Category

Wellness

ONE on ONE

by Mayi de la Vega

Turn Distress into Destress

By | Uncategorized, Wellness

We’re already been through enough stress this year. Take a deep breath with these tips.

This time of the year can be a particularly stressful time. I know it’s hard to take your mind off of your endless to-do list —the planning, decorations, special meals, entertaining children home from school and trying to get some work done—but self-care should be a priority. We hear this term a lot these days. Maybe it took the pandemic for us to realize how thinly we were stretched and that we need to take a step back and reassess what living the good life truly means. I’ve put together some methods that I use to destress, and I hope that this talk of self-care continues in 2021.

Tammy Fender

Long before organic this and that, wellness pioneer Tammy Fender launched her namesake, holistic spa in West Palm Beach in 2002. It led to her line of plant-based, skin-care products made with all-natural ingredients. Beyond their fantastic results—beauty editors rave about the Epi-Peel micro-exfoliator and facial mask with kaolin clay, spearmint and rosemary—their aromatherapy element like Bulgarian Rose Water tonic is heavenly.

https://www.tammyfender.com/

Gardens

Nature soothes our nerves, even something as simple as a walk around the neighborhood. I also enjoy visiting Miami’s many gorgeous green spaces. World-class gardens like Fairchild, the Kampong and Miami Beach Botanical Garden are perfect for safe outings with fresh air and social distancing. They’re also great for families when you need somewhere to take the kids and let them run around.

https://fairchildgarden.org/

https://ntbg.org/gardens/kampong/

http://mbgarden.org/

Calm App

I’m a huge fan of Calm, a wellness app for meditation and other health benefits. Many of us are having trouble sleeping these days, so its ambient music, breathing exercises and nature sounds like soft rain are very helpful in shutting off the noise in our heads at bedtime. You can also relax by watching tranquil videos of nature scenes and instructions for how to stretch, as well as listen to expert-led masterclass programs. Try its complimentary trial and see for yourself.

https://www.calm.com/

Cashmere Travel Set

Speaking of sleep, sometimes it’s nice to take a cat nap. Some people consider it a must during their day. Even if you’re not the napping type, you can still get good use out of Maison de Papillon NY’s Alana cashmere blanket and eye mask set in a convenient travel pouch. Made from pure Mongolian cashmere, it comes in cafe or pewter. It’s the ideal gift for any occasion and travel accessory to take on the plane.

https://www.maisondepapillon.com/product/alana-cashmere-blanket-pouch-set/

ESPA Candles + dōTERRA Essential Oils & Diffusers

No matter where I am, I can turn any setting into a sanctuary with aromatherapy. ESPA’s hand-poured, natural soy wax candles are so soothing that they named one exactly that; its blissful fragrance blends sandalwood, rose geranium and frankincense. If you’re looking for something seasonal, their Winter Spice candle combines classic Christmas scents. Wafting the finest essential oils throughout your home or office is at the heart dōTERRA’s home line. I load up on a variety of their scents to supply their chic room diffusers in onyx and marble.

https://us.espaskincare.com/home/candles.list

https://www.doterra.com/US/en

 

Golden Door Resort & Spa

By | Wellness

California’s Golden Door Resort & Spa is a wellness wonderland.

Sometimes we all need to reboot and tune out the world, and Golden Door has become my go-to wellness resort. Though it’s located on the opposite side of the country—in Southern California between San Diego and Laguna Beach—I don’t mind the travel time. One visit and you’ll see why it’s enchanted not only me but famous faces from Liz Taylor to Oprah since opening in 1958. They, too, entered through its iconic copper and brass doors etched with a Tree of Life symbol. What lies beyond is much different from decades past, however.

A longtime patron bought the 600-acre property in 2012 and commissioned New York interior designer Victoria Hagan and a touted ecological designer to refurbish and enhance its signature Zen look with mature Japanese gardens. They transplanted an olive grove and installed an heirloom produce-filled greenhouse for executive chef Greg Frey’s health-conscious cuisine that also satisfies. (I’ve included links to recipes for his eggplant meatballs and fig jam dot cookies below.)

The tradition of packing light also continues. Whereas guests used to receive pink sweatsuits, affectionately referred to as “pinkies,” upon arrival, they’re now given a full set of workout attire, plus tees, terry-cloth robes and cotton kimonos that are laundered daily.You truly just have to show up, since the package extends to Golden Door skin-care products, a water bottle, journal, tote and yoga mat. Not having to stress about what to pack is my idea of heaven.

These perks along with impeccable service are designed so guests have more time to work on themselves, whether that means digital detoxing or hiking the substantial trail system. I also take Pilates and spin classes; fencing and archery are available for the more adventurous. The fitness menu is a far cry from the days when guests would hula hoop and subject themselves to vibrating weight-loss belts—a vision that reminds me of the exercise class scenes in “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.” Men shouldn’t let the notion of “pink ladies” deter them from enjoying this serene retreat and its abundant activities either. In fact, the annual men’s week has been taking place since 1960.

In addition to the popular, week-long Classic package, they introduced two new programs this fall. For those who overindulged during the shutdown, the Trainer package is the way to go. Guests are paired with their own personal trainers who customize workouts including private boot camp. Because people are connected with nature and mindfulness more now too, the Land and Water package was developed to hike, swim and picnic.

Another really cool thing about this place is that they donate 100% of net profits to charity. Some of the charities that have been benefited are The New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children, Palomar Health Foundation, Safe & Sound, Rady Children’s Hospital and others to help stop child abuse and bring awareness to the cause. What’s not to love?

 

https://goldendoor.com/eggplant-meatball-recipe/

https://goldendoor.com/fig-jam-dot-cookies/

Fearless at Fifteen

By | Beauty, Wellness

The glamorous Gee Beauty spa and boutique celebrates its 15th anniversary.

I’ve always supported women-owned businesses, which is just one of the many reasons I’m a huge fan of Gee Beauty. Named after a chic Canadian family—the impossibly gorgeous, savvy and kind Miriam Gee and her equally accomplished and stunning daughters, Natalie, Celene and Stephanie—the breakthrough beauty concept was founded 15 years ago in their hometown of Toronto. Years later, they expanded to Miami Beach’s Sunset Harbour neighborhood.

The spa/boutique hybrid is tailored for the time-crunched modern woman (and man, since they offer a full range of men’s products and custom treatments). The basic idea is that we all love a spa day, but it’s just not practical most of the time with our hectic schedules, whether you’re a busy parent, professional or both. They saw a white space for a 21st-century urban spa, where people can pop in for quick yet effective services such as their signature Brow Shaping and Medi Multi Express anti-aging facial in the same manner that they visit their favorite coffee shop for a latte. By thinking of your spa routine in daily snippets, you can still stick to your beauty routine without spending precious hours all at once.

I can attest to the quality of their services and products including their namesake cosmetics line. When I really want to treat myself, I indulge in one of their Luxury Facials whose themes are often based on their premier brands like Dr. Sebagh, Tata Harper and Dr. Barbara Sturm. Each of the four women has her sub-specialties regarding services and product niches, and they personally test every single item that comes into the store. Because the beauty market is flooded with options, it’s one less thing I have to think about—if it passes their approval, I know it’s great. When I’m in Sunset Harbour, I add it to my round of errands and treats like dinner at Naiyara and Lucali.

Since reopening in the pandemic, I’ve been impressed with how they’re handling protocol. They’re really good about spacing clients through limiting appointments and installing plexi-glass dividers. During services, the staff wears masks, face shields, gloves and gowns, among many thoughtful safety measures. You can also order online or arrange for curbside pickup to tide you over until you feel safe enough for in-person treatments and shopping.

I also like how they’ve always been ahead of the curve. Before clean beauty was trendy, they believed in a holistic approach and were among the first stores to bring in natural and organic skin-care lines. They’re constantly searching for better alternatives and address all skin types and tones. They recently introduced Epara, a luxury, skin-care brand whose ingredients from essential oils to botanicals are specifically designed for women of color.

For the 15th anniversary, they assembled the Glow Into Fall Skin Kit, a crème de la crème package with their top beauty picks in a complimentary tote commemorating the achievement. Some goodies inside are the Joanna Vargas Bright Eye Firming Mask, Mimi Luzon 24K Gold Hyaluronic Serum, Gee Beauty Soothing Lip Balm and Slip Skinnies silk hair ties. What a great gift for a friend or yourself.

Congrats ladies, and here’s to another 15 years!