What Spas Offer
The spas of today can be as simple as your own hot tub or as prestigious as the Canyon Ranch Spa in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. Either way, the idea is the same: to promote health and wellness and to treat yourself right, through exercises, nutrition, spa treatments, and massage. You go to a spa to get an organized jump start if you need one, and to experience some healthy pampering at the same time. You might go to a spa for a facial or a seaweed body wrap, or to take a yoga class or enjoy a hot-rock massage. Your spa journey may be in the town you live in, halfway around the world, or right in your own backyard, depending upon what you need and can afford.
Spas come in all shapes and sizes, for all price ranges and tastes, and often have themes that offer experiences in more than simple relaxation. Some types of spas you may want to try are:
Yoga retreatsFamily spasHolistic healing centersFasting, juicing, and cleansing spasGolf spasSmoking cessation clinicsWeight management centersAlternative lifestyle spasHot springs and mineral bathsRanch spas
Treatments You Can Choose
Spas offer a wide variety of treatments to pick from. In addition to receiving traditional water therapy and various types of massage, some people like to be wrapped in a special concoction of seaweed and minerals or honey and peppermint or some other exotic mixture. Others enjoy receiving facials with herbal cleansers and tonics that deeply cleanse and refresh the skin. Still others enjoy body scrubs that remove all the dead skin and leave them feeling invigorated.
Nutrition at the Spa
Spas deal with whole health—how your body looks and feels from the inside out. If you go to a spa for a day or more, expect to eat healthy foods that support the concept of proper nutrition. Spa cuisine usually focuses on fresh, low-fat foods and limited meats. Unhealthy fats, sugars, starches, and alcohol are generally no-nos. Some spas focus on seasonal meals or foods native to the region. But all spas focus on foods that support heart health and the immune and digestive systems, and foods that help you detoxify.
You can prepare some of the same foods at home and enjoy healthy spa eating. This is an example of a spa menu:
Breakfast: Yogurt with strawberries and granola; juice or water
Morning snack: Potassium juice (juice together three carrots, two celery stalks, one cup of spinach, one cup of parsley, and one teaspoon of liquid mineral)
Lunch: Lots of salad: romaine, mesclun, radish, sprouts, broccoli, mushrooms, almonds, and brown rice with a dressing of balsamic vinegar and olive oil
Afternoon snack: A fresh fruit smoothie, or a plate of raw vegetables and yogurt dip
Dinner: A protein such as grilled salmon, tofu, or chicken served with two types of lightly steamed vegetables, followed with a ricotta-blueberry sundae and herbal tea
Evening Snack: A cup of cottage cheese, or three slices of turkey, or popcorn
A ricotta-blueberry sundae is simple to prepare. Use ½ cup of part-skim ricotta cheese, and stir in a tablespoon of honey. Then add ½ cup of fresh blueberries or any berries you like. Sprinkle grated coconut and walnuts or almonds on top. Yummy!