Culinary School is a dream come through. At best I thought that I would take a course when I retired. Well January 2013 brought me this unexpected opportunity. Finally, I get to bring together all my passions, cooking, massage therapy, healing arts, photography, travel and teaching. My focus is on clean, healthy foods. I got to take a course at the Ann Wigmore Institute. I was a vegetarian for many years. I am an organic foods advocate and eater. And I am developing some gluten free recipes. Food is your medicine but it does not have to taste like it. Good food that taste good too. Soon, I will start the personal chef and catering portion of the business. Well, are you hungry yet?
My friend Sandra and I just completed our second year of Ayurvedic studies. We both love making products and Ayurveda offers a vast selection of wonderfully healing natural oils. We got together one afternoon to make a special batch of Brahmi ghee. It turned out beautifully. The ghee was so clear that I could see my reflection in the photograph that I took of it. What do we use it for? We use it for mental clarity, relaxation, and to promote a good night’s sleep.
Ladies Night In
Ladies Night In is a great way to enjoy an evening of spa indulgence with your favorite friends. You learn how to make simply delicious beauty products. Fabulous spa creations and fantastic friends are the formula for an unforgettable Ladies Night In. This party was in celebration of a special birthday but you can choose any occasion to get together with friends. There are a variety of kits and two hours to explore and create. The birthday lady decided to create the following: Sugar Scrub, Mud treatment, A natural perfume. What would you choose for you and your friends? Contact me today for information on the various packages.
Raw Food Adventure
I love food adventures. I began eating raw whole foods back in the late 90s. Glaser Farms was my first real introduction to the movement. I love the taste of the dishes. There is really an aliveness to it. The soups, the wraps, and desserts…nothing is cooked or processed. In 2005, I had the chance to complete the Raw Living Foods program at the Ann Wigmore Institute in Puerto Rico. And every year I teach a nutrition segment for my students. Our field trip is Glaser Farms. Our menu included: Nori wrap, Pizza, Taco, Fruit pie, and Ice cream. Call me if your ever what to take a trip for delicious and good-for-you food or if you need to create a lovely raw feast for you.
Trip to India
My trip to India in October 2012 was a game changer and a life saver. I received a series of treatments to help restore my mind and body. I also studied Ayurveda, visited Ayurvedic hospitals, took classes and made several herbal medicines like: Chyawanprash (jam-like cooked mixture of sugar, honey, ghee, gooseberry sesame oil, berries and other herbs and spices), Sitopaladi churna (medicine with an antihistaminic effect used for upper respiratory congestion and bronchial conditions), and Ksheerabala (oil used in treatment of Vata disorders causing neuro muscular pains, sciatica, spondylosis, paralysis).
KeSari Training at Aqua Spa
I had the wonderful opportunity to design a massage protocol and a body treatment protocol exclusively for the Delano Aqua Spa on Miami Beach, FL. I built the protocols around KeSari’s Indian Clay Masque and an awesome jasmine based Indian Oil Hair Serum. The massage protocol had elements of an Indian massage or abhyanga. The body treatment was a luxurious combination of scrubs removed with the gentle rain of a Vichy shower. I created three essential oil blends for the training. It was a wonderful time and training that include continuing education for the massage therapists.
Hot Springs, Arkansas
In the summer of 2007, my father and I drove from Mississippi to Hot Springs, Arkansas. I have an obsession with bathing. I lived in Japan for three years and had an opportunity to indulge in a variety of bathing centers. Every week, I went to my neighbor ofuro (public bathhouse). In the winter I went more often. I also visited onsets (natural springs) all over the country. It was the first stop after my Mount Fuji climb. I also climbed the Tateyama mountains and went to the highest onsen in Japan. You could smell the sulfur springs a mile away. The bathing highlight was my visit to Kyushu Island where I went onset hopping for several days with my friend, John. Naturally, when I returned to the States I explored the bathing culture here. I have always known of Hot Springs and their heydays when presidents like Roosevelt visited. It was just so wonderful to discover how much of the history is still preserved.
Trip to Italy
There is a checklist for every trip I take and there are two consistent items: A good restaurant, preferably where I am the only tourist, and a trip to a spa. I love natural springs and there is a well-known sulfur spa right outside of Rome. I took the train one rainy afternoon to a small town called Viterbo, Italy. I learned a few things that day. One… Rome is magnificent and grand. Once you step away, everything else seems, well, diminutive. And sometimes a tinier scale is not that bad for there were times in Rome when I felt overwhelmed. The second realization is that Italians give directions like Jamaicans. I spent about an hour walking around trying to find the spa. Everyone I asked said that it is around the corner, just down the street or a little bit that way. I met a lot of people but none helped me find the spa until I met this very young and handsome African man. The third realization is that angels come in all shapes and sizes with a variety of accents and my path is always filled with them. That day my angel lead the way. He took me through the city gates, down the path to a bus stop. He asked the driver to let me off at the spa and he gave me a chain that he was wearing. And then he was gone. Needless the say, the visit to the spa was the second best thing that happened to me on this spa adventure.
Traditional bathhouses are an essential part of contemporary Korean culture. Literally ‘heated rooms,’ these jjimjilbang are where locals come to unwind, hang out and engage in a whole host of health and beauty rituals that go far beyond a quick soak.