Stick to your New Year’s Resolutions in 2014! (Part 2 of 2)

You may also want to add antioxidants to your diet to help fight cancer, inflammation and heart disease.  Potatoes, beans, cherries, apples, plums, and even chocolate contain antioxidants. Yum!

Toss out the white bread and pasta and switch to whole grain breads, pasta, rice and cereals. Along with assisting with weight management, whole grains help reduce the risk of stroke, type 2 diabetes, colorectal cancer, and high blood pressure as well as other health issues.

And, of course, increase your intake of fruits and vegetables.  Fruits and vegetables provide us with all those necessary vitamins and minerals our bodies need to function and look their best.

 

ALWAYS wear sunscreen.  Over time, the sun’s harmful rays cause wrinkles, blotchiness, brown spots, and yes, skin cancer.  Do yourself a favor and commit to wearing sunscreen every time you step outdoors.  Your soft, supple, blemish-free skin will thank you!

Reserve some ME time.  We are constantly on the go with work and family.  Our lives are so busy.  It’s easy to become overwhelmed and exhausted.  Your most important New Year’s Resolution must be to take care of yourself.  Go ahead and reserve some time to relax and unwind at the spa.  Commit to treating yourself the way you deserve to be treated.

You don’t have to dread making New Year’s Resolutions in 2014.  Commit to these sensible, realistic resolutions and enjoy a safe, healthy, prosperous New Year!

 

P.S.  You can always consult with a wellness coach to help you create a wellness program just for you! (Insert if your spa offers wellness)

Stick to your New Year’s Resolutions in 2014! (Part 1 of 2)

Time for something newYou’ve probably made numerous New Year’s resolutions in the past that have gone unfulfilled.  Haven’t we all?  For some reason, at the beginning of each year, we make these unrealistic resolutions to better ourselves only to end up disappointed and depressed when we aren’t successful.  Don’t do that in 2014.  Don’t resolve to lose ridiculous amounts of weight in an unhealthy attempt for perfection.  Instead, seek more realistic goals that lead to a healthier, more peaceful life.  Try these New Year’s resolutions for a healthier, happier you!

Get Moving.  Incorporate activities into your day that keep you in motion. Strive for 30 minutes of activity each day.  You can take a walk, ride your bike, or even join in a game of softball in the backyard with the family.  Take the stairs and avoid the elevator.  Park in that one space at work no one else wants—the one farthest from the front door.  Mix it up and keep it fun!  You’ll feel great doing it and it won’t be long before you notice the results.

Tweak your diet.  Make small, yet meaningful changes to your diet.  Reduce sodium intake by opting for low or no-sodium foods. Sodium contributes to high blood pressure and causes that familiar, uncomfortable bloating we have all experienced.

Part 2 Coming Soon

 

Baked Brie with Strawberry Glaze – Spa Recipe

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1 (13 to 16-ounce) whole Brie cheese with rind left on
3 tablespoons strawberry preserves
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1 1/2 tablespoons toasted hazelnuts or sliced toasted almonds
Toasted Bread Hearts and Crackers

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Place the Brie on a baking sheet or baking dish. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the Brie is semi-soft and warm.
  2. While the brie is baking, combine the preserves and balsamic vinegar in a saucepan and heat until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat.
  3. Remove the Brie from the oven and place on a festive serving dish. Arrange the strawberries on top and drizzle with the heated preserves.  Sprinkle with the nuts. Serve with crackers or toasted bread hearts.

Makes 8 servings.

Here Come the Holidays! (Part 2 of 2)

And don’t forget about the special man in your life.  Make sure you select the perfect tie for him that matches your dress.  A traditional black suit and tie are always in style!

Don’t forget the most important part of your pre-party plan.  Schedule your spa visits and hair appointments in advance so you can arrive to your social events looking refreshed and vibrant.  Reserve your chemical facial peel to eliminate dry, rough skin and top it off with a hydrating mask for soft, supple skin. You won’t believe how beautiful your makeup will look once applied after these treatments!

Once you have found the dress, you can plan your makeup.   Stop by the spa for holiday makeup tips and check out the latest colors. Glossy lips and smoky eyes are a popular look this year and they complement the black dress, as well. For a little flair, spice up the gloss with hues of red or hot pink.  And, as always…long, lush lashes are a must!!  Top it off with a bronzer for a sun-kissed, healthy glow. Don’t overdo it.  We want a healthy look…not a fake one.

You’ve got the dress, accessories and makeup in place. All that’s left is the perfect hair design to complete your look. Trendy styles this year include the up do…perhaps a high bun or ponytail.  Or, you may want to let your hair down in soft, cascading waves for a more casual look.  Start thinking about your hairstyle a few weeks ahead of time so you don’t have to stress about it the day of the event.  Make your appointment with your hairstylist way in advance!

Want to lose a few inches before you slip into that dress?  A body wrap is the perfect solution.  Reduce cellulite and lose inches quickly and safely with a signature body wrap.  You’ll feel so confident when you head out to spend time with friends, family and co-workers!

Remember, less is more. Keep it simple, yet classy.  That’s a guaranteed winner every time.

Healthy Holiday Party Tips

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The holidays are such a festive, fun time of year! We get to spend time with friends and family, shop our cares away and attend all of those holiday parties.  Whether it’s the office party or a gathering at a neighbor’s house, parties are in full swing during the holidays.  And so are the food and drinks! This can cause anxiety for even the healthiest eaters.  But, it doesn’t have to!  Try these helpful tips to enjoy the festivities in a healthy and safe way.

Don’t arrive hungry.  Enjoy a small, healthy snack of nuts, cheese, and fruit, such as an apple or grapes, before the party. You want to arrive to the party satisfied, not starving and eyeing the buffet table as soon as you walk through the door.

Easy does it on the alcohol.  Loading up on alcoholic beverages is a recipe for disaster.  You know that tasty, holiday drinks can be loaded with alcohol and calories.  And isn’t it fun to pair them up with some “carby” snacks?  Don’t fall into that trap!  You’ve heard the saying, “Everything in moderation.”  This would be the time to put that into practice.

Also, keep in mind….your alcohol intake and behavior at a business party must be more composed versus that of a friend’s party. Remember the infamous Elaine dance on that hilarious episode of Seinfeld?  Elaine is the life of the party as she performs her “dry heave dance” all night long at a business party.  Needless to say, she is mocked and whispered about in the office for the following weeks.  Don’t be Elaine!  Keep your behavior in check.

Sip on your cocktails instead of gulping them down. Try drinking water after an alcoholic beverage to fill you up and lessen the effects of the alcohol.  And, most importantly…make sure you have someone designated to get you home safely.

Look for the fruit and vegetable trays. Fruits and vegetables are excellent sources of nutrients, high in fiber, low in calories, and a delicious snack.  If you’re really hungry, consume those first.

Stay away from dips and spreads.  Fruits and veggies are a healthy choice until you dip them in caramel sauce or the specialty dip of the night.  Don’t undo the positive decisions you’ve made up until this point.  Stick to it.  You can do it!

Holiday festivities can be lots of fun.  But, it doesn’t mean we should make unhealthy choices.  It’s easy to overindulge at parties only to wake up with regrets the next morning.  However, if you plan carefully, and make wise choices, you can have fun at your party and feel great the next day.

How will your after-party be? It’s up to you!  Enjoy!

Here Come the Holidays! (Part 1 of 2)

here-come-holiday-imageThe holidays are here and with them come the parties, dances, family gatherings, and charitable events.  Are you ready for all the excitement? We all want to look fabulous for these festive occasions.  Don’t wait until the last minute to prepare.  Plan your look ahead of time for you and your mate! Check out these great ideas to help you celebrate in style!

Ladies, obtaining the perfect outfit is your first priority.  First, make a mental note of all the events you will attend.  Are you celebrating with co-workers, friends, or both?  Keep in mind, your dress at an office party should definitely be more conservative than that of a party with friends and family.

The popular little black dress is always a safe bet.  You can accessorize to fit the occasion! Dress it up with sexy heels, earrings, a necklace, etc., or add a pop of color with a silky, red scarf, red lips and red nails.   Or, downplay it a bit for that business party with modest heels and jewelry, and neutral makeup and nail tones.  It depends on the statement you want to make.

Part 2 Coming Soon

Happy Holidays From All of Us at Spa Mariana!

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Get the Most Out of Your Spa Visit – Spa Mariana Blog Post

Spa-Mariana-Spa-Visit-11-2013-blog-postGet the Most Out of Your Spa Visit!

Many people visit spas to find balance, take time for themselves and relax.  A visit to the spa is not a luxury anymore.  Today’s spas are sources for healthy living and overall well-being. Follow these tips to get the most out of your spa visit.

First, always arrive early to allow time for questions and concerns, and to enjoy the facility.  In addition, you don’t want someone else’s tardiness to delay your treatment so be sure to offer the same courtesy.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Your spa team is available to help you relax and feel comfortable.  If you don’t understand the purpose of a specific treatment, ask.  Your therapist will be happy to address any questions or concerns you may have.

If you have allergies or other health issues, inform your therapist.  The spa requests that you complete an intake form where you will have the opportunity to document this information.

After your treatment, discuss issues related to your treatment, products used, or future treatments.  Your therapist is there to answer questions and offer recommendations to encourage a healthy lifestyle.

If you receive a massage, drink plenty of water afterwards.  During a massage, toxins are released within the body. Water helps flush these toxins so you can look and feel your best. Also, take home a good exfoliator and moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated.

If possible, refrain from showering for several hours after your treatment.  This allows your body to properly absorb the excess treatment products, lotions and oils used at the spa.

Don’t forget to schedule your next appointment before you leave so you can visit the spa when it’s most convenient for you.

And, finally, sit back, relax, and enjoy! Your spa experience is an investment in YOU. You should always leave feeling and looking better!

Cooking a Turkey 101 – Spa Mariana Blog

Spa-Mariana-Thanksgiving-TurkeyLet’s face it. Few culinary tasks can scare a newbie (or even a seasoned) cook faster than attempting to cook a turkey. Whether it is the fear of overcooking or under-cooking, stuffing or no stuffing, preparing a great tasting turkey is just daunting. We all want a perfect bird presented at the next family feast. Here we will go over a few simple ideas on how to wow the crowd with turkey.

Make sure you have a large enough bird. Large enough is the key here; you don’t want a turkey so large it won’t even fit into the oven. A good rule to follow is to allow approximately one pound of raw meat per guest. And when choosing your poultry, try free range. Not only is it good environmental practice, a free range bird has matured at a slower rate and allowed plenty of exercise which means tastier meat on your table.

Don’t delay dinner by forgetting to thaw early enough. Give yourself plenty of time to completely defrost the turkey. The best way to do this is by completely taking off the packaging, placing it into a pan, covering it with foil and putting it in the fridge. Counter thawing is never a safe option, but once it is completely unfrozen leave it out to let it warm up for a short period of time so you aren’t placing a super cold bird in your nice hot oven.

Season, season, season. Seriously, it’s a big hunk of meat, it needs seasoned everywhere. A good and tasty way to do this is with butter or good oil (olive oil isn’t high fat enough). Add salt, pepper, herbs, citrus or whatever you like to the butter and rub the bird all over, even under the skin. Many people place strips of bacon over the top of the bird for an extra kick. Another good thing to try is adding aromatic veggies like carrots, celery and onion into the pan along with about half an inch of stock. This will infuse flavor and make the beginnings of really good gravy.

Basting isn’t necessary, and it actually will leave you with a soggy bird. The same goes for stuffing. If you stuff a turkey the stuffing won’t cook evenly and if it’s under-cooked you could get sick. To cook it sufficiently you will overcook your meat. If you want that great presentation, try spooning in cooked stuffing right before you head to the table.

As far as actual cooking temperature goes, everyone seems to have an opinion. Some like low and slow, believing that makes a more moist bird, some like faster and hotter. If you choose lower and slower, try 325 degrees and allow approximately 15-20 minutes per pound. There are many cooking charts available to give you a close estimate on time. This is where you really need to have a thermometer. It should read 165-170 degrees when done.

 

It actually doesn’t matter how you place the turkey in the pan. Upside down or right side up won’t affect how it cooks. One good idea, though, is to place it on a cooking rack inside the pan to evenly cook around the bird and keep the bottom from getting soggy.

Lastly, let the turkey rest before carving. This seals in the juices and keeps it warm while you finish cooking. Give it at least 15 minutes. If you worry about it cooling off too much, try covering it loosely with foil.

A good looking, great tasting turkey ready to impress with just a few simple steps!

Fall Trends – Spa Mariana Blog – Part 2

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Once you pull together the perfect outfit, it’s important to style the perfect hair, get glowing skin, and add that final touch of make-up to complete the look.  Here’s what’s happening in hair, skin and make-up this year:

  •  The Low Ponytail.  Ponytails positioned at the nape of the neck were popular this spring and summer, and they’re carrying over into fall.  Enhance the look with loose, carefree strands and you’re all set!
  •  Natural, wavy hair and sexy, stick straight styles are staying put this season.  Both trends have been around for a while and they’re not going anywhere.  Change it up by moving the part from the side to the middle or vice versa to keep it fresh and new.
  • It’s important to get your skin in check this time of year, as well.  You need to exfoliate the damage away from the summer heat and sun, and prepare your skin for the winter ahead.  Consult your esthetician so she can get you started on the right skin care regimen for you!
  • Make-up always completes your look! Red or wine-hued lips paired with shadows in shades of prune or pumpkin are popular accents this fall.  And don’t forget the mascara!  As always, long, full lashes are a must!

This fall will introduce some great, new trends and highlight some oldies, but goodies.  Mix and match, have fun with it, and step out in style!

For more great fashion trends and hair and make-up ideas, click here.