Study Indicates Fasting May Benefit IBD Patients

Study Indicates Fasting May Benefit IBD Patients

Whether your goal is to lose weight, take your wellness journey to a new level or get help managing a chronic condition, a fasting retreat may be a great way to start the year. 

“Fasting has been shown to have many health benefits, from increased weight loss to better brain function,” the health experts at Healthline report. “Some studies have found that fasting can help decrease levels of inflammation and help promote better health.” 

If you have been diagnosed with an irritable bowel disease, such as Crohn’s Disease or ulcerative colitis, one of the studies indicating the benefits of fasting will be of particular intertest. 

Fasting Offers Hope for IBD Patients

A recent study published by Elsevier Inc. added to the scientific literature indicating the benefits of fasting. 

Priya Rangan and Inyoung Choi of the Longevity Institute at the School of Gerontology in the University of Southern California’s Department of Biological Sciences are the lead authors on “Fasting-Mimicking Diet Modulates Microbiota and Promotes Intestinal Regeneration to Reduce Inflammatory Bowel Disease Pathology,” which reported that, “Dietary interventions are potentially effective therapies for inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs).”  

The researchers tested the effect of a four-day fasting-mimicking diet (FMD) on a model reflecting the symptoms and pathology associated with IBD. “These FMD cycles reduced intestinal inflammation, increased stem cell number, stimulated protective gut microbiota, and reversed intestinal pathology caused by DSS, whereas water-only fasting increased regenerative and reduced inflammatory markers without reversing pathology,” the report says. 

Balance for Life, which offers a variety of wellness retreats along the sun-drenched coast of Southeast Florida, is one of only two centers in the country that currently provide fully supervised water-only fasting retreats

If you would like information about a fasting retreat that is also a beach getaway, we hope you will contact us. 

Healthy Holiday Eating

Healthy Holiday Eating

You may have a healthy beach vacation in your future, but before you can begin a cleansing retreat or beach getaway, you have to navigate the holidays.

Vision of sugarplums might be dancing in your head but holiday cookies, candies, rich holiday fare and all of your traditional family-favorite treats are likely to be on the table – right in front of you! 

For those who are trying to maintain a healthy diet, the holidays always present a challenge.  

Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

“It’s easy to get swept up in the holiday season,” Patrick J. Skerrett, the former executive editor of Harvard Health says. “This combination of religious and national celebrations can help keep the cold winter away. But the feasts and parties that mark it can tax the arteries and strain the waistline.”

The holiday season will definitely be different this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but some things will remain the same. So be prepared for all those tempting holiday treats. As Skerrett says, “By practicing a bit of defensive eating and cooking, you can come through the holidays without making ‘go on a diet’ one of your New Year’s resolutions.”

Here are some of the holiday eating tips Katherine D. McManus, MS, RD, LDN, a dietician and nutritionist, offered on the Harvard Healthy blog:

  • Don’t head out to celebrate on an empty stomach. “A snack or meal that is high in fiber and contains lean protein is ideal because it can help control your appetite and help you avoid overeating,” McManus says.
  • Use a smaller plate. 
  • Bring something to the party – and make it a healthy option (or at least not totally decadent). 
  • Fruits and veggies are your friends. “Not only do these foods have plenty of vitamins and minerals, but they also contain fiber, which helps keep you full longer and may leave less room for other high-calorie foods.”
  • Watch the liquid calories. Did you know that eggnog has almost 400 calories?! “Alcoholic mixed drinks and punches can easily contain over 200 calories. Opt instead for a glass of sparkling water with a splash of your favorite juice or wine,” she says. 

If you do over-indulge, don’t be too hard on yourself.  We are all entitled to a little joy after making it through 2020. You can get back on track with a cleansing retreat, vegan retreat or oceanfront wellness retreat

Wishing you and yours all the best for the holiday season!

Give the Gift of Wellness

Give the Gift of Wellness

After struggling through a pandemic all year, who wouldn’t want to receive the gift of a beach getaway this year? But not just any beach getaway! Show someone special on your holiday gift list just how much you care by giving the gift of a healthy beach vacation

If you are like most people, you have probably been giving a lot of thought to your health this year. And, if you are like most people, you have probably come to the realization that you can do better. 

Wrap up a healthy ocean retreat for holiday gift-giving!

Every one of Balance for Life’s Florida wellness retreats includes:

  • Accommodations at a luxurious oceanfront property in Deerfield Beach, Florida
  • Three healthy and delicious meals a day
  • Daily activities and exercise classes 
  • Educational health talks
  • Plus time to soak up some sun or explore the local attractions 

You can choose from three different wellness packages:

  • Stress Buster: a 5-day and 4-night oceanside experience
  • Total Reboot Package: 7 days and 6 nights of healthy pleasures 
  • Rejuvenation Package: a transformative 14-day, 13-night ocean retreat

You deserve the gift of health and wellness, too, so take advantage of special double occupancy rates on any and all of our packages. (Besides, wouldn’t your special someone love to have your company?!). 

You and your guest will be staying at Wyndham Deerfield Beach Resort, a stylish resort just steps from the beach, where you will enjoy spacious accommodations featuring floor-to-ceiling windows, complimentary Wi-Fi and deluxe bathrooms with rainfall showers. Take a dip in the heated pool, stroll the white sands of Deerfield Beach or explore the famous International Fishing Pier. 

And rest assured that the Wyndham Deerfield Beach Resort and Balance for Life have enacted safety policies to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 according to CDC guidelines. Every guest room is thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after each guest departs. 

For more information about our exclusive oceanfront wellness retreats, contact us.

Traveling Safely to a Florida Retreat

Traveling Safely to a Florida Retreat

As restrictions put in place to protect us all from the spread of Covid-19 begin to ease, you may be thinking of planning that Florida wellness vacation you’ve been dreaming of. 

Whether you are interested in a vegetarian weight loss plan at our Florida beachfront retreat because of the pounds you’ve put on while sheltering-at-home or a fitness retreat, there are ways to protect your health and safety while you travel. 

Flying to Florida 

You may be surprised to learn that the Mayo Clinic says, “Because of how air circulates and is filtered on airplanes, most viruses don’t spread easily on flights.” The challenge with flying is, of course, dealing with crowds. 

We’ve all seen those photos on social media of packed planes. The airline execs have also seen them – as well as our reaction to them. Most major airlines have implemented safety protocols regarding seating on flights and making it mandatory for all passengers and flight crew to wear a face mask. 

If you board a plane and find it is too crowded for your comfort or that adequate safety measures are not being implemented, in most cases, you will be allowed to get off the plane and will be eligible to receive a refund. 

In addition to safety on the airplane, itself, you’ll want to be prepared for other areas where you could potentially encounter crowds or find social distancing hard to maintain, from the long lines going through security to the cramped confines of most concourse convenience stores. 

You’ll be happy to know that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has responded to the threat of Covid-19 and the concerns of travelers by implementing increased cleaning and disinfecting of the equipment and surfaces you find at screening checkpoints. 

If you are contemplating your first flight since the novel coronavirus swept the globe, you can expect to see new TSA policies in action, including:

  • Face masks and gloves being worn by TSA agents.
  • If a TSA agent needs to pat you down, they will be doing so with a fresh pair of gloves on.
  • Those plastic shields that you’ve gotten used to seeing at the grocery store will also be in evidence at various places, such as where you show your ID, offer your carry-on bags up for examination.

If you have questions about local restrictions that will be in place here in Florida during your wellness vacation, please contact us

Celebrate Father’s Day with a Vegetarian Barbecue

Celebrate Father’s Day with a Vegetarian Barbecue

Holiday weekends usually aren’t the best time to start a weight loss retreat.  First of all, you might feel like you’re missing out on all the festivities if you’re on any kind of health retreat. Secondly, food always seems to figure largely in our holiday celebrations – and it is usually not exactly the healthiest food. 

We will be celebrating our dads on Sunday, June 21 this year. And, thanks to the ongoing concerns regarding the novel coronavirus, many of us will probably be looking for ways to celebrate that will allow us to keep Dad and all the other older members of the family safe. 

There are many families that usually celebrate Father’s Day with a backyard barbecue. This year, not only would a backyard gathering be in keeping with the holiday’s traditions, it might also be your best bet when it comes to protecting your family’s health.

Planning a Happy – and Healthy – Father’s Day

According to the CDC’s guidelines, the lowest risk of getting Covid-19 comes with virtual gatherings, like a Zoom call. If you want to get together in the real world, the safest best they say are small outdoor gatherings in which individuals from different households remain spaced at least 6 feet apart. They also recommend that everyone: 

  • Wear cloth face coverings
  • Do not share objects or food
  • Come from the same local area (in other words, it’s not a good idea to invite Aunt Jane who lives three hours away to join you.)

Another way to make your Father’s Day barbecue a healthy celebration is by making sure there are plenty of vegetarian options on the menu. Some great ideas include: 

  • Veggie kebabs
  • Potatoes on the grill
  • Portabella burgers
  • Black bean burgers
  • Pasta salad
  • Potato salad
  • Corn on the Cob
  • And, for dessert, grilled fruit!

And, when all the healthy Father’s Day festivities are over, instead of a weight loss retreat, you might want to open your mind to the possibilities of a holistic health retreat in Florida!

Have You Gained Weight During Quarantine?

Have You Gained Weight During Quarantine?

Your search for a wellness retreat rather than a weight loss retreat may have brought you to Balance for Life but maintaining a healthy weight can be an important element of holistic health. 

Don’t worry, though. If you have put on a few pounds while you’ve been staying safe by staying home, you are not alone. You don’t have to look far on social media to find references to the “Quarantine 15.” 

As the health experts at WebMD say, “Life in lockdown has disrupted all our lives, creating the perfect setup for putting on pounds.” 

Why Is Comfort Food So Fattening? 

Unfortunately, there aren’t too many of us who turn to a juicy apple or fresh salad for comfort when we’re stressed out. Comfort foods tend to have high levels of sugar, fat or carbohydrates. 

WebMD reported that, “Website Lose It! reported a 266% increase in candy eating in the last 2 weeks of March, compared to February, among its 1.4 million monthly active members, along with an increase in eating carb-heavy foods like bread (54%) and noodles (36%). Data provided by WW (formerly Weight Watchers) shows their members are using the app to record they’re using and consuming almost 40% more baking ingredients like flour than they did before the lockdown.”

And WebMD’s own data might explain why: “Among readers, 70% in the U.S. and 35% internationally cited ‘stress eating’ as a cause of their weight gain.”

Even if you’ve been maintaining a healthy diet (relatively speaking!), you might have managed to gain a bit of weight if your regular workout routine has been disrupted. With gyms closed, you might want to try to get out for a walk or bike ride (bike sales have been through the roof lately!) or take advantage of some of the online exercise resources that are currently available at no cost. 

Even though most of the country is gradually re-opening or planning to, the stress involved in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic continues. And that’s what is driving most of the unhealthy eating. When we are able to safely  re-open, we will be happy to help you get back to taking care of yourself with the vegetarian weight loss plan at our Florida health retreats.

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Deerfield Beach, FL 33441

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Balance For Life Florida Questions

Submit your question to the Balance For Life Florida team. This includes the following events and programs.

  • Water Fasting
  • Plant-Based Food Program
  • Juice Cleanse Program