Dear Friends,

Welcome to our Spring e-Newsletter, in which our talented and knowledgeable spa experts will help you explore Spring and prepare for Summer at the same time. They will share tips with you about fitness, fashion, cooking and housekeeping.

 

 

Spa

It's time to get a head start on fitness training for the athletic activities you will enjoy this summer.

To get ready for summer sports – particularly for canoeing and kayaking - we recommend developing core strength. Developing your core enables you to stabilize your upper body. That stability is the key also to competitive sports like tennis and racquetball.

We have two suggestions for core strength. The first is to gradually develop it by utilizing the plank position, which is well known to those who practice yoga. It is excellent for stabilizing the abdominal oblique muscles, both the internal set and the external set. Plank is a position that looks much easier to do than it really is. If you're not familiar with it, research it on a good fitness video or speak to a fitness professional – we're happy to explain it to you the next time you visit us.

The second suggestion is the use of a fitness ball, also known as a balance ball, which challenges your abdominal and back muscles as well as your balance. The genius of this simple prop is that by shifting your weight, you are shifting your angle. And when you shift your angle, your body adapts by activating different muscles.

But if this device is new to you, plan on starting off slowly. For beginners, just sitting on the ball can be a challenge. More advanced fitness students can learn to do abdominal crunches while sitting on the ball, or while lying on the ball with legs against the wall. It's always good to get the advice of a healthcare advisor if you're starting an entirely new type of exercise.

If you are interested in hands-on instruction on how to strengthen your core, think about scheduling either a Take-Home Session or One-on-One Workout the next time you visit us in Norwich. The Take-Home allows you to work with a personal trainer to design a fitness plan to achieve your goals while meeting your needs and routine. The One-On-One introduces you to a personal trainer to guide you through a customized workout of your choice.

 

 

From The Boutique

Spring is here, and the word of the season is COLOR! Just take a look outside and see the vibrant pastel colors in spring flowers and trees, and the green grass that is growing by the second. In the world of fashion, the color of the year is (cue the drum roll) …tangerine! Look for this versatile, energizing hue in clothing, accessories, home accents and especially make-up, where its versatility makes it a winner.

Tangerine is easy to wear for those who have been analyzed or identified as having "warm" or "cool" seasonal color tones, so there is a shade for everyone. For the warm toned Autumns and Springs, look for colors described with words such as "ginger" or "sun kissed" or "apricot." For the cooler-toned among us - the Winters and Summers - look for descriptions like "citrus," "watermelon" or "orange sherbet." We are right on trend with our OPI "Holland Collection" nail polish in "A Roll In The Hague" and the Tommy Bahama swimsuit collection in coral. Or ask one of our expert make-up artists how you can wear this hot new color to compliment your hair color and skin tone.

Other spring news: Our Boutique has undergone a mini-renovation which opened up our floor space to house several new collections. To kick off the new space we have just received a group of pastel seersucker robes, with more designs and fabrics to follow. Coming soon are Whish body products and lots of new accessories such as scarves, headbands and bracelets. In fact, we will be expanding our jewelry offerings soon to include a variety of sterling rings and several fun watches as well. Do come to see us next time you're at the Spa for a visit.

 

 

From Our Kitchen to Yours

Mint & Pea Soup

Our soup this season is a celebration of spring vegetables. Peas are loaded with cholesterol-lowering soluble fiber, and the mint adds a bright flavor note. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons soybean oil
  • 1 medium Russet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 pound fresh peas
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Cook shallots in oil until they are translucent.

Add vegetable stock and bring mixture to a simmer.

Add potato and cook until soft.

Add peas and cook just long enough to heat through (about 2 minutes).

Add mint, then transfer the mixture to a blender and puree until smooth.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Serves six.

Nutritional information per Serving: 186 Calories; 4g Fat (18.8% calories from fat); 8g Protein; 30g Carbohydrate; 6g Dietary Fiber; 1mg Cholesterol; 911mg Sodium. Exchanges: 2 Grain (Starch); 1/2 Vegetable; 1 Fat.

 

 

Housekeeping 

It's spring cleaning time, so here are some thoughts on a subject that I think about year-round: what can I buy that will clean better? Discovering great products doesn't necessarily mean new. Sometimes I re-find old product that are really great.

The best product that I have seen come on the market in years is the very familiar Mr. Clean Magic eraser, although you have to be careful what you use it on and remember to read the directions. I find it wonderful for porcelain tubs and tile. In the tub, just wet and scrub away. You know you are doing your job correctly when your hand slides across the tub or tile, or you can see the soap residue in the water and the tile or porcelain is smooth. This product can also be used for scuffs on paint, but try a small spot before make any big, sweeping strokes.

There is a new laundry stain fighter that is two products in one. It's called Resolve All-Stains. (I don't own stock in the company that makes it. I just like to talk about what works for me.) I have used that on stains in our professional laundry and it works quite well. It features an oxygen-based cleaner that is kept in a separate tube separate from an enzyme-based cleaner in the bottle, and the two are merged when you squeeze bottle to dispense the product.

Of course, when we get a spot in our laundry at the Spa, we almost always end up having to use more than one product anyway. So the idea of combining products may be old news to us, but it might be new to you. As always, read the directions and try it out on a hidden area before you sally forth on the visible stain that is annoying you.

Recently I came upon a new line of old products from bygone days. The brand is Carbona, and I immediately remembered this product from many years back. As I am always looking for new products for cleaning, I picked up the Carbona for home use and tried it on a sweater that had been tucked way in the back of the closet for quite a few years and had a spot on it. I used the Carbona and it worked. (Note: Carbona is available from online retailers.)

Another product I recently came upon is Barkeeper's Friend, a cleanser that is great on stainless steel sinks and pots and pans because it makes them look like new. It's new to me, but I gather it has been around for a while.

There are many air sanitizers on the market, but I think they just mask the smell. There is nothing like opening the windows and letting good old fresh air in to give the house that clean, fresh smell. I like microfiber cloths for dusting, but nothing beats an old diaper or T-shirt. I guess I'm just old-fashioned.

As I said, the more things change the more they stay the same. No matter what we do, I don't think we will ever be able to avoid good old-fashioned elbow grease to get our jobs done. But new, game-changing cleaning products are like “The Holy Grail,” and our quest is never-ending.