Wednesday, September 29, 2010

What Does an Executive Chef Do?


By Dale Van Sky, Executive Chef

The Executive Chef is much more than the head cook. Just a small glimpse of my responsibilities include developing recipes that are healthy while retaining as much nutritional value as possible; creating menus according to current food trends, seasons, availability and sustainability; controlling food supplies; maintaining the freshness and availability of all menu items; monitoring labor costs; and supervising preparation of all foods to ensure that established recipes and sanitary procedures are followed. Ultimately, the executive chef is responsible for the success of the restaurant.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

What I’m Reading Now

By Cindy Clemens, Life Coach

Women, Food and God by Geneen Roth

While the title might make you think this is about women with food issues, it is really so much more. It is actually one of the best explanations of how harmful the negative self-talk and old tapes are that we play over and over again in our minds and that sabotage our best efforts to love and care for ourselves. The author calls this the The Voice, and she provides practical suggestions for how to separate yourself from The Voice, reclaim your power and make healthy, positive choices for your life, including better food choices. Because she provides lots of stories and examples from her own life and from her retreat participants, it is very easy to read and is more like an exploration than an edict about what must be done.

Visit Geneen's website for more information on this book and her other books and resources.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

October Activities at Red Mountain

October is filled with activities. We hope you can join the fun.

October 3–10 Detoxification & Renewal
Dr. Brad Crump, Red Mountain Health Services Manager
Improve mind, body and spirit while learning healthy methods to rid your body of toxins.

October 8-10 Everything Happens for a Reason
Suzane Northrop, Nationally Recognized Trance Medium
Suzane Northrop is a nationally recognized trance medium and expert in psychic phenomena. For the past 27 years, she has worked to bridge the gap between the world of the living and the spirit world.

October 10-17 Weight Loss & More!
Dr. Brad Crump, Red Mountain Health Services Manager
Sustainable weight loss is achievable when you have the right tools and know how to make good choices.

October 14-16 Leading With Boots On™
Anese Cavanaugh, Founder of Bootist Leadership™
Anese will discuss three ways (they're not what you think) of looking at energy and using it intentionally to support you in creating congruent and effective leadership in your life - all the way around.

October 15-18 Release & Renew
Cindy Clemens, Red Mountain Life Coach
Reconnect with what is really important in your life and learn how to eliminate the energy drains and distractions getting in your way.

October 17-24 Detoxification & Renewal
Dr. Brad Crump, Red Mountain Health Services Manager
Improve mind, body and spirit while learning healthy methods to rid your body of toxins.

October 17-24 Fitness Boot Camp
Kim Watters, Red Mountain Fitness Manager
Your mission is to find fitness activities that you'll love so much you stick with your commitment for improved health.

October 21-24 Earth, Spa & Spirit
Betina Lindsey, Red Mountain's Shaman Spirit
In the ancient tradition of indigenous healers we will open sacred space to bring alive your connection to the spiritual world of nature for insight, guidance and healing.

October 22-23 SOLA Yoga Stikk™ Workshop
Nicole Hamory, Creator of SOLA Yoga Stikk and Co-founder of Green TREE Yoga
A weekend of creativity, playfulness and an introduction to a style of Yoga that increases strength, length and intuitive alignment.

October 22-26 Finding Your Life Purpose
Todd Hershey, Master Clairvoyant
S.A.G.E. (Self Awakening & Growth Experience) is a new evolution in personal understanding that will give you an understanding to the answer of the purpose of your life.

October 24-31 Weight Loss & More!
Dr. Brad Crump, Red Mountain Health Services Manager
Sustainable weight loss is achievable when you have the right tools and know how to make good choices.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Meet Executive Chef Dale Van Sky


Hometown: Gardena, CA

Current town: La Verkin, UT

Age: 55

Birthday: April 16

Favorite color: Turquoise

Favorite sport to watch: Gymnastics

Favorite fitness activity: Hiking

How long at Red Mountain: Five years

Favorite spa treatment: Any massage

Family info? Married? Kids? Pets? Married 29 years, two children (one boy and one girl), plus Kiki, the cat

Favorite thing about working at RM: All of the wonderful team members and guests

If you weren’t in Southern Utah, where would you live? Perhaps Oregon

Favorite vacation spot: The mountains

Best RM memory: I have had several guests who have returned to Red Mountain tell me that they have made life changes to their eating habits because of the cooking demonstrations that they attended in the past. I can’t think of a better compliment.

Favorite food: Anything Mexican

Favorite indulgence: Chocolate chip cookies and milk (skim milk of course)

Where did you go to college? Spokane Community College, WA

When you aren’t at work, what do you do for fun? I love to take long drives and sight see.

Is there one thing at RM that you haven’t done that you want to? I would love to experience a pedicure and manicure.

Favorite quote: "Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest." ~ Mark Twain

Monday, September 13, 2010

Surgeon General Visits Red Mountain on way to Grand Canyon

Last week we were proud to host the US Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin and national fitness expert Dr. Pamela Peeke as they prepared to hike the Grand Canyon rim to rim. Their 26-mile trek through the national park was a continuation of the Surgeon General's Walks for a Healthy and Fit Nation, launched in June at the American College of Sport's Medicine's (ACSM) annual meeting in Baltimore. Joining Dr. Benjamin and Dr. Peeke were a group of women determined to make this hike an experience of a life time.

The photo above (courtesy of Dr. Peeke) was taken on a training hike in Snow Canyon State Park near Red Mountain Resort & Spa the day before the Grand Canyon hike.

That night the group was blessed by the Elder Clarence John of the Shivwits band of the Paiute tribe in a private ceremony. Following the ceremony the Shivwits Dancers entertained the group and Red Mountain guests. It was important to Dr. Benjamin to meet with several Native American tribes during her visit to the area to discuss their healthy and wellness concerns. Dr. Benjamin also met with the Hualapai Tribe in Peach Springs, AZ following her Grand Canyon hike.

You can read about Dr. Peeke's experience and more about her hiking partners and their motivation on her "Everyday Fitness" blog on If you have hiked rim to rim or just want to learn more about it, visit, a new website started by a recent rim to rim hiker whose life was changed by the experience.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Food May Be Hazardous to Your Health


By Dale Van Sky, Executive Chef

It sounds scary doesn’t it? Well it is. We must know the proper ways to handle and prepare our foods for our own safety. These bacteria can make you very sick, and they can even be deadly.

Cold foods should be kept at or below 40 degrees while hot foods should be held above 140 degrees. Bacteria grow the fastest when food temperatures are between these extremes. Freezing does not kill bacteria but only slows the growth.

The most common food borne illnesses in our country are salmonella followed by E.coli and botulism. Salmonella is destroyed when cooked above 165 degrees. E.coli is destroyed above 185 degrees or with chemical sanitizers such as bleach, soap and hot water. Always use some type of sanitizer solution to clean work surfaces, utensils and equipment. Nothing destroys botulism.

Salmonella is most common from under cooking chicken and turkey (internal temperature below 165 degrees) and from cross contamination. E.coli is most commonly found in ground meats and manure (natural) fertilizers. Botulism is usually from unsanitary canning or damaged can products.

For more information on food safety visit or

Friday, September 3, 2010

Solo Travelers at Red Mountain

We were recently asked if Red Mountain is a good place for solo travelers. One of our recent guests answers the question better than we could.

Last summer, I went to Red Mountain alone and found that it was the perfect place for a solo woman traveler - not only were the accommodations, activities and staff wonderful, but I felt safe and comfortable, both physically and emotionally. I thoroughly enjoyed the activities and the spa experience, and I met some wonderful people on the hikes and at the community dining tables. This year, I returned with a group of friends, and found Red Mountain to be as delightful to share with friends as it was as a solo experience. ~ June from Altadena, CA

Thanks, June! We appreciate your kind words and are delighted you enjoyed both your stays.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Focus on the Good Possibilities

By Cindy Clemens, Life Coach

Isn’t it interesting that whenever we are faced with choosing a new direction in life, whether it is a career change, a new relationship or even a healthier lifestyle, we seem to focus most of our thoughts on all the things that might go wrong and the reasons why it won’t be successful.

I am continually amazed by the conversations I have with clients where they spend five minutes describing what they really want to have more of in life, but then they spend the next 30 minutes explaining all the reasons it won’t or can’t happen. When I notice this happening, I stop them and ask them to tell me about what it would be like if it did work out, if they could have the new job or the relationship did work out.

I am not saying that we should all be Pollyannas and ignore the challenges or obstacles we face when breaking through new ground. But, we need to spend more time thinking about, visualizing and feeling how it will be if things work out than we do on the excuses, fears and possible negative outcomes. Let me give you two recent examples of this.

One of my clients is looking at leaving the safety and comfort of a secure government job to take a new job with the private sector. He had lots of reasons why this could be a risky financial move, why he was worried about disappointing his current boss, and how his father would not understand his taking this chance. After listening to him paint a picture about why it might not work out, I then asked him if he had spent any time thinking about what it would be like if the new position worked out positively. His voice changed – he became very animated, explaining that he knew he could work less hours, make more money, test drive his ambition to run for public office, and even imagine bringing his wife into the new work to create their own consulting business. I urged him to write those very exciting reasons down and keep then visible so when the fears and doubts crept in, he could switch gears and focus on the very realistic picture of what it could look like.

Another client was filling me in on a new romantic relationship. This was an old boyfriend from twenty years ago who had reappeared in her life by surprise. Because she had broken off their relationship in the past, she was worried that if they got involved again, she would once again want to break things off and end up hurting him all over. Plus, she was concerned that because she had changed a lot in the last twenty years, it would be like going backwards in life. I asked her if she had given any thought to the possibility that he had changed as well, and they might forge a new relationship based on who they both were now. Perhaps it could be a fresh beginning. She agreed to stop fixating on what might go wrong and experience him as he is now, with an eye toward creating something new.

If you are finding yourself wanting to take some forward motion in life but getting stuck in how it might not work out and why it won’t happen, try switching gears. Spend some time immersed in what it could be like if it did work out positively. Once you start to see it and believe it, you will send out possibility energy. And that possibility energy will attract the resources you will need to manifest your heart’s desires. It’s up to you!

Cindy can help you find your life direction at a Life Compass or Release & Renew retreat at Red Mountain Resort & Spa.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Braised Lamb Chops

(Serves 4)

1 tbsp. Pure Olive Oil
12 Lamb Rib Chops
1/2 cup Yellow Onions, diced small
1/2 cup Roma Tomatoes, seeded, diced small
1/2 cup Mild Green Chilies, diced small
1/2 cup Nopalitos, diced small
1 tbsp. Garlic, minced
2 cups Vegetable Stock
1/2 tsp. Salt
1/2 tsp. Black Pepper

  1. Spritz medium sauté pan with pure olive oil (bring to smoke point).

  2. Lightly sprinkle lamb chops with salt and pepper, sear for two minutes, turn over and sear two minutes.

  3. Transfer to baking dish.

  4. Add yellow onions, tomatoes, green chilies, nopalitos and garlic.

  5. Add vegetable stock.

  6. Place in 350 degree preheated oven 15-20 minutes until sauce reduces by half.

  7. Place lamb chops on plates.

  8. Pour vegetables and sauce on lamb chops.