It’s time for our second installment of Ask Dr. G! We spoke to him recently about the holidays, his favorite restaurants in town, and his thoughts on the gluten-free trend.
So, Dr. Garcia, what is your favorite holiday tradition this time of year?
Well, it’s probably not too unique, but I love Christmas Eve dinner and watching my Grandkids open their gifts on Christmas morning.
Well, now you need to tell us what’s on the menu at your house on Christmas Eve.
We always do lots of Cuban food. We’ll have the roast pork, black beans and rice, plantains, the whole bit. And we’ll do some traditional stuff too. My wife loves good mashed potatoes.
What’s your favorite meal to cook at home when it’s not a holiday?
If I’m cooking, I like to do steaks or ribs on the grill. My wife makes amazing picadillo and black beans and rice, that’s my ultimate comfort food.
And how about when you’re eating out? What are your favorite restaurants in Tampa?
I like going to Ruth’s Chris, it’s always a good steak and a great meal. We also love going to Oxford Exchange for brunch, it’s a beautiful space and the food is delicious. Their egg sandwich is amazing!
You can’t help but notice this surge of popularity of gluten-free diets and options these days. What are your thoughts on that?
As you may know, there are people that have celiac disease or a gluten allergy, and for them it’s absolutely necessary. For the general population, if they want to eat gluten free, I would recommend avoiding a lot of the packaged “gluten free” options and instead use healthy recipes like the ones on our Pinterest page. Many times, those packaged GF foods have added sugar or other ingredients to help mask the taste. For most people, I think it’s healthier to try and eliminate refined sugars than gluten.
There will probably be a lot of new diets starting in just a couple of weeks with the New Year. What are your tips for approaching weight loss and staying motivated?
I think it’s important to have realistic goals. There are major health benefits to losing just 5-10% of your body weight (read more on that here). It’s important to have a plan, and to be sensible about it. If you fall off track, just re-focus and start doing the right things again. A good reset is to go back to an all-protein diet for 48 hours. And, our amazing staff is always here to help with customized plans and support.
If you want to experience Dr. Garcia’s completely customized weight loss program, we have 4 Tampa Bay locations to serve you. Request your No-Cost Consultation today! Happy Holidays!