Holiday Treats and Surprises

Yet another holiday has come and about to pass. These annual rituals give the human life meaning, structure, creating connections, eat and laugh together.

Across three countries we share what we cooked and baked.

Surprise Christmas Eve dinner: crab legs!! why not surprise your guests with something non-conventional and oh so easy to make 😉
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Beet, Arugula, Orange… salad:
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Skinka! That’s Swedish ham:
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Klicha; a sweet bread very similar to Challah
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Mmmm… apple filled tart:
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Saffron cookies anyone???
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Zaatar bread, fresh out of the oven
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So enjoy yourself and the loved ones, life is about our connections and making memories. We wish everyone in the world peace, love and again PEACE!!

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Vida Spa – Seattle, WA

Another trip, another state, another experience of a lifetime…

I happened to be in Seattle this past weekend discovered Vida Spa downtown by the Pan Pacific Hotel. It was a discovery that paid off. I would rate this spa a close behind Kohler and Red Door spas. Why behind?? It is smaller, changing rooms are not well furnished, and there is no hair services provided. After a long day at the spa, feeling great and relaxed who wants to leave the spa looking like a hot mess!!!

Anyhow… let’s get to the best parts about this spa: personnel, quality of services, and the Ayurvedic Journey package!

This is part of the lounge; where they have fruits, nuts, tea, and cucumber water all day.
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After getting a great massage and mani service, I decided to give the Ayurvedic Journey package a try. In the past I have done bits and pieces like shirodhara but never had a full program. This was the opportunity and I seized the moment!!

After filling out a very short and sweet survey, the practitioner was able to identify my dosha. Then based off of that she organized my Ayurvedic journey package. Melanie is an incredible practitioner — if you ever go, ask for her by name! you won’t regret it.

So we started with Ayurvedic Massage – A unique massage that applies generous amounts of warm sesame oil over the body with extra attention to the head, neck and scalp. This technique optimises the body’s systems, mobilises joints and enhances tissue suppleness. The oils she used were specific for my dosha and I loved them. Generally this massage is soft but if you are like me you can and will request more pressure.

Swedana – A deeply aromatic sensation enhanced by herbs, cleanses and detoxifies your system. A dry flour brushing of your entire body stimulates and exfoliates your skin to prevent the re-entry of toxins.

Here is the cacoon – wide open. The box at the bottom makes steam and the tray of special herbs and florals is put there to steam. Can you smell how the room filled with amazingly relaxing scent??
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Yes this is me inside the cacoon – steaming seriously. That’s a cold towel on my forehead. Usually this is to last 15 minutes, I lasted 10 minutes and apparently that is congruent with my dosha.
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So, I loved the cacoon so much, later I wanted to go in again. Amazing! and would do this again.

Shirodara – A steady stream of warm oil is poured over your third eye (forehead) to awaken the senses and increase mental clarity. I fell asleep briefly during this part of the treatment, it was incredible – felt like I was on a pillow of clouds. I would like to think this really helped make my afternoon high profile meeting go so well.

The spa works with Pan Pacific hotel so they can order food if you are staying for a long spa day. This treatment started at 9:30am and finished at 2:00pm – so I squeezed in a lunch.

Melanie really went beyond expectations; she wrote me a sweet card and enclosed sleep and food recommendations for my dosha. Now that is what I call intentional, thoughtful service… leaves you thankful and blessed 🙏.

Highly recommend Vida Spa if you find yourself in Seattle with a free day to care for your body and soul. I hope that next time I visit they will have hair services — a girl can hope 👸.

Day trip to Sundara Spa – Dells, WI

Took a friend for a belated birthday celebration to Sundara Spa. Was a rather positive experience and here is the synopsis — if and when you find yourself in WI its a place you can go.

Grounds of the spa are peaceful and there are 37 rooms I believe for overnight guests. We had a great day trip with Express Spa services and access to full facility.

The quiet room is a bit tired looking, could use an update but comfy, cozy overlooking the outdoor pool. Yes! even at 48 deg weather it is open. The outside floor is heated, pool is heated and there is hot tub next to it too. Now this is an impressive feature – makes me want to come back when it snows. IMG_2303.JPG
Express Spa package is perfect for a day trip. The practitioners are so good that 35 min are well done. Normally 35 min are never enough for me; barely get relaxing in 30 min. We had massage, facial, and pedi. They use fully vegan organic nail polish, and all of their treatment products are organic. IMG_2310.JPG
While spa services were great and reasonably priced – the food was meh!! Had lunch in between services and lounging; neither dish had much flavor. Later when chatting with other guests we learned people drive elsewhere to eat. We now know why 😉 They can improve this, and we recalled how amazing the food at Kohler Spa and Red Door Spa is. So this was a tiny let down.
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In any case… if you find yourself in WI and want a mid-level Spa experience Sundara will do great! Look at this… who can complain about huddling around an outdoor fire, cozy and brisk at the same time. IMG_2308.JPG

Beat Colon Cancer

It sounds not happy blogging about any cancer but as well it’s happy to know if we act early we can beat this cancer by changing our lifestyle and to make good healthy choices so for your overall health enjoy our blog!

Colon cancer characterized by a malignant tumor appearing in the inner lining of the colon. It often appears after a long prolonged diet of processed meats, few vegetables and highly processed junk food.

As breast cancer widely associated with women, colon cancer mainly associated with men above the age 50. However even women are susceptible to colon cancer. Lately an increasing number of expecting young mothers diagnosed with colon cancer.

Don’t be afraid like all cancers, colon cancer is not genetic, before you put yourself to a fatalist attitude, here are some simple habits for your lifestyle that you can avoid or completely prevent colon cancer.

Here comes good news who could think it’s just that easy :)))

Eat more fruits-less meat for healthy colon and to lower chances of colon cancer.

Include more salads.

Choose vegetarian meals instead of junk food.

Include more garlic to fight against cancer use small amount of finely chopped garlic in any suitable dish lightly sauted garlic in olive oil is great condiment to many dishes.

Regular intake vitamin B, found in natural green leafed vegetables and peanuts can help avoid colon cancer by half.

Drink a lot of water. Especially 1-2 cups warm water early in the morning to stimulate healthy bowel movement.

Enjoy specialized yoga poses to promote blood circulation to the bowels to keep them youthful and healthy.

30-45 min. a brisk daily walk to keep you fit and toned.

Lower sodium intake cause higher sodium intake higher risk of cancer.

Don’t smoke.

Stay away from alcohol it’s not just good for your colon but also for your liver and overall health.

Once a day or once in two days take non vegetarian foods. Choose leaner meats rather than fattier ones fattier meats more risk for colon cancer risk.

Remember the healthy or bad choices you make today will affect your health & medical bills tomorrow!

Greet Laughing Salute!

As we love laughing beyond everything we also believe in magical healing of good hearty laughing isn’t that just sounds fun while laughing you heal your body charge your body to full positive energy even makes you smarter, healthier and for sure more friendlier.

Who doesn’t like to laugh?? maybe few grandmas and grandpas 😉 never ever mind keep laughing salute!

Let’s greet a great laugh!

Improves memory and sleep quality and helps improve insomnia

Boosts problem-solving ability and creativity

Makes you more open minded

Reduces depression and anxiety

Bolsters immune system

Stimulates the release of endorphins and puts you in a positive mood

Protects against heart attacks

Strengthen relationships with others by increasing sense of trust

Increases blood flow by improving blood vessel function

Relives tension in muscles

Raises pain tolerance

Even if you don’t it can do all these benefits for you then I would ask you if it is not spicier to add a dose of laughing to our life’s than serious long stressful boring day?

Find a best friend talk over funny things or read or watch comics and laugh until your stomach hurts while you heal.

I wish you all a life filled with healthy laughs!

 

Maldives: Spa-tastic time!

20140619-194054-70854924.jpgYes we just made up a word spa + fantastic = Spa-tastic. As designed, there is not much to do when you are in Maldives. Thankfully that is the case – it allows us to truly quiet our minds and bodies.

In all 3 islands we visited we went to the spa. Here are our brief encounters.

Ginger Spa – Gangehi Island
This is a very Indian influenced spa. We had a great Ayurvedic body scrub followed by an outdoor shower, then finished off with a relaxing massage.

Yes, we were served ginger tea as the finishing touch! Felt great and started off our vacation and tanning on the right tone.
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Tip: we did this first evening we arrived so our bodies had a healing overnight before hitting the beach and ocean the next day. We recommend this, it will help you get a longer lasting and more even tan.

Duniye Spa – Komandoo Island
This is a Balinese and more Asian influenced spa. We had Thai massage done — as fans of this technique we loved it. 20140619-195024-71424490.jpgSerenity…

Duniye Spa – Kuredu Island
Yes, this is the same spa name as the one at Komandoo. We still wanted to go both to relax and we heard the one at the O resort section had glass floor to watch fish while getting a massage. We could not pass that up!
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What did we see??
Little to medium sized fish. We kept hoping for sharks but maybe they were on vacation too 😉
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This experience costs you $10 more than the other location at the island. For us it was worth it.
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We had the pleasure of having an Oriental massage that combined various techniques like Balinese and Thai. We also had a facial done; we gave it two thumbs up.

You may not be at Maldives, but you should treat yourself to a Spa day or just a 60 min massage. Be good to your body and it will be good to you!
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Oil Pulling – an Ayurvedic Ritual

It has been 3 days since I started doing ‘oil pulling’ and since I decided to continue at least for 30 days want to share this experience with you. After hearing about this ancient Ayurvedic health technique and my recent flue I decided it is time to use it. Natural ways of healing are the best and been used for centuries.

How to do oil pulling?
Every morning right after I wake up, prior to eating or drinking anything – I take a spoonful of coconut oil and swish it around in my mouth for 20 minutes. As I do my morning routines, stretching/yoga 20 minutes fly by. You must do 20 minutes or 10 minutes in morning and 10 minutes in evening. Doing less is not effective.

Here is what my spoonful of coconut oil looks like:
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How does it work? What are the health benefits?

Prevents  bad breath

Strength gums, teeth, jaw prevents disease

Increases overall oral health

Relieves headaches

Supports kidney function

Whitens the teeth

Even at day 3 it is working for me; my sinuses feel better and my breath is very neutral – beats any mouthwash. Love using ancient methods to better my health. I will report back at the end of 30 days – stay tuned!!

UPDATE 3/18:
Yes I am still at it! every morning for 20 minutes. No my teeth are not whiter, at least that’s what I think, but my mouth has gotten healthier, and my skin is softer. The pulling has also consistently helped me clear my sinuses – at the end of 20 minutes, my sinuses release whatever is in there. Also the ritual has helped me do my morning yoga/stretches more consistently — nice to them at the same time. Will continue the practice, at least for 30 days and report back again. Let me know if you have any questions.