Have you ever been to a health resort or spa? Last month I had the opportunity to visit Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa.
Everyone keeps asking about my trip but I’ve held off on talking about it partly because I needed time to reflect on it, partly because I was busy but also because I wanted to see how the trip would impact me in the long run.
If you remember I won the trip after entering a recipe contest and creating a recipe for Cilantro-Lime Infused Quinoa with Black Beans. You can watch a short video about the contest HERE, mostly I’m just nodding in the video. The cook-off was really a lot of fun. I was completely comfortable since I regularly cook for a crowd and regularly speak in public. Also, my dish, like most of my recipes was simple and easy to prepare. Although I didn’t win the grand prize I was happy to get the audience’s vote. Chef Anthony and the Nutritionist Kimberly Gomer voted for Toni’s Chicken Fajita dish but both said they loved mine and that it was the healthiest choice. The recipes were very similar and both used quinoa and black beans.
Chef Anthony gave me a schmancy Chef Knife too! It is shown in the video, it is much bigger than the mini-chef knife I’m used to so I was being very careful not to cut off my fingers.
The Pritikin Longevity Center and Spa is part of the Trump Hotel Collection. It is currently under renovation and will be even more fabulous soon. It is right on the Blue Monster at the Doral for all of you golf enthusiasts. Our rooms were nice and very comfortable. They have a spacious gym full of workout equipment and weights. My favorite part of the property was the SPA! Oh yes, they have an incredible sauna, jacuzzi, a steam room that smelled of eucalyptus and a sensory shower. There were many more features but we were short on time. We didn’t even get to spend time in the pools or check out the hot and cold massaging hydrofalls. Pritikin also threw in a free massage which was heavenly.
There are classes scheduled all day. I had hurt my back a few days before the trip so I didn’t participate in many of the exercise classes. They also had plenty of nutrition and cooking classes. I wish I would have had more time to attend all of these. We attended a Conscience Eating Luncheon with the nutritionist and realized a lot of mistakes I make while eating like multitasking, watching television and eating too quickly.
One of my favorite things about this trip is that I didn’t have to prepare all the food. HA! I only cooked once for the Cook-Off and I loved it but since I normally cook all of our meals I was delighted to take a few days off. While Pritikin promotes a mostly plant-based diet they also incorporate small amounts of animal protein and dairy. These were easy to avoid but I ran into a little more trouble avoiding gluten. Even when they serve meat, although only at dinner, they always have a veggie burger or veggie loaf option but they contain gluten. They would offer me something else or sometimes just ask what I would like. The service was wonderful. Breakfasts where a choice of cooked whole grains, breads, cereals and lots of beautiful fruit. The offered mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks. Lunch always has assorted soups, a salad bar and delicious fruit. My favorite meal of the day was always Happy Hour. Fresh juices and some incredible food including the best asparagus I’ve ever had. If you get a chance to visit Pritikin, prioritize the Happy Hour and go or the alcohol-free mojito.
We met some wonderful people. The other people staying at the resort were open and friendly, the staff was eager to help, Toni (the other blogger in the cook-off from Food. Just Saying’) and her husband were a lot of fun. I brought my friend Mandy who was the perfect traveling partner. We stayed up late for girl-talk and enjoyed taking in the whole experience.
The biggest difference for my was salt. Pritikin preaches a salt-free diet. I had already been cutting back on salt but this trip acted as a salt cleanse for me. While I use small amounts of salt at home I don’t cook with it or add it to every meal. I also realized that I need to adopt a consistent workout regimen.
If you ever have a chance to stay at the Pritikin Longevity Center you should definitely do it. I have no doubt you will experience renewed healthy.