I get quite a few emails about nutrition from guests awaiting their arrival at The Resort. The common question is what they could start doing now to prepare themselves for the meal plan served here.
First off, way to be proactive! I am impressed at the level of commitment to living a healthy lifestyle. You will not regret starting now and your stay will only be more effective. Secondly, the biggest nutrition hurdles you will encounter here at The Resort are:
- The amount of fiber we serve
- More fruits and vegetables than you may be used to
- Less animal products
- No caffeine (we do serve decaf tea)
I would recommend adding more fruits, vegetables and whole grains to your current meal plan. Start slowly and make sure to drink plenty of water. This will help your body to adapt to a high fiber intake, thus reducing the amount of side effects of increasing fiber. Most guests come from eating very little fiber and the high volume we serve can be really irritating. An easy way to do this is to look for whole grain cereals, breads, pastas, etc…and make sure you eat a fruit or a vegetable with every meal. I would also encourage you to add beans, possibly replacing an animal protein with beans once or twice a week. That will “get you used to” beans (if you know what I mean…), as well as giving you an alternative source for protein.
If you are a regular coffee drinker, I would recommend cutting back a bit. You don’t have to quit (unless you want to) but try to get it down to 12 oz a day. That will help with any caffeine withdrawals. Soda also comes into play here, especially if it is caffeinated. Even if not, you won’t find colas or sodas at The Resort, and though I don’t think you will miss it, it wouldn’t hurt to kick the habit now. And yes, that includes diet sodas as well. Those artificial sweeteners are doing NOTHING for you. Also, make sure you are drinking plenty of water. Hydration is key to feeling your best while at the spa.
As far as portions go, aim for cutting grains back to 1/2 cup (cooked) per meal. Meat should be 3-4 oz (cooked – about the size of a deck of cards). Try to limit red meat to one meal per week and try adding fish at least once a week. Fruits and vegetables are the least of your worries so instead of limiting them, just try to build up to 7-1/2 cup servings of fruits and vegetables (combined) per day. Ideally (and we will talk about this at the spa) try to make 1/2 of your plate fruits and vegetables, 1/4 lean protein and 1/4 whole grain. Try to eat these balanced meals more consistently (at least every 4-5 hours) and find a routine that works well for you.
For those of you who have been to The Resort before, what words of wisdom do you have? What do you wish you would have known before coming? How could you have been better prepared?
Emily Fonnesbeck RD,CD