It’s that time of year again. Family vacations, corporate parties, cocktail soirees, sugary gifts, plentiful, indulgent food and drink, Black Friday sales, holiday season event planning – and we’ve suddenly stopped paying attention to what we eat.
On many occasions, these “fun filled” activities eventually lead to a point of revelation, or perhaps more like remorse. “At the beginning of this year,” we say, “I’m starting fresh with a new diet and lifestyle!”
If you are like many Americans, you might consider buying a home workout video or two, starting a meal plan, learn about diet supplements, or even join (or start going back) to a gym. These are all great and extremely important tools for accomplishing the ideal lifestyle, but how successful has this process been for you in the past? How long did you stick with the plan, or did you actually start at all?
The biggest problem most people run into when attempting to revamp their life is that they have a hard time getting out or letting go of old routines. Food can be an addiction, just as much as alcohol or tobacco, but unlike those things, we must eat daily in order to live. If breaking the habit hasn’t worked for you in the past, you may need more than just willpower to make the shift. You may need to physically leave your old lifestyle behind.
Last week, my wife and I received an eye-opening understanding of just how this can be accomplished. On our way down to beautiful, action-packed South Beach in Miami, Florida, we were invited to spend a few days at the Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa. Normally, if you ask someone what comes to mind about visiting Collins Avenue in Miami Beach, they usually don’t say ‘healthy eating, exercise, and relaxation’.
I can relate, given that we were in the neighborhood to attend two days of extensive wine education, tastings, and dinner pairings, courtesy of Spain’s Great Match 2013.
However, from the moment the entry door swung open and the check-in process began at the Canyon Ranch property, it was apparent that this was not your typical Miami Beach experience.
Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa Miami Facilities
In addition to our waterproof lanyard, which held our room key-a thicker version of a scanner card like you’d receive at your local gym or grocery store-we were immediately handed an herbal tea (quite tasty), a canvas gym bag, branded water bottle (BPA-free, of course), and a list of the activities to participate in during the time of our stay. Tours started at 10 AM the following morning. Was this a timeshare presentation in thin disguise? Hardly-the resort is just THAT big.
We were escorted to our unit, a well equipped 1-bedroom suite with a full kitchen (Silestone countertops, undercounter frig, dishwasher, cooktop-it had it all), comfortably sized living area, flat screen television, sound system already tuned to smooth jazz, a double balcony, ocean views, a king size bed and extremely inviting bathroom fixtures, like a Japanese deep soaking bathtub. With Miami weather and scenery already relaxing the tension away, we began to unpack and plan out our stay, getting ready for a private sherry pairing dinner on the schedule that evening.
In your activities list, you will find that the property offers a lot more than your typical schedule of poolside games and spa times. On the contrary, energy demanding opportunities are on the docket: from organized warm ups and running on the beach, boxing workouts, spin classes (there’s a dedicated room for that), and beginner to advanced 4o foot rock wall climbing workouts-the latter complete with Burpees, jumping jacks, and a rowing machine between climbing sets. I wondered if a session of P90X was coming next. How was this Russian blonde chick climbing with myself and one other guy kicking our butts? Then I remembered that the last time I climbed was probably 30 pounds lighter. The main gym is massive, with personal trainers, row after row of advanced equipment, including a Kinesis machine and other sophisticated machines for balance and strength.
Want to check your bone density? They can do that. Train for a triathalon? Packages are already set up. Beat yourself up, and then hit the men’s or women’s hydrotherapy pool in the spa, or one of three saunas (six total, if you count each side), followed by a hot/cold rain shower with aroma and chromatherapy. All of this is included, and your body will thank you for it.
Canyon Ranch Miami has a full lineup of nutritionists, physical therapists, personal trainers, doctors, and spa professionals all ready to serve and walk you through a course of action. All you have to do is show up.
One tip: be sure to begin your first full day by joining staff members to go over a complete orientation of the property, any current physical ailments, and set goals to achieve during and after your stay. We missed that ‘tour’, and found ourselves wishing we had known all that was there earlier during our stay.
Healthy Meal Plan
Now, as many will tell you, you can exercise as much as you want, but if you don’t change your diet, you won’t experience the results.
This is typically where most begin to lose hope with their New Year’s resolutions, and go back to old routines. Changing the way you think about healthy food can be tough-especially if you’re eating boring diet food, in your same boring apartment.
This fact is made very apparent on the hit television weight loss show, Extreme Weight Loss. For every new season, the show starts off with host Chris Powell coming to the candidate’s town, and swooping them away from their day to day lives. Why? Because to make that big of a change, they must focus, and clear their minds from their usual distractions, bad influences (those relatives who make you stress eat, perhaps?), and attempt to inculcate a healthy diet and exercise routine where previously none existed.
Taking a trip to Canyon Ranch Resort & Spa in Miami can and should be viewed as a similar opportunity: to learn how to eat, drink, and restart your mind and body to living a healthier lifestyle.
- Smoothies, shakes, and freshly pressed juices are available
- Healthy gluten free menu choices for those who are gluten sensitive
- Organic, healthy breakfast options only look and taste indulgent
- Try the diet-friendly Crab eggs Benedict with Creole sauce instead of hollandaise
- Delicious vegan and vegetarian recipes to please any palate
- Burgers are made with grass fed beef – delicious and packed with Omega 3’s
- Try the Yucca fries – grilled instead of deep fried in oil, with spicy, low calorie Habanero Cilantro sauce
- Healthy salads come as sides, in lieu of fattening chips or fries
During your stay, you have the choice of allowing the well trained chef and culinary team to prepare your meals for you, or allow one of their nutrition specialists help you create a plan that works best for you. For your convenience, there just happens to be probably the finest Publix I have ever seen, right across the street from the main entrance of the property. Take a cooking class, and then do it yourself while you’re there.
One item of note-you’re still in South Beach. You can come and go from the hotel’s resort property as much as you like. The restaurant has a great wine list, and house made infused cocktails that are healthy, delicious, and yes, still contain alcohol. Craving a pizza? The flatbreads won’t disappoint. We tried the Mediterranean Flatbread, with eggplant and Kalamata olives, and the Fig & Maytag Bleu Cheese with arugula and balsamic reduction drizzle. They were quite delicious and filling-we promise, you won’t even miss that layer of mozzarella and greasy toppings.
If you are looking for an opportunity to improve your health, but are finding it hard to get out of your old routine on your own, do yourself a favor, book your next trip with your spouse or a friend, and take some time for yourself to enjoy a Canyon Ranch property in Miami’s beautiful South Beach, or at one of their other destination properties. We’re certain it will be one of the best choices you make all year.
All photos copyright, Crave Local