Last Minute Healthy Holiday Gift Guide for Travel, Spa, Wellness and Inspiration

Wednesday, December 16th, 2015 | Adventure, Ayurveda, Beauty, California Spas, Canyon Ranch, Cooking Schools, Destination Spas, Energy Work, Gratitude and Inspiration, Healing, Healing Music, Meditation, Nutrition, Peace, Rancho la Puerta, Red Mountain Spa, Relaxation, Skincare, Weight Loss, facials, fitness, healthy living, hiking, joy, love, massage, mindfulness, spa, stress relief, well-being, wellness | No Comments

Healthy Holiday Gift Guide
Travel, Spa, and Wellness

It’s the season of giving and if you’re like me and seek out healthy holiday gifts that keep on giving all year, then my hope is that you’ll enjoy this thoughtful list.  Many of these gift ideas will inspire others and truly make a difference in a person’s life, perhaps your own life.

Merry Christmas and holiday greetings to you and yours. Best wishes for a New Year filled with Good Health, Joy and many Happy Adventures! – Donna


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Coloring Books
I love that Coloring Books are so widely available.    This is one that I love and it inspires me, brings me peace and truly brings me back to the present moment.  And, yes, it reconnects me with my inner child and offers a way to relax and have fun.  Coloring offers a mindful way to take a few minutes  out of a hectic day and tap into our creativity.
The Mandala Coloring Book – affordable and has 100 Mandala Coloring Pages


Skin Authority
There are several products that I like by this brand.  For family and friends living in colder climates, this is a great option for the winter season. The Holiday Essentials Duo is a useful option to keep skin, hair and nails nourished and hydrated during the winter and beyond.  This item includes the Oil Nutrient for Face, Hair, and Nails and the Moisturizing Mist..

The other product I love for gift giving is the Stocking Stuffer Sampler, offered in the 0.7 oz personal size. The Sampler includes: Hand Foot Body Restoration; Olive, Fig, Shea Butter Body Cream: Sunscreen Moisturizer SPF30 and Daily Cleanser*
* Both items offer a price break and they’re both packaged in the gold organza pouch.


Tony Redhouse
Music
is Uplifting, Inspirational, Soothing, Relaxing and Energizing.
I’ve personally known Tony Redhouse for several years having first met him at Miraval Arizona.   His music touches my soul and brings me to a higher level of awareness and I believe it will do the same for you.  Tony is an Inspirational Speaker, Native American Spiritual Coach, Native American Musician, and offers Yoga and Meditation.  His titles include: Soul Blessings, Release, Deep Within and Harmony of East and Westwww.tonyredhouse.net/


Brittany Shane
I came upon Brittany’s music from an Indie film called The Village Barbershop.  I enjoyed the movie and the music so I set out to connect with Brittany and listen to more of her work.   These are two of her CDs I enjoy listening to and I chose them for this list because her music (rock, pop and poetry) inspires me and improves my well-being.  www.brittanyshane.com


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Wellness Retreats for Body, Mind and Spirit
Destination spas offer programs for healthy living and are designed to help you get on track with tools to help you continue on the path to wellness when you return.  If you’re still thinking of something to do for someone close to you and you have a larger budget to do so, this is a gift that will inspire wellness for years to come.
Ideas include:

1. Shankara Ayurveda Spa at the Art of Living Retreat Center.
With stunning mountain views, this Center is just outside of Boone, N.C.   This option is great for a solo traveler, friends, couples and offers meditation and programs based on Ayurvedic practices.  www.artoflivingretreatcenter.org

2. Hilton Head Health, Hilton Head, SC.
Hilton Head Health
(H3) has over 40 years of experience with their weight loss program and their newer Live Well Program.  Beginning on day one you’re assessed by H3’s fitness experts and given a personalized program, one that is effective and tailored to your needs.  Scheduling features healthy eating, fitness, behavioral health and they’re offered in private and small groups.  H3’s all-inclusive program is effective, empowering and fun.
Promotional rate effective until the end of 2015 starting at $3700 Single (7-night stay).

3. Vera Via, Carlsbad, CA
Vera Via
offers one of the most unique programs among destination/health spas.  Their program helps guests accomplish specific goals including weight reduction, personal fitness and programs for long lasting health and well-being.  I love that you meet with their experts and create an individualized plan that helps you realize success during your stay with continued progress when you’re back home. Treating the ‘whole’ person leads to long lasting results.
Vera Via offers 1-, 2-, 3-, and 4-week stays and a Vera Via Express 3-night stay. Rates start at $2950 per person.

Visit the full list of destination spa ideas:
www.mindfuladventures.com/top-10-spa-wellness-retreats/

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A book is one of the best gifts you can give and this is one of a few that I’m including on this list. The author, Kimber Simpkins, is also a yoga instructor and author of Full.
52 Ways to Love your Body is her latest and it truly spoke to me.  About a year ago I told myself to ‘embrace my body,’ and yet I’ve fallen short just as many others have in their lives.  This book gives you 52 ways to love your body and discover/rediscover your unique attributes.   Many chapters spoke to me, however Chapter 34 (Not All Hunger is for Food) did so the most.  Chapters 6, 11 and 20 also spoke to me. Kimber offers insight, tips and action steps and one per week can help you make effective changes through the year.  You may choose to get one for a friend and one for yourself!

Wine Trails: Plan 52 Perfect Weekends in Wine Country
For the family member and/or friend that loves wine and travel!
This is the latest by Lonely Planet with amazing photography (only wish I was a contributor!) and offers ideas for your next wine getaway.
20 Countries – 52 Itineraries – 327 Wineries
This guide covers where to stay, where to eat, what to do and more.
Consider pairing Wine Trails with a bottle (or two) of the wines covered.

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Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea by Annelies Zijderveld
I first connected with Annelies several years ago when she was with Mighty Leaf Tea and I was delighted when her book came out.  She’s a food writer and creator of the food blog - the food poet.  Steeped is also a Los Angeles Times Favorite Cookbook of the Year.  This book is filled with creative recipes, information on cooking with tea tools, a guide to teas and more.  Some recipes that stand out for me include Green Tea Granola, Orange-Jasmine Brussels Sprouts and Blueberry Scones with Rooibos Honey Butter.
Tea offers numerous health benefits and Steeped offers many ideas to add more creative recipes to your healthy meal planning.

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Another book that I love!  It’s actually a journal and written by self-taught artist, Meera Lee Patel.
Start Where You Are – A Journal for Self-Exploration
Meera believes that it is the act of starting somewhere first (anywhere) that takes us to where we want to be.  This is also part of my belief system, which is why I think this journal resonates so much.  I think it’s one that you’ll also enjoy.  It is filled with Meera’s colorful artwork, insightful quotes and thoughts to inspire you to take action.

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5 Tips to Stress Less this Holiday Season – Expert Advice by Shankara Ayurveda Spa

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015 | Adventure, Ayurveda, Destination Spas, Energy Work, Gratitude and Inspiration, Healing, Manifesting, Meditation, Nutrition, Peace, Relaxation, Skincare, Weight Loss, fitness, gratitude, healthy living, hiking, joy, massage, mindfulness, spa, stress relief, well-being, wellness | No Comments

Shankara Ayurveda Spa

Five Tips to Stress Less this Holiday Season by Incorporating the Science of Ayurveda into your Lifestyle

Expert Advice from Shankara Ayurveda Spa at the Art of Living Retreat Center.

With all that is merry and bright about the holiday season, managing parties, gifts and a lot of festive food also means that seasonal stressors and anxieties are bound to become a reality. Wondering how to cope? The team of experts from Shankara Ayurveda Spa at the Art of Living Retreat Center wants to help people embrace the ancient science of Ayurveda as a method to add cheer and chill to the holidays.

Stress is a holiday tradition for many. A poll from the American Psychological Association reports nearly a quarter of Americans feel “extreme stress” at holiday time. Specific data show:

  • 69 percent of people are stressed by the feeling of having a lack of time,
  • 69 percent are stressed by perceiving a lack of money,
  • 51 percent are stressed about the pressure to give or get gifts.

The stress and anxiety of the holiday season can cause headaches, sleep disturbances, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, short temper, upset stomach, aching muscles (including lower back pain), and loss of appetite. For relief, meditation is a great practice, “One of the benefits of meditation is that it helps create a calm, clear mind,” says Venkat Srinivasan, PhD. Srinivasan is the manager of operations & guest experience at Shankara Ayurveda Spa at the Art of Living Retreat Center. “When the mind is at ease and comfortable, it’s easier to handle stresses or anxiety when they appear.”

A few Ayurvedic tips for handling anxiety and stressful situations during the holidays and year-round:

  • See the larger picture. When we see the bigger picture in the larger context of space and time, we are able to relax and handle the situation with a clear mind.
  • Give attention to your breath and take a few deep breaths. This helps settle the anxiety in the mind. “When breathing techniques and meditation become part of our daily practice, stressful situations are much more easily handled and anxiety doesn’t stay with us for long,” adds Srinivasan.
  • Keep energy levels high. A high energy level can help in handling situations with a positive outlook. Drinking more water, eating more fresh fruits & vegetables, sleeping at regular times and an Ayurvedic lifestyle all contribute to higher energy levels.
  • Feel grateful. Focusing on gratefulness can uplift our state of mind. Srinivasan suggests, “When we feel grateful, we focus on the positive, which enables natural contentment and abundance to grow.”
  • Take a break. A few minutes of deep rest, such as during meditation, calms the mind and gives it the space needed to handle situations with skill.

For optimal rest and restoration after the holidays, start 2016 at the Retreat Center. There are a number of retreats from which to choose, including meditation retreats and silence programs. Details may be found online.

Shankara Ayurveda Spa

About Shankara Ayurveda Spa at the Art of Living Retreat Center - For those seeking physical and internal renewal on their journey toward greater self-awareness and happiness, Shankara Ayurveda Spa at the Art of Living Retreat Center provides a nurturing environment and service-oriented, educated staff. The relaxing mountaintop location in North Carolina offers wellness adventurers a range of therapeutic Ayurvedic treatments and day or overnight programs perfect for those hoping to cultivate rejuvenation and inner growth. More on artoflivingretreatcenter.org.

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Canyon Ranch Tucson: The Mindful Adventures Wellness Retreat – May 2016

Monday, October 5th, 2015 | Adventure, Canyon Ranch, Challenge Course, Cooking Schools, Destination Spas, Healing, Meditation, Nutrition, Relaxation, Skincare, Weight Loss, facials, fitness, gratitude, healthy living, hiking, joy, massage, spa, stress relief, well-being, wellness | No Comments

If Canyon Ranch has been on your list of ‘go to’ spas then you might want to consider this option for a great group rate at Canyon Ranch in Tucson, AZ in May 2016 .

Enjoy a wellness retreat at Canyon Ranch in Tucson at this great savings for being connected with us here at Mindful Adventures.   Whether you choose to go solo or as a couple to rejuvenate and reconnect or go with friends or colleagues, there’s plenty to do at this top destination spa.  And, if you’re a physician you’ll have an opportunity to earn CME credits with select classes.

This flyer includes more details, let’s connect and secure your space.

What’s to love?
There are so many options at Canyon Ranch and you can focus on something in particular like nutrition and weight loss or fitness and personal training, etc., or you can mix it up and create your perfect retreat.

Perhaps your morning will include Sun Salutations or the Morning Stretch.  Maybe you’ll go on a hike or engage in one of the challenge activities.   Are you finding all of the latest nutrition news confusing?  Well, there are classes to help you evaluate what’s best for you and learn more about the science behind the latest information.   Are you looking to connect with your creative side?  Take a painting class or one of the many other creative options.

If you’d like to review more class options for Tucson, this link will take you to one of the upcoming schedules to get some more ideas.

Did you say Spa?
Your stay includes an allowance to use towards a number of spa and personal services.   What to choose?  Well, that’s up to you and I usually like to recommend that you review the Guide to Services and consider what calls out to you.  For me, I like the Neuromuscular Therapy service and the Deep Tissue Massage.  Perhaps you’ll choose an Ayurvedic treatment or one of the many body rituals.  You can also set up a personal fitness session, a Nutrition session like a Life Management private session or a Spiritual-Wellness private session.

What’s for Dinner?
The chefs at Canyon Ranch create delicious, fresh and nutritious meals with sustainable and local ingredients; just what you’d expect from a health spa.  Take a look at what dinner might include.   What I also love is that you can create your own meal using the a la carte options so if you’d like grilled chicken with steamed broccoli and a half (or whole) baked sweet potato, it’s possible.

Please note that this special from Mindful Adventures reflects a savings of about 30% and further details are included on the flyer.

Let’s connect and get you started on your journey!  Thank you.

To your wellness!
- Donna xx

PS  If you’re looking to put your own group together for another time, let’s connect.   Canyon Ranch (Lenox or Tucson) is a great option for a group of friends, physicians, reunions, celebrations, team building, etc.   There truly is something for everyone and a savings to match with a minimum of 8 guests.
Individual opportunities are also possible if a group isn’t an option for you.

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A Mindful Experience at Two Fish Gallery in Elkhart Lake, WI

Thursday, July 30th, 2015 | Adventure, Beauty, gratitude, joy, mindfulness, well-being | No Comments

Pat is getting ready to share some clay at Two Fish Gallery.

Surrounded by colorful gardens, Two Fish Gallery is located in a Mission Style Bungalow and the classes and kiln are held in the Carriage House behind the gallery.  Meandering on the path between the bungalow and carriage house also nourishes a joyful and creative experience.  It’s evident that the owners, Pat and Karen Robison, have taken great care to encourage a creative journey at their Gallery and Sculpture Garden.

Inspired by my surroundings and reconnecting to my hands-on creative side was one of the highlights of my recent stay in Elkhart Lake, WI.  Several of us took a pottery class at Two Fish Gallery led by co-owner Pat Robison and we unleashed our inner artist.   I think creating art, like this, is truly a mindful experience.  It’s a little like gardening where you get totally immersed in your task.

Forming my masterpiece!

Nowadays when I travel I typically bring home a new piece of pottery, usually a new cup or bowl, so to have the opportunity to create my own pottery was exciting.   Making the decision took a little time, however I chose to make a new vessel for my tea and coffee.

With plenty of creative tools to help with our creations we started to form our masterpiece with molds or use the wheel, something I’d love to do in a future pottery class.

Ready for the glazing and firing process.

Since it takes some time to set and dry before the creation can be glazed and fired, we knew it would be a little time before we could see our finished product.

Prior to leaving our work behind in the hands of our instructor we chose the finish and glaze we wanted and left the class filled with anticipation of receiving our art.

Of course, I didn’t totally leave empty handed as I shopped for something to bring home as a reminder of the class and renewed experience of making pottery.

Finished Pottery

Filled with anticipation for several weeks I was so excited to receive ‘the’ box from Two Fish Gallery this week and quickly tore the box open to reveal my creation.  Of course, Pat took it to completion, however I’m grateful for the experience and will be using this with great care and joy.

My handmade vessel!

Classes at Two Fish Gallery are offered over a six week period and if you’re local or vacationing at the lake this is a great activity to enjoy.

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Canyon Ranch Lenox: Late Summer Retreat Special for Readers of Mindful Adventures

Saturday, July 25th, 2015 | Adventure, Beauty, Canyon Ranch, Challenge Course, Destination Spas, Healing, Meditation, Nutrition, Peace, Relaxation, Skincare, Weight Loss, facials, fitness, gratitude, healthy living, hiking, massage, mindfulness, spa, stress relief, well-being, wellness | No Comments

Enjoy a late summer retreat at Canyon Ranch in Lenox at this great savings for being connected with us here at Mindful Adventures.   Whether you choose to go on a solo retreat to rejuvenate and reconnect before the busy fall season arrives or go with a friend, there’s plenty to do at this top destination spa.

This flyer includes more details, let’s connect soon to secure your space (by July 31).


What’s to love?

There are so many options at Canyon Ranch and you can focus on something in particular like nutrition and weight loss or fitness and personal training, etc., or you can mix it up and create your perfect retreat.

Perhaps your morning will include Sun Salutations or the Morning Stretch.  Maybe you’ll go on the canoe and hike combo, the weather in mid-September should be just about right.    Are you finding all of the latest nutrition news confusing?  Well, there are classes to help you evaluate what’s best for you and learn more about the science behind the latest information.   Are you looking to connect with your creative side?  Take a painting class or one of the many other create options.

If you’d like to review more class options for Lenox, this link will take you to one of the upcoming schedules to get some more ideas.

Did you say Spa?
Your stay includes an allowance to use towards a number of spa and personal services.   What to choose?  Well, that’s up to you and I usually like to recommend that you review the spa list and consider what calls out to you.  For me, I like the Neuromuscular Therapy service and the Deep Tissue Massage.  Perhaps you’ll choose an Ayurvedic treatment or one of the many body rituals.  You can also set up a personal fitness session, a Nutrition session like a Life Management private session or a Spiritual-Wellness private session.

What’s for Dinner?
The chefs at Canyon Ranch create delicious, fresh and nutritious meals with sustainable and local ingredients; just what you’d expect from a health spa.  Take a look at what dinner might include.   What I also love is that you can create your own meal using the a la carte options so if you’d like grilled chicken with steamed broccoli and a half (or whole) baked sweet potato, it’s possible.

Please note that this special from Mindful Adventures reflects a savings of about 30% off and is still during peak season.

Let’s connect and get you started on your journey!  Thank you.

To your wellness! -
- Donna xx

PS  If you’re looking to put your own group together for another time, let’s connect. Canyon Ranch (Lenox or Tucson) is a great option for
a groups of friends, reunions, family gatherings, birthday celebrations, team building, etc.   There’s something for everyone and a savings to match.

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Babich Wines of New Zealand Visits Southeastern Michigan’s Fine Wine Source

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015 | Adventure, well-being | No Comments

“Wine is bottled poetry.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

I’m a red kind of gal when it comes to wine, however when it’s warm outside I do like a lighter wine like Sauvignon Blanc.  So when I think about Sauvignon Blanc I immediately think of New Zealand and the Marlborough region.   Fortunately, I just had an opportunity to meet David Babich, General Manager of Babich Wines.  No, I’m not in New Zealand, however he is here touring the Midwest so I knew it would be a good idea to stop by Fine Wine Source in Livonia, MI to meet him, learn more about Babich Wines and their sustainable practices, and yes, join in for a tasting.

First taste, the 2014 Babich Sauvignon, light, refreshing with a nice finish and one I could enjoy in the heat of the summer.   Next on the list, their organic Headwaters Sauvignon Blanc.  By the way, Babich developed the first vineyard to achieve sustainable registration in New Zealand.  Back to Headwaters – also light, tropical and this one revealed more mineral elements and the one I chose to purchase.   The other tasting included the 2013 Pinot Noir revealing notes of cherry and a little plum.  This one will go in the cellar as I’m curious to see how it develops over the next year or so (up to three years).

Babich will be celebrating 100 years of wine making in 2016 and it all began in 1916 when Josip Babich made his first New Zealand wine, selling it in cask and bottled under the name Babich Brothers.  I found their journey to be most interesting and their legacy continues.

David Babich, General Manager of Babich Wines, signing my bottles of wine.

2013 Babich Pinot Noir and 2014 Babich Sauvignon Blanc 'Headwaters'

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Musings about Perseverance and Persistence

Friday, April 17th, 2015 | Abundance, Adventure, Gratitude and Inspiration, Healing, fitness, gratitude, mindfulness, well-being, wellness | No Comments

“Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite
of all obstacles, discouragements, and impossibilities:  It is this, that in all things distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.”
- Thomas Carlyle

I’m inspired by quotes and they can certainly help change the course of a day.  Perhaps it’s the same for you.  The one above did that for me today as I’m a bit discouraged about a few things and yet I know that deep down I have it in me to persevere.  The question is will I listen to that part of me that persists knowing that it will take more work, risk and faith?

This brings me to vulnerability.  (Stay with me for a moment.)

The feeling of vulnerability has been pretty consistent over the last several weeks and I spoke about it in my video during my journey at Hilton Head Health.   The feeling is still with me as I continue on this journey to shed a few pounds, get more fit and overcome a few other obstacles along the way.  What I know in my heart is that I can do this.  It was evident at Hilton Head Health and ‘my strong soul’ has been a beacon for me over the years.   What I also know is that I get stuck because I think about the obstacles more than the solutions.

There’s an awareness.  Self-awareness.  I consider myself a positive individual, yet I’m not totally free from the negative thoughts that linger at times.  I’m guessing this is true for most of us.   Thoughts and questions like: Am I …? Can I …? When will ‘x’ come to fruition?  How will I accomplish ‘xyz’? And so on.

Does this sound like you at times?

So let’s get back to the quote above.

When I received this one today by Thomas Carlyle from Inspiration Daily it got me thinking differently and earlier (thankfully!) in the day.  I didn’t have time this morning to ponder the disappointments that started my day because of this quote.  And for that I’m grateful.

Is there a quote that inspires you?

Be well! xx

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Organic Spa Magazine Releases 2015 Health, Wellness And Green Living Trends – PRNewswire

Thursday, April 16th, 2015 | Beauty, Energy Work, Healing, Meditation, Nutrition, Skincare, Weight Loss, facials, fitness, healthy living, mindfulness, stress relief, well-being, wellness | No Comments

The team at Organic Spa Magazine just released The Top 10 Health, Wellness and Green Living Trends and I thought you might like to review their list.

One of their trends, Wearable Wellness, has become more relevant in my life and perhaps a couple will speak to you.

To your health!

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Hilton Head Health: Healthy Insights with David Chesworth, Fitness Specialist

Thursday, April 9th, 2015 | Adventure, Cooking Schools, Destination Spas, Healing, Meditation, Nutrition, Relaxation, Weight Loss, facials, fitness, healthy living, hiking, massage, mindfulness, well-being, wellness | No Comments

A question to ponder:
What obstacles are preventing you from being your healthiest self?

If you’ve been following me and Mindful Adventures via social media, you know that I recently returned from Hilton Head Health (H3) and experienced their Lose Well 4-week program.    Up until experiencing the H3 program I believed I was doing all of the right things – eating healthy, exercising (although not consistently – first obstacle) and taking care of myself.  My business is built around wellness and it’s my focus in life, however  I had to know that on some level something wasn’t working and wondered if the answers would come to me during this program.

Some answers did come to me during the first week.  It was one of the toughest weeks of my life (physically), however I discovered that my body could do more given the chance and direction.

“The more your body is challenged, the more it wants to adapt.”
- David Chesworth


I remember David saying that to me and it was so profound….one of the major ‘aha’ moments of my journey.  The second week wasn’t easier, however my body began to adapt and I started to notice some subtle changes.  The three main points that I’m focusing on now that I’m back in the ‘real world’ include a food journal (the MyFitnessPal app), portion control at dinner and movement.

There’s more to share about my experience, including additional interviews with other members of the H3 team, however let’s start with fitness with Insight from David Chesworth, one of my H3 trainers.

David and I worked together during much of my stay and he was empathetic to my challenges from a couple of injuries I have had to deal with, one that I continue to work on.  As you’ll read in the interview below, he overcame a serious injury and I believe that his empathy and understanding also helped me to overcome more obstacles.  And, if you’d like to look at the video we created during my last day at H3, this is the link.  I hope David’s insight and the video will inspire you to make positive changes in your own life.


Healthy Insights with David Chesworth

DA: What inspired you to become an Exercise Physiologist?
DC: Growing up I was a scrawny musician in the band. When I got in high school I all of a sudden became obsessed with the idea of bulking up to impress the girls. While this was my initial spark to becoming interested in exercise physiology, it was not the long term motivator. I soon became genuinely in love with being physically active. It made me feel so good! A happiness unlike any other I’ve felt. A confidence, a self control, and a new version of me I didn’t know was possible. My dad ended up getting shoulder surgery and needed physical therapy. Through this series of events, I decided I wanted to go to school for exercise science to later become a physical therapist. I soon realized that being a physical therapist was not quite for me. At the end of my undergrad journey I found the Hilton Head Health internship where I realized my true passion for who I wanted to help. I realized that I wanted to help more than just those who need physical therapy. I want to touch the lives of anyone and everyone who genuinely wants to change for the better by taking on a more active lifestyle.

DA: What tips would you like to share with my readers to enhance their fitness needs?
DC: Fitness Tips:

​a) Seek activities you enjoy: Not only will you have more success long term, but also, whats the point of living healthy if it doesn’t also make you happy?
b) Start Early: You may not think you’re a morning person, and maybe you’re not, but the earlier in the day you start being active the less likely you are to make excuses later in the day. Not only that, physical activity at the beginning of the day has been shown to improve productivity.
c) Prioritize Yourself: Schedule out your physical activity in your life the same way you would a doctors appointment. Don’t miss it!
d) Log your excuses: Every time you make an excuse, write it down. When you re-read it in a more clear state of mind, write down a solution for that excuse. This will turn that excuse into an invalid one for the future.

DA: What’s one of your biggest life lessons so far and do you use it in your work?
DC:
Allow yourself to be interdependent: My biggest life lesson so far in life is that, “it is okay to accept the help from others”.  Now, I’m not saying to be completely dependent on others. But being too stubborn to accept the help others can offer is equally ridiculous. There is a happy medium of being independent as well as cooperative with others – interdependence. There will be times in your life when you simply don’t know what to do, or physically can’t do something. Don’t be afraid to utilize the tools that others have to offer you to help you along the way. Think of it as a temporary crutch, if you will. While nobody wants to use crutches, they will ultimately lead you to greatness and will leave you feeling grateful and better than ever in the future. I had this realization during my recovery from my broken neck.

DA: If you weren’t working in the fitness field, what would you be doing?
DC: I’ve always thought of myself as an entertainer. I like making people happy and putting on a show. I am also a very musical person. I always find myself humming along to songs and tapping my foot wanting to dance. If I had another career path I would have chosen to be a performer of some sort.

DA:
What’s your favorite fitness activity?
DC: It’s tough to chose one fitness activity as my favorite. I don’t think I could pick one. I would have to say that anytime I feel like I’m “playing” is my favorite. Exercise sounds like work, but play sounds like fun. When I’m having fun in a social, active setting I’m happiest.

DA:
What do you do to stay educated about fitness trends, research, etc.?
DC: Staying educated is not only important for my clients, but also for myself. Keeping myself interested in the field and finding new ways to refuel my passion is so important. Being a member of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) organization I receive e-mails and journals in the mail with the latest research studies and articles on fitness and health. I also seek new seminars and certifications to attend in order to network and grow in the field that way. Sometimes simply opening up an old text book and re-reading chapters can open my eyes in new ways, reading things from a new angle and understanding them in ways I didn’t before.

DA:
What’s next for you in this field?
DC: The question of “What’s next” is a question I frequently challenge myself with. It’s tough to say. I often find myself having different ideas with completely different avenues, but at the end of the day, I don’t know what’s next. Like a shark, I must keep moving to stay alive. Right now it is important that I continue seeking new ways to stay educated  in the field. Along the way there will always be new doors opening. When I see a new door worth walking through, I will.

DA:
Do you have a mentor?  If so, how has he/she helped you?
DC: I consider Adam Martin at Hilton Head Health to be one of my greatest mentors. As former Fitness Director, he is the one who hired me and the one I attribute much of my current training style to. I never saw him make excuses. The way he interacts with guests is amazing. It always seemed to me that if he had a vision, he could make it a reality. This is such a powerful quality to have. He has since transitioned into marketing over the past several years, however, he continues to demonstrate this and it continues to be a motivational concept to me as I apply it to Fitness.

DA:
What is most rewarding to you in your field?
DC: The most rewarding thing in my field, hands down, is when I hear a guest/client say, “I never thought I would be able to do this (ever/again) in my life!” To be a part of a life journey that takes a person from one self to a better version of that self is something that cannot be given a price tag.

DA:
Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?
DC: There may be times when you find yourself getting lost. This is a very real thing and can definitely happen. In fact, it most probably will happen. When you find yourself getting lost I challenge you to compose a personal vision statement. A personal vision statement is your time to step into the shoes of your ideal version of yourself. If you had all the magic in the world and could snap your fingers right now to become that person, who would that be? Write your vision as if you are already this person with phrases like, “I am, I can, I enjoy”.  Avoid phrases like, “I want, I will, I should”. Nothing is more powerful than the “why” behind your journey. When things get tough, you will stop caring about the “what”… But gosh darn it, why?
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Photo: David Chesworth and Donna Adinolfi
Photo credit: Queata M. Cassell of Hilton Head Health
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7 Spa-Inspired Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself in the Busyness of Work-Life

Saturday, November 1st, 2014 | Adventure, California Spas, Canyon Ranch, Destination Spas, Healing, Healing Music, Meditation, Mii Amo, Miraval Spa, Nutrition, Rancho la Puerta, Red Mountain Spa, Relaxation, Weight Loss, fitness, gratitude, healthy living, hiking, joy, massage, mindfulness, spa, stress relief, well-being, wellness | No Comments

7 Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself in the Busyness of Work-Life

This past week was one of the busiest weeks I’ve had in the last several months, which is great, of course.  Writing about wellness spas and talking to others about the benefits of going to a wellness spa inspire me for many reasons and time away devoted to our health is invaluable.

Massage and other services are vital for our well-being, however what I love most about the spa industry is that it’s a lifestyle.  So while we can learn a lot about living healthier lives, implementing what we learned to our daily life is important.

The Spa Lifestyle (for me) is about Eating Healthy, Moving our Bodies, Going Outdoors, Meditation and Prayer and so much more. The busyness of this week reminded me of a few things to re-evaluate for my own health and perhaps they’ll remind you of the importance of taking care of yourself.  It isn’t selfish.  It’s necessary. And while my intention is to engage in all of these there are times that even our best intentions fail us.  So let’s get back on track together.

1.  Always take advantage of ’slow times’ to complete other goals.
This is something I always think about when I get really busy.  It also reminds me of a job I had years ago when I was told to enjoy the slow time because it was about to get very busy.  I know I tend to thrive in the energy of the busyness, however the lesson here is to take advantage of the ‘ebb’ in our lives and use the time to complete other tasks to avoid stressing over not having the time later.

2. Go to the gym in the morning because ‘later’ comes much too soon.
Old habits aren’t always easy to change, however this one has to.  I like to start my day with breakfast, followed by going through my emails and prioritizing tasks, etc.  My intention is to reward myself with going to the gym in the afternoon.  I’m sure you know how that’s been working out.  Obvious?  Yes.  Take care of this early.  No guilt later and I’m pretty sure we’ll feel more energized (without a second cup of coffee).

3. Always have a pitcher of water on your desk.
Last Christmas I purchased a water pitcher thinking I would keep it filled and on my desk everyday.  It worked for a little while and then I decided I’d just get up and down to get a glass of water to break up sitting so long.  Well, it’s truly best to keep the pitcher close at hand so that you’re staying hydrated throughout the day.  The more you drink your daily water, the more you’ll naturally get up!

4. Go outside, breathe in fresh air and connect with nature.
This is so important on so many levels.   I find that even when I’m engaged in my work flow there comes a time in the afternoon, usually about 4pm, that I have to go outside.   It may only be for about 10-20 minutes, yet the benefits last much longer.  Go outside!

5. Play music you love…music that inspires you.
I love most kinds of music and choose different kinds depending on what I’m working on.
Music inspires me.
Music gets me moving.
Music stirs my soul and helps my creative process.
What kind of music inspires you?

6. Read more and watch less (TV).
I’ll confess that I do have a few favorite TV shows.  Watching them distracts me from the challenges of life and yet I’ve been reading less and miss that time.  I love to read and most of what I read is in the self-help genre.
I have every book by Dr. Wayne Dyer, most from Louise Hay and Paulo Coelho and many, many others.   Reading helps me to slow down and immerse myself in the power of inspiring words.   It’s time to finish what I started.  What are you reading?

7. Eat Lunch!
More often than not I ‘forget’ to eat lunch.  That 4pm time comes along and I can’t help but wonder why I didn’t have something earlier.
It’s important to eat healthy and frequently during the day.  It’s a matter of taking just a few minutes and yet we get distracted by all of the busyness of our task-driven day.  With all of the cookbooks I have from my favorite spas like Miraval, Mii amo, Canyon Ranch, Rancho la Puerta, Red Mountain Spa, Cal-a-vie and Golden Door, there’s no excuse.   A good plan is bag some cut-up veggies, nuts, and whatever you’d like so they’re ready to grab.

I know these are obvious, however when you’re ‘in the flow’ it’s easy to put off doing what you know is best so this is a reminder for all of us. 

Now go outside, grab a bag of veggies and enjoy the day!

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