A luxury spa weekend - at home
A relaxing and healthy weekend
For many years I've wanted to have one of those luxurious spa vacations.
I've imagined just how wonderful it would be to have a whole weekend with nothing to think about except me! Just think about it - lovely healthy food, fresh air and exercise, a chance to relax ... truly wonderful.
There's a problem though - the cost. I've never quite been able to justify the expense of a luxury spa vacation and although there are offers and bargains from time to time, there's always that unexpected bill to pay or some financial crisis or other to stop me from justifying the cost.
Then I hit on an idea. Why not have a luxury spa weekend at home? All it takes is a little preparation and wow, the benefits are fantastic. It can be done at a fraction of the cost of traveling to an expensive spa resort and a weekend of healthy food, plus a little indulgence of course, will leave you feeling fantastic.
- Be sure to buy the fruits and vegetables that you're going to need. I also buy sparking water and herbal tea. I include luxuries too - this isn't an army boot camp! My favorites are a couple of handmade chocolates and a bottle of champagne.
- Check that there's nothing lurking in your kitchen that might tempt you off the straight and narrow. If there's a tub of ice cream lurking in the back of the freezer or a packet of cookies in the pantry, give them to a neighbor. The idea is to have only healthy foods in your home - apart from the chocolate of course!
- Transform your bedroom into a luxury hotel room. Make sure that the bed linens are crisp and clean. Add a vase of flowers or a single bloom. Place scented candles by your bed. Do the same in your bathroom and be sure that you have fluffy towels and lovely spa-type lotions - bubbles, lotions and essential oils. I like to have incense sticks too.
- Arrange your 'clothing' for the weekend. A big, fluffy bathrobe is ideal. Be sure that your relaxation clothes - pjs and so on - are clean and folded.
- Fill the fridge with your healthy foods. If there's anything you can do in advance, such as washing fruit, do so - this is a weekend of relaxation, not work. Make sure that there's at least one overflowing fruit bowl in your home that looks beautiful and tempting.
- Make sure that people know that you're 'out of town' for the weekend. Resolve not to do any work.
- Choose your companion! You might have one 'built in' - your partner. Or you might wish to go it alone. Maybe your mom or sister deserves a luxury weekend as your companion. It's also a great thing to do with your kids, especially if you're trying to promote healthy eating.
- Be sure to have some entertainment on hand. If there are some DVDs you've been waiting to watch, or a book you've been looking forward to reading, make sure that you have them at the ready. Remember, you're going to be spending a relaxing weekend 'away' so maybe this is the time to play cards or board games with your companion, rather than the usual computer or console games. Take a break from technology.
Start your day
Yes, it's a relaxing weekend so you can forget the alarm clock. But be sure to start your day feeling lively and refreshed.
Take a long shower or bath and snuggle up in your bathrobe while you prepare a quick breakfast. We like to have lots of freshly-squeezed orange juice. Cubes of melon served with ginger and chopped fresh mint leaves are lovely. We also like a medley of different types of melon. Or a huge dish of strawberries ... or sliced banana (a little honey makes them absolutely luxurious) ... or a mix of berries.
Starting your day with fruit is wonderful - the psychological effect sets the tone for the rest of the day.
After breakfast, we like to relax with a pot of herbal tea. If the weather is good, we like to sit outside and get some healthy fresh air. We might go for a gentle stroll or relax reading.
Try a variety of vegetables. How about asparagus with pine nuts?
A favorite is avocado salad served with baby spinach, chopped nuts and fresh lemon wedges. Grated carrot with oranges and black grapes is a great combination.
Just be sure to choose meals that are very simple to prepare - this is a vacation.
Throughout the day, we like to drink herbal teas. We have a shelf full of different varieties. Drink sparkling water too, adding slices of lime, lemon or orange - or even all three. Try tomato juice or fresh vegetable or fruit juices that you can easily make yourself.
In the afternoon
- Give each other a massage - if you're partners this can lead to even more fun :)
- Use the time to use face masks or hair conditioning treatments
- If you have an exercise machine lurking in the back of your closet, now's the time to rescue it.
- Enjoy a do-it-yourself manicure and pedicure.
- Treat your body to an all-over moisurizing treat.
- Try some gentle yoga or follow exercises from a fitness DVD.
Have fun making dinner together. Because you've prepared fruits and vegetables already and stored them in your fridge then dinners are an easy fix.
Try a lovely mix of fruit, vegetables and fresh herbs. Add nuts if you like. If you're looking for something a little more filling, add chick peas, mung beans or cold, cooked baby potatoes.
If you have ears of corn, they make a lovely dinner served with a big bowl of raw vegetables. Grate crisp cabbage and carrots together and add slices of cucumber, using a little orange juice as a dressing. One of our favorite salads consists of baby spinach leaves, cubed mango and pine nuts. If you have all the ingredients ready in your fridge you can make a delicious and healthy dinner in no time.
And you've been so good all day, I see now reason at all why you can't enjoy a glass on wine with dinner.
Relax and watch a favorite DVD or read a book you've been longing to try, listening to relaxing music. Turn the lights low and light candles and incense. Whatever you want to do to relax, now's the time. Take a long candle-lit bubble bath and snuggle into your warm bathrobe. Finish your evening with a cup of herbal tea and oh, you know those chocolates you bought? Just one now...
Don't you feel great?
At the end of your weekend you'll feel super-relaxed and healthy. You probably realize too how much the great food and the exercise has contributed to your feeling of well being.As your home spa weekend draws to a close, crack open that bottle of champagne and mix with orange juice for a delicious mimosa.
Of course, the advantage of going to a spa, rather than trying it yourself at home, is that you have experts to guide you.
We can't be expected to understand everything about nutrition, exercise and stress reduction but these factors help you so much when you're having your own luxury spa weekend (or few days) in your very own home. But all the information is available in some incredibly useful books. Why book? Why not get information from the internet?
Because anyone can write on the internet and here's a lot of crazy information out there - as I'm sure you've seen! The best way is to buy reliable books from established writers. This is your health and well-being we're talking about - something much too important to leave in the hands of amateurs.
Ready to eat
When you're having your healthy weekend, it's a good idea to stay out of the kitchen as much as possible. Hopefully there are no temptations there but the idea of your special spa time is to relax and unwind. The kitchen can signify 'work'.
So I like to get foods that are ready to eat and have them handy at all times during our healthy weekend. I order them online so there's no hassle waiting in line at the grocery store (they are often better value too). These are some of the items I get and when they're delivered, it makes me look forward to our spa weekend all the more.
Create your 'hotel room'
Going to a hotel for a weekend is a huge luxury which is why it can be so costly. Don't you love it when you go to a fantastic hotel and there are luxury products in the bathroom? Remember your weekend at home is supposed to be completely luxurious. A few luxury goods can make all the difference and make becoming healthy into a real treat.
- Oh, vegetarians are so weird!
Are people who don't eat meat weird? What about vegans who eat no animal products at all? But what about people who DO eat meat - isn't that a little strange too? What a minefield it can be.
- 'Vegetarian' or 'a vegetarian'?
I admit to being pedantic but I do object to being called 'a vegetarian' rather than simply 'vegetarian'. What do you think?
- Why Paul McCartney is vegetarian
Paul McCartney is probably as well-known today for his vegetarian beliefs than he is for his music - arguably. How and why did he stop eating meat? The fallacy is that he was forced into it. Untrue.
- Ten Tips For Meat Free Eating
If you're considering adopting a meat-free diet, or simply cutting out meat occasionally, these top ten tips will help you. You don't have to be vegetarian to want to eat more healthily and cheaply.
© 2013 Jackie Jackson