Stress Buster for the Holidays
Lie on the floor with a small pillow under your head. Your knees should be slightly bent. Put one hand on your stomach and one hand on your chest. Draw deep breaths into your abdomen and feel it rise. Your chest should hardly move at all. Belly-breathe without your chest moving and exhale through your nose.Add a comment
Broccoli and Cauliflower
These cruciferous vegetables are known for their role in reducing cancer risk. In addition, they contain high amounts of vitamin c, folate and fiber.Add a comment
Finding Direction at Red Mountain
By Cindy Clemens, Life Coach
A Red Mountain Resort adventure is a great way to honor your life.
First, it allows you to slowdown and get off the 24/7 grind with amazing sunrise hikes, fitness classes and spa treatments. Of course you are free to stay connected while at Red Mountain, but why not give yourself the treat of unplugging and relaxing for a few days. Lounge in the numerous hammocks on the grounds, enjoy the relaxation room at Sagestone Spa, walk the spiral labyrinth or soak in the soothing waters of the outdoor or indoor pool.
Second, you will be inspired to examine your life path, set new health and fitness goals and clear the blocks that have kept you stuck in life. Red Mountain offers many professionals with whom you can consult, including a life coach, nutritionist, energy healer and many others. And, it is easy to meet kindred spirits – other guests who are also taking a look at their lives and making some course corrections for the better.
Third, you will be nourished and replenished by doing what you want to do — what makes you smile and gets you excited. While at Red Mountain you can even try something new, such as rock climbing, kayaking, pottery school or even tai chi out on rocks. Even if you come to Red Mountain with other people, you will still get lots of ME time because you can go separate ways and meet up at dinner to compare your days.
By Myrna Beardshear, Director of Spa, Fitness & Health Services
In the clutter and pressure of the holidays, we need to take whatever time is necessary to be free of stress and feel great about our lives. This means we need to pamper ourselves and do special things for ourselves that will make us feel good. In doing so, others will feel good about being around us. Especially, it is at this time of the year that so many of us allow the special people or partners in our life to feel neglected.
When we get in the habit of doing things graciously for ourselves we start to develop a romantic life that we can share with others. Take time each day to tell yourself that you’re special and that you love yourself. Smile, listen to your own voice and think good thoughts. Look your best and be charming. Be sensuous. When you can be all these things for yourself you can take on creating a romantic environment for others.
When you wake up in the morning, instead of drinking your morning beverage in that old holiday coffee mug, try a china mug or a decorated cup and saucer. Remind yourself that you’re serving someone you love and want to please.
If you like to exercise try spraying the room with an invigorating aromatherapy spritz before you start. Instead of your sloppy old exercise clothes invest in something new and pretty. Don’t just jump into the shower, but take the time to have a relaxing bubble bath and have a ten-minute rest afterwards wrapped in a luxurious terry robe.
If you’re having a meal alone, take time to prepare a tray for yourself with pretty china a cloth napkin and a flower.
Take time to plan a special shopping spree. Enjoy being able to go out holiday shopping for some soft romantic clothes for your special times at home and if you have a loved one sharing your life, surprise them with a holiday gift of lingerie or a silk robe or pajamas.
Remember all the fun you used to have just cuddling on the couch with a beverage and the winter fireplace crackling. Well even if the old couch is long gone and the logs aren’t real, you can bring back romance at home with just a little planning.
If you want to plan a special, romantic evening, let your partner know ahead of time so that they’ll be in the mood. Send an invitation, tuck a note into a pocket, scented with your favorite fragrance or merely hint that you will be waiting tonight. Make a phone call to remind him/her about the wonderful evening you are planning.
A romantic evening at home requires the right atmosphere. Make arrangements to have to children stay overnight with family or friends.
A romantic lace cloth over a normally bare table and candles with romantic fragrances set the tone of the room. Low lights – music that you both enjoy and a comfy place to snuggle add to the affect. Bring pillows to the couch or lay them out on the carpet. Have food and drink nearby on the living room table and turn off the television and the ringer on the phone.
Take time to make up a menu of romantic food for your special evening. Make sure it can be prepared ahead of time. Finger foods can prove very satisfying and are often fun to share with someone or even feed to someone.
Buy some fresh flowers to place in the living room and bedroom. Remember, you’re trying to create a romantic evening and a very special escape from the holiday rush. Therefore, try some of the following flowers:
Roses – harmonious and patient love
Tuberose – peace and love, emotional control
Lavender – spiritual love, true love and romantic
Spider Lily – love and peace.
Stock up on just the right candles. Use soy candles with essential oils such as rose, sandalwood, cedar, ylang-ylang and bergamot.
There is nothing more soothing and loving than a gentle caress, a hug, a pat on the fanny or touch on the hand. Someone, just gently stroking your hair as they pass your chair and a special look from across a crowded room. This is love in action, tenderness, affectionate touches and looks. These little actions can reassure, communicate, soothe and keep your love life glowing and romantic and enhance your holidays.
Take time during the holiday season and throughout the year to live graciously and romantically and remember to express your love often – for yourself and the special people in your life.Add a comment
A wonderful alternative to beef, this form of red meat does not contain any rBGH or antibiotics, and is not an inflammatory food.Add a comment
Pumpkin Treatments for Your Skin: Spa at Home with Your Thanksgiving Leftovers
By Myrna Beardshear, Director of Spa, Fitness & Health
It seems that, no matter how hard I try, I cook too much of everything for Thanksgiving dinner. I have found some wonderful ways to indulge myself while not over-indulging over the holiday. I do this by putting aside some of the prepared foods before preparing them for the dinner table.
Pumpkin is my favorite skin treat. It is an excellent treatment for all skin types, especially environmentally damaged or sensitive skin. Rich in Vitamin A (skin healing), C (anti-oxidant) and Zinc, the pumpkin soothes, moisturizes and acts as a carrier, assisting the other mask ingredients to absorb deeper into the skin and intensifying the results.
Pumpkin puree has enzymes and antioxidants that offer results similar to gentle alpha-hydroxy action; It removes dead dull cells, while its beta-carotene-rich antioxidants nourish your skin. This will moisturize and nourish your skin, leaving it smooth and glowing.
Pumpkin Body Mask
1/2 cup cooked or canned pumpkin puree
1/2 cup solids from a can of coconut milk (Coconut solids are a natural moisturizer)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon (ground cinnamon is gently warming, stimulating and antibacterial)
- Making sure they are at room temperature, mix ingredients in a bowl.
- Apply generously to clean skin, massaging gently to work well into the skin. (I like to do this while standing on a towel in the bathtub and then I sit on the towel while waiting for the mask to work).
- Allow the mask to remain on for about 10 minutes, a good time to do some breathing and meditation to relax you after all those hours in the kitchen.
- Rinse with warm water and pat dry.
Pumpkin Pie Face Mask
2 teaspoons cooked or canned pumpkin, pureed
1/2 teaspoon honey (humectant, regenerative)
1/4 teaspoon milk, or soymilk (alpha hydroxyl acid, enzymes digest skin cells)
For Dry Skin:
1/4 teaspoon heavy whipping cream (moisturizing; alpha hydroxy acid)
For Oily Skin:
1/4 teaspoon cranberry juice (high in antioxidants critically important to the utilization of essential fatty acids to maintain balanced, nourished skin)
- Combine the ingredients for your facemask.
- Mix gently and apply to your face avoiding the eye area.
- Relax for 10-15 minutes while your Thanksgiving mask gently exfoliates, nourishes and conditions your face.
- Rinse with warm water and apply the appropriate moisturizer for your skin type
and allow the mixture to penetrate for 15 minutes. Rinse with tepid water.
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Calming Cranberry and Orange Herbal Bath
To relax and unwind this season, save half a cup of those wonderful fresh cranberries you bought in an overly energetic moment to make fresh cranberry sauce. Tie the cranberries in some clean muslin and crush them slightly before adding them to hot bath water. Allow bath water to cool for about 10 minutes and add 8-10 drops of essential oil of orange. Test that water is not to warm and soak for about 20 minutes.
Soothing Eggnog Soak
If you buy eggnog over the season, save some of it to try yourself to a luxurious bath.
For super hydrated skin this winter, add 4 cups of eggnog and 8-10 drops of ylang ylang essential oil to warm bath water. Relax in the tub for 20 minutes. You’ll enjoy the luxury of the wonderful milk bath and your skin will feel smooth and soft.
Resources for pumpkin recipes:
Cait Johnson, author of Witch in the Kitchen (Inner Traditions, 2001).
Lipman World, newsletter, Issue 2: Volume 1 2004, www.lipman world.com
Focus & Recharge
By Tracey Welsh, General Manager
As you find yourself distracted by the busyness of every day life. Step back - to gain the clarity, commitment, and courage to move forward. Allowing yourself the time to focus and recharge to create a plan to move ahead creates balance and reduces your stress immensely. Too often we move with the intensity of the busy world around us, and find ourselves more stressed because we make the wrong move, and didn't give ourselves the time to plan.
Reduce stress and balance by taking time to take care of yourself, as this is what you can control. As Red Mountain Spa Life Coach Cindy Clemens says, "Resign as the Master of the Universe" and take care of you.
Nurture yourself with healthy food. Get outside and enjoy nature. Fill yourself with the endorphins created by exercise and you'll find yourself with a more positive outlook and more energy. This is the perfect time to try something new, like yoga, tai chi or meditation to learn stress reducing techniques.
Healthful Holiday Eating: A Savvy Survivor’s Guide
By Reema Sayegh, PhD
It’s that time of year again! Don’t we all look forward to getting together with friends and family, attending office parties, shopping the malls, and decking the halls?
What follows is basic survival strategy in order partake in all festivities and still fit into our clothes in January!
When we’re about to fall over from shopping overload, and need a quick meal at the food court, we can make a sensible choice that won’t eat up half a day’s caloric ration. McDonald’s has a snack size frozen yogurt parfait (sans granola) for 130 calories. Chick-Fil-A offers a small size chicken soup for 140 calories, and Taco Bell has a pintos-n-cheese cup for 180 calories. These options are not elaborate, gourmet meals, but they can hold us over until we get home to continue more healthful selections!
When shopping for holiday groceries cruise the periphery of the grocery store and skip the snack aisle! Now’s the time to grab some whole foods (think: fruits and vegetables), pre-made salads and deli items as well.
When it’s time for the office soiree, it’s always a good idea to eat a small snack beforehand. Some almonds and an apple can really “fill in the gaps” and if we can also drink eight to 12 ounces of water prior to the event, we’ll really be ahead of the game.
At the party, it’s best to sit away from the food and put the fork down between bites. Remember portions, too! One ounce of cheese is roughly the size of a pair of dice. Instead of chips and dip, try crudités and salsa. Just that substitution alone can save over 300 calories, boost fiber and antioxidant intake, and fill us up. Eat slowly, as it really does take a minimum of 20 minutes for us to realize we’re full. If we’re imbibing, we need to remember that a glass of wine tops out at around 150 calories, is high in sugar, and does not count as a resveratrol serving. If we order some fruit juice with a splash of Seltzer water, we can save almost 100 calories!
Got family obligations? No problem! Try a dish of steamed vegetables in lieu of the green bean casserole, or baked sweet potatoes in lieu of the gooey marshmallow version. If cooking red meat, select leaner cuts like loin, round and extra lean, and roast, bake, braise or broil. If the bird’s the thing, remove the skin prior to serving and try cooking the stuffing separately. Pass on seconds, and sit quietly when you’ve finished the food, remembering that not every social gathering has to be all about the food.
Finally, don’t be overzealous with your goals this time of year. It’s stressful enough to brave the weather, traffic, crowds, office jokes, and challenging family members! Don’t add trying to lose weight to the equation. Be realistic, and tell yourself you will maintain your current weight through the holiday season. Having clothes that fit on New Year’s Day is quite an accomplishment in and of itself.
Happy Holidays!Add a comment
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