MERCEDES POLITI, 26
Stock analyst in Buenos Aires
Breakfast: Cereal, fruit, coffee, orange juice.
Lunch: Two cups of soup first — "Always! It prevents overeating" — then sliced chicken or tuna salad.
Dinner: Two cups of soup, grilled steak with green salad.
Snack: None on weekdays, but on weekends, alfajores — thick dulce de leche cookies. They're practically the national obsession.
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Workout Manual Alternating days of capoeira, tangolates (pilates with tango music), and soccer.
Recent Indulgence At an asado, aka Argentinean barbecue: a cheese table with olives, bread, and wine, followed by roasted vegetables, sausage sandwiches, salad, and a very thick steak. For dessert? A vigilante — cheese topped with sweet-potato jam.
Health Mantra Be extra good on weekdays; indulge on weekends. "I really enjoy hearty meals!"Mercedes Politi
LILI XU, 30
Student and aspiring yoga instructor in Beijing
Breakfast: Honey-lemon tea, cornflakes with soy milk and black sesame seeds (said to amp up hair's shine), fruit.
Lunch: Green salad, vegetable-tofu soup.
Dinner: Rice with beans (black, red, kidney, mung). "Sometimes I'll have fish with vegetable stew" — but no meat, ever.
Snack: Fruit, nuts, carrot cake, or goji bars "from my friend's vegan bakery."
Workout Manual Kundalini yoga before breakfast and before bed; afternoon hatha at Yoga Yard, a 30-minute walk from home. "Studios are popping up, but most people who work out in China are still of the older generation."
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Recent Indulgence At a dinner in Shanghai: tofu-skin soup, fried rice, broccoli with shrimp, black fungus mushroom with wasabi sauce, steamed fish, and meat dishes (for her friends). Plus, watermelon, grapes, and chocolate. "It's customary to order a variety and more than you can eat."
Health Mantra "Buying organic is expensive, and eating vegetarian is tough in China [even most vegetable dishes are cooked with meat], but it's worth it."Lili Xu