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!

New Year, New You: A Wellness Retreat to Transform Your Life

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014 | Adventure, Beauty, Challenge Course, Destination Spas, Energy Work, Equine Therapy, Healing, Healing Music, Meditation, Miraval Spa, Nutrition, Relaxation, Skincare, Weight Loss, Zipline, facials, fitness, gratitude, healthy living, hiking, joy, love, massage, mindfulness, spa, stress relief, well-being, wellness | 1 Comment

Miraval Arizona

January is one of the best times to experience a destination spa retreat and if you’re looking to make 2015 one of your best years, then this might be the opportunity to do just that.   Miraval Arizona will be the setting for this four-night retreat from January 7 – 11, 2015.

Whether you’ve experienced Miraval before or are considering Miraval for the first time, journey with me for a few minutes and take a look at a few specially selected links, information, services and activities to help you learn more about one of the world’s best spas.

New Year, New You Flyer

“A Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step.” – Lao Tzu

Transformation Vacation:
Time away devoted to our health is invaluable, as we all know, and when you add inspiring lectures from Miraval’s specialists, healing spa services and a challenge course to go beyond self-imposed boundaries, you set the stage for a year of transformation.   You can use this time to focus on fitness and perhaps schedule a private session with Andrew Wolf, Miraval’s Exercise Physiologist or focus on healthier eating and learn from Miraval’s nutritionist, Junelle Lupiani and perhaps also consider a Resting Metabolic Rate Analysis and Personalized Nutrition Plan to help you meet your goals.

Let 2015 be the year that you learn how to manage stress and while you’re at it, learn the 7-Keys to Joy and Vitality from Anne Parker or consider using some of your allowance of resort credits for one of her private sessions like Activating Your Emotional Intelligence or a personal favorite, Mirror of the Soul.

A sample journey at Miraval – take a look at this short video to get a better feel of Miraval.

Mindful Eating at Miraval
Healthy menus utilizing locally sourced ingredients create an exceptional dining experience.  Eat better, live better, feel better.  Gourmet meals that are delicious and nutritious, even dessert.

Enjoy this Miraval recipe of Lemon-Glazed Blueberry Scones from their Sweet & Savory cookbook.

What about spa services?
There are many services to choose from including several outdoor treatments.

Aqua Zen
is one service you might want to consider because the pool is heated for this service done by a Watsu®-trained therapist. Your body is moved effortlessly through the warm waters of the specially designed pool (water invites complete relaxation to the massage, allowing your body to be manipulated and stretched with greater freedom than traditional massage).  This is suitable for non-swimmers.

If you’re looking for something really unique, then Nâga (created at Miraval) may be of interest.  This is offered only at the Spa at Miraval and evolved from the healing principals of Thai Massage. Your therapist uses strands of richly colored silk suspended from above as an extension of their body. The silks are used by your provider for entwining and gracefully suspending themselves as well as wrapping and supporting your body, taking you deeper into the stretches and releasing restrictions impairing full movement.

And maybe a massage is what you need after a day of hiking and yoga.  There are many to choose from including a Relaxation Massage, Deep Tissue, Hot Stone and more.   I love the Restorative Deep Tissue (with arnica) and I’m also a fan of Shamana Karma (under Ayurvedic services in the guide).  Sample Guide

There are many other classes and activities to choose from, including Miraval’s Equine Experience, which I recommend to all new to Miraval guests.  It can be so profound and a great way to start your Miraval journey as it offers you the opportunity to practice living in the moment – Mindfulness – the key philosophy of Miraval.

Be Restored.
Be Inspired.
Be Transformed.

(Space is limited and based on availability.  Review the flyer and feel free to email me with any questions.)

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Danielle Fryer, Fitness Director at Mii amo. Our Conversation Continues.

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 | Adventure, Beauty, Cooking Schools, Destination Spas, Energy Work, Healing, Meditation, Mii Amo, Weight Loss, fitness, healthy living, hiking, joy, massage, mindfulness, well-being, wellness | No Comments

This is the follow-up to a previous post of my podcast with Danielle Fryer, Fitness Director of Mii amo in Sedona, AZ.   Our conversation continued after the podcast interview and in the text below I share Danielle’s answers to my other questions.

Did you miss the podcast?
Just click the link below.
Original post with podcast

I believe you’ll find Danielle’s insight is beneficial to you as a reader as well as anyone considering her Body Transformation retreat at Mii amo.

Our conversation continues…

Please share one or two of your ‘know how’ actions that will be revealed in your retreat:

Most professionals will NOT give away all their secrets because it keeps clients coming back for more. NOT AT THE BODY ‘TRANSFORMATION RETREAT!

I will be giving away ALL my secrets and teaching the guest how to be their OWN Dietitian/Nutritionist and Fitness Trainer.

1. Knowing how to create your personalized meal plans without the constant follow up of a dietitian, nutritionist, trainer or latest fad diet book.  Know how to determine if a diet plan or fad is right for you BEFORE you even begin.  Knowing when to eat (meal timing), how often to eat (mindfulness tips and practice), and what to eat (food grouping) to maximize energy utilization and nourishment for the living cells to perform better and/or lose body fat if this is the goal. This is all defined in the workbook provided, The Mindful Clean Plate

2. Know how to create a practical plan for exercise and nutrition that is DO-ABLE with life’s circumstances (for example: how to manage food on the go + cooking for picking eaters + workouts in a busy work week while also raising 2 teenagers).

3. Know how to create and DO an effective workout by use of various fitness variance and fun! Each individual group workout will be written and provided to retreat participants. These workouts can be taken home and used with year round results.

How will guests achieve a super-fit and energized mindset?

1. Surrender
To let go of any preconceived ideas that you are not good enough as you are. Letting go of false evidence that appears real (FEAR) and recognizing that old behaviors are either fed or starved with your thoughts and reactions, but they don’t disappear. Behaviors EVOLVE with surrender! They evolve if you can accept that where you are is exactly where you are supposed to be in order to further your journey of transformation. Once this occurs, the doors open for possibilities.

2. Awareness (Mindfulness)
Awareness is the greatest agent for change. 95% of the clients I have served over the years THINK they know why they can’t lose the weight, or speed up their race time, etc. However, it is those 95% that leave my workshops saying “OOhhhh, I see my issue now.” Then, once this is established, they can focus their energy into the issue and get a different, more specific, energized result.

What are some of the tools and support that guests will experience from the retreat?

Every morning we start the day with a unique, fun, and challenging workout in the weight room (modifications will be provided to suit all fitness levels).  These upbeat, playful workouts will set the tone for each day. My workouts have been described by guests as “kick butt exercise to strengthen and lengthen my body that I would have never thought would work for me, but they do! She is energetic and inspiring.” Also,  “she is a high spirit, high energy person that I look forward to working with again!”

The morning workouts will be followed by a group morning ritual in the crystal grotto. Then, we meet again before lunch for the daily two hour nutrition workshops:  These workshops are somewhat of an emotional nutrition boot camp. In this time together we will get down and dirty about what it means to cultivate “AT HOME”  support, vision, and goals for success!  We meet up again in the early EVENING for a second unique, fun, and challenging workout that is always different from the morning workout (outdoors, pool, yoga room, etc.).  Additionally, we will have a Body Transformation specific cooking demo and a Body Transformation menu feature for every single meal in the Mii amo Café. I have been working with Chef Nicole and we are really jazzed about the NEW and exciting things we will present to the group. One of the biggest highlights for me during the retreat is the ability to stay RIGHT HERE on property with my retreat guests. I want to be available to them 24-7. My door will be open for silly conversations, stargazing and deep conversations, and/or a shoulder to cry on. I want to cultivate an oasis for a body image and performance REBOOT!

And, please review other benefits of the program.

Guests can expect to take home a more defined sense of what it means to transform their body. They will receive cutting edge fitness and nutrition education that is specific to their individual needs, visions, and goals. They will be encouraged and able to continue use of the materials when they go home. They can expect to take home a wealth of information that will keep them immune to the false, misleading, main stream, media fads that are marketed in order to make trillions. They can expect to receive authentic empowerment from myself and the group that will keep them energized for time to come!  They can expect to make a FAN for life…me!  I see the potential in EVERYONE I meet! I love what I do so much that the inspiration is contagious! Some of my most loved clients call me “Vitamin D” LOL!

Body Transformation Retreat Dates:
August 24 – 28
November 2 – 6
If you’d like more details about these retreat dates or 2015 dates, please email me directly at

Let’s Connect!
Follow Danielle for current information on the latest and greatest fitness BUZZZES!
Follow Mindful Adventures for spa, travel & wellness retreats, news and inspiration.


Michael Tompkins Joins Hilton Head Health as CEO to Lead Wellness Transformation

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014 | Adventure, Beauty, Cooking Schools, Destination Spas, Meditation, Nutrition, Weight Loss, fitness, healthy living, hiking, massage, spa, stress relief, well-being, wellness | No Comments

Michael Tompkins, CEO, Hilton Head Health

Michael Tompkins, ISPA Chairman, has joined Hilton Head Health as their new CEO.  If you’re in the spa and wellness industry then you’ll agree that this is exciting news for us for 2014.  Tompkins has been in the field of health and wellness and luxury hospitality for over 25 years. He began his career as a Registered Nurse and most recently served as CEO of Miraval Resort & Spa, Tucson, AZ.

I am excited about where Hilton Head Health is heading in their wellness transformation with Michael Tompkins at the helm.  Since 1976 Hilton Head Health has been known as a top weight loss and wellness resort in the U.S. and they’re expanding at a crucial time as more of us seek out more opportunities to improve our health and well-being.

A Wellness Revolution Begins!

The Team
Hilton Head Health is focused on including more wellness and health-based initiatives and has brought together industry leaders to do just that.   Tompkins joins CMO Carol Stratford, formerly of Miraval, and CFO Ben Campsey, formerly of the Umstead Hotel & Spa.

Wellness Transformation
The expansion is set to take place over the next 6 months and includes property growth, development and program enrichment to expand beyond the property (focus will still be on weight loss at the Hilton Head Health location).   And, the development of the new programming will help guests focused on wellness get a kick start on a healthier lifestyle.

Hilton Head Health offers Mind-Body programming such as self-reflection and group forums (body image, life transitions, self-discovery), which are vital for lifestyle change and a selection of massages and facials.  The new Indigo Spa is currently under construction with an estimated completion of Christmas 2014. (Indigo means deep inner discovery.)

Property Expansion
A 30-room Inn is underway and expected to open late Spring 2015.
True restaurant was completely renovated and a new a la carte menu will feature healthy options (and offer wine).
A new lounge area is next to True for guests to utilize before and after group classes.

New Programming
Three separate tracks will be offered

LoseWell – This is their intense (4-week) weight loss program and is designed for people seeking guidance and to be held accountable to lose 40-lbs or more.

LiveWell – This is a week long program for guests wanting to jumpstart weight loss of 10-30 pounds.  And the new changes to the one-week program will shift to more of a healthy lifestyle and wellness focused experience.

PlayWell – A new initiative launching this fall.   This option will focus on the fun recreational outdoor offerings on Hilton Head – a focus on the destination yet still targeting health and wellness.  Golf, beach yoga, walking tours (Historic Savannah), paddle boarding, kayaking, etc.

“The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest her or his patients
in the care
of the human frame, in a proper diet,
and in the cause and prevention of disease.” – Thomas A. Edison

For more information, visit:

And check Mindful Adventures on Facebook and this blog for updates. 

Podcast – Body Transformation Retreat at Mii amo with Danielle Fryer

Wednesday, August 6th, 2014 | Adventure, Beauty, Destination Spas, Energy Work, Healing, Meditation, Mii Amo, Nutrition, Peace, Relaxation, Skincare, Weight Loss, fitness, gratitude, healthy living, hiking, joy, massage, mindfulness, spa, stress relief, well-being | 2 Comments

Danielle Fryer

I recently had the pleasure of speaking with Danielle Fryer, Fitness Director at Mii amo and we discussed her upcoming retreat, Body Transformation.   There are two retreat dates to choose from: Sunday, August 24 through Thursday, August 28 -and- Sunday, November 2 through Thursday, November 6.

Are you ready to be inspired and gain the tools and ‘know how’ for your own Body Transformation?
You’re in the best place to get started.

Listen to our exclusive Podcast

About Danielle:
Danielle Fryer is the Fitness Director at Mii amo. She is a Registered Dietitian, Certified Sports Specialist in Dietetics, Certified Fitness Trainer, and Author of The Mindful Plate, which is being published by Balboa Press/Hay House in early 2015.

Body Transformation Retreat:
This empowering and personalized retreat includes group workouts, nutritional workshops, early evening fitness sessions and everything that Mii amo is known for including healthy meals, relaxation, spa services, healthy cooking demos and more.  As Danielle stated, “this is a fitness and nutrition vacation where wellness and relaxation come together.  Take this opportunity to listen to yourself and join the Body Transformation Retreat.”

More Details:
Let’s connect and discuss this retreat further.
Insight and personal experience from my own Mii amo journey and planning assistance.

More insight:

And the conversation continued between Danielle and I after the microphone was turned off.  Stay tuned for the follow-up post with more insight on Body Transformation, a Retreat at Mii Amo.

Join our social communities!
Follow Danielle for current information on the latest and greatest fitness BUZZZES!
Follow Mindful Adventures for spa, travel & wellness retreats, news and inspiration.
Follow Mii amo for more information and stunning photos on this highly rated destination spa.


8 Ways to Have a Healthy Relationship with Your Scale by Linda Spangle, RN, MA

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014 | Adventure, Beauty, Canyon Ranch, Challenge Course, Cooking Schools, Destination Spas, Healing, Nutrition, Rancho la Puerta, Red Mountain Spa, Weight Loss, fitness, healthy living, joy, mindfulness, spa, stress relief, well-being, wellness | No Comments

This book is so timely.

When I was first approached about reviewing Friends with the Scale: How to Turn Your Scale Into a Powerful Weight Loss Tool by Linda Spangle, RN, MA I couldn’t help but think about my own angst about the scale.  At a recent medical visit I kept thinking about what I could do to ‘fool the scale’ into showing a lower weight*.  Surely my sneakers weighed about 5 pounds.  Well, not really and so I asked the nurse to write down the number and not share it with me.
* From her book, this is Power Key #2:  Remember that I can’t trick the scale.

I’ll include a review and other tips from her book in another post,  however I also reviewed Linda Spangle’s ‘8 Ways to Have a Healthy Relationship with Your Scale’ and I know you will connect with these (I’m connecting with 5 & 6).  These are also in the book and so much more.

Please include a comment about the one that helps you the most.

8 Ways to Have a Healthy Relationship with Your Scale By Linda Spangle, RN, MA

The scale isn’t our enemy. We allow negative self-talk, pressure from others, life-long behavioral patterns, and other factors to give that number on the scale more importance than it deserves. It’s time to use the innocent bathroom scale as the helpful tool it was intended to be!

The way to do this is to change your relationship with the scale and make it your friend. Here are eight ways to do this.

1. Step on, step off, leave.
You don’t brush your teeth in the morning, then obsess all day about whether you should brush them again. With the scale, build a similar routine. At your chosen time of day, step on the scale, note what it says, write it down if you like, then leave the room.

2. Look, then move on.
No matter what the scale says, learn to treat it as a number, and nothing else. More important is what you do after stepping on the scale. Eat a healthy meal, take a walk, or do something that’s productive and moves your thoughts in a positive direction.

3. Note how you’re trending.
By recording the number on your scale at regular intervals, you can track your progress over time. As you do, don’t concern yourself with the daily number, but whether it’s trending in the right direction.

4. Don’t assume you’ve gained weight.
A jump in the scale number may have nothing to do with your weight. In reality, your body takes a long time to translate food intake into actual fat stores–so let go of guilty thoughts. Among other factors, eating an extra-large meal or food high in salt can cause that scale number to go up. One bad evening doesn’t translate into a higher weight.

5. Detach from the numbers.
If you get a poor grade on a school midterm exam, it doesn’t mean you’ve flunked the class. Instead, it provides information about what you need to do before the end of the term. Likewise, the scale number is merely information. Learn to say something to yourself, such as “That’s interesting,” and then get back to work on your healthy living plan.

6. Stick with your scale.
One of the quickest ways to let your weight get out of hand is to stop weighing yourself altogether. Don’t ignore your scale because you don’t want to see what it says. Instead, stay aware of your weight situation and keep your data current.

7. Don’t discuss your weight.
Avoid discussing the scale, your weight, or your diet plans. You can say, “That’s information I keep private.” This will help prevent naysayers and curiosity seekers from sabotaging your success, and it will also help you avoid engaging in self-critical talk. At the doctor’s office, you can say you prefer not to be weighed. Or you can weigh yourself at home and then ask your doctor to record that number at the end of your consultation.

8. Use the three-day rule after holidays.
After you’ve been traveling or celebrating holidays, take a three-day break from your daily weigh-in ritual. Often a change in routine or diet will cause a temporary uptick in the scale number. Your body will get back to its old self after three days, and the reading will be more accurate.

More information about Linda:
Linda Spangle, RN, MA is a weight-management coach recognized nationally as a leading authority on emotional eating and other psychological issues of weight loss. A registered nurse with a master’s degree in health education, she is the owner of Weight Loss for Life, a healthy lifestyles coaching and training program located in Denver, Colorado. Her newest book is Friends with the Scale: How to Turn Your Scale into a Powerful Weight Loss Tool (SunQuest Media, 2014).

Autumn Hiking at Red Mountain Resort and Spa

Thursday, October 24th, 2013 | Adventure, Destination Spas, Healing, Red Mountain Spa, Relaxation, fitness, hiking, mindfulness, wellness | No Comments

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.”  – Albert Einstein

Whether you love to hike or are new to hiking, this area offers stunning views and many opportunities to get out and practice mindfulness while enjoying physical activity.

Red Mountain Resort and Spa offers some of the best hiking anywhere and with Snow Canyon State Park in their ‘backyard’ you don’t have to wander far.  Snow Canyon offers close to 7,000 acres of red rock canyons and cliffs, lava caves and two volcanic cones. The morning hikes are a draw for many and the guides practice the “Leave No Trace” program and are trained in CPR and American Heart Association First Aid.

A bonus is just an hour from Red Mountain Resort – what is it you ask? It’s Zion National Park and is open year-round.   There are several adventure trips (group and privately led) that Red Mountain offers to this spectacular park.

For more insight and information about hiking at Red Mountain Resort and other spa adventure opportunities feel free to e-mail me directly at  If you’re considering a Red Mountain adventure I’d love to assist you with your planning and questions and you’ll also receive my special bonus to use during your stay when I reserve your Red Mountain journey (using the best available promotion and/or rates for your dates).

Mindful Adventures – Let your Journey Begin!

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Miraval at Natirar – A destination spa comes to New Jersey

Saturday, August 24th, 2013 | Adventure, Challenge Course, Cooking Schools, Destination Spas, Miraval Spa, Nutrition, fitness, healthy living, wellness | 1 Comment

Arriving at Natirar
The anticipation continued to build as I made my way to Natirar in Somerset County, New Jersey, formerly owned by the King of Morocco.  Brimming with excitement I drove past the stone pillars and finally arrived at what will soon be Miraval at Natirar by early 2015.

Growing up in New Jersey I never ventured out to this lush and beautiful 500-acre park and it was such a pleasure to explore what Bob Wojtowicz, Founder of Natirar and Kim Wojtowicz, have created.  It was evident from first meeting both of them that it’s a labor of love and the passion for their vision was evident.   Knowing Miraval as well as I do, it was clear to me that both visions are aligned for wellness and life changing experiences.

A few days prior to visiting Natirar in Peapack-Gladstone, I had the pleasure of meeting with Michael Tompkins, Chief Executive Officer of Miraval Resort & Spa and he shared his excitement for the New Jersey expansion. “With so many of the Miraval Tucson guests residing in the Northeast, Natirar’s proximity to New York City and the surrounding region coupled with the extraordinary physical setting made it a natural choice for Miraval,” said Tompkins.  “Although the new property will offer the same level of luxury and authenticity as the Tucson property, each location within the Miraval brand is unique to its setting and will offer its own authentic experience.  We’re excited to be poised for growth, and are actively evaluating additional select locations across the U.S. at this time.”

Plans for Natirar
Plans include an 86-room luxury hotel, including restoration of the mansion suites as well as the addition of villas.   As my tour with Bob Wojtowicz began and as we approached the mansion I felt transported to another place and time and the protected view of the vibrant green rolling hills from the mansion was spectacular.  Plans for restoring the mansion to its former grandeur will soon be underway.  The mansion is rich in history as it was originally completed back in 1912 by architect Guy Lowell, known for his many designs including the Plaza Hotel in New York City.

The hills will soon be alive with a new 20,000 square foot spa with plans for a grass roof, a unique feature (in my opinion) to integrate nature even more as well as an infinity pool/water feature as you enter the spa. Continuing our tour we visited the expansive swimming pool and activity area and Miraval at Natirar will also include a yoga center.  One of the other features with Miraval at Natirar is the river that is about two-miles and meanders below the property, great for fly-fishing and winter-sports are possible too, like cross-country skiing. Miraval at Natirar will also offer activities that Miraval is known for including nutritional counseling, wellness classes, the Miraval Equine Experience and other signature activities.

Ninety Acres (left)

Anise Hyssop at the farm (center)

Cucumber Gazpacho (right)

The Farm
After touring the property with Bob Wojtowicz, I met with Kim Wojtowicz who runs the farm and what a farm! The 12-acre farm supplies Ninety Acres Culinary Center.  They also offer a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) vegetable box for members (offered from June to November).  Kim shared that the chefs like different kinds of herbs and vegetables from German striped tomatoes, to Adirondack blue potatoes to anise hyssop, which I tasted (big anise fan).  Natirar’s farm also raises sheep, pigs and chickens in a stress-free environment.  Organic berries and an abundance of herbs and beautiful flowers make up other areas of this 12-acre sustainable farm that will provide ingredients for both Miraval’s spa restaurant and Ninety Acres, their farm-to-table restaurant.

And, if you’re wondering about the name “Natirar,” it is an anagram for the Raritan River.

For more updates about Miraval at Natirar, stay in touch on Facebook @Mindful Adventures.

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Mii Amo – A Journey to Rediscover Yourself…and more.

Saturday, February 23rd, 2013 | Adventure, Beauty, Destination Spas, Meditation, Mii Amo, Red Mountain Spa, fitness, healthy living, spa, wellness | No Comments

Mii Amo

When I think about Mii Amo, which is the Yuman (Native American language) for “journey, to continue one’s path, moving forward,”  so many words come to mind for me like Intention, Sacred, Balance, Renewal, Contemplation, Self-care and the list goes on.  There are many reasons to fall in love with this top destination spa  including personalization,  the stunning background of  Sedona and the peaceful setting of such an intimate resort.

I think what I love most about Mii Amo is the Native American influence and traditions reflected in their program – the Crystal Grotto is a personal favorite, this is where you can go each morning to set your intention for the day.

And, because Mii Amo is more intimate (14 spa guest rooms and 2 spa suites), you have the opportunity to truly make this as personal an experience as possible from planning your activities in advance (which differs from some other spas) to narrowing down the journey you’d like to experience.  There are Five Journeys offered at Mii Amo for  a 3-, 4-, or 7-night stay beginning with either a Sunday or Thursday arrival.

The Five Journeys include:
- DeStress Mind, Body & Spirit (leads you to a more centered and focused life)
- Healthy Body in Balance (focus on exercise and nutrition)
- Spiritual Exploration (focus on your inner self, insight and balance)
- Rites of Passage (assists you in embarking on a new stage in life)
- Mii Amo Master (based on past guest experience and focuses on current needs)

Each customized journey includes your room, meals, spa treatments, consultations, activities and more.

Mii Amo is a magical place – full of beauty – where you can hike at Boynton Canyon or enjoy outdoor yoga; where you can enjoy healthy and delicious cuisine; where you can relax and take care of ‘you’ either in the spa, at the pool or in your private room; where you can immerse yourself in the abundance of activities offered daily, stargaze, and enjoy the stunning Red Rocks that surround you and where you are taken care of throughout your stay.

When you go:
- Fly into Phoenix and you can either rent a car or request private transfers (additional fee)
- Arrive early as it’s about 2-hours to get to Sedona
- Once your Mii Amo reservation is made you’ll receive a questionnaire and this helps the spa coordinators personalize your stay

Healthy Living at Home:

- Implement what you learned and enjoyed at Mii Amo
- Continue to journal each day
- Meditate
- Set an intention each day
- If you loved the cuisine (and I’m sure you will), consider getting their cookbook:
Journey of Taste: Favorite Recipes from Mii amo Spa in Sedona

Have you been thinking about going to Mii Amo?
If you’d like more information on Mii Amo, feel free to e-mail me directly at and I’ll share more insight and details about Mii Amo.
(You’ll also receive an additional gift from me when I make your Mii Amo reservation).

Facebook Fan Giveaway:
- ‘Like’ the Mindful Adventures page on Facebook
- Look for the Fan Giveaway announcements
* One of our giveaways was the Mii Amo cookbook, Journey of Taste
Additional monthly giveaways including music, other healthy spa cookbooks, journals and more will be offered as well as inspiring quotes, photos, articles and special offers focused on a healthy lifestyle.

Twitter:    DonnaSpaGal
Pinterest: DonnaSpaGal

Red Rocks of Sedona

I hope you find joy, love, great health and a lifetime of dreams come true on your journey! ~~ Donna

“The Journey of a Thousand Miles Begins with a Single Step.” – Lao Tzu

Photo Credits:
Mii Amo – Mii Amo Spa
Red Rocks Sedona – Donna Adinolfi

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Simple Summer Pleasures at Mohonk Mountain House!

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012 | Adventure, Meditation, Mineral Springs, Relaxation, fitness, spa, well-being, wellness | No Comments

Simple Summer Pleasures at Mohonk Mountain House
Are you still thinking about a summer getaway?  Let’s look at something in the eastern U.S. with an amazing history, plenty to do (if you choose) and an award-winning  spa.  Mohonk Mountain House is an enchanting Victorian Castle located about 90-miles from New York City.  This location reminds me of the simple pleasures of a summer vacation in the Catskills.  A time to relax, enjoy a cold lemonade and time by the lake or hikes along the mountainside.

First. a little history as I’d be remiss if I didn’t share this with you.  Mohonk’s history goes back to 1869 when Albert Smiley visited Shawangunk Ridge, the northern end of a long ridge within the Appalachian Mountains. What we see today at Lake Mohonk (situated on Sky Top Mountain, one of the highest peaks of Shawangunk Ridge) is much of what he saw back then.  He and his brother visualized a peaceful retreat where others could enjoy this stunning natural setting and that is what they created when they purchased 280 acres and a small inn.   What they envisioned grew into what it is today and what many have enjoyed for over 125 years spanning from the 19th century to the 21st century.

Present Day:
Today, Mohonk Mountain House is still owned and operated by the Smiley family, and with what started with a 10-room Inn has now become a 259 room Victorian Castle.    Inclusive overnight rates include accommodations, meals, afternoon tea & cookies and most resort activities.

Spa & Activities:
Let’s get back to ‘Simple Summer Pleasures‘ as Mohonk Mountain House offers everything you can imagine for a relaxing getaway including the natural beauty of a deep-blue lake, acres of pristine forest, winding trails and their stunning mountain-top gardens.   Activities such as hiking, yoga, Pilates, dance, meditation, wellness classes and more are all available.  Mohonk’s award-winning spa is a must with 16-treatment rooms, a solarium, an outdoor heated mineral pool, a fitness center and a relaxing list of services (check out Signature Elements of Nature – Mohonk Red Massage or The Indigo Poultice Massage).

Golf anyone?
The Mohonk Golf Course is one of the oldest courses in the U.S., with 115 years of continuous use.  Designed with a Scottish influence, it has also received high accolades as one of the “Top 10 Environmentally Friendly Courses in the U.S.” by Links magazine and Cooperative Sanctuary Award from the International Audubon Society for their environmental-friendly practices.

Currently, Mohonk Mountain House is offering a ‘Spa-tacular’ through December 2012. Guests on this package will receive a $150 spa credit, unlimited access to the Spa (steam and sauna rooms, outdoor heated mineral pool, relaxation verandas and solarium), three delicious meals, and most resort activities.**
** Based on availability, other restrictions may apply and tax/gratuity are additional.

Final Thoughts:
If you’re considering a getaway to Mohonk Mountain House, feel free to e-mail with your dates and we’ll review the best options for you.  In the meantime, relax in the comfort of your home and enjoy this guided meditation from Mohonk’s Nina Smiley.

Guided Meditation (you can do this mini-meditation at home)

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