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The Stomach and the Soul

Posted: January 3, 2008, from the January 2008 issue of Skin Inc. magazine.

page 14 of 14

Between 8 and 8:30 we put out bags of unsalted popcorn and a fresh fruit bowl in the public area. If they want extra food, it is available. We maintain the food schedule.

It’s the whole experience, when you pay for a room, it includes meals and the classes. Everything is integrated in that way. As far as drinks go, we have a public area that always has water, fruit, tea, iced tea, hot water, coffee and decaffeinated coffee.

Advice: It takes a lot of planning. We have part time nurses that work in the morning and guests with dietary needs. You need to have someone on staff who knows what it means to be glucose intolerant or have allergies. Dairy intolerance is becoming kind of a big thing. We are starting to look at those options for people. You have to be organized and have everyone in place who can fit the needs of those people coming in. The Oaks has been here for so long, there are people who resist some of it. They have stayed the course, because it works. Depending on their level of fitness, people can succeed. It seems to work for just about everyone. We try to provide some backup—nutrition talks, food demonstrations two nights a week that they can take home with them and be successful overall. Part of it is trying to build new habits and we have people with individual counseling that may give them a chance of succeeding on their own. Early morning strolls, dance, yoga, there’s something for everyone.