After walking over the Grand Canyon with nothing but glass between us and the canyon below, we headed off to Flagstaff, Arizona. We stayed here for a few nights and I loved the health friendly vibe.
A nice mountain town and the closest place to stay if you are heading towards the southern rim, and most frequently visited, portion of the Grand Canyon. Home to Northern Arizona University and somewhat of a ski town as they are a quick drive to the Arizona Snow Bowl, Flagstaff has a lot of great options for the healthy food aficionado. Flagstaff has a great downtown area with some rather cute bars (yes, I am The Healthy Traveler, but I can still whoop it up!!)
Dinner at Mountain Oasis was fantastic! Fresh and super plant based (not a lot of vegan junk food on the menu) it was delicious and a great way to unwind. I opted for the hearts of Palm bruschetta and the Pineapple Tofu Salad. It’s got plenty of options for omnivores as well as green eaters so no one goes hungry at the oasis!
I stumbled across Macy’s Coffee House & Vegetarian Restaurant our first morning. Macy’s had a great indie, college vibe with the menu to match. Fresh Juices, soy lattes and delectable snack size meals were a great way to start our day. And health was the name of the game here at Macy’s. Nothing was fried or processed and even though I saved no room for dessert, they looked great in all their organically sweet glory. www.macyscoffee.net
On our way out of town, I wanted to stock up on goodies for the road and I hit the jackpot. We passed right by New Frontiers Market as we pulled in to gas up next door. This was a small version of a Whole Foods but sacrificed none of the variety. In fact, I wanted to do cartwheels in the deli!! They offered all types of breads for their sandwiches, including wheat free spelt, as well as some killer sides like vegan potato salads, dolmas, quinoa and much more. I also had to throw a scrumptious slice of chocolate tofu cheesecake into my overloaded basket. Even my convenience food counterpart agreed it was convincingly yummy! I have to add that the service was impeccable and the staff incredibly sweet!
So yes, I was as happy as a kid at Chuck E Cheese in Flagstaff and there’s more where that came from next week. Lots of places that offer clear conscience cuisine for the omnivore and herbivore ; )!
Don’t feel like you have to take your clothes off and run the streets in the buff! But a few weeks of Naked Fitness, you may find that you love your body and the way it moves so much–you just may want to!
Naked Fitness is a handbook of information on how to feel good in your own skin and enjoy your pain-free, healthy, slim body! It offers more than a few exercises, shopping lists, diets, and insights, but rather a personalized approach to finding your best health regimen leading to more energy, higher metabolism and increased confidence.
Naked Fitness offers:
step by step exercise routines ( with photographs )
Questionnaires with resulting exercise prescriptions
Food, nutrition plans, and shopping lists
Tips for enhanced nutritional well-being and physical body tone and movement
Mantras, emotional health tips, and much more
Here are five basic things you can do to feel and look your best in your birthday suit:
Eat more fruits and vegetables. They are low in calories, high in fiber; plus they are packed with cancer fighting antioxidants.
Move everyday – Just a minimum of 10 minutes of vigorous exercise or longer, low intensity bouts of exercise may help slow the aging process. Walking a mile or running one burns the same amount of calories.
Strip away the excuses. Look in the mirror and be honest with yourself– When will be it time to take better care of your body? Today is the day– the time is now. Just step out of the shower and look at your naked body– Does it need a change?
Eat protein your meat. Protein helps stabilize blood sugar which stops those hunger cravings! Eat often and combine those fruits and vegetables with lean rich sources of protein.
Skip the NO PAIN NO GAIN mantras. Pain is not normal nor a part of the aging process if you keep your engines running well. Understand that simple stretches and strengthening can eliminate joint pain and keep you active throughout your lifetime.
Andrea Metcalf is a healthy lifestyle spokesperson, author or Naked Fitness, a 28 Day Proven Weight Loss Program for a Slimmer, Fitter, Pain-Free Body, (Vanguard Press) and a regular contributor to Better TV, WomensForum.com and NBC Chicago. Receive daily tweets on health and fitness tips by following andrea on twitter @andreametcalf or www.FITStudio.com
St. Patrick’s Day, it’s the second drinking holiday of the year (the 1st is Super bowl Sunday, of course)! We celebrate with wearing green, decorating with 4 leaf clovers and leprechauns but most of all green colored booze and food. In the spirit of the liquored up day, I compiled a collection of Irish themed foods that are yummy treats that also will help prevent or help hangovers.
Start your morning with these:
* 1 cup white flour
* 4 ounces vegan butter — softened
* 1/4 cup soymilk or soy creamer
* 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
* 1 egg replacer
* 2 ounces sugar
* 2 ounces white raisins
* Walnut halves (optional)
Mix flour and baking powder. Add butter, and blend until the mixture is butter-colored. Add sugar and continue to mix well. Add half the egg replacer and all the milk. Add raisins or some nuts, if desired, mixing well to make a sticky dough. Turn dough onto floured board and knead for at least 5 minutes or longer. Cut dough into rounds and place on greased baking sheet or hot frying pan. Brush tops of scones with remainder of the egg replacer. Place walnut halves on top, if desired. Bake at 350 to 375 degrees for about 15 to 20 minutes, or until brown. If preparing over an open fire, heat frying pan till very hot . Place scones in pan and cook for 7 to 8 minutes. Turn and cook for another 7 to 8 minutes.
To chow on before your big night out so that you fill up on some tasty starches. Starches slow down alcohol absorption ; ) This is also good to fight off your bludgeoning headache the morning after!:
IRISH POTATO SOUP
* 9 potatoes, peeled and diced
* 6 stalks of celery, sliced
* 4 large carrots, sliced
* 2 small onions, chopped
* 3 cups water
* 2 teaspoons salt
* 3 better then chicken bullion cubes (or any vegan chicken bullion brand you like), dissolved in 1/2 cup boiling water
* 6 cups unsweetened soymilk
* 1/2 cup flour
* 1 stick of vegan butter
Combine the potatoes, celery, carrots, onion, water, and seasonings in a large pan. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook until tender, about 30 minutes. Combine a small amount of milk and flour until smooth. Add this mixture and the rest of milk to the potato mixture. Stir in the butter. Cook and stir over medium heat until the soup thickens.
For a sweet treat at your festivities or to bring to a party. Again, the potatoes help with alcohol absorption.:
ST. PATRICK’S POTATO AND APPLE PUDDING
* 2 tablespoons vegan butter
* 8 oz self-raising flour
* 6 oz freshly mashed potatoes
* 4 tablespoons soymilk
* 5 medium cooking apples
* Brown sugar
* Whole cloves
* Juice of 1/2 lemon
* 3 tablespoons cider
Mix the butter into the hot mashed potatoes, add a good pinch of salt, and the flour, and mix well, then add enough milk to make a soft, slack dough. Roll out and line a 1-qt bowl with some of it, reserving enough for the lid. Fill with the apples, peeled and cored and finely sliced, and sweeten to taste with sugar. Add 2 whole cloves, the lemon juice and the cider (or water), taking care not to make it too wet. Dampen the pastry edges, lay the lid on and press down. Cover with foil and secure well. Steam, or cook set in boiling water up to the rim, for 2 – 2 1/2 hours. Serve cut in wedges with vegan whipped cream and/or vegan ice cream.
But of course, drinking is fun on St. Patrick’s Day so be sure to check out these libations!:
* 2 oz Melon Vodka
* 1/2 oz triple sec
* Splash of orange curaçao
* juice of 2 limes
Blend ingredients with 3/4 cup ice in a blender and serve in frosty mug!
Vegan Irish Cream (add it to coffee or any creamy cocktail!!)
* 1 can of coconut milk
* 2 tbls brown sugar
* 2 tbls choc syrup
* 2 tsp vanilla essence
* 3/4 cup of whiskey
Mix thoroughly do not froth. Keep refrigerated in a dark bottle.
Have a “Super” fun and “Super” safe St. Paddy’s day!!
For more information, visit www.healthyvoyager.com
Ah yes, we’ve given all of the gifts, put away the decorations and rung in the new year. And once the December holidays are through, we’re launched into Valentine’s Day mode! What to do, where to go, who to spend it with. Well, while I can’t help you in the dating department, I can help you in choosing some of the most romantic Valentine’s month destinations. So In honor of this week’s Valentine Show on California Life
~ Whether you have a valentine this year or not, you may want to check these places out just because they are so dang pretty!
A notable haven for the rich and fabulous, Aspen offers more than just good celebrity spotting. Yes, this is a skier’s paradise, but it’s also a great outdoor romantic destination winter or summer with its stunning scenery, great hiking, superb accommodations and a busy nightlife. Travel 15 miles southwest of Aspen to Maroon Bells with its lake and alpine meadows, and where there are no cars allowed. Hike the trails, enjoy the mountain air and take in the stunning scenery. Glenwood Hot Springs, just 40 miles northwest of Aspen, is a perfect romantic indulgence. You can also get your romantic Western adventure fix with a visit to T Lazy 7 Ranch with its horseback rides and camping trips. Whether you choose to curl up in your lodge in front of a roaring fire or live it up at the myriad of pubs, clubs, discos and country and Western bars. Veggie & special diet locale of note: Explore Booksellers
With its beautiful public parks, ubiquitous sidewalk cafés, famous art museums, historic churches and palaces, Paris is a city that you come back to again and again. There is so much to see and do, especially out of doors. Whether it be strolling hand in hand along the quais, riding a bateau mouches around the Ile de la Cite, browsing the wares of the bouquinistes, or crossing the Pont Neuf, the Seine is the lifeblood of this ancient city and its chief point of reference. But if you really want to know why Paris is the city of lovers, visit the tomb of Abelard and Heloise at Pere Lachaise Cemetary. Veggie & special diet locales of note: La Victoire Suprême du Coeur & Saveurs Végét’Halles
New York, New York
Romance is always in the air in the Big Apple. The city that never sleeps is always ready to host lovers not only around the clock, but year-round. What’s more romantic than a carriage ride in Central Park in the spring or skating at the Rockefeller Center in the winter? Shopping, museums, theater, river cruises, fantastic dining, it’s all available in NYC. Take in the neon lights of Times Square along with a spectacular Broadway show, or make your way to the alternative SoHo and funky Greenwich Village. Cuddle up on the Staten Island Ferry, or walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and take your time lingering over a romantic candlelit dinner at any one of New York’s fabulous restaurants. Veggie & special diet locales of note: Check out my New York posts 1 , 2 and 3 !
Hayman Island, Whitsundays Queensland, Australia
Ah, the Great Barrier Reef. If you didn’t see it for yourself you’d be forgiven for thinking this sailing and watersports hub at the tip of the country was the figment of someone’s imagination. Crystal clear waters, pristine sandy beaches and a world-renowned reef make this the quintessential sun, sand and sea romantic paradise island holiday. Seventy-four islands make up the great Whitsundays, and while there are ten resorts on eight of the islands to choose from, Hayman is the place to be. Renowned for its luxurious surroundings as well as outstanding chefs and cuisine, it’s the epitome of romantic indulgence. Wouldn’t you want to be surrounded by a huge lagoon pool overlooking tropical vistas and sandy white beaches? Quaint island boutiques, sumptuous dining and killer sunsets with a cocktail in hand are the stuff romantic vacations are made of. Veggie & special diet locale of note: Azure at The Hayman Island Resort
Guangxi Province, China
Located in the south of China on the Gulf of Tonkin and sharing a border with Vietnam, Guangxi Province enjoys a subtropical climate, lush landscapes and rugged mountains. If you saw the film The Painted Veil, then you are already familiar with this picturesque region. After visiting the colorful caves, pagodas and former royal complex in the capital Guilin, drift lazily down the river amid otherworldly karst peaks towards Yangshuo. Then visit the dramatic Longsheng rice terraces and sample the region’s famous rice noodles with its chili sauce made of fresh chili, garlic and fermented soybeans. Veggie & special diet locale of note: Pure Lotus
All Caribbean islands know how to pour on the romance, but for our money, Nassau Paradise Island in the Bahamas not only has the requisite pink sand and turquoise waters, but also offers the greatest variety of places to eat, nightlife, and resorts. Stroll the cobblestone streets, indulge in watersports, shop for traditional Bahamian handicrafts, or sip cocktails overlooking the ocean. Whether you want to take a romantic horseback ride or carriage tour, the choice is yours. Check out the Changing of the Guard every other Saturday at the Government House, make a trip to the Straw Market to purchase some handmade souvenirs, or spend a day sailing the island on one of New Zealand’s former America’s Cup yachts. Then head back to your luxury room and drift off into sweet slumber and perfect Caribbean dreams. Veggie & special diet locale of note: Carmine’s NYC
Stunning natural rainforests and exotic landscapes make Costa Rica not only a superb romantic getaway, but also an eco-friendly one. There are so many romantic things to see and do in Costa Rica that it’s hard to know where to start, but be sure to include at least a few of the following: a trip to the Irazu and Poas volcanoes, the romantic La Paz Waterfall and Butterfly Gardens or a tour through the Braulio Carillo National Park. Bond with your loved one as you zip-line through the rainforests or take a rafting trip. Only in Costa Rica can you see big cats in Corcovado National Park, monkeys and turtles in Tortuguero or oodles of orchids in the Monteverde Cloud Forest. Veggie & special diet locales of note: Lands in Love Vegetarian B&B , Casa Metta Vegetarian B&B , & Waterfall Villas Eco & Veggie B&B
Tahiti is the largest island in a cluster of 118 islands, grouped inside the archipelago of Society Islands in the southern Pacific Ocean. Deep valleys, clear streams, and high waterfalls make it a picture-perfect destination and help explain why its intimate resorts, small peaceful villages, and miles of quiet pristine beaches are considered one of the best places in the world for “alone time.” True romance is an over-water bungalow and there’s plenty to choose from here. Sleep high above the turquoise lagoon waters in your thatched-roof hideaway with all the amenities and service of a first-class hotel room. Take a romantic cruise around the islands, enjoy a myriad of watersports and be sure to indulge in a romantic Polynesian-style spa treatment utilizing fresh flower baths, body wraps with banana leaves and fresh fruit masks. Veggie & special diet locale of note: Mobile Food Booths at Ferry Plaza & Farmer’s Market or walk barefoot in the sand at Bora Bora’s famous Bloody Mary’s Restaurant.
What would a romantic vacation be without a trip to the Greek Islands? There’s so many to choose from, and while all offer reasonably priced vacations, island cruises and great Mediterranean fare, Santorini is our favorite for lovers, with all hotel rooms offering stunning sea views. Here you can choose any local restaurant perched high in the hills and overlook the Aegean Sea almost 1,000 feet below. Sipping wine (or Ouzo if you’re brave) and eating tapas as the sun hits the water is a guaranteed romantic Kodak moment. Visit Perissa and Kamari beaches with their black volcanic sand, meander through the quaint ancient villages of Pyrgos and Akrotiri, and sign up for a romantic swim in the Volcanic hot springs, accessible only by boat. Veggie & special diet locale of note: Ampelos
It’s impossible to think “Venice” without using “romance” in the same sentence. Make sure to visit this romantic city guaranteed to capture your heart and soul before it finally sinks into the Adriatic Sea. This ancient port city replete with canals, bridges, and centuries old buildings is guaranteed to make your romantic heart beat just a little quicker. An evening gondola ride along the Venice canals is an absolute must, as is a stroll around Piazza San Marco, one of the grandest squares in Europe. If you’re still not romanced-out, then head to both the Rialto Bridge and the Bridge of Sighs, where the two of you can declare your undying love once more. Veggie & special diet locales of note: Osteria Giorgione & La Piscina at Pensione La Calcina
So like I mentioned above, whether you have a partner or just go with buddies, these places are beautiful and can spark or re-ignite any flame!
For more information, visit www.healthyvoyager.com
Disordered eating involves a mental obsession about food, weight, diet, and body image. It affects our self-esteem and robs us of the quality of life that we deserve. We may become depressed, withdrawn, or anxious because of our eating patterns. It affects every area of our lives and our family’s lives.
There is a difference between unhealthy eating habits and disordered eating. A person with disordered eating is using food to cope with life. We overeat as a means to stuff down feelings or thoughts. We refrain from eating or go on a diet to feel in control. We may use the eating to avoid or block some painful part of our life.
Psychological factors that contribute to eating disorders include: low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, perfectionism, feelings of lack of control, inadequacy, loneliness, emptiness.
Situations that can set us up to develop eating disorders are limited coping skills to deal with feelings, denial of feelings, secrets, sexual abuse, excessive ridicule (real of perceived), unrealistic expectations for achievement, parental enmeshment, family disharmony or enmeshment, a cry for help, perfectionism, peer pressure.
Disordered eating has varied definitions and types. It is eating when you are not physically hungry and/or not stopping when you are full. It may result in excessive body fat. It is not necessarily apparent on the outside. We can be normal weight, but we know what we are doing to stay there. We may be bingeing, then starving or exercising excessively. We may use diet pills or other drastic measures. Labels associated with disordered eating are compulsive overeating, binge eating, anorexia, and bulimia (several types). We may go from one disorder to another and another.
This is the most party packed time of the year! Lots of food, drinking and tons of waste going on. So however you choose to celebrate, do your best to be nice to the earth while you’re at it! Here are just a few tips to help you green your holiday celebrations!
Eco Invites – As nice as it is to receive a hand written invite, we all know they end up in the trash. Use Evite or Ping and get the job done quick without spending a dime of wasting paper.
Real or compostable dishware -Sure, cute holiday plates and napkins are adorable and festive but they are expensive and fill landfills like nobody’s business. Do your best to use real dishware by investing in some fun holiday dishes or even mix and match by borrowing from friends and neighbors. But if you’re not in the mood to wash a truck load, opt for compostable dishware or dishes such as VerTerra.
Personalize glassware – A great way to keep folks from wasting cups and glasses is to be sure that they keep theirs the whole night long. Ask that folks bring their own glasses or get creative on ways to personalize their beverage containers. From wine glass charms to simply writing their name on them, this will do the trick if you’re using disposable cups or just trying to conserve on washing a ton of glasses.
Green Decor – See last week’s Eco Holiday Decor post ; )
Gift your decor – Solve 2 problems at once by gifting your decorative items instead of purchasing separate gifts and wasting on decor. Decorate with plants and ornaments that can sevre as take aways at the end of the night. They are great mementos for guests and help with costs and clean up.
Lighten up on lights – Shoot for candles and low lighting to keep the energy costs down and the ambiance up. This time of year, fireplaces and outdoor fire pits are wonderful as are candles and sparse LED fixtures.
Eco Fashion – I know it’s tempting to run out and buy a new party dress but there are greener and cheaper ways to sizzle this season. Jazz up clothes by mixing an matching or have fun if you know how to sew by trimming and embellishing. Or better yet, do a clothing swap with friends so everyone saves some money while getting to rock new threads!
Shop locally for your holiday treats – Whether you’ll be slaving over a hot stove or just picking up some delicious dishes, do your best to shop and support local vendors. From produce to baked goods, buying locally grown and made food stuffs not only helps boost the local economy but lessens the energy in shipping conventional stuff to the big grocery chains. Plus it tastes way better! This goes for wines too! Go organic and local!
Clean up Green – Compost food and clean with green cleaning products. Do your best to recycle or reuse items such as tablecloths, napkins, etc. You can green everything from the food waste to the trash bag (go biodegradable) and start the new year on the right foot!
Of all the seasons, green is the color that suits this one best! very happy & merry holidays to you and yours!
A lot more has popped up in the way of vegan fare since my last visit to Sin City! While the places I frequented on past visits still exist , I’ve had to add some new spots to my list. Vegas hasn’t gotten any less wild but I’m so happy that there has been a turn toward some more plant based fare. Some healthier then others, here’s my updated list of veggie goodness in this naughty dessert oasis!
Red Velvet Cafe – I love this place as it offers breakfast, lunch and dinner as well as fantastic desserts. It’s tough to find decent breakfast in Vegas if you’re vegan or follow a restricted diet so Red Velvet Cafe is definitely a spot to visit for a quick meal. Lots of veggie and vegan options from sandwiches and wraps to pizzas and pastas, they accommodate most food allergies and can get you back to having fun in a jiff!
The Wynn & Encore Hotels – When Steve Wynn became an herbivore, his hotels began to offer some of the most fabulous plant based dishes around. High end chefs and culinary artistry make for some of the most gourmet vegan meals available in Vegas, let alone the world. Whether you are ordering room service, looking for a casual meal or going for a lavish evening, finding an out-of-this-world vegan meal is no problem at any of the Vegas Wynn resorts!
Mint – If you’ve got a hankering for fabulous Indian cuisine along with a little fine dining ambiance, you’ll love Mint! Not to far from the heart of the action, it’s a must when you’re in town. Afordable and chock full of healthy options, you’ll leave super satisfied. I’m all about sharing the Lumbini Vegan sampler!
Veggie Delight – This is a fun place for healthier Chinese. If you’re in a rush and want to take it back to your room before a big night out, Veggie Delight is your best bet! All vegetarian with lots of vegan options, they even have a nice selection of Vietnamese dishes if you’re leaning in that direction. There’s a lot of faux meats on the menu so if you’re gluten free, don’t fret, there are a ton of great choices for you too ; )
Pink Taco – While this sounds like a scandalous place, you’d be surprised at the healthy options available at this Mexican party joint. Found in the Hard Rock Hotel, Pink Taco offers up fresh guacamole, veggie tacos and fajitas as well as killer salads that are all easily veganizable. Party hardy at Rehab, Hard Rocks insane pool party, then fuel up for the night with some delish Mexican yumminess!
Sinful options that can’t be missed
Atomic #7 – Who can resist ice cream? Especially in that desert heat ; ) Whatever your vice of food intolerance, they’ve got it! Smoothis, juices, coffee drinks and of course, ice cream, be sure to stop here for a decadent treat! Vegans and non-vegans can go nuts here and no one is left out as they offer a wide array of bases (soy, almond, rice, yogurt, etc) and you can create any insane concoction you desire. I’m a sucker for a cookie dough sundae!
Ronald’s Donuts – Yeah, I know, doughnuts aren’t healthy but every now and again, especially in Vegas, one should indulge. Ronald’s may not look like much on the outside, or the inside for that matter but their selection of vegan sugar bombs is terrific. Doughnuts, Bear Claws, Apple fritters and more, they are great for road food or a hangover breakfast ; ) 4600 Spring Mountain Road Las Vegas, Nevada 89102 (702) 873-1032
And to be honest, there are a ton more places to cover! We’ll be heading there soon to film another episode of The Healthy Voyager so be on the look out for more on Las Vegas healthy eats!
For more information, visit www.healthyvoyager.com
Check out this week’s Staycation Spotlight on www.californialifehd.com
Camarillo is just outside of the Los Angeles County limits however, it feels like a world away. Slower paced, residential and cozy, this Ventura county town has quite a bit to offer anyone who follows a special diet. Sandwich between LA and Santa Barbara, here are a few spots worth stopping for!
I’ll start with my favorite find first ; ) Technically, Pizza Salad is in Thousand Oaks, which is still in LA county but by the skin of its teeth! Just a few minutes south of the county line, this pizza joint is a hidden gem. Not only are they uber eco (eco to go packaging, utensils, Prius delivery cars, etc), they serve up organic food daily. 95% of their ingredients found on their menu are USDA certified organic which equals healthy customers & a healthy earth. In addition, they’ve got vegan pizza with your choice of regular vegan cheese or soy free as well as an amaranth based gluten free crust option. So regardless of your special diet, PizzaSalad has you and your carbon footprint more then covered!
Mary’s Secret Garden was a place I wanted to try as I’d heard mixed reviews. Sure, the menu is a bit on the pricey side and yeah, they had run of the mill vegan options (burgers, sandwiches, salads, etc) but I will say that I was happy to find a fully vegan joint in Ventura. I opted not to go for the “staples” and went for their raw menu. The raw tostada tasty as was the raw Tropic Tease smoothie I had. But the best part was dessert. I’m a sucker for Tiramisu and Mary’s was pretty damn good with a side of raw vegan ice cream. If you’re on your way to LA or Santa Barbara and are in search of some vegan grub, pop on over to Mary’s Secret Garden at 100 S. Fir Street, Ventura, CA 93001 – (805) 641-FOOD.
For breakfast or lunch, omni or herbi, ZZyzx Cafe is a good choice. Lots of fresh options for all sorts of eaters. More for vegetarians than vegans, I was still able to veganize my breakfast because sweet potato fries are perfect at any meal!
Lastly, I was delighted to see how many options I had at this east coast style deli. The Old New York Deli & Bakery offers freshly baked breads, bagels and other pastries (lots for non-veggies) in addition to wraps, salads, soups and sandwiches. I couldn’t resist having a bagel sandwich piled high with hummus, avocado, cucumber, tomato and sprouts. And so cheap too! A lot of bang for your buck no matter your foodie style!
So that’s a wrap on Camarillo! If you live in SoCal, it’s a cute day trip or a nice pit stop on your way up or down the state. At least now you’ll know before you go! You can check out more Staycation spots by clicking on this week’s episode of California Life, www.californialifehd.com
For more information, visit www.healthyvoyager.com ~ By: Carolyn “The Healthy Voyager” Scott
When I was invited by Julie Gallaher of thingsyoushoulddo.com to spend a week at Rancho La Puerta, my initial reply was “I don’t have time for a luxurious spa week in Mexico, I barely make time to eat!” Then our education reporter Jennifer quinonez told me to take a second look at the amazing amenities on their website and felt it would be an important segment to feature on our show, California life.
Even my husband who was surprisingly diagnosed with colon cancer at 38, urged me to take a break from our regular routine and focus on slowing down. It’s not easy leaving 3 kids, a full-time job producing 2 newsmagazine shows, a production company, classroom volunteering, chaffier duties to the girls’ activities and a husband undergoing chemotherapy. So, naturally the guilt set in quickly as I made my way to San Diego to catch a bus to Tecate. Too much caffeine, no time for breakfast, a lingering sinus infection I never made time to get antibiotics to cure and a frantic last minute search for my passport, left me feeling queasy and I started off my trip as “the guest who got sick on the way”.
It was all worth it when I finally descended on the beautiful resort of Rancho La Puerta, a tranquil setting, comfortable casitas, endless hiking trails, and delicious meals made from the organic gardens nearby. There was an activity for everyone; whether it’s yoga, Pilates, relaxing mediation, vintage jewelry designs, lectures on dreams and a full service spa. I was more relaxed than usual but the moment I checked my iphone, the stress would come back instantly. Then a wonderful thing happened, I forgot to bring my iphone charger and was forced to spend the week without technology (cell phones and computers are restricted to your rooms and the internet cafe). I was forced to hike without my ipod and listen to the birds and nature. Noise alone is a huge stress on the body. In fact, when I got home I researched the impact technology has on our family unit and few articles have hit home more poignantly than the genius “Report: 90% Of Waking Hours Spent Staring At Glowing Rectangles”.Kids and teens 8 to 18 years spend nearly 4 hours a day in front of a TV screen and almost 2 additional hours on the computer and playing video games. In today’s technology culture, a computer can be “watched” like a TV – as can iPods, cell phones, and many other gadgets.
I also realized how unhealthy my diet was (living on coffee and skipping meals is never a good combo). We ate 3 meals a day without processed foods, sugar and red meat. My roommate lost 6 pounds and I had more energy than my triple espresso diet. We spent one evening picking our food from an organic garden then cooking alongside a handsome, Belgium chef straight out of central casting from the Food Network in a gorgeous Tuscany style kitchen.
The food was amazing and we all swore we would go home and start our own organic garden. I did come home and make delicious recipes from the Rancho La Puerta cookbook and although the garden is on hold, I did start a routine to buy organic! My daughters can’t wait to grow yummy vegetables in a family garden after watching the Rancho La Puerta story on our show, California life. I am sending my husband next month to experience Rancho La Puerta when he finishes chemotherapy. I can’t imagine a better way to kick-start his new health regime. More importantly, I want him to take a break from technology so he can truly relax and soak up the motto “Siempre Mejor” which means “Always Better” ~ because regardless of how busy we are, we can always be better. Thank you Julie Gallaher for the invitation, Roma Maxwell for the opportunity and co-founder Deborah Szekely for creating this wonderful escape 70 years ago!
There was a reason our first Good Life segment at Ecoterra, a health food store in Claremont, California. Joy begins with good health. After you turn 30, that takes a conscious effort. Start by eating good food. Fruit, salads and raw vegetables are wonderful for your body. Sugar in almost any form is not. Disease loves sugar. You want an alkaline balance in your body, not an acid one, and sugar is acidic. A PH above 4.0 is good. To get there, eat lemons, watermelon, papaya, oranges and grapefruit, or drink their juices. Any successful health program must be well-rounded so if you have never gotten a colonic, you should. They cost anywhere from $50 to $75 but are worth about $500 each to your health. Nothing is more important to your health than a clean colon because this allows you the full benefits of the good food you eat. Exercise and good thoughts contribute mightily. You should consider a health clinic, if you can afford one. They cost anywhere from $1,000 to $1,500 a week, half that amount if you share the room with a friend. Health is a lifetime commitment that takes thought, planning and commitment. You have to really want it to achieve it but if you make it a priority in your life, the rewards in energy and vitality are very much worth it.