Are you ready to shake off your winter doldrums and focus on a healthier new you this Spring? I am ready, and I found a fun way to do just that!
I threw a SPArty!
The gray days and nippy nights here in Atlanta have made me feel sluggish and subdued lately. I wanted a weekend getaway, and I also wanted a perfect way to celebrate the launch of this blog! So I rounded up my friends for a Women’s Wellness Weekend (“SPArty”) at one of my favorite destinations, the home of my friend and editor Michelle on St. Simons Island, Georgia. It’s where I have found all my favorite things in one place: sunny beaches, warm breezes, wonderful friends and fabulous food, and of course, yoga!
As I had hoped, this weekend was the perfect way to launch this blog, because it was all about relaxing with women friends while rejuvenating ourselves through an in-home spa experience, what we call a SPArty! A SPArty is a great way for us women to celebrate all kinds of new beginnings: a new job or career change, a child’s birth, a milestone birthday, a disease-free diagnosis, a book or blog launch, or simply to welcome Spring!
Michelle welcomed us into her home which was filled with scented candles and soft music. We began with a meditation to set the intention of this special event. Then, I shared my own intentions for this blog, which is my passionate desire to help people begin their personal journey toward living their most rewarding, empowered lifestyle.
Then we all chatted for a while about our concerns regarding our health, and the physical, mental and emotional changes we’re all going through. We talked about how we can cope with the stress we’re experiencing due to things like our jobs, our relationships, and our sleeping issues, and how to we can do simple techniques, such as breathing exercises and yoga to relieve that stress. We all agreed that we wanted to learn how to stay healthy and active; in other words, how to age well.
Then we needed some refreshment, so we moved into the kitchen where we juiced a variety of fresh fruit and veggies. While we sipped these delicious drinks, we talked about the obvious benefits of juicing.The research I’ve done says that juicing fruits and vegetables can maximize your nutrient intake, fight disease, strengthen your cells against the effects of free radicals, help you lose weight and even help you cut down on your medications. I gave everyone two of my favorite recipes so they could try juicing at home.
Here they are.. Try them and let me know what you think. Send me your favorite juice drinks, too! These juice drinks are from one of my favorite books on juicing. The Juice Lady’s Guide to Juicing for Health.
1 handful watercress
1 turnip, scrubbed, tops removed, ends trimmed
3 carrots, scrubbed well, tops removed, ends trimmed
1-2 garlic cloves
1/2 green apple such as Granny Smith or pippin
Swollen Joints and Arthritis
1 handful parsley
2 ribs celery with leaves
2 carrots, scrubbed, green tops removed
1 cucumber, peeled if not organic
1/2 lemon, peeled (optional; don’t use if you are sensitive to citrus)
Next, we moved outdoors to Michelle’s backyard where Patty, our yoga instructor, was setting up our mats. Patty led us through some simple movements and stretches while she told us about some of yoga’s benefits. After this great 45-minute session, we all agreed we felt calm yet invigorated… and hungry!
We went back into the kitchen where Michelle and I had prepared a lovely, large lunch salad brimming with locally grown produce, with a side of fresh broiled shrimp. Eating locally produced food is one of the many ways you can enjoy a healthier lifestyle. (We’ll talk about the many good reasons to buy locally grown food in a future post.) We finished our meal with a seasonal fresh fruit dessert.
We gathered one last time in the living room where I asked everyone to join me in a simple ritual to bring closure to our time together. Michelle had placed a large, low bowl of water on the coffee table with a number of “wish” stones in the bottom. Each stone was imprinted with a word such as “Dream,” “Inspire,” “Explore,” “Heal,” “Believe,” “Imagine,” “Hope”. Each woman selected a stone from the bowl and shared about the meaning her stone held for her, and what she had learned from the day’s activities. One guest shared that she recognized hers to be a “stepping stone” toward her goal of a healthier lifestyle! Everyone agreed this was a wonderful keepsake by which to remember this special time with friends.
Ritual for Gathering
I invite you to hold your own SPArty in your home this Spring. Write to me or comment below and let everyone know about your own activities, your healthy juicing recipes and meals, and your special rituals!