Dear Friends,

Welcome to our Spring e-Newsletter, in which our talented and knowledgeable spa experts will share with you tips for getting yourself ready for spring and beyond. It's been a long, harsh winter in many parts of the country, and we have many good ideas for getting back on track with fitness, skin care, home care and nutrition.

We are pleased to announce that The Spa at Norwich Inn will be co-sponsoring An Afternoon of Art May 22 to raise funds for The ECHO Cancer Foundation, based here in Norwich. At this ticketed event at our Spa, guests may bid on donated works of art, with the proceeds going to ECHO. Paintings from the touring art exhibit, Oncology on Canvas: Expressions of a Cancer Journey, will be on display during the event and continue, free to the public, from  May 23-25 at our Spa. We are grateful to ECHO for the good work it does to support cancer patients and their families in Eastern Connecticut, and for its assistance in establishing "The Fragile Client," our spa program for people being treated for cancer or living with chronic illnesses, including diabetes and multiple sclerosis. We hope that some of you whose lives have been touched by cancer will come out to support this wonderful organization. For more details, please visit our website or Facebook page in May.

 

 

Spa

It's a relief to say good-bye to this year's harsh winter weather. But have you thought about getting yourself physically prepared sooner rather than later to enjoy outdoor spring and summer activities like gardening, golfing, hiking and swimming?

To get you moving, my staff and I have put together some training tips to help you get in shape for the summer.

First, consider keeping a fitness journal. Record your diet, your amount of exercise, how you feel before and after exercise. Also note what was going on each day – your energy level, the weather conditions, etc. If you are consistent in doing this, your fitness journal can help you identify any behaviors that may be keeping you from achieving your goals. Once you're aware of your stumbling blocks, it's easier to make positive changes.

Secondly, set a goal and work to achieve it. Here are our suggestions:

Keep your metabolism revved up for a longer time by committing to morning workouts. Research has demonstrated that an AM workout decreases appetite, increases energy level, and helps to burn calories at a higher level for hours after exercising! If you're going to exercise, why not time it so that you get the best possible benefit for your time and effort?

Perform cardiovascular exercises 3-5 days per week for 30 to 60 minutes to decrease excess body fat. Try three 10-minute bursts as an alternative to a 30-minute block of time. Perform strength training exercises 2-3 days a week to maintain or increase lean body mass.

Reduce your intake of calories. Late spring and summer offer us an abundance of fresh produce, particularly from local farmer's markets. Or try out your own green thumb! Focus on fresh, healthy choices with reasonable portion control and you just may find yourself losing some weight as an added benefit.

Longer days and extra sunlight should help keep us motivated, but don't forget to make your workouts fun. Mix it up! Alternate activities during the week or change your routine every 4-6 weeks to stimulate interest and prevent boredom. Your body will adapt.

Do not overlook rest! It is just as important as the workout itself in improving performance and fitness. If you don't get adequate rest, you will burn out more quickly and increase the possibility of injury. Listen to your body and adjust your goals or activities accordingly.

If you find yourself in a slump, consider working with a personal trainer, which is something you can have done in your hometown or during a visit to our spa. Ask for a formal fitness assessment to provide a starting point for your fitness plan. And check with your doctor to ensure that your new routine will be the best and safest one for your individual needs.

On a final note, taking care of your whole self measures success. That means not just exercise, but meeting your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing.

 

 

From The Boutique

Has this past winter's cold, harsh weather taken a toll on your skin? If you're like me, your skin could use a little extra TLC right about now! So I sought advice from our experienced Estheticians -- the spa staff members who perform facials and other skin treatments in our spa -- for some tips to get it back in shape. They all agree: exfoliation and hydration are the keys to smooth, supple skin, and there are various ways to achieve this result.

For facial exfoliating, it is important not to use a method that is too abrasive, since this will do more harm than good. Our staff recommends the Fruit Enzyme Peel, which we stock in our Boutique, as an excellent tool for the job. This cream uses salicylic acid (from willow bark,) papain (from papaya) and bromelain (from a plant family that includes the pineapple) enzymes. This formulation is gentler on the skin because it is not abrasive, yet it is excellent at sloughing off winter-damaged skin cells. When damaged cells are sloughed off, healthier cells below are revealed. The best place to apply this is in the shower, where steam will help open up the pores, allowing the fruit enzymes to penetrate and do their magic.

Once you've created a soft, smooth, healthy face, you must nourish and hydrate it. Choose a serum followed by a moisturizer, such as our Botanical Bio Peptide Concentrate layered under our Vitamin C Crème. This particular combination is both nourishing and anti-aging.

I'd be remiss if I didn't recommend our Lip Treatment for rehydrating dry, weather-beaten lips. This amazing lip conditioner is packed with vitamins and a special freeze-dried collagen to smooth and plump up the lips. No wonder it's the most popular item in our Boutique!

For rehydrating the body, favorite options include the Sugar Butter Scrub followed by the Sugar Smoothie Body Crème. Sugar cane and shea butter enhanced with the sweet aromas of vanilla, grapefruit and orange gently exfoliate while the body crème leaves your skin silky smooth with a subtle glow.

And don't forget the oldest, least expensive and most effective way to care for your skin every day of the year: drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.

 

 

Housekeeping 

Window cleaning season is upon us again. There are so many products on the market to use that there is no "one, right way" to accomplish this task. It's a personal preference. For exampIe, I do not like to clean windows when the sun is shinning because it dries the products and makes the windows streak.

If you have the time, homemade solutions are very effective, especially if you have allergies to aerosol sprays or chemicals. Start by gathering a soft brush for removing the dust from windows before you start washing and a vacuum cleaner for cleaning up any other residue; your preferred window cleaner, a pail with water, cleaning solution for your window frames and sills, cleaning cloths and paper towels. I like the industrial paper towels (there is less lint) or a squeegee.

Many of us have the tilt-in windows today, and this eliminates having to run back and forth inside and outside. But if you do not have them, it is good to have a window-cleaning partner on the outside. Before starting the windows, I brush down the screens and wipe down the screen frames. Or you can take the screens down and spray then gently with a garden hose, shake off excess water, wipe down with a cloth and put them back in their frames.

When cleaning windows, start from top to bottom and work quickly, as the cleaning products dry quickly. I like the finished product to look transparent. In the past I have used a product called "Glass Wax." I have not seen this product of late. If ever you have a chance to get your hands on this product, try it out. It is a bit labor intensive. You put it on with a damp cloth let it dry, then wipe it off with a clean soft cloth. The finished product is wonderful -- the glass sparkles, and the finish also repels rain and dirt. Home-made products that are successful are vinegar and water, ammonia and water or even rubbing alcohol and water. Vinegar and water are good for taking off hard water spots.

Some people use newspaper in place of paper towels for cleaning. While newspaper is lint-free, I do not like the smell of the newsprint, and it leaves the window frames soiled. Soft linen cloths are great to use, as is a chamois cloth. The preference is yours.

A sparkling, completely transparent window is the goal. Choose the method that works best for you.

 

 

From Chef Daniel's Kitchen

Biting into Spring!

With warmer weather finally here, doesn't it seem that our cravings are starting to lean toward lighter fare? Though the local foods of the northeast are still the fall foods of last year, some new plantings are starting to appear. So what can we eat that helps us live the season? Try these suggestions as you think about your foods of spring:

Plan. Northeastern gardens are just getting into production, and most foods may not be available for a while yet. However, thinking about and anticipating the seasonal crops is essential to meal planning. If you haven't yet acquired a pulse for nature's menus, ask your friendly neighborhood farmer (or grocer) what nice local produce will be coming into season and when. Take note and plan some meals around the time certain foods become available. This is key to building anticipation and excitement. Share your menu plans with family and weave it into your social network's news. Tell your Facebook friends about where to find the best parsnips, beets and fiddleheads. Share information about the delicious farm-fresh eggs you found or about what "terroir" means to you.

Explore. Take short trips outside of your comfort zone and pick produce that looks interesting, vibrant and colorful. The Internet is full of millions recipes for anything and everything. There is an incredible amount of culinary knowledge on the web. Among my favorite places to shop for new produce items are the Asian markets. They have a broad variety of produce, grains and legumes that complements what we already buy from our regular source. Additionally, some farmers like to experiment with different crops and market their products through CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) or at their stand at the local farmers' market. To find a market near you visit www.LocalHarvest.org or if you live in Connecticut, the State's Department of Agriculture maintains and current list of markets listed by county. Visit: http://www.ct.gov/doag/cwp/view.asp?a=3260&q=431068.

Cook. Get excited about what new foods the season brings and keep your arsenal of index card recipes (or iPad) handy. With your menu plan and some new and interesting goodies, you're ready to heat things up! One last thing, remember to keep the use of animal proteins and fats moderate and to build your nutritional foundation on whole, unprocessed, plant-based foods. Sweets should remain occasional treats and portioned more as a "taste of heaven" rather than "helping of sin."

Take these three simple words and put them into action. Talk and TV cooking shows are all well and good, but someone's got to go to market and then into the kitchen. Take time to make your meal experience social from start to finish, and you'll and watch time fly and health soar. Cheers!

Fiddle-Chicks
Serves 4
By Daniel Chong-Jiménez

This dish can be served hot or cold. It is a tangy, spring-seasonal dish that's rich in nutrients and low in calories. The fiddleheads should be as fresh as possible and if you can get fresh garbanzos even better!

Ingredients:

Amount Measure Ingredient
2 cups fresh fiddleheads
1 cup cooked garbanzos
1 cup julienne of purple onion
½ cup chopped parsley
1 tsp chopped thyme
1 clove garlic, grated
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt and White Pepper
Ice bath

Directions:

Heat a half-gallon of water to boiling and add 1 teaspoonful of salt.
Trim a little off the ends of the fiddleheads to expose a fresh end.
Add the fiddleheads to the boiling saltwater and cook for one minute.
Drain off the water and plunge the fiddleheads into the ice bath, drain and set aside.
Heat a skillet to medium-high heat.
Add the oil, onions and garlic and cook until translucent, stirring constantly.
Toss in the fiddleheads and sauté for one minute before adding the garbanzos.
Heat the garbanzos thoroughly and add the lemon juice.
Toss in the parsley, thyme, lemon zest and walnuts.
Season with salt and white pepper to taste.
Enjoy warm or chilled.

Nutrition Facts per Portion (5.6oz):
Calories: 191, 8g protein, 19g carbohydrate, 11g fat, Dietary fiber 4g