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.
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!"
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."
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."