• A Full & Balanced Day {Canyon Ranch}

    May 21, 2013

    Once again, today was equal parts relaxation and activity. Having a nice mix of the of two definitely makes me feel healthy and balanced. I guess Canyon Ranch is doing its job!


    I woke up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, ready to start the day, this morning. (I swear the beds at Canyon Ranch are magical. I’ve been sleeping so well.) My stomach started to grumble within minutes of waking up, so I got dressed in workout gear and then headed straight to breakfast in the main dining room.

    The meal started with fresh fruit topped and ground flax from the breakfast bar. I also drank part of a decaf iced coffee with almond milk.


    Then, I ordered some yogurt with Canyon Ranch Granola. As you can see, the portion sizes are pretty small, which has been great for trying lots of different dishes.


    I also ordered the open-face egg sandwich with fruit on the side. It was served on gluten-free bread with cheese, onions, and turkey sausage. It was delicious and very satisfying.


    After breakfast, I headed to Café Tasse to get some work done. While there, I ordered a decaf iced almond milk latte (love these).



    A couple of hours later, I took a class called “TRX & Flex,” and, holy goodness, it was hard. The class was split between kettlebells and the TRX suspension system, so we went back and forth between the two. There were only two people in the class (myself and another gal) and we were both pretty fit, so the instructors had some fun with us. They had us doing all of these crazy-awesome, super challenging moves. At one point, we were doing one-legged squats into one-legged plyo jumps while holding a kettlebell. It was tough, and I loved it. I definitely got a great workout in this class!


    After class, I headed back to my room, took a quick shower, and then went to lunch. A few of you guys asked if I was dining alone at Canyon Ranch, so I figured I should tell you about the Captain’s Table.

    The Captain’s Table is basically a big table at breakfast, lunch, and dinner where you can meet and get to know various staff members and guests over a meal. Each Captain’s Table is hosted by a different staff member, and they (informally) chat about the various services and activities at Canyon Ranch, answer questions, and help you make the most of your time here. It’s also a great opportunity to make some friends, especially if you’re traveling alone.

    FYI: There are a ton of lone wolves at Canyon Ranch—a lot more than I expected—so it hasn’t been all that awkward or lonely to stay here solo. Plus, everyone is really friendly—both staff and guests. I’ve joined the Captain’s Table a couple of different times now, and I have really enjoyed meeting some new people.



    Today’s lunch started with a trip to the salad bar.


    Then, I ordered some Anazazi Bean Soup, which didn’t have a ton of beans in it, but it still tasted pretty good.


    I also ordered the fish tacos, which were made with tilapia, lime cabbage slaw, and mango salsa and jicama slaw. I enjoyed them, but I guess I’m not a tilapia fan. I always thought I liked it, but it is just too fishy for me. I still ate most of it (for the protein + omega-3s).


    I also received a few questions from you guys about the numbers under the various foods on the salad bar. Those numbers are actually on all of the menus too, and they’re the nutrient analysis for each dish/food item. The first bolded number is the calorie count. The next number is carb grams, then protein grams, and so on. Here’s more info and some sample menus.


    I finished off lunch with homemade coffee ice cream (everyone at the Captain’s Table was raving about it, so, of course, I needed to try it) and a gluten-free chocolate cookie, which I can’t seem to get enough of. (I am totally ok with having dessert at almost every meal at Canyon Ranch.)



    After lunch, I took a class called “Chi Energy,” which was “a moving meditation based on martial arts, designed to harmonize the natural flow of life energy.” The instructor told us it was a mix of Qigong and Tai Chi.

    The weather was beautiful this afternoon, so the instructor took the class outside to practice.


    During class, I really enjoyed learning about “chi” and how it relates to the body and mind. The instructor pretty much talked the entire time, so it was really neat to connect what we learned to the movements as we performed them. There’s definitely a lot that goes into this type of mind-body exercise, and today’s class only touched the surface. It was definitely a cool experience. Plus, I loved being able to practice outside and connect with the earth.


    After “Chi Energy,” I attended a lecture called “It Takes Guts to be Healthy,” which was all about the importance of optimal digestive health for your immune system and overall wellness. Obviously, it was right up my alley. Some of the interesting things I learned:

    • The GI tract is the body’s largest interface with the outside world, and its surface area is equal to two tennis courts
    • 70% of your immune system is in your intestines
    • 1 in 4 people are intolerant to dairy and a lot of people don’t realize it
    • Your skin is a mirror of your digestion – if you have skin problems, look at your diet and digestion
    • Many autoimmune diseases can be attributed to problems in the gut
    • A gluten sensitivity can manifest itself as an autoimmune disease
    • Leaky gut causes all sorts of problems in the body—from rashes to ADHD to fibromyalgia to food sensitivities. It’s all connected.
    • Predisone can cause leaky gut

    Snack & Workout

    After the lecture, I snacked on a banana and then hit the gym for a quick CrossFit workout that I made up. Here’s the WOD that I did:

    3 rounds for time:

    400 meter run (on the treadmill)
    40 Thrusters (45 pounds)
    50 Double Unders

    I was exhausted by the end of this workout. The Thrusters killed me, especially since they were sandwiched between running and double unders. It took me about 17 minutes to finish, and I was a disgusting, sweaty mess when I finished. I love short, quick workouts like this one. You get a serious bang for your buck, and it is time well spent!


    Questions of the Day

    What do you think about dining alone in public?

    Have you ever tried Qigong or Tai Chi?

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    { 55 comments… read them below or add one }

    rebecca @ blueberry smiles May 21, 2013 at 9:06 pm

    I’d love to try tai chi someday. Your trip looks like it’s been great! I don’t mind eating alone if it’s a café where you order at the counter, but I always feel weird when I’m at a real restaurant. Good people watching to eat alone though!


    Jessica @ FromtheKitchentotheRoad May 21, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    Canyon Ranch sounds fantastic. I don’t mind eating alone. I don’t mind doing most things alone. I’ll go to movies by myself, restaurants, trips, etc. I like my alone time. It can be refreshing to get some time on your own like that.


    Sky May 21, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    I don’t mind eating alone if it’s like a coffee shop (which doesn’t really count) or a small cafe thing. Alone time is something I don’t mind. I haven’t ever tried either of those workouts, but they sound really cool! Canyon Ranch is exactly where I’d love to go right now!


    Kim @ Hungry Healthy Girl May 21, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    Looks like a really neat place! I’m fine with dining alone. If I know I’m going to be alone I’ll bring a magazine and of course I can always find something to look at on my phone.


    AJ May 21, 2013 at 10:02 pm

    The food selection at this place is AMAZING! I’m super impressed. Is it an all-inclusive resort? And the classes sound awesome. I would love that TRX-kettle bell one.

    Since I travel for work, I tend to eat alone a lot. Its not always fun, but I try to bring a book to read, or sit at the bar so I’m not as “lonely girl” looking!



    Beth Sheridan May 21, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    Still can’t get over this amazing place! I usually don’t mind dining alone, but after a day or two of being by myself, I’m ready to be back around my family :) All of your workouts seem so great and I had no idea that 70% of your immune system was in your intestines! That’s wild!


    Miranda @ Miranda Runs May 21, 2013 at 11:03 pm

    Why does this seem like the best place in the world?!


    Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run May 21, 2013 at 11:37 pm

    holy cow, that’s a lot of thrusters!! can’t believe you did that after your morning workout, you’re crazy :)


    Liz May 22, 2013 at 12:54 am

    I’ll dine alone, depending on the type of restaurant. I wouldn’t at a ‘fancy’ place, but more casual dining is fine alone for me. Actually, I kind of enjoy it – I usually take my Nook & read :)


    Christina @ The Beautiful Balance May 22, 2013 at 2:59 am

    I would LOVE to try the “TRX and Flex!”


    Shel@PeachyPalate May 22, 2013 at 4:44 am

    I don’t mind dining alone at all! I’m a big fan of people watching so I’m in my element :) Seriously you are in heaven! How much longer are you there for?


    Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner May 22, 2013 at 5:20 am

    That homemade ice cream looks delicious! I didn’t know anyone could make homemade ice cream like soft serve.

    I am fine with dining alone for lunch at coffee shops or Panera, as long as I have my trusty book. I don’t know if I could go alone without one, though.


    Aisling May 22, 2013 at 6:18 am

    I’ve enjoyed reading about your CR stay so much that I dropped a short email to CR to tell them! Thought I’d let you know. Although I’m based in Dublin, you’ve put a visit firmly on my holiday list! I tried to forward the mail to you but your mail icon is giving an error message… send me your email address if you’d like me to send it on. Enjoy the rest of your stay and all the different things you’re trying!


    Melanie May 22, 2013 at 6:19 am

    I find it liberating to eat alone – mainly because I would have been too embarrassed to do it twenty years ago in my early twenties. I’m really happy that I don’t find it awkward any more.


    Erika May 22, 2013 at 6:55 am

    Canyon Ranch looks amazing! The views are beautiful…so much green!

    I don’t mind dining alone but I rarely do it. Whenever I do I always have a book with me. I read constantly so me having a book while eating isn’t uncommon.


    Meghan @ After the Ivy League May 22, 2013 at 7:30 am

    Pretty much the only time I dine alone in public is when I’m traveling for work. It always feels a little funny at first, but then I usually end up enjoying it! haha


    mary @ minutes per mile May 22, 2013 at 7:40 am

    i have to write about alternative medicine/therapy a lot for my day job, but have never tried it myself! i’m curious, though.
    thanks for sharing all the digestive/health info you’ve been learning! really interesting!


    Emily @ The Swallow Flies May 22, 2013 at 7:47 am

    I know it’s ridiculous, but I still don’t like dining alone, and I hate seeing other people eating by themselves. I know it happens all the time when people are on business trips, but it just makes me so sad. I guess a lot of it has to do with dining being such a part of my social life. I don’t know. I should probably put on some big-girl panties and eat a meal solo sometime. :)


    Anne May 22, 2013 at 7:50 am

    Studying abroad in Italy gave me the self confidence to dine alone. That has really come in handy as I travel for work fairly often now.
    I really, really want to learn how to use TRX machines, that class sounds great!


    Elizabeth @ Positive Changes May 22, 2013 at 8:01 am

    Wow it looks like you are having so much fun! Canyon Ranch seems amazing! I am perfectly fine eating on my own, I enjoy it sometimes more than eating with others! It looks like you are getting in some pretty great workouts as well!! Enjoy the rest of your stay!


    Cortney May 22, 2013 at 8:36 am

    I loved Tai Chi/Qi Gong! :-) There is a park nearby where a group gets together and does it together as the sun is coming up. SO beautiful to watch!

    I also love PiYoChi which is a fusion of Pilates, Yoga and Tai Chi.


    Danielle @ Food-Dee.com May 22, 2013 at 8:39 am

    You know, I don’t mind dining alone or going to the movies alone. But I DO like to have a wingman to review the meal or movie. I like to chat about what I liked, what I would improve, etc.

    You’re going to come back to reality so refreshed!! That place looks amazing! Question: are the gluten-free offerings a choice or did you request it?


    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat May 22, 2013 at 8:41 am

    I love fish tacos! Yours look delicious! I’ve only dined alone one time, and I have to say it felt kind of awkward for me. I wouldn’t be afraid to do it again though…I think it just takes some getting used too.


    Lyn May 22, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Sometimes, spending time with yourself is good and it is actually healthy. You get to do some reflection especially on a beautiful place like Canyon Ranch. This is what healthy living means. The place and food is amazing.


    Georgia Mae May 22, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Whoah three workouts in a day! Don’t hurt yourself!!


    Rachel @ Undercover Diva: A Sitcom May 22, 2013 at 9:09 am

    I spend a lot of time alone (not because I don’t have friends, but because we all have different schedules) so I have no issue going out in alone in public. I have met a lot of fun people that way!


    sara @ fitcupcaker May 22, 2013 at 9:10 am

    Im totally okay with dining alone…I am not embarassed by this at all..If I want to stop for some good for Ill do it! Thanks for the workout reminder, I need to make up some travel wod’s for this week while im in florida!


    Charlotte @ Commitness to Fitness May 22, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Canyon Ranch looks so beautiful and peaceful and just all around rejuvenating. So jealous, I must get there one day. I love dining alone from time to time. Its a nice way to get some of that oh so important me-time.


    Jamie @ Sometimes Healthy Living Blog May 22, 2013 at 9:42 am

    That’s it!I have to make it to Canyon Ranch. I become more amazed with each post :-). I get a little bored dining alone but I’m all for it at coffee shops!


    Summer May 22, 2013 at 9:42 am

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I miss Murphy. (I know you do, too.)


    Melisa May 22, 2013 at 9:49 am

    I did a whole lot of traveling early in my career. I didn’t mind eating solo.
    Canyon Ranch looks divine.


    Caroline May 22, 2013 at 10:16 am

    Curious about your CF workout with the treadmill, thrusters and DU’s. I’m tempted to see if I can replicate CF workouts on my own in a regular gym but in my head feel like its too complicated/awkward to switch from multiple rounds on the treadmill run/sprint, to bar movements or other weighted movements in a non-Box atmosphere. Can you elaborate on your set-up and execution?


    Tina May 22, 2013 at 12:31 pm

    The gym wasn’t super crowded so I guess that made it easier. I ran on the treadmill and then walked to the weight area where I did the Trusters and double unders. I had the weights all set up along with the jump rope, so I went back and forth between them and the treadmill.


    Caroline May 22, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    @Tina: Thanks, Tina! I think I just need to forget about what others might think of me scrambling to/from different gym areas and focus on completing my workout.


    Tina May 22, 2013 at 5:48 pm

    Could you put the weights/jump rope near the treadmill? Or pick a treadmill on the end with some space around it?


    Caroline May 23, 2013 at 10:01 am

    @Tina: The way the treadmills are situated make it nearly impossible to bring equiptment from another area. I’ll be sure to let you know how things turn out when I do try it on my own!

    Alyssa May 22, 2013 at 10:20 am

    This seems like such an amazing place! I love all the different types of workouts that they offer.

    I don’t mind eating alone as long as it’s not a normal restaurant. I wouldn’t go into say, Applebee’s, & get a table alone, but if it’s a small place I will.


    Fizz @ fizzsbizz.com May 22, 2013 at 10:48 am

    I actually don’t think I’ve ever eaten out by myself (except for at the airport maybe??) but I think I would be totally fine with it!

    I’ve never done tai chi in itself but my all time favourite fitness class was Les Mills Body Balance which was a mix of yoga, pilates and tai chi and I love love loved it! I wish I could find it somewhere near by.


    Tina May 22, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    Body Balance sounds like an awesome class!


    LVG May 22, 2013 at 5:11 pm

    @Fizz @ fizzsbizz.com: @Fizz @ fizzsbizz.com: Are you in San Francisco?? Les Mills has free workouts in SF during the summer, including BodyFlow (which is what we call BodyBalance in the US). Link to the FB info on the free workouts: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=641180555896321&set=a.166161410064907.46692.161707087177006&type=1&theater


    Hayley @ Running on Pumpkin May 22, 2013 at 11:36 am

    This looks like such a nice mix of exercise and relaxation – I would love it! The food all sounds incredible. I don’t mind dining by myself in public as long as I have something to read or do..I guess I would feel a little awkward just sitting there eating.


    Alyssa @ Road to RD May 22, 2013 at 11:46 am

    I want that coffee ice cream!

    I’ve never done Quigong or Tai Chi but I’ve heard that they may be beneficial in lowering cancer risk!


    Angie May 22, 2013 at 11:52 am

    Looks like you are having a fab time!! Just my plug on TRX – I LOVE IT! I go to a class two times a week at a local gym. I have strength I never knew I could have. Hope you enjoy the rest of your stay, love reading about it. Thanks for sharing ~


    Tina May 22, 2013 at 12:29 pm

    TRX is such a great workout!


    Bitch on a Diet May 22, 2013 at 11:59 am

    I’ve only eaten alone a few times. Once when I landed a new job, I took a trip by myself and had a blast.


    Ellen May 22, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    Just catching up on your latest blog posts… I saw your comment about fecal transplants. It sounds gross but not THAT different from a colonoscopy. I’m so excited about this procedure, I decided to go to med school! I hope it will be available to treat many, many more conditions in the future. No drugs, no side effects, non-invasive, cheap, and a remarkable cure rate. Truly amazing.


    joelle (on a pink typewriter) May 22, 2013 at 12:10 pm

    All of your meals look so fresh and yummy! I want to try that coffee ice cream now!


    Caitlin May 22, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    Congrats on making the list! You deserve the recognition. Top 100 Most Influential Weight Loss Bloggers of 2013


    Feel free to add the badge (scroll down to the bottom of the list) to your blog site!


    Sara Flynn May 22, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    Your making me seriously want to do this!! :) Ha-ha this is going to make me sound like a bar fly, but if I am a regular at a bar I don’t mind eating alone. The other day when the Bruins where on I went to our one of the bars and ate my myself and watched the Bruins until Jon came (he had softball- boo!). Also cafes I do not mind at all either. My favorite place to work is a Cafe.

    I haven’t tried any of those workouts!

    Sara :)


    Chelsea May 22, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    I’ve always been interested in Tai chi, but have yet to come across an opportunity to try it!

    I have to say, Tina, I’m totally living vicariously through you right now and am LOVING reading all about Canyon Ranch :)


    Annette@FitnessPerks May 22, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    Homemade ice cream!!! YUMM.

    I eat alone for b-fast & lunch (I work from home, and the husband is gone all day), so when I go out, I like to eat with others!


    Jenn May 22, 2013 at 12:42 pm

    WOW, that seems like a lot of workouts in one day. Don’t you get sore afterwards? The ranch looks great.


    Jelena@FabLifePhD May 22, 2013 at 3:06 pm

    I really have hard times when dining alone, even in student restaurant. The only way to get through it is to have something to read while eating. I don’t mind having coffee alone in the bar though, if I have a good book with me at least


    Amy @ Healthy and Fit for Real May 22, 2013 at 8:49 pm

    I feel okay dining alone, especially when I’m someplace where I know I won’t see anyone I know. I don’t care what strangers think!


    DeeDee @ Exercises For Fat Loss At Home May 29, 2013 at 12:20 pm

    I’m another one who doesn’t mind eating alone. I can usually enjoy my meal with no interruptions or mindless conversation.


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