September 28, 2013 – Day 3: It only took me three days, but I finally made it to the Sunrise Stretch. How sad to have missed this beautiful Florida early morning for two days already. Even a place as busy as a resort is quiet at this time of day…the only sounds I heard on my walk to the main house were the spitting fountains and the scampering of little lizards jumping across my walkway path. Being a bit lighter, the last day’s agenda allowed for more relaxation time; time to talk and visit with other program attendees or just sit by the pool and enjoy the sunshine.
Saturday’s personalized schedule looked like this:
6:30-8:30 – Breakfast
- 7:00 – 7:15 – Sunrise Stretch
- 7:30 – 10:15 – Exercise choice of: Cardio, Yoga and Aquatics (We chose aquatics, Zumba style!)
- 10:30 – 11:45 – Morning Snack
- 11:00 – 12:00 – Lecture: Calorie Density
- 12:00 – 12:30 – Mindful Eating Luncheon with Nutritionist, Kimberly Gomer
- 1:00 – 1:45 – Full Body Massage
- 3:15 – 4:00 – Choice of Cooking School or Aquatics
- 3:30 – 4:30 – Afternoon Snack
- 5:30 – 6:00 – Happy Hour (consists of an appetizer and mock alcholic drinks)
- 6:00 – 7:00 – Private Dinner with Chef Vince in an open kitchen setting
Let’s start with aquatics…have you ever taken an aquatics class? By far, the best workout class I’ve ever done. Here’s why: 1.) it’s a tiring workout with no sweat 2.) no pounding pressure on joints or people with bad backs (ehem) and 3.) there is no jiggling of places that shouldn’t be jiggling. I would totally enroll an an aquatics class if I had the opportunity…but of course, I live in small town America where that’s not available (even though our high school has an indoor pool that could offer classes as a fundraiser for the swim team…grumble.)
So, what is with all of this calorie density stuff? Well, the Pritikin Diet is based on scientific study, which includes the calorie density of foods (how many calories are in one pound of a certain food.) Bascially, you should be eating and keeping full on the lowest calorie dense foods possible. These foods are going to keep you satiated longer without filling you with un-needed calories. If you take a look at the list to the left, obviously, vegetables and fruits top the chart as having the lowest calorie density, therefore, your diet should mainly consist of those. Pretty much common sense, right? No calorie counting with this plan…just eat towards the top of the list with adding 4 oz. of lean protein at dinner.
During this same lecture, the nutritionist did a visual demonstration about how to keep yourself full. She had several small fishbowls, which roughly represents the stomach. When you compare the bowl containging a 100 calorie pack of snack crackers and cranberry juice to the bowl full of fruits and vegetables of the same amount of calories, you realize the latter are going to fill you up, not leaving you wanting ANOTHER 100 calorie snack pack. Another good point that Dr. Gomer made was that some foods are heart healthy foods, but not waistline healthy. When people call her because they have lost too much weight and need to pack on a few pounds, guess what Pritikin suggests to eat? Avocado, olive oil and nuts…even though we think of these things as “healthy”, they will add weight like nobody’s business. These foods are calorie dense to the max. Let’s face it, no one is going to eat one pecan or one bite of guacamole.
Next up was our “Mindful Eating” lunch with Kimberly Gomer. Basically, she asked us to go make our plates (from the buffet) and talked with us about the food as we enjoyed our lunch. Some high points were trying to eat with opposite dominant hand and eating slower. Did you know it takes 20 minutes for your stomach to tell your brain that you are full? Always start with a salad of some sort…this will fill help to fill you up physically and nutritionally. The biggest thing I took from this lunch was the “Hunger Scale.” When you think you are hungry, ask yourself what level you are at on the scale. You should always start at a “3” and end at a “6.” Try not allow yourself to ever get below three or above six, otherwise you are apt to make unwise food decisions.
To end the weekend, we took part in a private dinner presented by Chef Vince. During the meal, he talked to us about different ways to prepare food in a healthful manner. The menu consisted of a shredded vegetable salad, roasted tomato rice soup (recipe below), pan roasted orange lemon chicken, roasted potatoes and banana flambe. A great ending to a fabulous weekend.
Now a month later, I guess you might be wondering how this all affected us. Well, beginning with the first day at Pritikin throughout the next week, my husband and I stuck with the program and each lost ten pounds. Mind you, eating Pritikin involves NO added salt so the body pretty much drops all extra water. We continued strict Pritikin for two more weeks. I quickly realized that I could easily stay on this plan if I was able to stay at the resort, but almost impossible to do the plan 100% back home. I just don’t have the time to prepare the variety of foods that we need in order to not start disliking repetitive foods. Therefore, I was hungry. A LOT…because I would have rather not eaten than stray off of the plan and “ruin” what I’ve already accomplished. Of course, that doesn’t work. I stopped losing weight despite the efforts of diet and various exercise (this doesn’t surprise me since, over the past year and a half, nothing makes my body lose weight – I’ve tried everything. Trust me.) Anyway, we might not have stuck out the Pritikin diet plan, but we do have more knowlege than we did before the trip about taking small steps to a healthier lifestyle. We are now lowering our sodium intake, eating even more fresh fruits and vegetables, switching to whole wheat pasta, lessoning our dairy fat and have been eating leaner proteins. Overall, our trip to Miami was fulfilling and educational. Now, if I could only go back and stay for a month maybe I could finally get back to a healthy weight and stop beating myself up over that fat measuring Dexa body scan (by the way, I’m still trying to get myself to write about the results. Oh, the torture.)
**Special thanks to Jennifer, Donata, Kimberly, Chef Anthony and Chef Vince for an amazing experience and tons of support!!**
- 1 8oz. can tomato puree
- 1 TB garlic, chopped
- 1 c. onion, chopped
- 1 c. cherry tomatoes, oven roasted until soft
- 2 c. water
- 1 bottle Very Veggie Juice
- 2 c. cooked brown rice
- 1 TB dry oregano
- 1 TB dry basil
- ½ t. crushed red pepper
- ½ TB baking Splenda
- fresh basil to garnish
- Oven roast tomatoes.
- Bring all ingredients to a boil except rice.
- Cook for ½ hour.
- Add rice.
- Bring to boil and serve garnished with fresh basil.