Dear Friends,

Welcome to our Fall e-Newsletter, in which our talented and knowledgeable spa experts will help you examine the topic of “balance” in different aspects of your life. They will share tips on stress management, skin care, balanced meals and housekeeping. Fall is a busy season, and we hope this advice will help you find time to relax and balance your life as you move through work and life.

 
 
 
 

Spa

Spa Director Danielle Knerr talks about why, when, where and how to relax. She’ll give you tips that are easy and accessible.

Summer is long gone, the kids are in school and the demands are coming fast and furious. Your daughter has a soccer game and forgot her cleats. Your boss just scheduled an unexpected meeting and your significant other called to inform you he is working late. Is it really only Monday?

Does this sound familiar? If you are like many of us, it does. We are all busy and often feel like there is not enough of us to go around. We know we are supposed to relax. We know we are supposed to take time for ourselves; yet we just cannot imagine ourselves being able to find the time.

If we do not take care of ourselves first, we will not be able to care for others. There are simple relaxation techniques that are free and can be done just about anywhere and at any time.  By practicing them, they can not only restore balance in your life, but  may also lower your blood pressure, increase blood flow, reduce muscle tension, improve concentration, slow your heart rate and reduce frustration.

You can find yourself relaxed in as little as five minutes. Visualization is one technique that I both practice and recommend. Close your eyes and picture a favorite spot. Perhaps it is the beach; perhaps it is a vacation spot. It may even be your living room, when there is a fire in the fireplace and you are comfortable on the couch. Just visualize yourself being there, in the moment. Picture yourself there and relaxing. Do this for a few minutes with your eyes closed. See, now don’t you feel better?

Another technique I recommend is simple breathing. Breathe in deeply, and slowly, and then let it out. You can do this a few times, relaxing more with each breath, and it doesn’t take a lot of time.

Anything that you like to do will relax you. If you like to take walks, then go outside and take a five-ten minute walk around the neighborhood. If you like to paint, spend a few moments getting creative on canvas. Ride your bike. Take a walk on the beach. We all have activities we like to perform that do relax us.

Of course, when you visit our Spa, remember that we offer two complimentary guest services that are very calming and centering: morning walk and morning meditation. Both of these activities release tension and stress and are a great way to start your day.

 

 

Boutique

Our retail guru, Amy Edgar, offers advice on balance for those who have different skin types on different areas of their faces.

Like the weather, our skin is changing all the time.  Environmental, hormonal, dietary, genetic…these are all factors that contribute to the condition of our skin at any given time. Oily, dry, red, sensitive, aging, blemish-prone -- these are just some of adjectives to describe skin that needs help. And we all know it’s possible to experience more than one condition at the same time. This is where balance comes into play.

Common sense says if your skin is oily you want to “dry it out,” and if you are dry, to “hydrate” it.  Here is the hard part: how do you treat separate conditions on the same face? If you use a product to combat oiliness, it can very well “strip” the drier areas and actually cause them to produce more oil. Of course, the reverse is true: too much hydration will cause that “oil slick” feeling.  What to do?

Our estheticians recommend you treat the “problem area” with a serum specific to that condition. For example, use our Rosacalm™ Skin Serum to treat areas of excess redness.  For fine lines, use our Botanical Bio-Peptide Serum in the problem area. Use Liquid Gold over areas that require more hydration and Bee Propolis extract for oily and blemish-prone parts of the face.

If you’re unfamiliar with serums, they are clear fluids that are usually lighter in consistency than a moisturizer but more concentrated with ingredients. A serum should be applied morning and evening after skin is properly cleansed and toned, and always followed by a moisturizer. Sometimes you can even alternate your serum between day and night. For instance, use a serum where needed to combat oil during the day, and an anti-aging serum at night while your skin rests and is repaired.

What kind of moisture is best to use after a serum – particularly if you are treating more than one skin condition? Something like our Vitamin C Crème is ideal. This emollient, lightweight formula features Vitamin C in a stabilized form, along with antioxidants to protect from free radical damage. It also assists in skin rejuvenation, collagen synthesis and the repair and protection of cell tissue. Whose skin wouldn’t benefit from all that?

 

 

From Chef Daniel’s Kitchen

Executive Chef Daniel Chong-Jiménez discusses how to balance your meal plans with your exercise level, so you will feel satisfied and not hungry.

With food and eating, as in life, things are better when taken with a sense of balance. We know that eating too much leads to weight gain, and unhealthy or excessive dieting sometimes leads to serious health issues down the road. Simply put, our food intake, in terms of calories, should match the level of our physical activity for that day.
 
For example, if we work in an office, sitting at a desk all day, we need less of the energy-dense foods, like pasta, bread, cheese and meat. With less physical activity the body requires less energy, but not necessarily less food. Stomach distension plays a very important role in our sensation of fullness and satiety. As our stomach distends, we feel full and satisfied. To feel satisfied without adding too many calories, choose food that’s bulky, but packs fewer calories. For example, leafy greens, non-starchy vegetables, lean proteins, legumes, whole grains and tart fruits are all good examples of filling foods with moderate amounts of calories.

Conversely, if we lead an active life of exercise and physical activity we need food with more energy. This is why athletes can eat enormous quantities of food and not gain fat. Their bodies are constantly burning up the food they’ve eaten, even as  they sleep! The trick that works well for both athletes and the rest of us is to eat the calorically-dense foods in the earlier hours of the day when we are most active, while saving the lean protein, bulky vegetables and greens that contain fewer calories for the later part of the day. As we get closer to bedtime, it’s better to reduce or eliminate the starchy and sweet foods and fats and opt for lean protein and fiber-rich food. A piece of grilled chicken breast with lots of steamed or roasted non-starchy vegetables is highly satisfying and filling without a heavy calorie load.

The recipe for this season (below) is a good example of a balanced meal. It is packed with flavor and satisfying ingredients while also maintaining a good bulky content. This recipe makes for a quick and satisfying lunch that will help you coast into the dinner period feeling free of the hunger pangs. You can add any lean protein to the dish easily because the flavors pair well with anything.

Seasonal Recipe:
Pasta Fazool

Recipe By: Daniel Chong-Jiménez
Serves: 12 (make extra and save for later)

Ingredients:

Amount Measure Ingredient
2 quarts vegetable broth
2 cups cooked cannellini or Great Northern Beans
2 cups pasta (ziti, penne, farfalle, etc.) - whole wheat is better
½ cup diced carrot
½ cup diced celery
½ cup diced onion
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig thyme
½ cup grated parmesan cheese
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions:

  1. Heat a thick-bottomed soup pot to medium heat.
  2. Add the oil and the diced vegetables.
  3. Cook these until they become translucent.
  4. Add the vegetable stock, herbs and beans.
  5. Bring to a simmer. Remove two cups of the soup and puree to a smooth consistency.
  6. Return the puree to the soup pot and add the raw pasta.
  7. Simmer until the pasta is tender.
  8. Add salt and pepper, as desired.
  9. Transfer the soup into a terrine and sprinkle with cheese.
  10. Brown the top under a broiler (optional).

Nutritional Facts per Portion:

123 Calories, 6 grams protein, 13 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 7 grams fat
 

 

Housekeeping

Executive Housekeeper Maryann Rodino has a balanced perspective on how to approach a major cleaning challenge when personal or professional events have disrupted  your usual schedule.

What do you do when you realize you’ve "fallen off the wagon" in keeping up with your household chores? There are many reasons that this can happen: you are sick, or you are caring for a family member who is ill. Or you have an all-hands-on-deck period at work, and you don’t get home until bedtime.

Don’t just dive in and start cleaning the first disordered area you see. Start slowly, making a plan for each room. Do not try to do everything at once or jump from one thing to another. Assess what needs to be done by going from room to room and jotting down want you need to do. And then tackle one job at a time. Stay focused. Start upstairs and work your way down, or work your way from one end to the other end of the home. It doesn’t make any difference which strategy you pick: just stick with it and don’t get distracted. Playing some music that has an up-tempo beat to it will encourage you to move more quickly.

If you are completely overwhelmed, just do a little each day to chip away at your list. If it takes you a week to clean one room, don’t treat it as a big deal. Accept it as the reality you are facing. Don’t judge yourself. And stay on your plan. Every time you check off one of the items on your agenda, you can feel pure joy, and it will give you incentive to move on to the next task, until you have finally caught up.

When you feel you are done, allow yourself a special “feel good” project:  put a few seasonal flowers around, or add some scent. Then go out buy yourself a new pair of shoes. You’ve earned them!