Monday, November 30, 2009
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.
Stand with your knees slightly bent but not locked. Many tense people tend to lock their knees, which immobilizes the whole body. Take a position with your feet about eight inches apart and bend your knees so that the weight of your body is in balance between the heels and the balls of your feet. The rest of your body should be in a straight line with your arms hanging loosely at your side. Let your belly hang out. Don’t force it out but do not hold it in either. Breathe from your belly (exercise 1). Your back should be straight but not rigid, and your pelvis should be relaxed. Hold this position for two minutes. While waiting in line or standing at a party, try this stance. Try to keep it whenever you have to stand for any length of time.
No matter where you are – at your desk, in a meeting, at home, you can do this exercise unobtrusively. Wiggle your toes, giving special attention to your big toes for one minutes. Then circle your feet by rotating them on your ankles. Next tighten your buttocks, count to five, and relax. Inhale deeply into your abdomen and then exhale.
Friday, November 27, 2009
By Cindy Clemens
A Red Mountain Resort & Spa 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.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
By Myrna Beardshear
Director of Spa, Health & Fitness
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.
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
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Therefore, it is not surprising that we have imbued food situations with complex levels of meaning. The emotional associations with food begin before we know words. We pick up on the emotional energy of the feeding experience. Parents pass down their attitudes about food to their children, whether consciously or unconsciously.
The issue, then, is how many of these subconscious attitudes and beliefs are driving our food choices and are the consequences of these food choices causing problems? If your health is good, including an appropriate body weight and body composition, healthy cholesterol levels, blood pressure and blood sugar, then your food intake is probably in balance.
However, if you have been trying to improve your nutrition choices and you keep “failing” due to deep, unconscious feelings about food, then you may want to examine some of your food choices and eating “triggers”.
In our culture, one of the most common examples of a situation triggering eating behavior is going to the movies and eating popcorn. The association is strengthened by the wonderful aroma of popcorn, and the fact that it is a high glycemic, high fat food which tends to encourage overeating. But, unless you go to the movies (and eat tons of movie popcorn) several times a week, it is probably not the main cause of dietary imbalance.
There are lots of other social situations that tend to trigger desire to eat certain foods: kick-back nights and pizza, carnivals and cotton candy, street fairs and kettle corn. But, the real issue is usually the more personally associations because these may happen daily and many times throughout the day. If your daily food choices are driven by emotional triggers, it could cause serious nutritional problems.
The most common emotional triggers for consuming certain foods are stress, anxiety, nervousness, happiness, depression, anger, fear and boredom. We may have a specific food “fix” or it may be a taste, such as sweet, salty, crunchy, fatty or any combination of these.
One of the best defenses against emotional eating is eating well. If you are well nourished and not overly hungry or feeling deprived, you will be less susceptible to temptation. A good dietitian can help you set up a personalized, healthy eating plan. Depending on the severity of the eating issues, other ways to deal with emotional eating may be nutrition counseling, psychological counseling or group support such as Overeaters Anonymous.
Whether one chooses outside support or attempts to change their habits with self awareness, it is essential that the approach be positive and loving. At the deepest level, we associate food with love. Therefore, we can’t force ourselves to change using rigid ideas and harsh discipline. We must fill the emotional void with positive feelings.
Old, destructive eating habits can be replaced with an understanding that eating well is a sacred act of self care and love. We can make new associations by viewing our new eating habits as daily affirmations of health and wellness.
Monday, November 23, 2009
Q: With all the fad diets that come and go, why is a diet that is rich in antioxidants worth holding on to?
A: Antioxidants are those nutrients that can slow down oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress can be looked at as “rusting” in the body. Where there is oxygen, there will be reactions that produce free radicals. Free radicals are highly unstable molecules that have the capacity to cause cell and tissue damage. Antioxidants are nutrients that can make free radicals more stable and decrease their ability to cause harmful reactions in the body.
Due to the environment in which we live and even through the normal process of detoxification where free radical s are produced, it becomes essential to provide the body a constant source of antioxidant rich foods.
Q: Can you suggest some super fruits that are worth adding to your diet due to their antioxidant benefits?
A: According to the best research, those fruits that are most beneficial for their antioxidant benefits are:
- Red Grapes
You can never go wrong with berries. They are nutrient dense, have a low glycemic index and of course, are a rich source of disease fighting antioxidants.
Q: Does Red Mountain Resort & Spa has an antioxidant diet or detox diet?
A: Red Mountain has a monthly detoxification week where a specific menu is provided for those participating in the program. The meals plans consist of antioxidant rich foods and detoxification smoothies as well as other anti-inflammatory foods.
The meal plans specifically remove the most common allergenic/inflammatory foods including dairy, wheat, gluten, corn, refined flours and sugars, alcohol and caffeine. It also includes a wide variety of antioxidant dense foods such as berries and vegetables like spinach, broccoli, red peppers, onions and eggplant.
Q: How do you recommend making an antioxidant rich diet part of ones' life?
A: All meals and snack should consist of a healthy amount of antioxidant rich foods. The key is to identify those that are most pleasing to you and incorporate them into diet. Most people enjoy having a smoothie for breakfast. This can consist of a wide variety of antioxidant rich fruits. Adding blueberries to oatmeal or other hot cereal is an option. At Red Mountain, we utilize special extracts that can be added to water to make them more flavorful and increase intake of these health promoting nutrients.
Q: Can you drink your antioxidants?
A: Preparing an antioxidant rich drink is a convenient and effective way of adding antioxidants to your diet. As mentioned, Red Mountain utilizes detox smoothies and extracts added to water. We always encourage eating whole foods to increase fiber consumption.
A daily smoothie is a great way to get your antioxidants. Here is a sample of a healthy smoothie:
- ½ cup of apple juice
- ½ banana
- 1/8 cup blueberries
- 1/8 cup raspberries
- 1/8 cup blackberries
- 1/8 cup strawberries
- 2 tbs ground flax seed
- 1 scoop of rice protein powder
- 2-3 ice cubes
Friday, November 20, 2009
By Kim Watters
Here come the holidays, and I am determined to avoid that 5-8 pound holiday weight gain. My intention is to make them healthier; there for, happier by dance, dance, dancing my way through them.
Many Americans, like me, have been inspired by and are tuning in to the highly popular dance shows such as “So You Think You Can Dance,” “Dancing with the Stars” and “Americas got Talent.” These shows remind us that dancing is fun and entertaining; it allows us to socialize and it helps us to fight off those unwanted pounds. In fact, dancing has many health benefits.
The Mayo Clinic researchers reported that social dancing helps to:
- Reduce stress
- Increase energy
- Improve strength
- Increase muscle tone and coordination
The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI) say that dancing can:
- Lower your risk of coronary heart disease
- Decrease blood pressure
- Help you manage your weight
- Strengthen the bones of your legs and hips
In addition, the New England Journal of Medicine published a 21-year study that found dancing can reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease and other forms of dementia in the elderly.
Fortunately for us, now that dancing is growing in popularity we have many more options to get us out on the dance floor. We can find dance lessons for adults in almost every dance studio: Ballroom, Salsa, Tap, Ballet, Square dancing...
Most fitness clubs have a variety of fitness dance classes: Cardio Salsa, Hip Hop, Nia, Belly Dancing, Ballet workouts, Striptease…
If you like to keep things more private there are hundreds of dance DVD’s you can purchase. You can even learn Bollywood dance routines in your own living room.
The truth is the holidays are not a good time for weight loss and dieting; there are just too many obstacles that may lead to failure. Instead, we should set a goal of maintaining weight and enjoying the season. So forget the excuses, get inspired, and join me in dance, dance, dancing your way through the Holidays. It’s the perfect time.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
By Myrna Beardshear
Director of Spa, Health & Fitness
Bath or shower only once a day in the winter months if you have dry skin. Take shorter, warm showers, not hot. Hot baths will dry the skin. Air dry or lightly pat skin dry leaving some of the water on your skin. Immediately apply body oil or body butter to hold the moisture in the skin.
Recommended winter baths are seaweed baths, aromatherapy baths or an oatmeal/milk bath. Make your own oatmeal/milk bath by mixing equal parts of oatmeal and whole milk powdered milk.
Avoid antibacterial or deodorant soaps as they can be drying. Choose a mild PH balanced soap, diluted unscented bath gel (50% gel and 50% water), or a seaweed based cleanser to cleanse and hydrate the skin.
Winter is definitely not the time to slack off on sun protection. UV rays are still present even though you are not feeling the warmth of the sun. Use sunscreen or products that contain SPF 15 and if your go skiing use an SPF 30.
How to Exfoliate:
Dead skin builds up faster in the dry of the winter than in the summer heat. We suggest exfoliating at least once a week to slough off the dead skin. Exfoliation not only rids your body of dead skin cells but improves circulation and lymph flow. Using circular motions exfoliate the skin starting on the left leg, in circular movements up the leg. Concentrate on dry heels and knees. Do not exfoliate over varicose veins. Follow the process on the right leg and then do in circular motion over the buttocks and gently over the colon area in a clockwise motion. Move up over the stomach and diaphragm area, moving around the breast area and lightly over the chest area. Then using the same motion, do the left and then right arms. The back can be done, remembering to move toward the heart. Your skin should be slightly pink, slightly tingly. Do not do this treatment in the late afternoon or evening, as it will affect your sleep, as it is very stimulating.
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
By Cindy Clemens
Life Coach at Red Mountain Resort & Spa
These are challenging times we are living through. Bad news on the financial picture assaults us at every corner. The pain is definitely spreading to Main Street. Yet in the midst of this negative swirl, there are several tools you can use to cope with the stresses and strains from these tough economic times.
First, do whatever it takes to keep your energy tank full right now. You need it to be full – you are spending lots of extra energy dealing with your own worries and concerns as well as those of your co-workers, family and friends. Plus, you need to be able to do your best thinking and processing in the days and months ahead. Curveballs may very well come your way, and you need to be strong and well. Focus on getting plenty of rest, moving your body, and nourishing yourself with healthy and delicious foods. You may not be able to change the macro conditions, but you can exercise control over how well you are treating yourself.
Second, decide to minimize the negative drama and fear mongering in your life. Get the smallest dose of news and information possible that you need to keep afloat of your finances and make prudent decisions. Resist the temptation to dwell in negativity all day long. Find something that is working in your life, put your energy in that direction and feel some joy and happiness. Decide to forgive yourself if you have made poor past decisions, and commit to righting your ship. Spend time with as many positive and uplifting people as you can, and certainly avoid the doomsayers and critics right now. Choose to feel good, even now, and have love in your heart for yourself and others.
Third, keep the flow of abundance open and operational in your life right now. Tempting as it is to tighten up our belts and excuse ourselves from giving because of the economic conditions, this sends out the exact wrong message to the Universe. It says there is not enough for all of us, there is scarcity, and we cannot share our few crumbs. Because we manifest more of what we focus on, whether positive or negative, we manifest more of not enough, scarcity, and fear. We become clogged up, by our own beliefs, and the Universe must abide by those beliefs and send us more of what focus on. To change this process, we need to demonstrate that we believe in abundance and share with others when we are inspired to do so. Try starting your day by acknowledging what you do have and asking for guidance in how you can share your time, talents, or treasures during the day. At night take a couple of minutes to reflect on how accomplished this. This will act like roto rooter in your belief system pipes and get the abundance flow going again.
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
2. Hamstring and calf stretch- sit towards the front edge of your chair. Straighten your legs, and pull your toes towards your shins. Lean forward with your hands on the tops of your thighs for support (flexing at your hip joints).
3. Glutei’s, hip and outer thigh stretch- sit towards the front edge of your chair. Cross your left ankle over your right knee and lean forward flexing from your hip joints, moving your chest closer to your shin bone.
4. Ab and side stretch- sit towards the front edge of your chair. lengthen your arms over head and exaggerate your reach. Also, try reaching farther through your right hand lengthening the right side of your body more, then switch reaching through the left hand and the right heel.
Monday, November 16, 2009
Tofu Chocolate Orange Mousse
By Dale Van Sky
Yield: About 16 oz Servings: 4 Serving Size: 4 oz
12.5 oz Soft Tofu
3 oz Dark Chocolate
1/3 C Cocoa Powder
¼ C Boiling Water
1 T Orange Zest
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2/3 C Powdered Sugar
1. Melt Dark Chocolate with Boiling Water.
2. Place all ingredients in food processor and puree until smooth.
3. Top with Fructose Candied Orange Zest.
Friday, November 13, 2009
Focus & Recharge
By Tracey Welsh
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.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
By Mark Montgomery, L. Ac., Dipl. Ac.
Certified Zero Balancer
A few years ago one of my clients was diagnosed with uterine cancer. She eventually received a complete hysterectomy at the Huntsman Cancer Center in Salt Lake City and has done well ever since. What struck me about her experience was that when I went to see her at Huntsman, I learned that the doctors there had performed several additional procedures on her because of prior medical conditions which posed a higher risk to her during surgery. Nearly a decade earlier a clot from her leg had gone to her lungs and nearly killed her. So a day or two before her hysterectomy surgeons opened the femoral vein in her leg and threaded an intricate steel filter up into the inferior vena cava, the large vein just above the area of the surgery, to prevent any clots from the surgery from traveling up to her lungs or heart during or after the operation. A few weeks after the surgery they removed the filter, this time by going in through the jugular vein in her throat, traveling down through her heart and pulling the filter out through her heart.
As a practitioner of Chinese medicine I found this astounding because it shows so clearly the technological advances of Western medicine, which Chinese medicine has never even approached. And yet, at the same time, I was also astonished to hear from her that during the entire time she was at the cancer center not a single physician, nurse or staff member talked to her about the lifestyle changes she could make to help her avoid recurrence of the cancer.
This story, to me, summarizes one of the main differences between Western and Chinese medicine: the ability to perform miraculous high-technology interventions versus a strong emphasis on understanding the influences, both external and internal, that lead to disease and on learning how to lead a life that minimizes those influences.
The foundation of Chinese medicine is the idea of balance, the idea that the body automatically regulates and heals itself in ways that are far too complex for human understanding. From this perspective the job of a healer is not to perform miraculous interventions but to understand what got the body off track in its healing processes and to gently support it in getting back on track - “to remind it of what it already knows,” as acupuncture students often hear from their teachers in acupuncture school.
Cancer is a disease that occurs when this ability of the body to monitor, regulate and heal from cells growing out of control somehow breaks down. Added to the challenges of the disease itself, the process of healing from cancer using conventional western medicine can be a disempowering and frightening experience, traumatizing survivors and often leaving them feeling alienated from their bodes.
Acupuncture and related bodywork therapies like Zero Balancing can facilitate the process of healing from cancer in many ways. First, they can help survivors to “de-stress,” to shift from the “fight or flight” mode into the “rest and digest” mode. This promotes healing and smoothes the process of re-entry into day-to-day life.
Secondly, acupuncture and Zero Balancing can help to clear the energetic blockages that in Chinese medicine are considered responsible not only for pain and constriction in the skeletal system and the internal organs but also for emotional imbalances like depression, anxiety and “inappropriate “ anger or sadness. Many patients report that after the insertion of the needles they feel a sense of “flow” or “something opening up” or, on the emotional level, a feeling of “a load dropping off my shoulders” or “letting go” of issues they were struggling with.
A third benefit of acupuncture is that as this “flow” begins to reassert itself patients often begin to feel as if their bodies are “waking up”. It’s not unusual for patients to make remarks like,” Those flowers outside the building that I barely noticed on the way in seemed so bright they shocked me when I left my treatment.” This, again, is a function of heightened energy flow leading to greater consciousness of one’s environment. And it also works on the inside as well, as the body’s heightened awareness leads it to respond more effectively to the drugs and other therapies or techniques the patient is using. In fact, patients frequently discover that, under the advisement of their physician, they are able to begin reducing their medications after starting acupuncture.
Coming back to the story at the beginning of this article, this heightened awareness also helps cancer survivors to become their own best lifestyle consultants, not needing as much to rely on the advice of doctors, nurses or even acupuncturists. As they continue with their healing they are often able to more quickly sense what it is they need in their lives and whether or not something they are doing is working well for them. This allows them to make the necessary “course corrections,” making changes that benefit them. And this creates a “virtuous circle” by which they move to higher levels of wellness, in turn heightening their awareness and making even more progress possible. This sense of helping patients to develop an inner compass is what the ancient masters of acupuncture meant when they said, “The inferior physician treats disease after it has occurred. The superior physician treats illness before it has even begun.”
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
By Myrna Beardshear
Director of Spa, Health & Fitness
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.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Hold both arms over your head, lace your fingers together and keep your arms straight. Gently bend towards the left moving your ribcage towards your hip bone and lift your hip bone up towards your ribcage. Return back to center and repeat to the right side (8-12 repetitions).
Monday, November 9, 2009
By Lynnette Beck
Red Mountain Baker
Yield: About 12 oz Servings: 12 Cookies Serving Size: 1 oz
1 ¾ T Butter, softened
4 ¾ T Brown Suger, packed
2 ½ T Sugar
2 ¼ oz Pumpkin, solid pack
½ T Egg
1/8 tsp Vanilla Extract
5 fl oz Wheat Flour, all-purpose
2 ½ fl oz Quick-cooking Oats
¼ tsp Baking Soda
¼ tsp Cinnamon, ground
1/8 tsp Salt
5 T Chocolate Chips, semi-sweet
- In a large mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars.
- Beat in the pumpkin, egg and vanilla.
- Combine the flour, oats, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture.
- Stir in chocolate chips.
- Drop by slightly heaping tablespoonfuls 2 in. apart onto ungreased baking sheets.
- Bake at 350o for 10-12 minutes until lightly browned.
- Remove to wire racks to cool.
Recipe Nutrient Analysis, Single Serving:
Saturated Fat: 2g
Total Dietary Fiber: trace
Sunday, November 8, 2009
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.
Friday, November 6, 2009
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!
Thursday, November 5, 2009
By Myrna Beardshear
Director of Spa, Health & Fitness
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.