Sunday, January 31, 2010

Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple cider vinegar can be used as a condiment for soups, salads, stews and casseroles. It is thermogenic (burns fat), alkalizes the body and improves immunity.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Tomatoes are rich in potassium and lycopene, which benefit the heart and support prostate health.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Workplace Exercise to Re-energize Your Day

Tricep Dips: Put your arms behind your back, resting your hands on your chair. Next, lower your bottom towards the floor and then slowly raise and lower your self, by bending and straightening your elbows. 8–12 repetitions

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

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 to many 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 brings to the “dining room table” differences in genetics, metabolism and specific lifestyle factors that must be considered. There are no one size fits all models. 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 (resting energy expenditure 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 lose weight while consuming more than they are typically consuming. For more information on food elimination and an anti-inflammatory diet visit:

Enjoy the process! As your understanding of food changes, so will your relationship with food and long term, healthy weight loss will follow.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Weight Loss Tip

Eat 2 cups of non-starchy vegetables at lunch and dinner every day (total 4 cups daily). Vegetables are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber and are very low calorie. The nutrition fuels your metabolism. The fiber helps you feel full.

Note: This tip not recommended for those who have had gastric bypass, or have digestive problems such as: Irritable Bowel Syndrome, etc.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Apples in your Cheeks

By Myrna Beardshear
Director of Spa & Wellness

Clarifying Exfoliator
Apply 1/2 cup of chilled organic apple juice to your face and neck. Let it sit for 2 to 3 minutes, then rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water. Use weekly for a normal skin and twice weekly for oily skin.

Apple Facial Cleanser
Stir together 1 tablespoon peeled, grated apple with 2 tablespoons clover honey, 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, 2 tablespoons plain organic yogurt, 1/2 teaspoon wheat germ oil and 1 tablespoon potato flour. Apply to skin and work in gently. Rinse with tepid water.

Refresher Mask
Blend one egg white, 3 teaspoons lemon juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons almond oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons sunflower oil, 3 tablespoons peeled, finely chopped apply. Apply to the face and neck and allow the mixture to penetrate for 15 minutes. Rinse with tepid water.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Top Five Exercises to Burn Fat

By Dr. Brad Crump
Health Services Manager

When we want to lose weight, the first things we think to do are eat less and burn more calories. We then embark on a rigorous and intense exercise program in addition to a highly restrictive dietary plan which most often results in little to no change on weight or more importantly, body fat percentage.

In order to develop a more successful and efficient fat loss program, it is important to understand some of the basics of metabolism.

Metabolism Basics
The metabolisms work of turning food into energy and then using that energy to operate the body and to bounce back from everyday wear and tear is a very specialized process. Through our choices of food and physical activities, we can make the process more efficient.

First we need to understand the process of basic metabolism. After we have eaten, the body uses oxygen to convert our food into energy. This conversion allows us to do work and to run all systems of our body. If the calories we consume our not burned for fuel, they will be stored in our body fat as a reserve. Here is how our bodies use the nutrients we consume as energy. What fuel you burn I s directly tied into your ability to deliver oxygen.

Carbohydrates are generally the body’s main source of energy. Carbohydrates are broken down into sugars and stored in our muscles as glycogen. The body stores only a certain amount of carbohydrates. They have four calories per gram.

Proteins are used to build and maintain body tissues and are rarely if ever used as a source of energy. Like carbohydrates, only so much protein can be stored. They also have four calories per gram.

Fat is the most energy dense of these nutrients. Each gram of fat contains nine calories per gram making it the most efficient fuel source for the body. It acts as a long term fuel reserve that helps keep us from falling into a starvation mode. Given that fat is so efficient and valuable, why has it been given such a bad reputation? Given that fat has twice the amount of stored energy, it would stand to reason that it would be a valuable fuel to burn during exercise.

So how do we actually tap into fat when we exercise? Does burning as many calories as possible result in greater fat burning? To answer that, we need to remember that oxygen is required to breakdown these nutrients to use them as fuel.

When we exercise, we breathe in and deliver oxygen out o our working muscles. The oxygen is then used to convert mainly carbohydrates or fat or a mix of both into energy. The difference between burning fat versus burning carbohydrates is a function of much and how efficiently you delivered oxygen. Fat burning requires more oxygen that carbohydrates.

So, to make a long story short, in order to burn fat at higher levels, a person much be able to stay as aerobic (oxygen efficient) as possible for a sustained period of time regardless of what the activity is. It is suggested to find the activities you find most enjoyment in so that it can become a consistent activity. In order to truly find where you are most efficient, you will want to be tested using a metabolic cart system (see

Here are the top five activities that can be used to track heart rate and can be maintained over the required timeframe:
  • Active yoga: This type of yoga provides consistent movement to maintain appropriate heart rate and also acts as a great toning and core workout.

  • Hiking: This allows you to choose the terrain or area that you are hiking in and to regulate your heart rate. You will also see some great sites and get a lot of fresh air.

  • Circuit training: This type of weight training is sustained movement that is maintaining proper heart rate and is also providing strength training. This will allow for greater caloric burn while at rest.

  • Kick boxing: This is one that will get your heart rate up so you will want to control your pace to stay within your fat burning zone. Great strength training activity.

  • Swimming: This is a great all around exercise that will use many muscle groups you normally do not use which will result in great fat burning at the right heart rate.

Whether an activity is fat burning is tied into proper testing. Consider doing a metabolic test to determine you most efficient fat burning heart rate zones.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

One Wonderful Food

There is food that will help you lose weight, increase your odds at longevity, help keep your digestion regular and generally make you feel great! The combined effect of the vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber and water in this food can’t be matched by even the most expensive supplement. This food is economical – and it comes in many flavors to meet all tastes.

What is this amazing health food? Vegetables; but more specifically: non-starchy vegetables.

Certainly, potatoes, yams, winter squash, peas and legumes have many positive nutritional attributes. However, since potatoes, in the form of French fries, are the most consumed “vegetable” in the United States and unhealthy excess weight is a concern for the majority of Americans. The reason for making this distinction should be obvious.

Starchy foods can be a concentrated source of calories and are frequently accompanied with lots of unhealthy fat. Therefore, for the purposes of a weight management program, starchy vegetables, winter squashes, peas and legumes should be counted as part of the “starch/carbohydrate” foods and consumed without lots of added fats. If weight loss is your goal – then, non-starchy vegetables are your “secret weapon.”

The benefits of consuming a diet replete with a variety of vegetables are remarkable! Still, the typical American diet is sorely lacking this marvelous food group. A 2005 article published by The Center for Disease Control (CDC) affirmed “A diet rich in fruits and vegetables is associated with decreased risk for chronic disease.” The CDC concludes that the research results “underscore the need for continued interventions that encourage greater fruit and vegetable consumption among U.S. adults.”1

Also in 2005, the USDA released the updated Food Guide Pyramid. One of the most dramatic changes in dietary recommendations was made in the area of fruit and vegetable consumption. The total recommended servings jumped from 3-5, to 5-9 total servings of fruits and vegetables daily.2 That’s a lot of food!

You will know that you’re eating enough non-starchy vegetables when your lunch mates say, “ Are you going to eat all that?”

Vegetables are high volume and measured in cups. One cup of raw vegetables or one half cup of cooked vegetables equals “one serving”. Depending on your body size, activity level and calorie level of your food plan, you may be consuming 2-5 servings of fruit daily. The remainder of your recommended daily intake will then range between 3 and 7 servings of vegetables. To get more specific, go to to find out what your recommended calorie intake is, estimate your fruit intake, then, determine how many servings of vegetables you should consume. If you choose non-starchy vegetables for weight loss, you will quickly see that you can lose weight, feel great and never go hungry!

For the skeptic or compulsive calorie counter – relax! On average, one half cup of non-starchy vegetables contains about 25 calories. Still, these wonder foods pack a huge nutritional punch. Just a few of the most prevalent nutrients found in vegetables are: potassium, dietary fiber, folate, vitamin A and Vitamin C. Dietary fiber helps lower cholesterol, keeps your bowels functioning well and makes you feel fuller. Folate helps the body build new red blood cells. Vitamin A protects your skin and eyes and helps protect against infection. Vitamin C keeps gums and teeth healthy, is important for wound healing and aids in the absorption of iron.2

At Red Mountain guests arrive from all over the world for an adventurous mix of outdoor activities, spa pampering and weight loss or other health programs. They are often shocked when they learn that the breakfast and lunch meals are served buffet-style. A closer look at the items on the buffet reveal a plethora of – yes, non-starchy vegetables!

Red Mountain Spa’s favorite non-starchy veggies:
Alfalfa sprouts
Bell peppers (all colors)
Bok Choy
Broccoli, broccoli rabe, broccolini, broccoflower
Brussel sprouts
Collard greens (without the traditional added fats)
Green beans
Mustard greens
Summer squash

1Fruit and vegetable consumption among adults--United States, 2005.
MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2007 Mar 16;56(10):213-7.


Friday, January 22, 2010

New Year, New Adventures

By Tracey Welsh
General Manager

Personally, New Year’s is my favorite holiday. Not that I’m a big New Year’s Eve party-goer, but rather that it’s a holiday that allows me permission to set the past aside, set new intentions and start new projects. It’s re-energizing.

Each year at Red Mountain, we also take a look at how we can re-energize our offerings, how we can improve what we already do, what we need to clear from our closets, and what we need to add to help our guests in their efforts to improve their health. For 2010, I am pleased to share with you that we have added three new retreats with our experts for our guests who want to focus their getaway on improving their lives in specific areas.

Do you find that you are often struggling with your priorities, finding it tough to define your real life versus the life that others impose on you? If your answer is yes, consider joining Life Coach Cindy Clemens for her Release & Renew Retreat. Spend a weekend with insightful fun group activities designed to help you eliminate energy drains and walk away with an action plan for the life you want to lead. There will be plenty of time for hiking and fitness classes around your private coaching sessions and more.

Many guests have enjoyed time at Red Mountain with Andrea Hanson, Energist. Her multi-dimensional approach to wellness has helped many become more aware of the importance of the balance of physical and emotional fitness. Andrea will continue to offer her 5-day/4-nights Emotional Fitness Retreat with nine experiential sessions in 2010 and will also offer her new Inward Bound – Higher and Deeper Advanced Energy Healing Retreat to Emotional Fitness alumni.

We are delighted to have Shaman Spirit Betina Lindsey offer her Earth, Spa & Spirit Weekend. You will come alive as Betina leads you on pilgrimages to Anasazi Ridge and Snow Canyon to learn ancient practices of shamanic health and healing and help you feel a deeper connection to our Earth.

More details and dates for these retreats and many more can be found at Check frequently as we often add new adventures.

I challenge you to new adventures in 2010, and I wish you a healthy and re-energizing New Year.

Reverse the Aging Process with Resistance Training

By Kim Watters
Fitness Manager

Aging is linked to a loss of muscle mass and muscular strength. It’s also associated with impairment in performing some of life’s daily activities. Theories and research are suggesting this age related muscle loss is due to oxidative stress (antioxidants are lower than normal), cell death, inflammation, hormonal dysregulation, inactivity, alternations in protein turnover, and dysfunction of the mitochondria (Melov et al. 2007).

The good news:
Resistance training with older populations has been shown to reverse this aging process

The results:
This study involving 68 year old test subjects revealed that with a resistance training program preformed twice a week for six months it is possible to not only slow the aging process, but actually reverse it at the gene level. (Melov et al. 2007)

The bottom line:
Get started. These changes naturally start to occur around the age of 40 and progressively worsen. Hiring a personal trainer to create a tailored resistance training program is recommended. However, if this is not a possibility, doing some resistance training is far better than doing no resistance training. Start with a few simple exercises than can easily be done at home.

Here are three examples.
  • Push-ups from the kitchen counter: Start with your hands shoulder width apart on the edge of your kitchen counter. Slowly lower your chest (your chest should line up with your hands) and then straighten.

  • Tricep dips off of a chair: Start with the heels of your hands on the edge of a sturdy chair. Slowly bend your elbows to lower your body and then straighten.

  • Squats to sofa height: Start with the legs open about shoulder width apart push your hips back, bend your knees as though you were about to sit on your sofa and then straighten.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Feeling Restless?

By Cindy Clemens
Life Coach

When we begin to feel restless in our lives and ready to explore new options, it is very tempting to look at what we can do differently. New jobs, locations, hobbies and partners often seem to be the answer. While these changes may ultimately happen, they are not the place to start. Rather, we need to turn inward and reconnect with what is on the inside - priorities, passions and gifts and talents. This is the only way we can build a new life that really fits us and feels right. As Ralph Waldo Emerson wisely observed, "What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."

A great way to connect with your wise, inner voice is to spend some quality time each day working on your life. I offer two suggestions for creating this self-discovery time.

First, make an actual date with yourself and keep it. Try blocking out an hour each day. It is amazing how much we honor our commitments to other people, yet find countless ways to blow off the time we have set aside for self-care. We seem to value other people more than we do ourselves. To counter this, I strongly recommend making a solid date with yourself and viewing it as important as the other meetings and appointments you have during the week.

Second, find a special place where you can go by yourself and spend some quiet time. Try to block out as many distractions as you can. Select a place where you won't be interrupted. Turn your cell phone off, find a comfortable spot to sit, and provide your senses with as much positive input as possible. Beautiful music, lovely scenery, and tantalizing aromas can greatly enhance your self-discovery time. Bring along your journal and develop your life compass - what is important to you, what you love to do, and what you feel you are meant to do with your life. Use these findings to guide your decisions about what to change on the outside.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Three Morning Stretches

By Kim Watters
Fitness Manager

Big stretch for the front of the body and the back of the legs
  • While on your back, lengthen your arms (biceps next to your ears), torso and legs (pull your toes towards your shins).

  • Try to put as much space between your hands and your feet as possible.

  • Alternate lengthening one leg farther than the other.

  • Alternate lengthening one arm farther than the other.

Rounding your spine to stretch your back
  • While on your back, put your hands on the back of your thighs, and pull your bent knees towards your chest to round the spine.

  • Press your chin towards your Adam's Apple then lift your head and neck up rounding your upper spine and pressing your forehead towards your knees.

  • While on your back, open your arms out to the side in a letter T-shape (palms up).

  • Bend your knees and slowly lower them to one side.

  • Try to keep your shoulder blades flat.

  • Slowly turn your head the opposite direction.

  • Repeat to the other side. (To intensify this stretch hike both knees up, towards your armpit.)

Inhale as you begin a stretch and exhale as you get into the deepest part of the stretch. Continue with deep slow breathing as you hold the stretch for 20-30 seconds.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Sweet Moments and Soothing Soaks – Honey Recipes from the Beehive State

By Myrna Beardshear
Director of Spa & Wellness

Water has been used as a healing aid for centuries. We continue to use water and water therapy in spas today as one of our most powerful natural elements to effect mood and lift the spirit. A twenty minute soak in the tub relaxes, cleanses, hydrates and uplifts us both mentally and physically.

Honey is a perfect addition to warm bath water. Not only is it soothing to the skin, honey is also naturally anti-bacterial and anti-fungal. Add a few drops of aromatherapy to a honey bath, to relax or stimulate the nervous system depending on the chosen scent.

Morning Milk and Honey Soak
For a stimulating bath add a cup of dry milk, 1/2 cup of honey and the zest of 1 orange.

Bedtime Chamomile and Honey Bath
Relax in the tub with 3 chamomile tea bags, 1/2 cup of honey and a few drops of essential oil of ylang ylang (optional).

Hydrating Milk and Honey
Bring back the days of Cleopatra and the land of milk and honey when you soak in a tub of warm water to which you have added a gallon of milk and half a cup of honey. For quick dissolving, heat the honey with 2 cups of milk, stirring until honey is melted and then add to bath water.

Non-Stop Shopper’s Foot Soak
To relieve tired, achy feet, steep two peppermint tea bags in hot water for 10 minutes. Mix a gallon of warm water, and the peppermint tea in a large bowl or foot spa. Soak feet for 20 minutes.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Slide & Glide your Thighs into Shape

By Kim Watters
Fitness Manager

This workout is not only fun but is also a great way to tone your inner thighs. Just get into your cupboard, and get out your picnic supplies. You will need two paper plates (the higher quality paper plate’s work best) and a carpeted floor.
  • Put the plates on a carpeted floor, and then stand on them. The balls of the feet should be towards the center of the plate, and the heels of the feet should be lifted up off the plate.

  • Tighten the abdominals for balance and support.

  • Extend the right leg from the hip joint to your right side, sliding the plate under the foot as the leg extends. The left knee bends to allow the right leg to extend further.

  • Push down into the plate with the ball of the foot; continue to push down as you slide the foot and plate back into the starting position. (8-12 repetitions)

  • Repeat the same exercise with the left leg. (8-12 repetitions)

  • Repeat the same exercise, except this time alternate the legs. (8-12 repetitions)

If it seems too easy, push down harder as you pull your leg in towards the midline, and if it is too difficult push down less. Keep in mind, the harder you push into the plate, the more resistance you will create for yourself. This is your workout; make it what you need it to be.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Sea Vegetables

Long the staple of macrobiotic diets, sea vegetables have become an increasingly popular addition to American diets. Perhaps the popularity of sushi has exposed more mainstream consumers to the delicious taste and health benefits of seaweed.

There is no doubt that vegetables from the sea can provide a wide array of vitamins and minerals. Ounce for ounce, sea vegetable pack a big vitamin & mineral “punch”, providing good sources for calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and vitamins C, E and K. It is clear, then, why many cultures believe that it is wise to consume sea vegetables on a daily basis.

However, sea vegetables are also a source of sodium. Red Mountain Executive Chef Dale Van Sky says that while sea vegetables provide a natural source of iodine and other healthful minerals, persons who must limit their salt intake should know that sea vegetables may contain greater amounts of sodium than other vegetables. At Red Mountain, a wonderful Nori soup is served regularly. Also, Agar Agar is used as a vegetarian alternative to gelatin in the sorbet.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Two Week Jumpstart to Fitness – at Home

By Kim Watters
Fitness Manager

Part of what Jumpstarts our guests into fitness after a stay at Red Mountain Resort & Spa is a new found passion. We guide our guest’s towards new adventures on a daily basis. Often our guest 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.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

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.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

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.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Best Tips for Cutting Back on Calories


See a Dietician: Before you decide to cut calories, remember most people don’t really understand how many calories they need to maintain a healthy body weight.

Most people eat too much when they are not focused on weight management, but then overreact and cut calories too much when trying to lose weight. When you see a dietitian you can get an accurate assessment of how many calories you need to maintain your current body weight. Then, an appropriate caloric deficit can be determined. This assessment should take into account: body composition, height, weight, gender, fitness level, daily activity level and programmed exercise.

Here are some food & lifestyle choices to help cut calories:
  • Fresh fruit – NOT juice, dried fruit, or canned fruit

  • Pile up your plate with non-starchy veggies instead of starchy ones

  • If making protein shakes – make with water instead of milk or soy milk

  • If you put sugar and or cream or creamer in your coffee – cut back on total cups of coffee and/or find a no calorie hot beverage that you enjoy without anything added

  • Choose white meat chicken, white turkey or white fish for protein (obviously grilled, broiled or baked with little added)

  • Eat high fiber foods

  • Eat an apple a day – the soluble fiber (pectin) makes you feel more full

  • Eat 2-3 servings of vegetables at lunch and at dinner

  • Buy only portion controlled treats that are less than 150 calories (and stick to one serving)

  • Choose graham crackers, ginger snaps or vanilla wafers instead of brownies, cake, etc.

  • Make sure that you are getting the right amount of healthy fats – not getting enough healthy fats will cause you to feel unsatisfied and eat more.

  • Don’t eat in front of the TV or while reading

  • Don’t eat when angry or upset

Monday, January 11, 2010

Curried Zucchini-Coconut Soup

@RedMountainspa #recipe

Yield: 10-1/2 Cup Servings

Main Ingredients:

1 tsp Olive Oil
1 Onion, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
4 lbs. Zucchini, diced (green part only)
1 1/2 Cup Vegetable Stock
Juice of one Lemon
1/2 Cup Coconut Milk, unsweetened
2 T Cilantro, chopped
2 T Mint, chopped
Zest of 1/2 Orange
2 tsp Coconut, grated and toasted

1 tsp ground cumin, 1/2 tsp turmeric, pinch cayenne, 1/2 tsp kosher salt and black pepper to taste

  • Sauté onion and garlic in oil.

  • When aromas are released, add cumin and turmeric.

  • Sauté zucchini for a few minutes and remove from heat.

  • Add cayenne, vegetable stock, lemon, and coconut milk. Puree. Season.

  • Mince cilantro, mint, orange zest, and coconut together to make a seasoning to sprinkle on top of each serving.

  • Soup may be served hot or cold, but needs to be over seasoned if served cold.

Recipe Nutrient Analysis, Single Serving:
Calories: 42
Fat: 2g
Saturated Fat: 1g
Cholesterol: 0
Carbohydrate: 5g
Protein: 1g
Sodium: 59mg
Total Dietary Fiber: 2g

Workplace Exercise to Re-energize Your Day

Bicep curls: Slide to the front edge of your chair. Keep your upper arm bone still while you bend your elbow, lifting the water bottles or weights towards your shoulder and then slowly lower them by straightening the elbows. 8-12 repetitions

Kundalini Yoga

By Kim Watters
Fitness Manager

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.

Antioxidants: A Defense Against Aging

By Myrna Beardshear
Director of Spa & Wellness

The number one cause of unnecessary aging and of several other diseases indirectly is Free Radicals.

Free Radicals are oxygen molecules that are incomplete since they are missing an electron. Oxidation is a chemical reaction whereby one atom or molecule (usually oxygen and thus the name oxidation) robs an electron of another molecule.

These Free Radicals will attack any one of its neighbors, stealing one of their electrons. This molecule is useless to us, as it is not performing its function any more, plus it has created another free radical to repeat the process over and over again, inflicting damage on the components of the healthy cells, including their genetic information system (DNA).

It is a known fact that our cells reproduce themselves as they die. Through that cycle, the new generation should be the same genetic makeup as the previous cells have been. However, because the cell has suffered damage from the Free Radicals the cells are not able to give correct replication information to newly forming cells. As these new deformed cells carry on through their lifetime they are exposed to additional damage from Free Radicals and your own defense mechanism is unable to control or limit the damage caused by the intruders. With further exposure to Free Radicals over time, the damage will accumulate within the cells at each cycle of generation, making the tissues and the body over all less perfect over time. This is what is called the self-destruction of the body or in other words - aging.

Sources of Free Radicals
Radiation, air pollution, pesticides, anesthetics, gasoline vapors, fried foods, drugs, solvents, alcohol, lead, and mercury, are just some of the offenders we deal with. The damage of sunburn is caused by the free radicals formed by the UV light. One of the worst offenders is primary and second hand cigarette smoke.

The most effective natural protector of the body against free radicals is nutrients called antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent free radical damage by completing the free radical with the missing electrons therefore neutralizing the free radical and making it harmless.

Where do they come from?
Some antioxidants are proteins made by the body, and many are delivered to us in the food we eat. The most important of these are vitamin C, vitamin E, beta-carotene, selenium, zinc, and some amino acids.

While they are readily available from our foods, our antioxidant defense systems are vulnerable to nutritional deficiencies and many health practitioners do believe that supplements are needed to compensate.

As the skin is the largest organ and the organ furthest away from the blood circulation, most nutrition and antioxidants do not reach the skin. This may in fact explain why the skin is our fastest aging organ. Thus, it becomes obvious to have the cleanest and highest quality of nutrients such as plant based antioxidants in your skin care products, to support your skin and to protect it from the negative effects of free radical exposure.

The chrono-reverser system from [comfort zone] deeply and effectively renews all skin types (even the most delicate) thanks to a synergy of new generation active ingredients reducing wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and acneic conditions for smoother younger, more luminous and vital skin. Containing exclusive formulations that include peptides, amino acid and powerful antioxidants, the range of products has exceptional, exclusive formulations younger men and women in need of lighter rejuvenation to combat acne and retrieve skin luminosity, sensitive skins types, and more mature skins in need of more advanced exfoliation and renewal.

In just 4 weeks of continued use, this dermatologically tested system reduces wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and acneic conditions for smoother younger, more luminous and vital skin. These exceptional results are due to the exclusive formulations developed by [ comfort zone ] research laboratories and contain:

  • PHA: a recently discovered biocompatible POLYHYDROXY ACID called gluconolactonate, which stimulates cellular turnover, but also provides intensive, long lasting hydration and superior anti-oxidant action.

  • PERFECTION PEPTIDE P3: a tri-peptide ingredient which activates skin regeneration, while accelerating exfoliation and optimizing the benefits of PHA.

  • MOISTURIZING MARINE MICROPATCH: a state of the art hydrating ingredient that acts like a three dimensional patch to regenerate moisture balance in the deepest layers the skin, guaranteeing immediate and long lasting hydration.

  • ARGININE: an amino acid found naturally in our skin which maintains skin hydration and in the chrono-reverser formulations, regulates acidic pH.

  • VITAMIN C: a powerful anti-oxidant, with protective and reparative actions reduces cellular degeneration during the peeling process.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Carrot Mousse Recipe

3 Cups Carrots, peeled, chopped
6 oz Neufchatel Cheese
3 large Egg Whites

  • Steam the peeled, chopped carrots until firm to the bite.

  • In a food processor, combine the egg whites, and Neufchatel cheese. Blend until smooth.

  • When the carrots are finished, add immediately to the food processor. Puree until it looks like mashed potatoes.

  • The carrots must remain hot, making sure they cook the egg.

Yield: About 21 oz.
Servings: 7
Serving Size: 3 oz.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Metabolic Testing at Red Mountain

By Dr. Brad Crump
Health Services Manager

Red Mountain Spa offers metabolic testing in the form of cardiovascular/metabolic testing (also known as V02 testing) as well as Resting Energy Expenditure testing utilizing a metabolic cart.

The cardiovascular/metabolic testing is performed on a treadmill. It is a graded exercise test which is designed to measure heart rate as well as oxygen utilization at various heart rates. This allows Red Mountain Spa to develop a personalized exercise program for each individual based on heart rate zone training. This allows not only for maximum caloric expenditure but maximum fat utilization.

The personalized exercise program is twelve weeks in duration and includes information on the number of days and duration of exercise sessions.

The Resting Energy Expenditure test is an assessment performed first thing in the morning before any physical activity. It is performed utilizing the same metabolic cart.

The assessment determines the number of calories expended under resting conditions or in other words, what an individual utilizes in calories to maintain healthy physiological function under resting conditions.

This allows our team of professional to help develop nutritional guidelines specific to each individual in order to achieve peak fitness as well as support healthy weight management.

The purpose of both assessments is to move outside the realm of “one size fits all models” and develop an individualized health and wellness program.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Burn it up!!

By Kim Watters
Fitness Manager

If you want to burn up the fat try high intensity activity coupled with lower intensity activity. According to the International Journal of Obesity, interval training or high-intensity intermittent exercise training is a more effective way to burn fat then an extended session of steady lower intensity (aerobic) activity. So, mix it up to burn it up.

Here are some suggestions to get you started:
Begin with 1 minute of high intensity work (such as a sprints or jumps), followed by 2 minutes of low intensity exercise (like walking). Alternate this activity several times for 15-30 minutes.

If watching your watch is not your thing, good news, your intervals do not have to be timed. This works especially well if you choose to workout outside.

For instance, you could run, jump or skip to something in the distance (like a tree, fence post or street light) then slow it down to recover. Make sure to alternate this activity several times for 15-30 minutes.

You’re the personal trainer now, so you decide how hard to workout during your intervals. You will need to motivate yourself to work harder than usual during your high intensity sets and then allow yourself to actively recover during your lower intensity sets.

Interval training is a great way to mix up your exercise routine, increase results and burn more fat.

Friday, January 1, 2010

How Many Calories Do I Need?

@RedMountainSpa Determining precise caloric need can be quite scientific and complex, but estimating a reasonable calorie level is often simple.

Caloric need is affected by age, gender, body size, body composition, fitness level, environment, food intake, daily activity level, exercise, hormonal status and health status. Energy requirement calculations usually examine basal metabolic rate (BMR) which is the amount of calories required to sustain the body when asleep for a 24 hour period. Resting metabolic rate (RMR) looks at the same 24 hour period, but is increased slightly, because the individual is awake, but not active. Daily activity not including programmed exercise is assessed, and an activity factor of 1.1-1.7 is assigned; the RMR is multiplied by this factor. Then, calories expended per week on programmed exercise, such as weight lifting, running, aerobics classes are totaled and an average calculated per day. In more extensive calculations, the thermic effect of food (TEF) may also be calculated. It should be noted that not all professionals are in agreement regarding the best formulas to estimate caloric need. Often, experience of the assessor is an important factor in the accuracy of the assessment.

A calorie need assessment might look like this:
+ 75-200 = RMR
X Activity Factor (1.1-1.7)
+ daily average expenditure on exercise
= total daily caloric need

If possible, having access to both body composition and a Resting Energy Expenditure test is very helpful for the nutrition professional trying to determine calorie need. A body composition provides information regarding the amount of metabolically active tissue. The amount of metabolically active tissue is used to calculate potential BMR, taking into account, height, age, weight and gender. A resting energy expenditure (REE) test is also very helpful. REE measures oxygen utilized and carbon dioxide exhaled which provides an indirect measure of calories burned. For a de-conditioned individual, REE may actually indicate that they are burning fewer calories than their potential according to their lean body mass (LBM). The fitter the individual, the more calories they burn.

On the other hand, it doesn’t have to be that complicated. We all eat; and we are gaining weight, losing or staying the same.

One of the best strategies for the untrained individual trying to assess their own calorie need is to first keep an accurate food journal. Then, enter the information into a good on-line food analysis program. If eating habits and weight has been stable for a while – then, this is a maintenance calorie level. If looking for weight loss, first try a modest caloric deficit of 300-500 calories per day. Many people try to cut calories too much; it causes lack of energy, feelings of deprivation and makes it harder to stick with a healthy plan for any length of time.

A word of warning: many sources advise that women attempting to lose weight go on a 1200 calorie plan, and men use a 1500 calorie plan. Our experience is that, except for small, sedentary people, those calories levels are too low. It is far better to focus on good quality nutrition choices, increased physical activity and forming positive long range health patterns than to attempt these too low calorie level diets.