Spas and weight loss

By: Dee Van Dyk

Author: Canadian Living


Spas and weight loss

By: Dee Van Dyk

All grapefruit diet. Low carb diet. No carb diet. High protein diet. Brown rice diet. Low fat diet. Generations of people have battled the bulge using the latest incarnation of the most disheartening word in the English language: diet.

For most of us, the very word conjures up feelings of deprivation or -- just as discouraging -- images of frozen pre-portioned meals, diet shakes and carrot sticks. But health and fitness experts in the spa industry assure us that the opposite is true. Eating well is about entitlement -- good, wholesome food, attractively presented and enjoyed. A quick scan of the Island Lake Resorts' menu (Fernie, B.C.) features show stoppers like Wild West Coast Salmon (macerated with cedar fronds and black pepper then seared to perfection with extra virgin canola oil presented with orange spiced basmati, golden cedar syrup and sesame asparagus).

"It's about making yourself feel good," says Christa Moffat of Island Lake Resorts. "We're geared to wellness versus beauty, about renewing and refreshing yourself."

At Calgary's Institut de Sante, nutrition counseling is one aspect of a three month program (called "Living Better") that includes personal fitness training, counseling for change and yoga/pilates therapy. Dr. Wendy Smeltzer, a family physician in private practice for 19 years and founder Institut de Sante, recently announced the opening of Sante Spa at Spirit Ridge where participants can sign on for a week of pampering and spa therapy. Deprivation isn't on the list for Spirit Ridge, but wine is!

The biggest surprise, says de Sante client Gloria, with a smile, is that she likes bean salad. "I'm finding my cravings are changing. I actually crave salad instead of burgers."

Read on for sample spa recipes you can make at home, plus a listing of wellness-oriented spas to consider for your next getaway.

Page 1 of 3 - Read page 2 for a spa seafood recipe!

Photo: Courtney Van Dyk

Sole Stuffed with Crab with Tomato Gin Concasse

Serves 8.

• 2 cups vegetable stock
• 170 gm tin crabmeat (drained)
• 2 cups rice (cooked)
• 1 tsp hot smoked paprika
• 1 clove garlic (crushed)
• 1 egg (lightly beaten)
• 1 tbsp mirin (sweet rice vinegar)
• 1 tsp salt
• 16 filets of sole

• 1 tbsp olive oil
• 1 small onion (diced)
• 1 stalk celery (diced)
• 5 fresh ripe roma tomatoes (cored and coarsely chopped)
• 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
• ½ cup gin
• 2 sprigs fresh tarragon (de-stemmed and roughly chopped)
• 1 tsp sugar
• ½ tsp baking soda
• 1 tsp hot sauce
• salt to taste
• tarragon leaves left whole for garnish

1. Pre-heat oven to 400F. In a pot over high heat add the stock and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. In a bowl, add the next seven ingredients and mix well. On a work surface lay out the sole with the largest end of each fillet at the bottom.

2. With your hand take about an eighth of the filling and form it into a tight ball. Place the ball at the bottom of the fillet and roll up. Gently place the sole on end into a casserole dish with a lid and repeat until all the sole is stuffed and arranged tightly in the casserole dish.

3. Very carefully pour the hot stock into the bottom of the casserole dish, trying not to pout any of the stock over the fish. Cover and place in the oven to steam for 20-25 minutes or until the fish is evenly cooked.

4. In a small pan, add the oil, onion and celery. Saute until the onions are translucent.

5. In a food processor, add the onion mixture along with the tomatoes, garlic and gin. Puree to a fine consistency. Pour puree into a pot over medium high heat, adding the last five ingredients. Bring to a boil and remove from heat.

6. To serve, puddle the concasse into the centre of a plate and place two of the sole into the centre. Garnish with tarragon leaves.
From Institut de Sante

Photo: Courtney Van Dyk

Page 2 of 3 - Read on for a delicious salad recipe!

Harvest salad

Serves 6.

• 454 g cooked Black beans
• 225 g cooked Israeli cous cous
• 454 g corn niblets
• 60 g flax seeds
• 225 g raisins
• 170 g julienned sun dried apricots
• 30 g chopped cilantro
• 60 g fine diced red pepper
• 60 g fine diced red onion
• 30 g sunflower seeds
• 90g pumpkin seeds
• 170 ml grape seed oil
• 120 ml white balsamic vinegar
• 120 ml balsamic vinegar
• 45 ml olive oil
• 3 Belgium endive
• 2 frisee
• 36 grape tomatoes
• 30 g fine diced shallots
• 1 Radicchio
• 30 g radish cress
• 15ml lemon juice
• salt to taste
• pepper to taste

1. Soak black beans overnight in water and refrigerate.

2. Place soaked black beans in medium pot cook until tender, strain and set aside to let cool.

3. Cook Israeli cous cous, and reserve.

4. Combine black beans, cous cous, seeds, peppers, onions and corn in mixing bowl.

5. Add grape seed oil and white balsamic vinegar. Mix completely.

6. Finish with fresh chopped cilantro and season to taste.

7. Place salad in ceramic cup or mould, wrap and refrigerate.

8. Place balsamic vinegar on low heat and reduce by two thirds or until thickened, let cool.

9. Season Belgium endive and grill until tender. Let cool.

10. Toss frisee, Belgium endive, shallots, radish cress and grape tomatoes with olive oil and squeeze of lemon, season to taste.

11. Place molded salad on square plate for nice effect, arrange endive salad and drizzle balsamic vinegar around plate.
From James Bodanis, CCC, Executive Chef at Holtz Spa

Find a spa at:
Alberta Spa Vacations
Leading Spas of Canada
Premier Spas of Ontario

Or check out one of these:

Institut de Santé, "Living Better Program"
Second Floor, 508 24th Ave SW
Calgary, Alberta
Telephone: 403-228-2772

Saddle Mountain Ranch Self-Healing Centre
Pincher Creek, Alberta, Canada
Telephone: 1-888-229-6422

Alberta Massage and Spa
1051 Ross Glen Drive, SE
Medicine Hat, Alberta
Telephone: 1-403-580-3334

Echo Valley Ranch & Spa
PO Box 16, Clinton
Jesmond, B.C. V0K 1K0
Telephone: (250) 459 2386

Island Lake Lodge
602a 2nd Avenue
Fernie, B.C.
Telephone: 1-250-423-3700

The Inn at Manitou
14 Prince Arthur Avenue, Suite 107
Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5R 1A9
Telephone (416) 245-5606

Grail Springs Spa
2004 Bay Lake Road
Bancroft, Ontario
Telephone: 1-877-553-5772

Photo: Courtney Van Dyk

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Spas and weight loss