Oh wait...relaxing is a purposeful activity? Due to the scheduled down time when traveling, we actually allow ourselves to choose activities that help us to slow down and enjoy the moment. When we're in a greater state of awareness, we tend to focus more on what we're putting in our bodies, eating well and re-fueling, which often sets the stage for personal insights and reflection. This very sentiment was at the core of a BeHealthful retreat I recently participated in held at the Four Seasons Hotel Chicago. Our intimate group of women learned beauty secrets from various cultures during a weekend stay with wellness workshops and activities.
Inspired by our weekend's activities which incorporated LLYT concepts of looking to nature for nourishment and beauty, and slowing down to savor more in our everyday life, I've pulled together 5 natural "recipes." These recipes can serve as rituals that will help you getaway more often and prepare your home spa so that you're able to channel Bali or the Caribbean at a moment's notice.
Let’s savor together…shall we?
PHOTOS: MU-HSIEN INC
1 - Wake Up to a Stunning Water View
Wake up to a room with a view...bonus points if it has a view of the water. Is there a stunning lake, river or ocean near you? Make use of what ever body of water might be near you and feel a whole world away.
Behealthful Retreat guests were spoiled with lake view rooms, green juices in the morning, a detox box and other goodies to support a cleansing and nourishing weekend at the hotel and back at home.
Getaway Recipe: Add Scenic View of Nature Near You + High Thread Count sheets + Abundant Fluffy Pillows, mix... and savor!
*Spa Day bonus: If you choose any of the Four Season spa treatments, even just a mani/pedi, as long as it's a 50 min. service, you'll have access to the pool, steam sauna, whirlpool, fitness center etc. Indulge and make a day of it with a friend! Book a spa service here.
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2 - Indulge the Senses with Nature's Bouquets
Nothing transports my mind to a beachy spa more quickly than taking in intoxicating wafts of essential oils. Before I even step out of bed, my morning ritual starts with a spritz of aromatherapy spray on my face while I take in a deep <inhale>. The cool mist and vibrant scents instantly refreshes and gives me a spa moment...everyday.
Our DIY Aromatherapy Workshop was Lead by Sarah Baker, a plant-based nutrition & health coach and our event co-host. Much like any good flavor profile, I learned that in creating an ideal essential oil blend, 3 types of notes should be considered.
1 - A Top Note, Energizing and cleansing (ex. Peppermint, Eucalyptus)
2 - Middle Note, Robust for focus and healing (ex. Nutmeg, Frankensense)
3 - Low Note, Warm and calming, (ex. Cedarwood, Sandalwood)
Revitalizing Spray Recipe:
4 drops Grapefruit Essential Oil
5 drops Lemon Essential Oil
4 drops Peppermint Oil
Fill a 2 oz spray bottle nearly full of distilled water. Add essential oils. Shake to blend. Option to include a few drops of vegetable glycerine helps to attract moisture and assists in absorption of the essential oils into the skin. Start with less and slowly adjust the intensity of the scent desired.
*Tip: Keep one by the bed, in your purse or your office desk. Good for whenever you need a pick-me-up!
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3 - Sip on a Nourishing Island Drink
Tropical vacation days almost always begin with an exotic juice or smoothie. Vibrant colors and wellness boosting ingredients will perk up your mood and fuel you for your day's adventures. *Bonus, fun smoothies pair well with annoying chores too. Ugh, need to organize that closet? Fix yourself a drink and watch how things almost become <gasp>...fun?!
How adorable are these juices? And they tasted so delightfully smooth and complex in flavor. Four Seasons's Chef Michael Ross, proves that healthy food can actually be exciting and maybe even sexy? He prepared these juices to accompany a bento box assortment of healthy but sumptuous bites. On the menu for breakfast: Kale & Egg White tacos / Smoked Salmon Tartine / Quinoa Porridge / Greek Watermelon Yogurt with Chia & Marinated Watermelon.
Get that tropical beachside feeling with these smoothie recipes:
½ ea mexican papaya; chopped
1 ea mango; chopped
¼ ea pineapple; chopped
1 tsp agave
½ cup greek yogurt
½ cup bahia juice
1 cup ice
1 scoop protein powder
Acai Blueberry Smoothie Recipe
1 cup blueberries
½ pkg acai berries
1 tbl protein powder
½ cup greek yogurt
1 cup ice
1 tbl agave
1 tbl cranberry and pomegranate reduction
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4 - Take a Cooking Class Featuring Exotic Ingredients
Get that "WOW, I made this?!" feeling and learn to use ingredients that are outside of your usual grocery list rotation. Working with exotic ingredients will naturally connect you to new tastes and cultures around the world. *Bonus if they remind you of places you've traveled to, or want to visit soon!
We headed back into the kitchen where Chef Mike had prepared a demonstration for us to make a refreshing salad suited for spring and reminds me of the East Coast. I loved learning how to "segment" a grapefruit and other prep techniques. It was also my first time plating using the "swoosh" effect! I've included the recipe here so you can welcome spring into your home and try it out yourself.
Peekytoe Crab Salad Recipe
3 cups fresh english peas
1 quart fresh spinach
24 oz veggie stock
Boil vegetable stock in a small rondeau. Add peas and cook until tender, but still bright green. Add spinach to wilt. Season with salt, no pepper. Place the mixture with avocado and purée hot until smooth. Pass through a chinois and then cool over an ice bath in med. sized bowls.
#3 Fresh Crab, picked through
5 oz mayonnaise
35 grams minced washed preserved lemon
1 cup minced chive
Delicately with gloves, mix with your hands to ensure you don't break up the large pieces of crab.
3 grapefruits segmented with a sharp knife (reserve the juice)
30 grams of sugar
1 cup grapefruit juice from segments plus water
Boil water/juice with sugar to dissolve and pour over grapefruit segments in an ice bowl. Allow time to cool down.
"Window pane" radish slices
French snap peas and micro greens
Finishing olive oil
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5 - Slowww Down with a DIY Body Scrub
Reward yourself after a long day of work or adventures! Focus on soothing your body with a much deserved exfoliating self-massage. Allow this act of self-care to bring you back to center, and to be in the moment, daily.
Vanilla Body Scrub Recipe:
1/2 cup Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Coconut Oil
2-3 drops of Vanilla Essential Oil
Create this simple scrub by mixing ingredients in a bowl with a spoon or gloved hands to help melt the coconut oil. Massage with loving intention to exfoliate your body while in the shower. Rinse to remove excess.
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For more healthy recipes, DIY Home Spa Ideas, and updates on future BeHealthful retreats, head over to balancedbabe.com.