs, then use two egg whites and one whole egg to make an omelette," Uhelein said. This cuts down on egg yolks, which contain a lot of fat. Be sure to use canola oil -- not butter -- for frying.

If you don't like eggs, choose whole grains and fruits at breakfast time. In Uehlein's home, which he shares with his wife and three daughters, the flour jar contains a mixture of half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour. Uehlein uses that flour for all bread products, including pancakes. For a quick breakfast, go with yogurt and a piece of fruit. If you like crunchy textures, you can add some low-fat, all-natural granola to the yogurt.

Lunch

Lunch can be "the most dangerous meal" of the day, Uhelein warns. The temptation is to grab fast food or, in the spirit of healthiness, go to a salad bar. "A salad bar can kill you," Uhelein says. "You can load up on calories before you know it and those fat-free dressings are loaded with gums and all kinds of stuff."

If you want to make a good healthy-eating resolution, Uhelein suggests you take your lunch at least three times a week, instead of going to a restaurant. You can make it quick and simple; for example, you can wrap sliced turkey breast in a whole wheat tortilla and pair with a veggie and some fruit. Go for balance. "If you can pack it, pack it," Uhelein urges. "You will gain so much more control that way and you'll see a huge impact."

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