Two Week Jumpstart to Fitness – at Home
By Kim Watters,
Part of what jumpstarts our guests into fitness after a stay at Red Mountain Resort is a new found passion. We guide our guests towards new adventures on a daily basis. Often they will come from stressful or boring situations from their daily life, and begin to experience fun and excitement in a beautiful and relaxing environment.
By getting away from the old routine they are free to sample new activities and along their path find something they love to do and passion gets them motivated to do more and to continue at home. So, my suggestion is to find an activity to feel passionate about – at Red Mountain or at home.
First look for activities in your area that are new to you, or just plain fun:
belly dancing, pickle ball, salsa classes, hiking in unfamiliar areas, Tai Chi, water aerobics, swim lessons, rock climbing, Yoga, swing dancing, Pilates, kick ball with your kids or as a group of adults. The list goes on and on.
Or just google "Fun Activities for Exercise" and you will find a plethora of great ideas.
Second, choose a different activity to do 3-5 days a week for two weeks.
Next, narrow it down to activities you really enjoy, and can feel passionate about.
Move your body (cardiovascularly) 3-5 times a week for 20-60 minutes for optimal health benefits. If you are de-conditioned, workout for 20 minutes if you are able. Then increase your time when possible, up to 60 minutes. Remember, you won’t stick with it, if you aren’t having fun.
For strength conditioning, a general rule is to try to reach fatigue (get the muscles tired) within 8-12 repetitions and to work all major muscles for a balanced workout.
He said, she said...or he said, he said...or she said, she said...
By Andrew Mellen, organizing expert & guest speaker May 9–14
"Love is a many splendored thing." - Sammy Fain and Paul Francis Webster (as sung by Frank Sinatra)
"Love is a battlefield." - Holly Knight and Mike Chapman (as sung by Pat Benatar)
"Love is not love which alters when it alteration finds." - William Shakespeare
Hat's off to Mr. Shakespeare. Long before Frank or Pat extolled the virtues and dangers of love, Will laid it out for us in plain (olde) English. Call it what you will, but it sure isn't love if you need to change it.
At every workshop, there's at least one delightfully charming and discordant couple tossing slightly snarky digs at one another, all in the name of fun. And with the hope that I'll take sides and finally force the less-organized of the two to comply with ... something.
Not going to happen. Even if one partner is clearly the primary mess-maker, my response is always to find the way out from messiness into a functional co-existence for EVERYONE'S benefit.
Anyone who struggles with disorder and disorganization knows that something isn't working. And no amount of judging or shaming is going to provoke a positive change. Teasing or attacking your less-than-neat partner is only going to paralyze them. So let's try a different approach.
I first suggest to these couples, much to everyone else's amusement, that "today is probably not the first time you've discovered that your partner doesn't do things quite the same way you do."
Then I remind them that acceptance and a clear commitment to finding workable solutions, rather than winning or blaming, will reveal the strongest, most sustainable choice. That way, everyone gives up something and no one gives up everything. I sometimes have to repeat that sentence two or three times.
And the payoff is priceless: the neat one's face is as disappointed as the less-than-neat one's face is relieved.
As history has demonstrated for centuries, when no one wins, everyone wins!Add a comment
Weight Loss & Nutrition: Beyond Calories in Versus Calories Out
By Brad Crump,
Health Services Manager
Most of us have found ourselves in a position of wanting to lose a few pounds. For some, it is a life long quest often resulting in a mixed bag of results. For a majority, hundreds of pounds have been lost and subsequently gained back leading to feelings of failure, disappointment and a loss of hope for future success. In addition to the stresses of fluctuating results comes the confusion of weeding through all the opinions shared by experts (and self appointed experts) and deciding who is right.
One of the major mistakes people make in establishing a healthy and effective weight loss strategy centered on food and nutrition is assuming that all individuals are created equal. Each of us brings to the “dining room table” differences in genetics, metabolism and specific lifestyle factors that must be considered. There is no “one size fits all” model. Once we begin considering these differences, a more specific and individualized nutrition plan can be established.
Another major failure in developing nutritional guidelines is depending solely on the law of thermodynamics, which teaches us that if we consume less calories than we burn, weight loss should follow. There is no argument that if a person consumes 4,000 calories and only burns 2,500 that that person will not gain weight. Caloric balance is essential and must be determined by proper and specific testing like indirect calorimetry. However, there are many who have greatly reduced their calorie intake and increased their exercise and have experienced weight gain. There is an easily explainable answer and one that is very rarely discussed or considered.
The answer is that all calories are simply not created equal. To clarify, a calorie, in fact, does equal a calorie but only in terms of quantity. If I consume five grams of fat, regardless of its source, I have consumed forty-five calories. It does not matter if it is from a healthy source of omega three fats such as salmon or whether it is from a saturated variety of fat from a processed food; the calorie value is the same. What is not the same is the physiological affect each of those fats will have on my body. How does each of these fats affect my metabolism, immune system, hormone regulation and inflammation in my body?
We need to begin looking at food as an information source for the body and not just an energy or calorie source. As it relates to weight loss, we can consider the role that inflammation/allergic reactions play in our quest for weight loss as it relates to food.
In his book “The Fat Resistance Diet,” Dr. Leo Galland, M.D. provides a beautiful description of the role that inflammation from food plays in fat resistant weight loss. In it, he provides a description of a vicious cycle related to the hormone leptin and its role in supporting metabolism and regulation of appetite. Due to sensitivities or allergic reactions to specific foods, inflammation results in a change in our ability to respond to leptin. This results in changes in the rate at which we burn calories and causes us to constantly feel hungry. As this vicious cycle continues, we gain more body fat, which is in itself inflammatory, and we continue to gain weight. This causes us to assume that we are still taking in more calories than we should and we continue to decrease our caloric intake resulting in a perceived famine and resultant fat storage. This inflammatory response is sending inappropriate information to the body.
The inflammatory response we experience from food is simply one example of how we can consume the right number of calories and still gain weight. As we begin to look more specifically at what it is we are eating versus simply how much we are eating, we will begin seeing more long term and healthy weight loss.
Here is a few couple of suggestions that can assist you in your weight loss objectives:
- Identify your Resting Metabolic Rate. This is an easily administered yet scientifically based test that determines the number of calories you burn under complete resting conditions. Knowing this number will keep you from falling into the trap of over or under consumption. Remember that under consumption of calories can cause as much weight gain as over consuming.
- Determine if you’re a sensitive to or allergic to specific foods. You can best do this by following an anti-inflammatory diet which focuses on the removal of the most commonly found allergenic foods for one month. You will then go through a process of reintroducing these foods back into the diet one at a time. During the month of elimination, most people lose weight while consuming more than they were typically consuming.
Enjoy the process! As your understanding of food changes, so will your relationship with food and long term, healthy weight loss will follow.Add a comment
Eat Your Colors
Current emphasis on consuming foods of varying colors stems from the understanding that beneficial secondary metabolites, phenolic compounds are responsible for the bright colors.
Phenolic and polyphenolic compounds include flavonoids, phenolic acids and lignins. These abundant chemical compounds are considered secondary metabolites because they are not directly involved in growth and development, but seem to be very beneficial in many other ways. In research and consumer news, much attention has been paid to the antioxidant benefits of particular compounds. Of course, this has spurred a large number of commercially produced supplements of isolated compounds. It should be noted that there is limited evidence of the benefit of these supplements and no recommended daily intake has been determined for phytonutrients.
There is one great lesson in the research regarding phytonutrients – it is best to get nutrition by eating the whole food (rather than rely on supplements). Consider that, until fairly recently, the general assumption was that consuming adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals identified in the DRI’s would be enough to ensure proper nutrition. Since estimates place the number of beneficial phytochemicals found in foods to be in the hundreds of thousands, how could we keep track of all those?
Of the flavonoids, anthocyanins are the most abundant. Anthocyanins are responsible for the deep blue pigments in berries, plums, red grapes, pomegranates, etc. The carotenes are found in foods of dark orange color such as: carrots, pumpkins, mangos, apricots, cantaloupe, and sweet potatoes. Lycopene is found in red foods like tomatoes and tomato products, but also in watermelon and pink grapefruit.
While dietitians may appreciate the science of beneficial secondary metabolites, nature has provided us with a color coded teaching tool for emphasizing good nutrition. Eating fruits and vegetables of varied color will ensure the consumption of beneficial nutrients.
N. Hounsome, B. Hounsome, D. Tomos, G. Edwards-Jones. Plant metabolites and nutritional quality of vegetables. Journal of Food Science; May 2008; Volume 73, Issue 4 (pages R48-R65)
Wang, L. and Stoner, G. Anthocyanins and their role in cancer prevention; Cancer Letters; Received 14 March 2008; received in revised form 14 March 2008; accepted 8 May 2008. published online 24 June 2008.
By Kim Watters,
Kundalini Yoga is a technology for physical, mental and spiritual well-being for the householder who must live in and build a better life. Yogi Bhaja was born in the area of Punjab, India, and became a Master and spiritual leader of Kundalini Yoga. He later came to the United States with the sole mission of teaching Americans how to live healthy, happy and holy lives. He wanted to give the technology of Kundalini Yoga to Americans to create teachers of the work, not to gain worshipers.
Like anything new, you need to try it to appreciate it. Have a go at one of Kundalini Yoga’s breath series named The Breath of Fire. It will assist in releasing toxins from the lungs, blood vessels and other cells in the body, as well as, increase physical endurance by increasing delivery of oxygen to the brain facilitating a focused, intelligent and neutral mind as stated by Yogi Bhajan.
Breath of Fire
- Breath of Fire is rapid, rhythmic and continuous. It is equal on the inhale and the exhale with no pause between.
- Practice breathing through the nostrils with the mouth closed.
- It is powered from the Solar Plexus and navel point, coming from the diaphragm. The belly moves out on inhale and up and in on exhale with the mouth closed The chest should stay relaxed throughout the breathing cycle.
- Begin by doing the Breath of Fire for 1-3 minutes in duration. Some find it easy, others find it creates dizziness or giddiness, if this happens, take a break.
- Please do not try while menstruating or pregnant.
To begin, sit straight and place the hands in prayer position. Close your eyes and concentrate on the brow point. Begin Breath of Fire for 1-3 minutes. Then inhale and hold for 10 seconds. Exhale. Relax. Stay still and relax the hands on the knees. Watch the natural flow of your breath for 3 more minutes. Inhale deeply, exhale.
Pranayam (breath work) allow us to balance the left and right hemispheres of our brain, as well as, balance the Sympathetic and Parasympathetic nervous system. As we begin to train our bodies to consciously relax, we also train our minds to let go of all the mental chatter that keeps us from living a conscious life.
Hydrating Hand & Foot Treatment
By Myrna Beardshear,
Director of Spa & Wellness
Take time to nurture your hands and feet this month with a hydrating home spa treatment. Follow the simple steps below to create a relaxing spa experience at home anytime.
Step 1: Exfoliate.
Mix 1/4 cup honey with 1/4 cup (select one or combine) brown, white or raw sugar. For added exfoliation, add 1 tsp. finely minced almonds or oatmeal.
Apply mixture to dry hands and feet in a circular motion. Rinse with warm water.
Step 2: Apply Treatment.
Mix 1 cup dry milk, 1/4 cup water, and 1/4 cup plain yogurt, with 1 tsp. of fresh ingredient(s) of your choice. Select soft, ripe fruit (mango, berries, etc.), fresh herbs (mint, rosemary, etc.) or even fresh rose petals. A few drops of essential oil (lavender, orange, peppermint, tea tree, etc.) may be added as desired. Blend well. Mixture should be a thick liquid.
Apply a thin layer of the treatment to each foot. Cover with a plastic bag. Wrap with a thick towel or wear warm sox. Repeat for hands. Relax for 20 minutes. Remove towels/sox, plastic bags and rinse with warm water.
Step 3: Hydrate.
Generously apply your favorite lotion. Enjoy silky, soft hands and feet.
Hiking Philosophy at Red Mountain
By John Ibach,
Director of Outdoor Recreation
At Red Mountain Resort, we pride ourselves on our Outdoor Recreation program. We are privileged to be situated next to Snow Canyon State Park one of Utah’s premier State Parks. Our location gives us immediate access to over 25 miles of trail - all within walking distance or only a short drive away.
As director of the Outdoor Recreation Department, I am proud of the fact that our approach to the desert is as stewards; our emphasis is on sustainable recreational use. While we use the park and surrounding public lands constantly throughout the year, our impact is minimal.
At Red Mountain outdoor recreation implies a whole different experience than just fitness; and while recreation is a component of a well-rounded fitness program, we offer a much broader perspective.
As you hike each morning you will be entertained by our guides while learning human history, geology, plant identification, sustainable use, wildlife and local lore. Our morning hiking program is designed to give you the tools to make outdoor activities a part of your life. Red Mountain hikes offer terrain from easy to difficult and our experts will give you the information you need to make choices that fit your comfort level.
The hikes fulfill two functions: to offer you an opportunity to do something physical and to introduce you to the desert environment. We hope that you leave Red Mountain with an understanding of why we love our home and enjoy what we do here.
Pan Seared Duck with Ancho Chile Mango Salsa
Ingredients for the Mango Salsa:
2 cup mango, diced small (2 1/2 lb after peeling and seeding)
1 pepper ancho chili pepper, rehydrated and diced small
3 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped fine
6 Tbsp. kiln dried cherries
1 Tbsp. mint leaves, chopped fine
1/4 cup red onion, diced small
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. roma tomato, diced small
½ tsp. garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. sherry vinegar
1 Tbsp. raspberry vinegar
Ingredients for the Prickly Pear Marinade:
1 cup apple juice
1 Tbsp. Apple cider vinegar
4 Tbsp. Prickly pear syrup
2 Tbsp. Olive oil
3 tsp. Canola oil
4 Tbsp. Port wine
2 Tbsp. Soy sauce, low-sodium
¼ tsp. Liquid barbecue smoke
2 tsp. Bay leaves
4 tsp. Cilantro, chopped
⅔ tsp. Garlic, chopped
2 Tbsp. Shallot, chopped
1 Tbsp. Cumin seed, toasted
⅔ tsp. Crushed red pepper
2 pinches dried thyme
2 pinches fresh rosemary, chopped
1 Tbsp. cracked black pepper
Ingredients for the Pan Seared Duck:
4 four-oz portions prickly pear marinated boneless duck breast, trimmed of most fat
1 cup mango salsa (see recipe)
Directions for the Mango Salsa:
- Soak the ancho chile in hot water to soften.
- For the chiles, remove stems, split open and dip in water to remove seeds before dicing.
- Combine with the remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl.
Directions for the Prickly Pear Marinade:
- Combine all ingredients.
- Add trimmed duck breasts and marinate for at least 2 hours.
Directions for the Pan Seared Duck:
- Pre-heat sauté pan over high heat.
- Add two trigger pulls of olive oil from spray bottle (1/2 tsp. approx).
- Place duck fat side down in pan and sear until fat begins to brown. Flip over and sear other side.
- Place in 450 degree oven and cook to desired temp (med rare recommended).
- Top with mango salsa.
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