I recently went on a health retreat hosted by Tanya Zuckerbrot of F-Factor to the Gold Door Spa in Escondido, California. Tanya is a dear friend of my and as soon as I found out about this retreat I told her to sign me up! It was truly one of the most life changing experiences. I met so many like-minded women, who I quickly became friends with and made some incredible memories that I will cherish forever. During the stay, each guest got their own private villa, and received a personal trainer every day, 3 massages, 2 facials, a body wrap, and the choice of a mani or pedi.
I will walk you through what the retreat looked like below.
The first day of our arrival, we were welcomed by Tanya and had a two hour education lesson led by her and her associate Maria. This was one of my favorite lectures as they explained in detail that carbs don’t make people fat. In fact, excess carbs are what contribute to weight gain. They explained that put simply, our bodies are like a car. You want to fill the car with gas, but if you put too much, the tank will overflow. Our bodies are the same when it comes to storing carbs. Unlike a car that has one tank, we have two tanks which consist of our liver and muscles. Carbs are stored in the liver and in the muscles, but when we add too much, these two tanks will overflow. This is when the excess carbs are converted into sugar and then stored into fat. Therefore, carbs on their own don’t make people fat, the excess carbs that can’t be stored in the tank is what makes people fat. If you want to understand this concept better, I recommend buying the F-Factor book where it is explained in detail on page 48.
The F-Factor diet guarantees that you eat enough carbs for energy but do not exceed what your body can store as glycogen. As a result, you still get to eat carbs while losing weight.
Tanya also showed us what actual portion sizes look like and how to read labels. This was shocking to many of the women there as they were not aware of this. For example, a bagel from a typical NYC deli is equivalent to 7 slices of bread. Two regular sushi rolls made with rice are equivalent to 7 slices of bread. A large banana is equivalent to 2 slices of bread. A green juice or fruit smoothie can easily contain 4 to 7 slices of bread in one serving, and most bottles have two servings. Would you ever sit down and eat 7 slices of bread at once?! I didn’t think so, but that is what you may be doing without even realizing it. Next time before you eat a bag of pretzels or drink a bottle of juice, check the label and look at the carbs and fiber content. If there is no fiber, your best bet is to put it down. Each serving of carb is 15 g, which is equivalent to 1 slice of bread. So if this bag of pretzels has 60g of carbs and serves two, that is a total of 120g carbs, which is equivalent to 8 slices of bread. By showing us these examples, she showed us how we can make smarter food choices on a daily basis.
Anyhow, let’t not get too carried away here… I want to tell you more about the retreat. Everyday, we had a two hour educational lesson, and after we were served potassium broth, vegetable crudite and GG crackers. Each night for dinner, we always started with a mixed green salad, then veggies (fiber) served with either fish or chicken (protein) and on some evenings we had F-Factor approved chocolate truffles.
Each evening, as we returned to our villas, where we found the next day’s activities and menu selection carefully laid out on the bed.
Here is a sample menu:
F-Factor GG Cracker Pancakes with high fiber syrup & berries
Greek Yogurt, high fiber cereal & berries
Herb Scrambled Eggs, mixed veggies, aged cheddar, four GG crackers & berries
Kale Wrap with Veggies & Turkey, served with chilled cucumber soup
Herb Grilled Salmon Salad, served with chilled cucumber soup
Grilled Vegetable Wrap, served with chilled cucumber soup
Soup: Cauliflower Chowder
Salad: Heart of Palm over arugula, pine nuts, toasted flaxseeds and sherry vinaigrette
Entree: (served with family style garden harvested vegetables)
Blackened Shortraker Cod with fall garden vegetable ragout, lemon & chives
Herb & Garlic Roasted Chicken with grilled yo choy, snap peas & sunchoke emulsion
Garden Ratatouille with zucchini noodles
As you can see, there was plenty of food and no-one was ever hungry. I would say the opposite actually… we always felt full and satisfied without having any additional cravings.
Every morning started off with a 5 am wake up call, warm water with fresh lemon and ginger, followed by a 5 mile mountain hike. These hikes were one of the highlights of the entire trip. We all got to bond with each other and share personal stories while getting in a kick ass workout. After the hike we all returned to our villas, where we enjoyed breakfast on our own. It was the only time of the day we had to our selves which gave me the opportunity to catch up on emails and to Instagram all my meals! 😉
If you are interested in joining for the retreat next fall, please contact the F-Factor office at 646-442-3904.