Eating light, feeling calm
Enhance the taste of ordinary water (and iced tea) without piling on calories by adding orange or strawberry slices, suggests Lefort. At the New Orleans Ritz-Carlton Spa, these flavored waters and iced teas are offered in the relaxation rooms. You can also spike your H20 with cold cucumber slices (unpeeled).
Prepare lunch ahead of time, and you'll be less tempted by your kids' mac 'n' cheese, suggests Catherine Kruppa, a nutritionist at Trellis, the Spa at the Houstonian, in Houston, Texas. Try this simple chicken wrap, for instance, served at Trellis:
* Fill a whole-wheat tortilla with 3 ounces grilled or roasted chicken breast, ¾ cup baby spinach leaves, a few jarred roasted red peppers, and 2 tablespoons low-fat cream cheese.
* Heat in the microwave for 2 minutes, then top with 2 tablespoons salsa.
Prepack mom snacks. Kruppa urges moms to keep healthy snacks in their purse and car for themselves as well as their kids. Her favorite 200-calorie-and-under picks for moms on the go: an apple and two sticks of low-fat string cheese; a Dannon Light 'n Fit Smoothie and a banana; 10 almonds and a low-fat yogurt; a single-serving bag of Glenny's Soy Crisps; a Slim-Fast or Carnation Instant Breakfast drink.
Make quick anytime smoothies with frozen overripe bananas, offers Kimberly Anderson, executive chef at the Sundara Inn and Spa in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin. Run the banana under water to remove the skin, then cut it up and place it in the blender with fresh fruit like blueberries and strawberries. Add soy milk or low-fat yogurt and a little bit of water or fruit juice. Whirl and enjoy!
Don't forget the much-maligned potato -- studies show that, calorie for calorie, potatoes are the most effective food at leaving you satisfied, says Ralph Ofcarcik, Ph.D., director of nutrition services at the Red Mountain Spa in Ivins, Utah. So skip the fattening fries and prepare your potatoes Red Mountain style -- baked or mashed with a low-cal butter substitute and 1% (or skim) milk.
Do this one-minute relaxer: Press index finger and thumb together on each hand, close your eyes, and take deep, slow breaths. Once you notice a strong pulsing in your finger-tips, you should feel calmer, says Christina Drozda, a meditation expert at the Centre for Well Being at the Phoenician in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Experience an immediate tension release when you rub a dot of lavender essential oil on your temples and the back of your neck, says Drozda. Or to feel more patient, say aromatherapists, try rose oil (you can find essential oils at health-food stores or at TheBodyShop.com
Stop feeling frazzled fast -- even in a crowd (where deep breathing might get you funny looks) -- with this idea from Natasha Korshak, the director of mindfulness training at Miraval Life in Balance Resort & Spa in Tucson, Arizona: Simply tune in to your body's connection to surfaces like the floor, your seat, or even your clothes. This exercise makes you more mindful of the here and now -- and less stressed.