Weight loss and Spa Holidays

Written by SSH on 26/06/13, filed under Europe, General News, Gozo | No Comments

I have always been sceptical about weight loss or spa holidays especially when you go abroad as your first instinct for a spa retreat is for it to be a sanctuary for you to relax in by the pool, or enjoying the local delicacies and frankly do as little activity as possible. However, on my last trip I was proven wrong and realised how useful they are especially to weight loss. Over the last few years I have put on around 11pounds by eating well but being very inactive. As I’m getting older it has dawned on me that its a lot harder to lose the pounds.

So this year I decided that I would try out a healthier spa holiday and go completely against my instinct and try to be healthier in what I ate and more physically active too. So courtesy of Sanctuary Spa Holidays I booked onto a half board holiday in Gozo, near Malta at the Kempinski resort. They had a number of healthier dietary food options including Ayurvedic. I decided to go for a healthy Mediterranean diet.

My bespoke daily programme included a large breakfast including two eggs and loads of carbs! After breakfast I would go for a stroll around the Kempinski Resort in Gozo and then laze in the sun at the poolside. Around 11am I would eat fruit and then make my way to the Ayurvedic spa centre and ’state of the art’ fitness centre. On three alternate days I swam in the indoor pool and relaxed in the Hammam baths and spa steam rooms. The other three alternate days I utilised the fully equipped gym, running for half hour on the treadmill and using the cycling machines to warm up and warm down for a few minutes and end the session with a massage in the Ayurvedic spa centre.

After the physical activity I’d eat a healthy sandwich, and in the evening eat dinner around 630pm that consisted of soup as a starter such as asparagus or pumpkin soup and a meat dish with vegetables for my main, and a fruit dessert. I was of course envious of people in the restaurant who were finishing off their chocolate cakes and ice cream however it was very much about mental discipline which I found out at the daily yoga classes in the spa centre. I only popped along to a couple of yoga sessions but it helped me to relax and really contemplate and believe in myself that what I was doing was for my greater good.

Using this daily programme I genuinely lost 4kg (9pounds) in 6 days on the programme that I basically created myself. It wasn’t a huge amount but I am now down to my ideal target weight and am looking towards toning it a little more before I book my next spa holiday! Of course I think the hard part for me now will be to sustain the weight now I’m  back home and trying to juggle it between work and social life but my motivation is the fact that I have the momentum and drive as I look good and feel great!

Top 5 spa destinations for mind body and soul relaxation

Written by Dee on 25/06/13, filed under General News | No Comments

Sun, Sea and Shopping!

Top 5 destinations for mind body and soul relaxation.

Of course a spa retreat offers a lot in relaxation of the mind, body and soul, especially after a strenuous year of stress and pressure from everyday life. Spa products such as aromatherapy massages, a detox programme and my personal favourite relaxing in the Hammam baths go along way to wellbeing but to compliment a spa retreat you also need sunshine, the sea and no relaxation is complete without good old fashioned retail therapy.

So what are the top 5 destinations in the world that offer good sunshine all year round, clean sea and beaches with great shopping locations and an added bonus, an excellent spa to complete the holiday.

I have been around the world on spa retreats, adventure holidays, sunning on a beach and shopping looking for bargains and only a few spa destinations can boast all the ingredients for my description of total wellness. However, I have found five destinations that meet my expectations. See below my top 5 places for spa treatments, sunshine, magnificent beaches, and a great shopping experience all to help you feel good and look your very best.

1. Koh Samui, Thailand – With some of the best beach shopping experiences in the world and Chaweng has 6 kilometres of shops!

2. Kerala, India – A fantastic spa and Ayurvedic destination with so much culture to explore

3. Dubai, UAE – Hot throughout the year and awesome for designer wear in the vast shopping malls

4. Alicante, Spain – Offers a great spa experience and surprisingly so close to home

5. St Lucia, Caribbean – beautiful beaches and a vast array of activities to keep you fit and excited.

James Gandolfini Too Young To Die

Written by Dee on 21/06/13, filed under General News | No Comments
James Gandolfini aka Tony Soprano, who played the main character in the Sopranos, was my hero and an idol for so many. He was such an intense actor in all the roles he played, he gave everything to his work. Even when he died in Italy on holiday he was working attending a film awards ceremony. James Gandolfini who died at 51 of a possible heart attack. All the cliches come out in such tragedies ‘he was too young to die’, ’such a loss to society’ and my personal bug bear ‘life’s too short’.

Even though I respected James Gandolfini as an actor I just wish he did more to look after himself. He was an actor who was completely dedicated to his work and from his stature it always seemed he maybe spent too little time to look after himself. Life sometimes can look too short but my favourite cliche is ‘life is what you make it’. I believe if more people spent more time thinking about looking after themselves in mind, body and soul maybe more people would be healthier and live longer. Being physically active is important and the Department of Health guidelines stipulate being active 3 times a week for 30 minutes. So a brisk walk for 30minutes would suffice. Healthier eating and five a day of fruit and vegetables are crucial. However, its not just the body but the mind thats important. Stress can also play a major part in bad health hence relaxation is as important. So relaxing on the beach, spa treatments such as aromatherapy or even just getting away from the rigours of life can only help to enhance life.

James Gandolfini is gone and our thoughts are with his family who have lost a father, a husband and a friend. I hope the legacy from his death is that his fans all over the world learn that work life balance is key to a healthier life.