Dear Donna Column

Write to Dear Donna about wellness travel,  spas, wellness products, services, events.  Learn from others or send a question of your own.  


Dear Donna,
I have decided to make a change in my life toward a more healthy lifestyle.  I am struggling with getting started establishing the habits necessary to make the change work.  I feel that if I could get away somewhere to learn better habits and to practice them that I could carry them home with me.  Does such a place exist?    –      Mike Z.

Hi Mike,
Thank you for sending in this question, I’m sure there are others that are looking for similar information.   There are so many different locations referred to as destination spas that offer programs for what you’re seeking and I’ve included a couple of ideas for you to consider.  Of course, feel free to e-mail me if you’d like to explore some others or have more specific needs. Canyon Ranch is one destination spa that comes to mind.  The Tucson location offers the Life Enhancement Program for guests wanting to focus on specific health challenges, health goals, and life changes.  You could focus on weight loss, smoking cessation, fitness, and other healthy living opportunities.  Staying for a week will help get you on track and give you a head start with nutrition, fitness, and behavioral health.  Sometimes we need more assistance with behavioral issues and once those are resolved or at least worked on, then we may have a better outlook on sticking with a fitness and nutrition program.  There is also a Canyon Ranch resort in Lenox, MA.   More details about the Life Enhancement Program and other services can be found at:

The other location that I would consider is called the Grail Springs Health Retreat and Wellness Spa in Bancroft, Ontario, Canada.  It’s a stunning lakeside retreat about two hours from Toronto airport.  They offer weight loss, detox, and fitness programs that would also be a great way to get started in beginning a healthier lifestyle.  And, they offer healthy, organic cuisine and holistic treatments that would balance out a week of improving your health.
For more information, visit:
All the best to you on your journey!
© Copyright 2006-2010 Dear Donna and Donna M. Mantone-Adinolfi and Mindful Adventures –  All rights reserved.

Dear Donna,
I would like to plan a spa vacation for myself and my partner.  I want it to be a surprise so I need help in picking the ideal location.  I want to have her pampered and still have time to spend alone with her relaxing and enjoying her company.  I want to re-create the distraction-free intimacy we had when we first were together. —  James L.

Dear James,
Great question and I’m sure your partner will be pleased with one of these options.    I’m including two ideas for you; one towards the west, again in Tucson, and the other more recently opened in Eastern Pennsylvania.  First, Miraval Resort is located in Tucson, AZ.  Their philosophy is focused on mindfulness – living in the moment.  Miraval is also about choice and basically doing what you need and want to do.  They offer a plethora of fitness classes and activities, the cuisine is healthy and delicious and the spa offers many different services that are sure to please both of you.  You may also want to consider a couple’s massage to add to your special time away.  Spending time at Miraval is a moving experience and I think you would find it relaxing, energizing and intimate.
Visit: or

The other location is called The Lodge at Woodloch and it is in the lake region of Pennsylvania in Hawley.  It opened in late June of 2006 and is a destination spa offering an array of fitness classes, pampering spa services, golf and tennis, creativity classes, and healthy cuisine.  If you’re looking for an east coast destination, this is one to consider.  More information can be found on their site:

I hope that wherever you go, you’ll have a great time together.
© Copyright 2006-2010 Dear Donna and Donna M. Mantone-Adinolfi and Mindful Adventures –  All rights reserved.

Dear Donna,
I’ve been looking into mineral cosmetics and have come across some that I like; however are you aware of any that are in liquid form? I like the feel of the liquid and old habits are hard to change. Thanks.
— Sandra S.

Hi Sandra,
There are a lot of good cosmetic lines out there and more and more are coming into the mainstream as minerals are becoming more popular and the benefits are amazing.   I like a few different companies as I like to use different products vs. one line, especially because of what I do.   One that I use is a liquid by Jane Iredale ( which you can purchase online if you can’t find it at your local stores, although most Ulta locations do carry it. I’ve been purchasing mine through Changes Spa in Norfolk.

Their Liquid Minerals product has beads (spheres) in a gel of aloe vera, lavender flower water, and vegetable glycerin and is in an airless pump. The minerals within the product include mica, titanium dioxide, boron nitride, and iron oxides as well as other ingredients and are encapsulated by seaweed lipids. There is quite a bit more information on their site about this product and I’ve been using it for over a year and am happy with it. All of the cosmetic products I currently use are mineral-based and I’ve been pleased with the results as well as the quality of new products that continue to hit the market. One word of advice is to be sure that the mineral products you use are used correctly, especially the liquid, so you’ll notice the best results.
© Copyright 2007-2010 Dear Donna and Donna M. Mantone-Adinolfi and Mindful Adventures –  All rights reserved.   


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