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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.
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The Canyon Ranch Way: Meal by Meal continued...

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."

Snacks and Beverages

If you have to wait a long time between lunch and dinner, you will likely need a snack. Nuts and fresh fruit are the best options, according to Uehlein, but have no more than one ounce of nuts. (Uehlein himself prefers almonds because they "give you a full sensation.") Avoid visits to the vending machine for sugary soft drinks and highly-processed snacks. "I won't tell you to never drink a soda. That's a diet," Uhelein said. "But drink fewer of them."

Dinner

At dinnertime, try to eat at home as often as possible, recommends Uhelein. Cook well-balanced meals that fall within the Canyon Ranch guidelines. Uhelein acknowledges that most folks can't eat like they are at Canyon Ranch every day. "We are much more about fine dining; that's why we are a utopia," he observes.

But that doesn't mean that home cooking can't reflect the Canyon Ranch approach to flavor. "When I'm developing a recipe, I always incorporate sweet, sour, bitter and salty," Uhelein said. "There will be a little bit of fat, for mouth feel, but the focus is on flavor."

Uhelein says home cooks need to concentrate on dishes that satisfy with flavor and meet their family's individual likes and dislikes. "If you like crunchy, then add some crunch. If you don't like tofu today, then don't cook tofu."

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