Weather Report: Last night’s low 35.7 F. Today’s high: 81.5 F. Precipitation: 0.
I spent most of this morning pruning fruit trees -an activity that I both love and hate. More about that another day since it was the afternoon that was the highlight of my day.
I attended a talk by Deborah Szekely, founder of Rancho La Puerta and the Golden Door, the spas that spawned no pun intended) the health and fitness spa industry. Rancho La Puerta (“the Ranch” to those who’ve been there”) came first, founded in Tecate, Mexico, in 1940 when Deborah was barely 18 years old. 2009 marks her 69th year in the business!
I’ve had the honor of interviewing Deborah for several articles over the years. She is one of the most fascinating and inspiring people I’ve ever met. At 86 years young, her energy and creativity are the envy of people half her age, myself included (though I am a bit more than half her age).
Today’s talk was to promote the Ranch’s new cookbook, Cooking With the Seasons at Rancho La Puerta – Recipes from the World Famous Spa, a collaboration between Szekely and chef Deborah Schneider.
The two Deborahs spoke at the Bookworks, a wonderful, independent bookstore in Flower Hill Mall in Del Mar, California. For an hour, Deborah Szekely addressed a packed house on healthy eating, personal determination, being true to one’s self, and taking power over one’s life, among other topics.
The audience laughed as the diminutive Szekely (“I’m five feet tall but I used to be five one and a half”) spoke about the evils of dieting (“The word ‘diet’ has the word ‘die’ in it”) and how much more sense it makes to eat in moderation.
So, for example, when Szekely dines out, she asks for at take-home container at the time her food arrives. That way, she is done eating when she is full, rather than becoming so engrossed in conversation that she loses track and finishes everything on her plate. That’s a great idea for us small people (On a tall day, I measure 5’ 3”) and one I’ll try next time I dine out.
Deborah Schneider spoke about Saturday cooking classes offered as one-day visits to La Cocina Que Canta (the Singing Kitchen), the Ranch’s cooking school located on the grounds of Tres Estrellas, the organic farm that supplies Ranch guests with fresh herbs, vegetables, fruits, and flowers.
Having spent time at the Ranch, I know how fabulous the cuisine is. So, of course I bought the book. Actually, I bought three, one for me, one for my mother, and one for my youngest sister, and had them signed.
The books for my mother and sister are a surprise, so don’t tell them, please!