Tag Archives: Arizona

Sage Advice

IMG_4330In preparation for my surgery, and to create a healing oasis at home, I went to Desert Sage Herbs.  Brittney Sounart and her mother, Vicki Greener, opened this holistic center in 1999; and have provided me and my family with healing help for the past 9 years.  They offer classes, holistic health services, and a retail shop.  It feels like home, and it smells soooo good inside!

IMG_4266One week prior to my surgery, I scheduled an herbal consultation with Brittney.  During this time, I shared the details of my situation, and told her that I wanted to purchase some products to help me heal quickly and completely after my procedure.  We laughed, cried (Well, I did.), hugged, and re-grouped, as we developed a plan together.  The plan was as follows:  to support healing of my tissues after surgery, while supporting my adrenals and nervous system; liver detoxification; lymphatic and immune system support.  Once our plan was in place, Brittney proceeded to custom-blend all sorts of goodies for me…

IMG_4160Brittney suggested that I take arnica, before and after surgery, for its anti-inflammatory properties.  She also created an herbal “Healing Tea” (nettle leaf, holy basil, linden flower, calendula flower, red raspberry leaf, slippery elm bark, and horsetail) for me.  In addition, she concocted a “Healing Tonic” (gotu kola, milk thistle, milky oats, cleavers, horse chestnut, echinacea root, and ginger root).  And, since I love smoothies, Brittney whipped up a “Smoothie Powder” (ashwagandha root, shatavari root, maca root, and spirulina) too.  YAHTZEE!!!

Brittney Sounart, Clinical Herbalist at Desert Sage Herbs.

Brittney Sounart, Clinical Herbalist at Desert Sage Herbs.

I am all about aromatherapy.  So, Brittney suggested their “Nighty-Night” spritzer for use at home, in the hospital, or on the go.   She also whipped-up a “Calming” essential oil blend of lavender, clary sage, and bergamot.  I place 10-12 drops on the pad of my new aromatherapy diffuser, plug it into an outlet, and the results are “spa-like.”  I love my diffuser so much that when I found out that there was a smaller version for cars, I pounced!  Don’t judge me…

IMG_4166Honestly, I could have gone crazy and done a LOT more damage.  But I decided to be good and to stay focused on what was absolutely necessary to get me through my surgery and healing process.  I believe that the items that I purchased have helped me tremendously.

IMG_4285I am so grateful to Brittney for her caring heart and expertise.  LOVE HER!!!

Desert Sage Herbs is located at 1728 N Alma School Rd, Chandler, AZ 85224.

Pssst…Don’t trip!…They ship!!!  😉

Have a wonderful weekend!

XOXO

 

5 Green Things I Did During Earth Week 2014

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1. Livin’ la vida local:  I love supporting “mom and pop” establishments in my area. My car, body, and garden thanked me for it too!

2. Drink my greens:  I enjoyed a Skin Rejuvenator juice, along with a vegan strawberry scone, at the inimitable Pomegranate Cafe.  This mother-daughter-owned vegetarian eatery is one of my faves!  And dining al fresco was the perfect way to spend the day.

3. Say “gracias” with green: Why not honor the Earth by showing some love to those with whom we share it?  I made a deliberate effort to give cash tips to all of the service providers who worked hard to make my life a little easier.

4. Grow some greens: I’m really excited about my Spring garden, and spent some quality time planting, seeding, pruning, and nurturing. Best. Therapy. Ever. *sigh*

5.  Grab and go:  When I purchased this cute top and scarf from Anthropologie for my Spring/Summer wardrobe, I declined a shopping bag and hand-carried my items.  Every little bit helps…

Truth be told, every week should be Earth Week.  However you choose to celebrate it, be creative and have fun!

Take care and have a great weekend!

 

My Moroccan-Themed Birthday

So, what does a world traveler with a baaaaad case of wanderlust do to celebrate her birthday?  She picks a destination that’s high on her bucket list, and lives it up locally until her desire manifests.

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A day trip to Tangier, years ago, has me longing to return to Morocco; and I have yet to do so.  My birthday theme was driven by my desire to check out Joya Spa at the Omni International Hotel Montelucia Resort in Paradise Valley, AZ.  Joya Spa is the only Arizona spa to offer a hammam-inspired treatment.  So, I booked their “Hammam Experience,” and added 50-minutes of massage to it.  BAM!!!

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Before entering the spa, I had fun setting my intentions by placing three stones in the blessing bowl.  Unable to settle on just one, I chose rhodonite (work), rose quartz (love), and hematite (health).  What can I say?  I have a lot going on…

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Then, I placed my hand on the crystal just outside of the spa entrance and said, “Buh-bye” to any and all negative energy, as I made my way closer to bliss…

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Here, I was slathered with a soap that felt like melted butter, then scrubbed with a Kassa glove and black soap.  Afterwards, I was doused with 3 buckets of warm water.  My skin felt sooooo smoooooth…

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After doing a circuit from the steam room, to the cold deluge, then the sauna, I entered this room.  Here, my massage therapist worked her magic with a flower essence-infused oil that helped me to put things into perspective.  Zzzzz…

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Shhhhhh…this is the Whisper Room, where I luxuriated on one of these beds, underneath a cozy throw.  I need some of these linens in my life…

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“Cheers!”  The staff at Joya Spa offered me a complimentary glass of champagne, in honor of my special day.  How could I refuse?!?!  I graciously accepted, retreated to the spa terrace in my swimsuit, and “marinated” poolside.  I was able to soak up some much-needed vitamin D, while chatting with other patrons, and enjoying this view.  Ahhhhh…

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There…that’s MUCH better!  If you are in the Phoenix area, and looking for an exotic spa experience, with lots of amenities, then jump for Joya!

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After an awesome experience at Joya Spa, I drove over to this Phoenix gem for lunch. Don’t let the humble exterior fool you!  Owner, Zhor Saad, of Alzohour Market & Restaurant offers authentic Moroccan fare that will transport you to Marrakesh in a matter of minutes.

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For my birthday lunch, I ordered the Kashkbadem (roasted eggplant sauteed with garlic and mint), Harira (traditional hearty soup with tomatoes, lentils, garbanzos, and cilantro), homemade Moroccan bread, and pita.  LOVED IT!

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Of course, I had to order dessert, riiiiight?!?!  I splurged and chose the Kunafa, which was rich, sweet, and creamy, with tons of texture.  Mmmmm…

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And here I am with my lovely hostess, Zhor.  She works hard (often by herself) to serve home-style cooking that is fit for a king.  Just like my day trip to Morocco, I enjoyed my visit to her restaurant, and I look forward to returning.

Shokran to Joya Spa and Alzohour Market & Restaurant for making my birthday special!

 

 

 

 

 

Spring Into Action!

Do you need to drink more water?  I do.  But our tap water is gross; and our reverse osmosis water is stripped of everything: bad contaminants and healthy minerals.  And I would rather not buy bottled water since it’s not eco-friendly, the sources are questionable, and it leaves a plastic aftertaste in my mouth.  Ugh…

Harding Spring

Harding Spring

For a healthy way to quench your thirst, what you COULD do is find a natural spring near you.  Find A Spring is a resource dedicated to helping people locate springs worldwide, many of which have been tried and tested by others.  Spring water is cleaner than drinking water, mineral-rich, tastes great, and…wait for it…FREE!  So take your jug, bottles, canteens, and go get some of this cool, refreshing, deliciousness.  Your body with thank you, and beg for more.

Me filling one of my Eastar BPA-Free 1-gallon jugs at Harding Spring.

Me filling one of my Eastar BPA-Free 1-gallon jugs at Harding Spring.

Personally, I go to Harding Spring near Sedona, AZ.  When my family retreats to this area for some R & R, we make collecting spring water a group activity.  It’s fun for all of us, and we savor every drop.  We always meet locals there, who have been collecting spring water for years.  If we lived closer, I’d be there EVERY. SINGLE. DAY…TRUST!  In the meantime, I add fruit pieces, fresh-squeezed citrus, or other supplements to our reverse osmosis water; and I look forward to checking out other springs during my upcoming travels.

Another view of me collecting Harding Spring water.

Another view of me collecting Harding Spring water.

Stay hydrated, my friends!

Salt

Growing up, I suffered from seasonal allergies.  For years, I was MISERABLE.  By the time I graduated from college, my symptoms had mysteriously subsided.  What?!?  I have no idea how I managed that, but who am I to question a modern-day miracle?  These days, I am mildly irritated during allergy season.  However, my family’s allergies are much worse than mine.  So, what do we do?

The Salt Chalet Arizona is located in this building in Scottsdale.

The Salt Chalet Arizona is located in this building in Scottsdale.

For an alternative treatment that will have you (literally) breathing a sigh of relief, what you COULD do is try salt therapy.  Salt therapy (a.k.a. speleotherapy or halotherapy) helps to relieve allergies, respiratory issues, and skin conditions.  My husband shared his experience at Salt Chalet Arizona, where he went through a series of treatments to deal with an extreme case of eczema and allergy symptoms.  I’ve wanted to try this, and recently took the plunge.

Kickin' back in my zero gravity chair, ready to do some deep breathing...

Kickin’ back in my zero gravity chair, ready to do some deep breathing…

As with many natural therapies, it takes time to heal.  The more you do it, the more benefits you receive.  And who doesn’t want good benefits these days?  I have also found that it can take a couple of sessions to understand how to make the most of alternative treatments.  For example, during my first Salt Chalet experience, an elderly gentleman with COPD pointed out to me that I should breathe in the fine salt particles through my mouth (no filter), and breathe out through my nose.  I had been doing the opposite!  So, when I went to my second appointment, I applied this intel accordingly.  As a result, I had a more productive session.

The view from my zero gravity chair.

Nothing fancy to see here.  It’s all about the therapeutic benefits of the Dead Sea salt.  The comfortable chairs, light therapy, and relaxation music help to create a spa-like experience though.  And I’m always down with that!  For information about other salt room locations, check here and here.

Looking to “spice up” your allergy, respiratory, and skin protocol?  Just add salt.

 

 

 

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