Relieving Stress with Reflexology
By Myrna Beardshear, Director of Spa, Fitness & Health Services
Massage is often seen as just a reliever of physical discomfort, but in reality a relaxing massage can help calm the mind too. By using different massage techniques, massage therapists are able to loosen sore muscles, increase circulation and improve mental clarity.
Not able to get to the spa? Foot massage, or reflexology, is actually an ancient practice of manipulation and stimulation to restore health and balance to the entire body through reflex therapy applied to the feet. Reflexology diagram cards showing the pressure points on your feet are available everywhere and are easy to follow.
- Take off your shoes.
- Rub the brain, stomach and solar plexus reflexology points on your feet.
- The brain, your body's mental stress center, is at the point of the base of the ball of the big toe.
- Relieve anxiety by rubbing the stomach, located at the arch of the foot.
- Considered to be the "nerve switchboard of the body," press the solar plexus, located at the center of the base of the ball of the foot, for 20 to 30 seconds on each foot.
De-Stress Your Holiday Eating
By Dr. Reema Sayegh, Nutritionist
Sometimes what we want and what we need are two different things. Case in point: food choices when we are stressed.
What usually calls out to us is some form of sugar and caffeine. What we really require is a more complex form of carbohydrate, PLUS a protein so that we do not get a sugar rush (which is inevitably followed by a sugar dip).
Therefore, a good de-stressing pick-me-up could come in the form of fresh fruit and natural nut butter, or a serving of cut-up veggies, raw nuts and one ounce of low-fat string cheese. If you're multi-tasking, in other words, trying to grab something at the mall, try having protein and vegetables, like a teriyaki unbreaded chicken breast with stir-fried vegetables, or, even better, a salad topped with chicken or fish, and a nice vinaigrette on the side.
These foods will give you staying power, and provide the stress-busting nutrients your body really needs without sabotaging your good eating habits. That way, the cute new outfit you're out buying for the holiday party will still fit when the time comes!
Prickly Pear BBQ Pork Loin topped with Leek Straws on Smoky Cheddar Cheese Polenta Wedge
4 Pork loin chops (4 oz. each)
Prickly pear BBQ sauce (recipe below)
Polenta wedge (recipe below)
Leek straws (recipe below)
- Lightly coat pork loin chops in prickly pear BBQ sauce and grill.
- Heat polenta wedge on chargrill until hot.
- Place polenta on plate and lean pork cutlet up against it.
- Drizzle 2 Tbsp. BBQ sauce across plate and serve
- Top with a pinch of leek straws and serve.
Prickly Pear BBQ Sauce:
½ cup ketchup
2 Tbsp. prickly pear syrup
1 ½ Tbsp. agave syrup
2 tsp. molasses
1 tsp. cajun spice
½ tsp. liquid smoke
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
BBQ Sauce Directions:
Mix all ingredients well.
Smokey Cheddar Polenta Wedge:
1 ½ cup water
½ tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. liquid smoke
½ cup polenta cornmeal
1 ½ oz. shredded cheddar cheese
- In heavy bottomed sauce pot bring water, salt and liquid smoke to a boil.
- Add polenta and reduce heat to low.
- Cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Remove from heat, add cheese and stir until melted.
- Pour into 4” x 8” loaf pan lined with plastic wrap. Top with plastic wrap and press firmly to form.
- Let cool thoroughly.
- Slice into 4 portions and grill.
1 leek (use first 3 ½ inches - the white part)
1 cup canola oil
Leek Straw Directions:
- Slice leek in half length wise.
- Rinse and dry well with paper towels.
- Slice into strips as thin as you can slice them — or thinner! (Make sure they are separated from each other.)
- Heat 1 cup canola oil in heavy bottomed sauce pot to 350 degrees (use a thermometer to measure — this is very important!)
- Sprinkle leek straws into hot oil and cook until light golden brown in color.
- Remove all of them with small strainer and set on paper towels to drain.
An Interview with Shaman Spirit Guide Betina Lindsey
Red Mountain’s nationally awarded author and spiritual guide, Betina Lindsey is known for her Shaman Spirit Programs which explore personal writing, healing sound and the rediscovery of our personal and planetary soul.
1. How would you describe what you do at Red Mountain?
I offer spiritual guidance for those on the path of rediscovery of our personal and planetary soul. Whether it is healing sound, soul retrieval, or a life path reading, Shaman Spirit is for those who are looking for balance, harmony and peace in their lives. For example, “Writing Your Life” is a three day workshop adventure on how you became the person you are. We walk the spiral of experience where you create a timeline of your life so you can step into your destiny to bring healing and beauty to yourself, to your loved ones, and to the world. You might be walking your destiny, but are you aware of it?
2. Are your offerings popular with guests, and if so, why?
Yes, I so enjoy the guests who come to my sessions…they are spiritual explorers who want to bring balance to the body, to the soul and to the earth.
3. What is the most spiritual offering you provide?
In a trusting environment, I pass on what has been passed on to me from the ancient healing lineages, energies that support us to live protected and free of fear in our transcendent natures.
4. What do you think spa guests are looking for these days from services such as yours?
I feel they are looking for sustainable spiritual ecology that supports a sane and healthy human community.
5. What is the best part of your job?
Hands down! The resilient, gifted people I have met! You might ask what is a shaman? It is those who have the courage to find, heal and change what is not working. The people I meet are the earth keepers, the wisdom keepers and the creators that envision their selves and the world as healed. These are the shamans!
6. How does what you do complement Red Mountain and vice versa?
Shaman Spirit is a spiritual adventure where we not only climb rocks...we listen and talk to them...now that is complementary!
M.E.E.T the Mustangs
M.E.E.T = Mustang, Educational, Experiential, Training
Connect spirit to spirit with American Wild Mustangs. Windhorse Relations is a non-profit organization that uses the American Mustang to teach humans how to create willing experiences. Most participants have little or no experience with horses, and learn to replace fear, stress, anxiety and emotional trauma with peace, strength and emotional balance.
Create Willing Relationships
This private group teambuilding adventure is a fun and transforming experience using American Wild Mustangs as teachers and foster leadership through empowerment and non-verbal communication. Learn "Working the Edge," a powerful technique for transforming fear into curiosity, resistance into cooperation and tolerance into willingness.
To learn more about this adventure, visit our website at
About Windhorse Relations
Mary Lee Brighton and Marcia Thayne have created this dynamic and effective program using wild mustangs as teachers. The program incorporates 35 years of Mary's professional training skills and Marcia's experience in education into a powerful Equine Experiential Training which is very successful in Utah. Mary Lee chose wild mustangs rather than domesticated horses because of their intelligence, awareness, and physical capabilities that have allowed them to survive over the years.
Foods to Help Ease PMS Symptoms
While the medical community is not in complete agreement about the causes of PMS, there is little doubt that the mood swings, energy drain, cramping, aching breasts and belly aches are a severe problem for many women. If your symptoms are interfering with your life, you may need help from your physician, but many women find relief with self-help, food & lifestyle changes.
Many experts suspect that the fluid retention associated with the menstrual cycle is either directly or indirectly responsible for a great deal of symptoms. This is good news to some extent, because there are several lifestyle and dietary habits that may help modulate fluid retention.
The primary goal would be to develop overall healthy habits to achieve a good fluid balance. The basic recommendations would include: regular exercise, drink plenty of water, avoid sugar, salt and too much caffeine. Also, for most people a boost in the quantity of fresh fruits and vegetables (5-9 servings of fruits and vegetables daily) will improve digestive regularity, provide powerful nutrients and help regulate fluid balance.
Furthermore, there are several foods that have a significant diuretic effect. By including these foods during the time of the worst symptoms, some relief may be provided: celery (seed and plant), parsley, dandelion greens, asparagus, artichoke, melon (all kinds), watercress, and to a lesser degree: cucumbers and strawberries.
Caffeine is also a powerful diuretic, but should be used with caution during menstrual distress because too much caffeine may increase stress levels and contribute to irritability. Many teas have a diuretic effect, such as: licorice, astragulus and teas especially formulate as PMS supportive. These are generally safe, but use in moderation (2-3 cups per day) because too much diuretic may back-fire and cause a craving for salty foods.
A modest increase in protein consumption also serves as a mild diuretic, and when combined with carbohydrates, may have the added benefit of providing sustained hunger satisfaction and energy.
One of the best ways to calm carbohydrate cravings is to consume the right amount of good, whole grain, complex carbohydrates. While the high protein trend has moderated, many people still shy away from eating adequate complex carbohydrates and then find themselves craving sugar.
Find and use a reliable tool for estimating an appropriate amount of wholesome carbohydrate foods like MyPyramid.gov. While you may not consume that amount of carbohydrate foods on a regular basis, you can use the amount as a guide during the difficult time of the month to provide some “insurance” against craving sugars and other simple carbohydrates.
There are many wonderful complex carbohydrates that are naturally sweet, packed with beneficial nutrients, high in fiber and provide sustained blood sugar energy: sweet potatoes, brown rice, oats, winter squashes, quinoa and all types of legumes.
Essential fatty acids have shown positive impact on the balance of blood sugar and there is some evidence that they may help fight depression. Essential fatty acids can be taken in supplements, but are found in many wonderful foods, such as: nuts, seeds, flax seeds and fatty fish.
Having an appropriate amount of healthy fats daily will also keep your hunger satisfied, aid in regularity and keep you from craving “bad fats.”
Sample Meal Plan for PMS
Breakfast: 1 cup oatmeal, 1 cup of strawberries, 1 hard boiled egg, Licorice tea
Snack: Cucumber & watercress sandwich on 2 slices whole grain bread with light mayonnaise, 12 cashews
Lunch: Big salad: mix 1 cup of dandelion greens with your regular greens, tomatoes, celery, any other veggies, 2-3 ounces of lean protein, ½ cup of any type of bean (garbanzo, kidney, pinto), 2 tablespoons of sunflower seeds and 2 Tablespoons of a light salad dressing
Snack: Chocolate, 2 whole grain crackers with ½ Tablespoon almond butter & a protein shake (1-2 scoop of protein powder and 8 oz. of skim or soy milk)
Dinner: 3-4 oz. Salmon, ½ cup sweet potato, 1 cup green beans, 1 cup broccoli (optional - cook up the rest of the dandelion greens - 1 cup cooked)
After dinner treat: ½ cup sorbet, 3-4 graham crackers, 1 cup fresh fruit
While this type of menu will not cure all your symptoms, it may help to minimize the discomfort. The mix of good, complex carbohydrates, substantial protein, high fiber, high nutrition, essential fatty acids and diuretic foods should help ease symptoms.
By Kim Watters, Fitness Manger
Here at Red Mountain we are always looking for the next adventure, and an outdoor adventure is even better. So we were pumped when we discovered Nordic Walking, also known as ski walking. This exciting activity combines the two methods of traditional fitness walking and cross country skiing, including the use of modified ski poles.
Nordic Walking was first used as a summer training method to keep cross-country skiers in tip top shape through the snow-less days of summer. Later a group of professionals consisting of researchers in sports medicine, and other fitness professionals developed it into a fitness exercise. Nordic Walking was first launched in Finland in 1997. It has rapidly increased in popularity and today Nordic Walking is well-known fitness sports.
According to the International Nordic Walking Association there are many benefits to Nordic walking, here are a few that stand out when compared to traditional fitness walking:
- Heart rate is 5-17 beats per minute higher (for example in normal walking heart rate is 130 beats/minute and in Nordic Walking 147 beats per minute i.e. increase is 13%)
- Energy consumption increases when using poles by an average of 20% compared with ordinary walking without poles
- Up to a 46% increase in energy consumption (Cooper Institute research, Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sports 2002 publication)
- Releases pain and muscle tension in the neck/shoulder region
- The lateral mobility of the neck and spine increases significantly
- The muscles most actively involved are the forearm extensor and flexor muscles, the rear part of the shoulder muscles, the large pectoral muscles and the broad back muscles
- Does not aggravate joints and knees
- Reduces the load on knees and other joints
- Consumes approximately 400 calories per hour (compared with 280 calories per hour for normal walking)
- Poles are a safety factor on slippery surfaces
Red Mountain invites you to Nordic Walk with us among the beautiful red rocks of Snow Canyon State Park. Our Fitness staff is ready and can help you reap the benefits of Nordic Walking as we lead you into our next new adventure.Add a comment
Red Mountain Quiz
Today's quiz should be easy. Tell us what breast cancer awareness means to you.
Post your answer in the comment area below. We'll give you one hour to respond. (One answer per person please.)
Our two favorite answers win a pink Red Mountain water bottle honoring Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Good luck!Add a comment
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