Dear Friends,

Welcome to our Summer e-Newsletter. In this issue, our talented and knowledgeable spa experts will give you tips based on a common theme: Inspiration.

Topics covered this month include:




If your circle of family or friends has been touched by cancer, you'll be inspired by our new program, The Fragile Client, which was created by Spa Director Danielle Knerr.

About a year ago I performed a massage on a guest I'll never forget. As I began to work with her, she shared with me that she had a type of blood cancer. My hands stopped, and for a moment, so did the massage. She lifted her head and said to me: 'Danielle, I have cancer throughout my blood – you cannot spread it – it has already spread. I just want you to make me not think about it for 50 minutes!' I performed the rest of the massage without incident and was honored that I was able to make her forget about her circumstances – even if it was for only a little while.

That encounter inspired me to think about creating special spa services for people who are being treated for cancer or are living with chronic diseases such as diabetes and multiple sclerosis. I reached out to Laura Stevenson-Flom, Director of the ECHO Cancer Foundation as well as a licensed massage therapist, for advice and help. She impressed upon me that the right kind of massage can support the recovery of "fragile clients" by helping them to relax, decreasing their anxiety and improving the quality of their sleep. She also told me that special techniques needed to be used. So I took additional classes in oncology massage, and Laura and I together trained our Spa staff.

With Laura's input, we created the Wellness Massage Therapy, the Relaxation Facial, a Manicure, a Pedicure and the Hydrating Body Antidote. Gentle hands deliver these treatments. The lotions and oils are organic and unscented, and some adjustments are made to preserve the integrity of the skin in facials, manicures and pedicures.

Husbands who would like to treat their wives to a relaxing spa break after weeks or months of medical treatment are usually the people who call to inquire about the Fragile Client program. They are reassured that our staff is trained to meet their wives' special needs. Our Reservations Manager, Lori Nelson, and I provide information, answer questions and make reservations for this new program. To reach us, call 1-800-ASK-4-SPA and ask to speak to one of us about the Fragile Client Program.

P.S. On a different note, we'd like to take this opportunity to congratulate Betty Loiacono, our Spa Director here for the past ten years, who has been named Spa Director of our new Norwich Spa at Foxwoods. We wish her much success in this new venture. Her new office is only 10 miles away, and we see each other regularly for meetings and events.



From The Boutique

Amy Edgar, our retail guru, is inspired by some new green offerings in our Boutique.

This spring, we're excited about our new Zehn Naturals T-Shirts, which are made of 100 percent organic cotton and imprinted with earth-friendly inks. They come with a tag that has flower seeds imbedded in it. Just dig up some soil in your yard or in a flowerpot, place the tag in it, and cover it with soil. Sunlight, water and time will give you a petite garden bouquet.

We also have new jute tote bags with our logo. They are "made in India with wind power." If you enjoy inspirations from India, another suggestion is our Chanakara teas. Each one addresses a different one of your body’s chakras. We offer these teas in our locker room, so try them when you visit, and stop in Boutique to bring home your favorite.



From Chef Daniel's Kitchen

Executive Chef Daniel Chong-Jiménez's culinary inspirations come from nature. He traces his love of locally grown and organic, natural foods to his childhood.

Growing up in the Imperial Valley of Southern California, with acres of farmland and irrigation ditches as my backyard, inspired my curiosity about nature and firmly rooted my commitment to a natural lifestyle. As kids we witnessed and enjoyed the full-circle process of tilling, seeding, watering, managing growth and finally harvesting. We understood that we are made of the same stuff that's in the ground we live on. Playtime often included planting whatever seeds we could scrounge and letting them grow to see what would sprout. Harvest time always came too soon because children never have the patience to wait out months!

Having the pleasure to work with food on a daily basis has refined my senses to the point where I can smell the earth they were grown on or, in the case of meats, what the animal ate and what the environment was like. Clean earth and honest cultivation practices make a very big difference. The character of the food is noticeably better to the experienced eye and palate. For example, organic produce tends to have pronounced color intensity, a more robust flavor and lingering flavor notes. Farm-factory produce is less flavorful and less aromatic, albeit bigger, shinier and more uniform than the organic counterparts, although nowadays organic produce has achieved a high level of consistency. When people can experience the connection of farm to table first hand there is profound appreciation for really good food.

The seeds of appreciation grow better when planted in the mind of a child. Farmland preservation is the cornerstone of a healthy community.

Zucchini Whole Wheat Foccacia

Serves 4    
Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method
2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup grated zucchini squash
1/2 cup milk
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  1. Warm the milk slightly, until it feels equal to your body temperature.
  2. Dissolve the yeast in the milk.
  3. Combine the flour, salt, grated zucchini and olive oil.
  4. Add the milk and knead to a smooth consistency or for 3 minutes if using a mechanical mixer. Note: you may or may not need more liquid; add in small increment.
  5. Place in warm spot in your kitchen and let the dough rise to twice its volume.
  6. Punch down.
  7. Roll out to 1/2-inch thickness and place on a dusted sheet pan.
  8. Make indentations into the dough with your fingers.
  9. Brush with a little extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with cheese.
  10. Preheat your oven to 350º F and bake for about 15-20 minutes. Adjust timing for convection ovens

Nutrition Facts per Serving (recipe makes 4 servings): 299 kcal, 14 grams protein, 47 grams carbohydrate, 8 grams fat




Executive Housekeeper Maryann Rodino, who supervises the staff of 20 who clean and maintain our 100 guest rooms and public spaces, has some tips on how to inspire and motivate yourself when itís time to clean your own home.

Don't be surprised to learn that even those of us who work in the housekeeping business are not always thrilled by the prospect of going home to clean our own houses. Wednesday is my "Cinderella" day. I try to hold positive thoughts in my mind as I leave work. I energize myself with some deep breaths as I drive home. Most importantly, I focus on envisioning the final result of my cleaning efforts without spending much time worrying about how Iím going to get there!

With my staff I use humor to help them keep up a spirit of optimism on challenging days. I remind them of the pleasure you experience when you’ve gotten a task done – even if it's just a small task. Yes, rewards are important. Even a little treat like a hard candy can help pick up your spirits when you’d like to quit. Cookies work very well, but you can't let that practice get out of hand, as I learned from personal experience!

I also recommend enlisting help when you can. Ask a family member to carry the laundry from the basement to the second floor. It’s not a lot to ask, and it means one less thing for you to do. And when everything is de-cluttered, dusted, vacuumed, washed and polished, don’t allow yourself to remember that you’ll have to do it all over again next week! Live in the moment, and enjoy the peace and serenity of a clean home.



We welcome your comments on our newsletter. If you have a thought to share, please email it to [email protected]