Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Spa Girl loves Spa Cuisine, it doesn’t get any better!

There are many suggestions for living well, and who doesn’t want that! Since 1991, the International SPA Association has been recognized worldwide as the professional organization and voice of the spa industry, representing health and wellness providers in more than 70 countries.

On their website they have a simple formula for living well and it goes like this: get eight hours of sleep, eat and drink healthy organic fruits and veggies and water, exercise, breathe, enjoy nature and beautiful things, nurture your body with a spa visit, learn or teach someone else, volunteer, give back to your community and your Earth, avoid negativity from yourself or from others, and lastly love yourself and others around you.

Great advice!

They also have a wonderful selection of spa foods submitted by ISPA members around the globe. One of my all time favourites is from the Elmwood Spa in Toronto, Canada, http://www.elmwoodspa.com/

Fruit Pasta with Melon Noodles, Lemon Mango Puree, Watermelon Berries, Vanilla Chantilly and Mint.

30 g Honeydew, Shredded with shredding peeler
30 g Cantaloupe, Shredded with shredding peeler
15 g Watermelon, Melon balled into 5 g balls
15 g Raspberries
15 g Blackberries
25 ml Mango Puree
5 ml Lemon Juice
25 ml Cream 35%
5 ml Vanilla Vodka
2 g Mint

Cut the skin off the melons and use a shredding peeler to make noodles. Using a melon baller scoop out full balls by digging the tool into the melon, when the melon is full of holes scrape away all the pieces of melon and continue making balls. When making the mango puree, combine lemon juice and mango puree and mix well. For the vanilla Chantilly whip cream until it forms soft peaks, add vanilla vodka and mix well.

When plating place the mango puree at the bottom of the plate, place noodles in center. Top with Chantilly and mint. Place berries and melon balls around noodles.

Spa cuisine is all about simply whole fresh foods; check out the other amazing delectable delights.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Spa Girl’s love the idea of inner beauty and overall good health

Major advances in technology have lead to the development of hundreds of different chemical compounds which can be found in everything from the food we eat to the products we use in the home. These man made chemical cocktails when applied to the skin are routinely absorbed into the bloodstream. Good health and inner beauty will be greatly enhanced by going organic and following a few good steps along the way.

Seeking happiness, being positive and knowing how to love and be loved is an ideal path to finding inner peace which is sure to benefit overall health. Beating stress through meditation, going to the spa, massage, reflexology or any of your favourite modalities all help to balance mind and heart.

Breathing is another important step in good health. Without a good supply of oxygen and the release of carbon dioxide all organs suffer including your skin which won’t have that youthful glow if you are not using your lungs to their full capacity. Now you might say we all breath naturally, which is true, but if you ever have the chance to do a workshop on deep breathing you will soon realize most of us use only a small portion of our lungs when breathing. Proper breathing will help deal with feeling of overall tiredness and keep you energized, your complexion will lose that lackluster appearance and you will generally feel better and have overall better health. Taking a few minutes to practice your deep breathing is also a great stress buster.

The next step along the way to inner beauty and overall good health is one we all know—exercise. Having tried and still looking to find that ultimate personal exercise I have been told we should do what we like and what feels good. If it’s a chore it won’t last long! While you are looking for that perfect exercise program, there are many daily forms of exercise we can practice like racking leaves (it’s that time of year), wash the windows, take the steps, park the car a little further away and walk the difference, take the dog for a walk, walk around the block before going to lunch. And by the way rebounding is one of the best forms of exercise and you can do it while watching TV. This list is endless and all adds up to a healthier lifestyle.

I have blogged on the importance of this life-sustaining drink—water—another critical step on the path to good health and inner beauty. Keeping hydrated helps to flush toxins, maintain good skin elasticity, helps with weight loss, keeps the body functioning effectively, regulates temperature, helps lubricate joints and the list goes on and on. And if you add lemon to your water you help improve your metabolism and stimulate liver and kidney function.

Digestion is essential to good health and inner beauty. It’s important to chew your food thoroughly to release the necessary enzymes which break down foods. Eat organic as much as possible, make sure you have a fiber rich diet and remember to savour each bite, and enjoy your meal.

Lastly all Spa Girls will find inner beauty and overall good health if they get enough sleep, which means at least eight hours a day.

Spa Girl say's your beautiful...

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Spa Girl recommends Skin Brushing

Lightly brushing your skin can provide many benefits as it is one of the most important organs for detoxification.

Skin brushing helps stimulate blood and lymphatic circulation, helps to remove dead skin cells and encourages new cell growth. It also helps to bring nutrients and oxygen to the upper layers of the skin and tightens the skin.

The lymphatic system is a network of vessels that run throughout the body to help clear away toxins, wastes and infections from the tissues. Skin brushing stimulates the lymphatic system and keeps it healthy and moving toxins out of the body leaving you with a great looking resilient skin.

Take a few minutes each morning to brush your skin, whether it’s before or during your shower, it will stimulate circulation and help you wake up. Starting at your feet use a soft natural bristle brush and sweep up your legs in long, light brisk movements. Then brush from your fingertips to shoulders always moving toward the heart. Circular motions are best for the tummy area and paying special attention to cellulite prone areas (buttocks, hips, and thighs) will have great benefits—as one cause of cellulite is a sluggish lymphatic system.

For more information on the lymphatic system and the benefits of skin brushing check out these sites.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Spa Girl likes Epsom Salt

For as long as I can remember I have used Epsom salt in my bath. It was a favorite “cure all” of my mothers and now one of my own.  I use salts in my bath, and we all know how much I love a good bath!

Some will be surprised to know that Epsom salt have a wide variety of uses, not only in the spa, but this time-tested mineral compound has hundreds of uses from the kitchen to organic gardening.

The two major components of Epsom salt are magnesium and sulfate which helps improve sleep, relieves tired sore muscles, reduces swelling, eases stress, reduces inflammation, helps to flush toxins and soften the skin, and raises energy levels. It’s also a natural emollient and great skin exfoliator. You can also mix Epsom salt with your hair conditioner to add body to your hair. Not bad for a little salt you add to your bath. In fact the Epsom salt Council (yes there is such an organization) indicates you should soak with Epsom salt at least three times a week to look better and have more energy.

Epsom salt is not expensive and you can buy it in most health food stores, pharmacies or the grocery store. It doesn’t matter which brand you buy, as Epsom salt is Epsom salt.

Here are some other tips from the Epsom salt Council to create an at-home spa:
• Glowing skin exfoliating treatment: Mix 2 cups of Epsom Salt with ¼ cup of petroleum jelly and a few drops of lavender essential oil. Use the mixture to gently scrub away dry skin patches.

• Microdermabrasion Facial: Mix ½ TSP of Epsom Salt into cleansing cream for a deep-pore cleansing. Massage on skin. Rinse with cool water. Pat dry.

• Homemade bath crystals: Mix two cups of Epsom Salt with a few drops of fragrance to create a custom bath crystal. Add a few drops of food coloring or ½ TSP of glycerin if you like. Store in an air-tight container.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Spa Girl loves a good scalp massage

Hair is a great indicator—healthy hair, healthy body and like the rest of the body it requires a good balance of vitamins and minerals.

Hair is made of keratin, a protein also found in our nails and healthy hair is slightly acidic. Each hair follicle has a sebaceous gland that secretes sebum to keep hair properly lubricated and help protect it. If your hair is on the oily side the sebaceous glands are over producing and sluggish if you have dry hair. Daily brushing or a good scalp massage will help stimulate the sebaceous glands, not to mention that it feels wonderful.

Massaging the scalp with warm oil infused with essential oils is a great way to keep your locks looking great. In addition to feeling great, scalp massages helps to relax the scalp and neck muscles as well as the mind and ultimately the nervous system, ensuring a great sleep. It also helps with circulation and hair growth while nourishing the roots and shafts.

Massage, lets face it--is pure magic!

Jojoba, almond, olive, avocados are all great carrier oils to use for scalp massages, then add essential oils that suit your hair type. Coconut oil can be used for dry or coarse hair. Heat the oil in bowl in a sink of hot water, the oil should be comfortable to the touch, then add a few drops of your selected essential oil and gently work the oil into the scalp adding a little at a time. Leave the oil on for 40 minutes or longer then wash out with a gentle, natural shampoo. You will be delighted!

Essential Oils for Hair Types
Scents have definite links to memory so when selecting which essential oil to use for your hair type, simply smell them all and use the one that smells the best to you.

Normal=eucalyptus, cedarwood, geranium, orange, lavender, rosemary

Oily=basil, bergamot, cedarwood, cypress, grapefruit, lavender, lemon
Dry=frankincense, geranium, lavender, palmarosa, rosemary, sandalwood
Damaged=comfrey, horsetail, lavender, frankincense
Dark=rosemary, thyme
Fair=roman chamomile