Pritikin: Day 2 (Cook-off Time!!)

**You can read about Day 1 at the Pritikin Center HERE. Please keep in mind that these posts are NOT sponsored. Just my own experiences.**


September 27, 2013 – Day 2: Let’s be honest…Day 1 of this trip left us exhausted. Our 5:30 am flight meant we needed to get to the airport by 3:30am which meant we had to leave the house at 1:30am. You get the point. Aside from catching a few z’s on the flight, we were up and at it for about twenty-two hours. Which, of course, would have totally been okay if we were 23 years old. Anyway…

Friday’s personalized schedule looked like this:

  • 6:30-8:30 – Breakfast
  • 7:00 – 7:15 – Sunrise Stretch
  • 7:30 – 11:15 – Exercise choice of: Cardio, Yoga, Aquatics and Zumba
  • 10:00 – 10:15 – Dexa Body Composition Scan (Later, I’ll expand a bit more on this torturous subject.)
  • 10:30 – 11:45 – Morning Snack
  • 11:45 – 12:45 – Lecture: Exercise Action Plan
  • 1:00 – 1:30 – Lunch
  • 2:00 – 3:00 – Lecture: A Healthier You Scientifically: The Pritikin Solution
  • 3:15 – 4:00 – Choice of Cooking School (the Cook-off!!), Aquatics or Portable Exercise Routine
  • 3:30 – 4:30 – Afternoon Snack
  • 4:30 – 5:30 – Lecture: Become Your Own Pritikin Chef
  • 5:30 – 6:00 – Happy Hour (consists of an appetizer and mock alcholic drinks)
  • 6:00 – 7:30 – Dinner

I had every intention in the world to take full advantage of this entire program. I was bound and determined to wake for the Sunrise Stretch.

Um, no. Didn’t happen.

It was just too much, too soon…and I wasn’t going to stress about it. We enjoyed our breakfast and headed off to Yoga class. Unfortuatnely, I didn’t have time to talk to the instructor about having a bad lower back so I just adjusted the best I could. I did enjoy the class and would like to try yoga again however, it was cut short for me due to my appointment with the Dexa Body Composition Scan. Real quick, this is a full body x-ray machine that measures the amount of fat, lean mass and bone in your body. The results were such a smack in the face to me that I want to dedicate another post entirely to this subject. Needless to say, it pretty much ended in an emotional breakdown. *insert cliffhanging music here* I did manage to continue on to Zumba class, which I have done before and loved. The instructor, Maria, is a total fire ball of fun. If you don’t have a good time in her class, then something is seriously wrong.


Since the cook-off was approaching, I decided to skip some of the lecture and spend a little time by the pool in order to collect myself. Here, I was able to organize my recipe instructions and calm my mind from the scan results that I took so personally. In order to give myself a bit more time to get ready, I headed back to the room. Here I was, ready to step into the shower. I turned on the faucet.



I flipped it on and off in disbelief. ZERO WATER. I should not have been surprised because stupid things ALWAYS happen to me at the wrong time. After calling the front desk (in a bit of a panic) I soon found that a construction crew hit a water main and all of the lodges were out of water. I had to be in the cook-off kitchen in 45 minutes and here I stood, a naked hot mess. By some small miracle, I was able to re-dress, high-tail it back up to the ladies spa in the main building, shower, sprint back to our room, get ready and get back to the main building in time for cooking school. I have no idea how I managed, but I did. I’m pretty sure I showed up in a calm, not-so-cool, sweaty frenzy. Exhale.


Since the Pritikin recipe contest, Holly (from My Plant Based Family) and I had become social media friends. We talked enough online before the trip, that being with her in a “cook-off” was more relaxed and fun than it was competitive or nerve-wracking. When we got to the cooking school demonstration kitchen, the staff already had our ingredients ready to go. We quickly met with Chef Anthony (who generously surprise gifted us each our own hat and chef’s knife), double checked our foods and equipment and immediately began our demo’s. Holly and I easily conversed in a back and forth style, each explaining our recipes step by step. Did I already mention this was so relaxed and fun?


It’s unfortunate that anyone had to “lose” and we both agreed that just taking the trip to Miami was prize enough. When we finished, it was time for judging. Each audience member counted as one vote whereas both, Chef Anthony and Dietician Kim, counted as two. After much deliberation, and questions about just having two winners, I won…taking home the grand prize title and T-Fal Actifry machine. It’s really strange…during the whole contest, the thought of the cook-off was majorly exciting. However, the whole trip was so much fun that the cook-off just became an added bonus. It was such a pleasure finally meeting Holly face to face (along with her friend Mandy, who graciously emailed me all of the cook-off photos.) We laughed so much together that I think I got an extra abs workout just by having dinner conversation.


A few quick links for your reading pleasure:

Overwhelmed with so much inspiration and encouragement from staff and other guests of Pritikin, I’m sure we both went to bed that night feeling learned and accomplished. Despite the extreme emotional highs and lows, I consider Day 2 to be a complete success.

Oh…at this point, I was still dousing my food with sauces and totally jonsin’ for something salty. Sigh.

Day 3, coming up!


10 Responses to Pritikin: Day 2 (Cook-off Time!!)
  1. Jen
    October 7, 2013 | 4:49 PM

    The takeaway I’m getting is that quinoa is better with lime. :)

    • Toni
      October 8, 2013 | 3:46 PM

      Quinoa is better with anything. It pretty much takes on whatever flavor is around it. :)

  2. Carla Pelster
    October 9, 2013 | 12:51 AM

    The quinoa both you and Holly made was fabulous. I need to try your recipes at home because I have not had good luck with it. I had no idea about your water drama. You din’t look like anything was wrong. I must have gone back and forth to my room at the right times because I missed the water being out! I never made it to the sunrise stretch. I did make the 0730 cardio, had my dexa scan, then did yoga. The lectures that day were quite informative but the best part was the Cook-Off! You both made it look easy. Maybe you need to try out for The Next Food Network Star!

    Yes, in my dexa scan I looked like the Michelin Man because I had my running bra on. You don’t think you carrying THAT much extra weight but when you see it spread out on the table…ugh! I learned bone doesn’t weigh that much. Not even 10 lbs. There goes my big-boned theory… At least my muscles weigh more than my fat. Kickboxing, Tae Kwan Do, running, and indoor soccer have paid off. Now to stay away from all of the garbage food that made me fat. Week 2 of Pritikin at home and so far so good. Made a bison spaghetti sauce for dinner served with whole wheat pasta. Trying not to each too much High Calorie Dense food (whole wheat pasta, bread, cereal, etc). I am experimenting to see how much I can have per week and still lose weight.

    Looking forward to day 3! You are keeping me motivated!

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