Labyrinth at Rancho la Puerta

Labyrinth at Rancho la Puerta

I returned to Rancho la Puerta spa in Tecate, Mexico for my second December holiday. My first visit in 2011 changed my life! What would this second visit inspire? In 2011, I did not know what to expect. I hoped for sunshine and warmth, some spa treatments, good food, beautiful vistas and rest. While the weather was a big chilly and gray, the rest of my hopes were fulfilled, and more.

I was “trying” to lose weight from a high point of 173 the previous spring. I was down to 168 or so. I’m 5 ft. 3 in. I ate moderately and walked my dog 30 minutes or so most days. I wasn’t looking for a weight loss plan, just a spa experience. I was simply blown away by the beautiful vegetables and fruits in the locally sourced meals. My taste buds were awakened to a style of meal that I had never really experienced! Sure, I’d had good food at restaurants, but tended to look for the meat on the menu. The idea of choosing vegie-rich foods had never occurred to me with my meat-and-potatoes upbringing.

This epiphany led to my idea of Spa Cooking for One! Initially, I thought I would hire a student cook from our culinary arts program. The cook could come once a week and make some healthy meals up for me. Instead, when I returned from the Ranch, I began to use my newly remodeled kitchen! I bought spa cookbooks, began logging my meals, and becoming creative in the kitchen. The challenge was not finding good recipes. It was finding ways to use up fresh foods and to re-invent dishes so I was not eating the same thing day after day. By end of February 2012, I was down to 155. Through summer and most of fall, I stayed at 150. After this recent trip to the Ranch, I’m at 145. I’d like to continue losing to get to a normal Body Mass Index. I think my overall health and strength will benefit when I do.

MDSCN1460ore amazingly, I love the food I eat. It’s colorful and flavorful and inventive. I’m never hungry. Food has a different meaning for me than it did in all those years of yo-yo dieting and comfort chips. When I spend time in the kitchen, I’m spending time on myself. I’m being healthy. I’m nurturing and enjoying myself. My wish for you in this New Year is that you discover foods that feed your soul as much as your body. Our bodies take care of us in so many ways. Let’s feed them well!