(…Part I was posted to my digital magazine August 9, 2010…)
An extension of spa is the relevancy of wellness. Spa and wellness is no different than being environmentally conscious, because doing so fosters involvement of self for the well being of the planet. Each of us is taking on their own personal agenda to accomplish ways of being green, eco-centric, or organic. Some of this is motivated by family and our circle of friends and colleagues, or health concerns, or becoming enlightened through the normal cycle of learning and acquiring information. There is little doubt that adopting a greener, more eco-friendly approach to living, in every facet of life, contributes to improving the planet, while improving one’s health.
Following are some highlights of products that adapt well to the at-home spa concept of wellness, consciousness, and eco-centric. While these aren’t totally indicative of the wealth of household and foodstuff related commodities, consider that ten years ago there wouldn’t have been that many choices and what little there was, wasn’t necessarily the best tasting or best quality. Technologies have changed. This change has also made it better for manufacturers, producers, growers and suppliers. They’re all listening to the consumer wanting more products and opportunities, and ones that are of a higher quality, using better ingredients, that are more planet-friendly, including natural or organic wherever possible.
So, keep talking, inspire others through example and make a difference to those who are also trying to make a difference. Remember, even the advanced started out being inexperienced.
Products Featured ~ Celsius, GliSODin, Golden Door, GrabGreen Home, Green Pan, HINT, Joya Terrace, Rev3, USANA and Wings of Nature…..
~ LIBATIONS & NUTRICEUTICALS ~
CAVEAT ~ While any one of the following products can complement a healthy lifestyle, none of them are meant to substitute proper nutrition and exercise regimens. When in doubt with any of these products, especially if you’re under the care of a physician or taking medication, read labels carefully and if you have any questions, consult your healthcare practitioner or the product’s manufacturer.
Celsius Your Ultimate Fitness Partner is a nutritional, fast acting, calorie burning, rev-up the metabolism energy drink. The drink is available in a variety of flavors, including non-carbonated versions like Lemon Iced Tea, Strawberry Kiwi, Raspberry Açai, Peach Mango, and carbonated versions like Orange, Wild Berry and Cola. Just a few drinks of the Raspberry Açai immediately warmed me and I could feel my pulse accelerating; I definitely was charged up. I found the taste to be overly sweet from the use of Stevia, a very potent, albeit natural sweetener. The product’s proprietary formula, MetaPlus, delivers the calorie burning, fat reduction, metabolic energizing and is backed up with clinical data to support that when its products are used in combination with a healthy diet and exercise routine, weight loss will occur. Ingredients include green tea with EGCG, guarana, ginger, calcium, caffeine, chromium, Vitamins B and C, and biotin. The drink is also available in powder packets that are a convenient take-with and easy to add to water.
REV3 Energy is another dietary supplement and potent energy drink that’s made without any artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, preservatives or colors. Its proprietary formula allows for a graduated energy boost over a period of time, versus the surge and drop in energy levels other drinks sometimes cause. Caffeine from green and white tea is the energy boost to this vitamin-packed drink. Included are anti-oxidants and phytonutrients that aid in optimizing cellular health, including Coenzyme Q10, Vitamins B1, B2, Niacin, and B6, ginseng, aloe vera, grapeseed extract, calcium, biotin, pantothenic acid (as Vitamin D), magnesium, extracts of acerola, olive leaf, red vine leaf, black currant, and vegetable juice. The base is reverse osmosis carbonated water, along with crystalline fructose and evaporated cane juice syrup. Also backed up with clinical data to support that when the energy drink is used in combination with a healthy diet and exercise routine, weight loss will occur.
Fruit Essence Waters ~
HINT Unsweetened Essence Water has a simple tagline, “Dink Water, Not Sugar”. And as more and more consumers become savvy to the accumulative and debilitating effects of sugar, especially as an additive to
beverages and food items, HINT is the perfect way to combat the urge to quench the thirst with something “sweet”, but has zero calories. Each of their ten flavors is comprised of a few simple ingredients, like purified water, fruit essence and “other” natural flavors; on the latter, perhaps they used stevia, Agave syrup, rice syrup, apple or pear juice as a sweetener (I couldn’t determine what they were using, but it didn’t leave an after-taste, a sure indication for me of an artificial sweetener being used). Whatever they’re using in this category makes for a deliciously quenching and subtly sweet fruit water. I tried Raspberry-Lime, Strawberry-Kiwi, Blackberry, Watermelon, Mango-Grapefruit and Pomegranate-Tangerine.
GliSODin ~ Advanced Daily Formula’s ingredients have been selected to complement the therapeutic value of GliSODin. Ingredients include Krill Oil, which naturally contains a potent antioxidant, astaxanthin, which is rich in omega-3s; it helps to provide hydration to skin cells and reduce inflammation that can lead to red spots and dry itchy skin; Sea Buckthorn Berry Oil, which is nutrient-rich in vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids to promote skin clarity and immunity; Cacao Bean, which is high in dietary flavonoids to enhance dermal circulation and antioxidant action; and, Hyaluronic Acid, which provides structural integrity for the skin and collagen to improve skin firmness. Although my skin is in enviable condition, after a few weeks, it improved even more so and looked fresher, healthier and brighter.
GliSODin ~ Advanced Detoxification Formula’s ingredients have been added with GliSODin® to support the detox process, and include Berries and Chardonnay Grapes, which provide a full-spectrum of nutritious antioxidants for optimal health and radiant skin; Alpha Lipoic Acid, which chelates heavy metals and neutralizes several types of free radicals; Milk Thistle, which contains a mixture of flavonoid complexes that protects and promotes liver cleansing; NutraFlora (sc-FOS), which is an excellent source of soluble fiber that aids in digestive and elimination processes, while also assisting in weight loss; and, Broccoli, which is high in sulforaphane that induces phase II detoxification enzymes for enhanced cleansing. Predominant taste is berry and rather pleasing, especially first thing in the morning; I definitely had more energy without feeling jittery. I also didn’t feel hungry or have snack-attacks. I did, however, experience uncomfortable flatulence; occasionally, I also had swings of warm and cold. My body was definitely adjusting to the change detoxification can bring about.
USANA ~ Proflavanol C100 and Hepsalil DTX use the proprietary Nutritional Hybrid Technology that combines formulating and manufacturing multiple layers of different products that function as one to produce an effective nutriceutical for health maintenance. Proflavanol C100 combines grape-seed extract and Vitamin C, both potent anti-oxidants, which promote cardiovascular health, while supporting a balanced immune system, eye-health and healthy skin maintenance. The Vitamin C functions as a carrier of the water-soluble antioxidant and coenzyme vital for the health of tissue throughout the body. Ingredients include grape-seed bioflavonoid and Vitamin C (as calcium, potassium, magnesium and zinc ascorbate). Hepasil DTX aids in stimulating liver enzymes and protecting against oxidative stress that hinders this organ’s natural function of protein synthesis, the production of biochemicals that are vital to the digestive process, and the detoxification function. Ingredients include milk-thistle extract (stimulates liver enzymes and protects against oxidative stress), antioxidant properties from green tea extract, olives and tumeric.
~ COMESTIBLES & BEYOND ~
Making a commitment to a healthier lifestyle also involves having an awareness of elements to effect that commitment, including cookbooks, recipes, eco-friendly equipment, and food. Become familiar with what’s available in your particular market. Whether you’re a novice or experienced, cooking the right food, using the right recipes, and equipment can turn your culinary desires into a reality.
Culinary Gear & Gadgetry ~
I’d heard chatter about the merits of The Original Green Pan for sometime now. Some of its most impressive selling features included that the nonstick cookware didn’t contain any of the toxic and harmful chemicals typically found in other nonstick cookware, like PTFE (polytetraflyoroethylene) and PFOA (perfleuoroctoanoic); these chemicals are known to deteriorate when used over time in other nonstick surfaces. The patented coating, Thermalon™, is also environmentally friendly because the manufacturing process results in a reduction of CO2 emissions in the area of 60%; the ceramic coating is a healthier coating and energy efficient; the ceramic coating is over hard anodized aluminum. Other features include a very high threshold for tolerances of very high-sustained heat, without melting, blistering, peeling, warping or scorching (450º C, 850 º F). Conventional nonstick surfaces also emit toxic chemicals into the air when subjected to heat stress; the cooking surface heats up much faster, retaining its high levels of heat; this also leads to scorching and warping, not too mention disintegration of the nonstick surface. I tried a sauté pan from their Rotterdam Professional line. The pan’s weight and balance made for a uniform cooking surface; I required very little added oil (EVOO) to coat the inner surface. Food cooked more quickly because the cooking temperature was retained; cool down of the pan, once removed from the heating surface, was fast. No food stuck to the inner surface, and it cleaned effortlessly. The silicone handle is ribbed for easy gripping and is also removable, but recommended to remain in place, since the silicone sleeve protects the stainless handle, which can get hot if used in the oven or under the broiler. I also noticed my food tasted clean; I wasn’t concerned about any chemicals leeching into my food using this pan, whereas with conventional nonstick surfaces, there was the concern. The company’s core mission is a commitment to health, environment and convenience. Products are available online, at authorized retailers and also on HSN Shopping Network.
Culinary Wizardry ~
Iconic Golden Door Spa’s must-have cookbook for the foodie, especially the spa type, is “The Golden Door Cooks Light & Easy ~ Delicious Recipes from America’s Premier Spa” by Chef Michel Stroot. For over three decades, Chef Stroot has been dazzling the taste buds of this iconic spa’s discerning guest’s palates with creative recipes that can hardly be categorized as deprivation. According to Chef Stroot, “Bringing out the seasonal freshness in ingredients, without using butter and other unnecessary fats, is the cornerstone of my cooking.” This beautifully photographed and illustrated cookbook is packed with how-tos and easy to follow recipes based on readily available ingredients.
InterContinental Montelucia Resort & Joya Spa ~
Executive Chef Christian Pratsch has artfully created extraordinarily healthy and delicious spa food items for the spa’s restaurant, Joya Terrace. Using only the freshest seasonal ingredients culled from abundant local farms and balanced with heart-healthy inspiration, these offerings will please the spa foodie aficionado. Here are a few to try. These recipes are simple, easy to follow and make for a tantalizing presentation as a snack, side or light entrée. They’re also beautiful and nourish the senses. Each recipe yields between four to six servings.
Ingredients: 1 clove garlic; 1 (19 ounce) can garbanzo beans, half the liquid reserved; 4 tablespoons lemon juice; 2 tablespoons tahini; 1 clove garlic, chopped; 1 teaspoon salt; black pepper to taste; 2 tablespoons olive oil. Directions: In a blender, chop the garlic. Pour garbanzo beans into blender, reserving about a tablespoon for garnish. Place lemon juice, tahini, chopped garlic and salt in blender. Blend until creamy and well mixed. Transfer the mixture to a medium-serving bowl. Sprinkle with pepper and pour olive oil over the top. Garnish with reserved garbanzo beans.
Babaghanoush (Roasted Eggplant Spread) ~
Ingredients: 1 eggplant; 1/4 cup lemon juice; 1/4-cup tahini; 2 tablespoons sesame seeds; 2 cloves garlic, minced; salt and pepper to taste; 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet. Place eggplant on baking sheet, and make holes in the skin with a fork. Roast it for 30 to 40 minutes, turning occasionally, or until soft. Remove from oven, and place into a large bowl of cold water. Remove from water, and peel skin off. Place eggplant, lemon juice, tahini, sesame seeds, and garlic in an electric blender, and puree. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer eggplant mixture to a medium size-mixing bowl, and slowly mix in olive oil. Chill before serving.
Cucumber Yogurt Sauce (Tzatziki) ~
Ingredients: 3 tbsp. olive oil; 1 tbsp. vinegar; 2 cloves garlic, minced finely; 1/2 tsp. salt; 1/4 tsp. white pepper; 1 cup Greek style yogurt, strained; 1-cup sour cream; 2 cucumbers, peeled, seeded and diced; 1 tsp. chopped fresh dill. Directions: Combine olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Mix until well combined. Using a whisk, blend the yogurt with the sour cream. Add the olive oil mixture to the yogurt mixture and mix well. Finally, add the cucumber and chopped fresh dill. Chill before serving.
Golden Gazpacho ~
Ingredients: 5 medium yellow or orange tomatoes; 1 1/2 cup chopped seeded cucumber; 1/2 cup chopped yellow pepper; 1/4 cup chopped red onion; 1 teaspoon minced garlic clove; 1 teaspoon seeded minced jalapeno; 1-teaspoon extra virgin olive oil; 1/2-teaspoon salt; 1 teaspoon minced garlic clove; 1 tbsp. sherry vinegar. Loading... Directions: Cut up tomatoes and place in a blender with cucumber, yellow pepper, red onion, 1 minced garlic clove, jalapeno, sherry vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, and salt; puree. Chill before serving.
My Notes ~
Serve the Hummus and Eggplant with Lavosh or water crackers. Tahini is sesame seed butter and available in most food markets or specialty import markets. Greek yogurt is a style of yogurt that has been strained of its liquid, making it have a thicker, spreadable consistency. The Cucumber Sauce can be added to the Gazpacho to add another layer of delicious flavor. These dishes are definitely heart-healthy fare.
Energy Bars ~Wings of Nature bars are certified organic, gluten free, trans fat free and made without refined sugar. I tried the Cranberry Crunch Bar, Almond Raisin Bar and Espresso Coffee Bar. Each one tasted incredibly delicious, and at less than 180 calories, they’re guilt-free, healthy and high-fiber; adding a piece of fresh fruit will make for a healthy low-calorie breakfast or snack. With wholesome ingredients like raisins, sesame seeds, cranberries, peanuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, crisped brown rice, and then sweetened with nature’s finest like Agave syrup, apple juice, and rice syrup these healthy bars have all the right stuff for meal replacement or snack time. The bars are cold-processed, which preserves the purity and freshness of ingredients.
~ A SPARKLING CLEAN HOME ~
Although I was raised as a Catholic, my mother often quoted the ancient Hebrew proverb “Cleanliness is next to Godliness.” To this day, I often recall that saying while busying myself doing these cleaning chores. Through consumer demand and improvements in technology and ingredient formulation, a number of green and eco-friendly products are available that take the drudgery out of cleaning, while being kinder and gentler to the environment. These products get things sparkling clean without toxic chemicals that are harmful to one’s health and the environment.
GrabGreen Home ~
Wanting to provide a safe, natural and non-toxic home environment for her two daughters, Patricia Spencer’s passion and journey led her to the founding of MaddieBrit Products. With her passion and knowledge of products, she searched for the right mix of organic chemists and formulators. The result was the creation of GrabGreen Home, a line of safe, eco-friendly, non-toxic home cleaning products that were natural and free of phosphates, chlorine and other harsh, irritating and synthetic additives, including dyes and perfumes. The products I tried included Thyme with Fig Leaf Degreaser Cleaner, Tangerine with Lemongrass Dish Soap, Tangerine Dishwashing Detergent and Vetiver 3-in-1 Laundry Detergent. All of these products were star performers. Both the Degreaser (natural spray bottle) was incredible and not only quickly dissolved built-up grease, but left the surface sparking and renewed. The Dish Soap (liquid) and Dishwashing Detergent (pod) cleaned exceptionally well, cutting through grease without leaving any residue; surface areas were spotless. The Laundry Detergent (pod) was great for heavily soiled or delicate fabrics, leaving them clean, soft and fresh smelling. Each one of the products also had a subtle and fresh scent, were non-irritating and gentle on the hands. Other conventional products I’ve used caused sneezing, irritated my skin and didn’t always clean effectively, but not any of these. These impressively effective products are also ideal for those that are hyper-allergic, and available in scented or unscented formulas.
That’s it for this edition…until the next one…remember to take care of yourself and those around you.
……THE NEXT EDITION…..
…will be my “Spring Bouquet”…full of product reviews that will help shed those winter blahs, and take away the chill of winter's last gasp… the clocks aren’t the only things that change this time of the year…
By Terry Herman
Terry Herman is a recognized expert in the industry, and regularly covers issues that include business, management, operations, customer care, treatments, products, and trends. In addition to writing and reviewing, she is also a management consultant and motivational speaker. She also serves on EXPERIENCE | PREMCHIT Journeys In Retreat To Wellness Advisory Board, which is comprised of ten international experts in various fields of wellness and spa. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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