Summer Cycling With Aspen’s Little Nell

There are certain bragging rights that come with riding my beat-up used bike as I slalom between the trucks and taxis in New York City. Last July, however, I decided to exchange the exhaust of Manhattan’s avenues for the pristine air of the Rockies and my $200 Taiwanese ten-speed for a state-of-the-art Orbea road bike as I put my vacation in the hands of the “adventure concierges” at Aspen’s Little Nell.

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Vitamin Myth Busting

Vitamins & supplements are a $43.5 billion industry and nearly 50% of Americans take them. Consumers are inundated with options and many are self-prescribing their own vitamin cocktails. But it seems that almost every month a report comes out either blessing or blasting the efficacy of vitamins and the latest offerings from this unregulated industry. Continue reading

Walking on the beach

A Dozen Ways to Actually Reduce Stress During the COVID Crisis

The COVID-19 pandemic is stressful, causing fear and anxiety that can be physically and emotionally overwhelming. But there are methods for coping. Knowing that everyone responds differently to stressful situations, here are a dozen different suggestions to reduce worry, tension, and anxiety while we wait out the COVID crisis.

Read a book.  Books take us into our imaginations, allowing for the ultimate distraction. The act of reading also relaxes your body, lowers your heart rate, and eases the tension in your muscles. 

Puzzles exercise both sides of your brain, evaporating stress and replacing it with tranquility. We especially like the calming puzzles from Lemonade Pursuits that partner with female artists around the world to create uniquely artful and peaceful tableaus.

In much the same way as puzzles do, coloring allows you to focus on a single task that can put your mind into a meditation-like state.

Speaking of meditation, a number of apps are available to help focus your attention and eliminate the scramble of thoughts crowding your mind.  Popular ones include Headspace, Calm, and Aura.  

Stretching allows the blood that has been restricted due to stress to flow more freely.  Stretching also stimulates receptors in the nervous system that decrease the production of stress hormones and isolates the muscles that store the tension.

A hobby from times past, modeling is seeing a comeback.  Whether it’s crafting model airplanes, cars, or making dollhouses, the act of working with your hands to create a product in detail can be remarkably soothing.

Cooking is not only a useful skill, but a great therapy.  It reduces negative thinking and builds confidence, encouraging creativity and activating the senses in the best way.  Have a cookbook at home you’ve been wanting to crack open or a website tempting you to new tastes?  Now’s the perfect time. 

Getting in touch with nature and being in the sunlight are instant mood lifters.  This is what makes gardening such a great tool to relieve stress that can be done at any age.   

Many shelters are waiving adoption fees to relieve facilities and provide animals with foster (if not forever) homes during the health crisis.  Cuddling an animal stimulates the release of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin, which help relieve depression. Pets are proven to create a calming effect, and loving on them helps you focus on the present moment.

You may think it would be harder to workout with the gyms and fitness studios closed, but apps and online fitness have stepped up to fill the void.  Everything from Beachbody to Barry’s is currently offering free online classes.  Take advantage, because working up a sweat reduces the body’s levels of adrenaline and cortisol, instead stimulating the production of endorphins. 

Give journaling a go. Detailed writing about thoughts and feelings may clear them from your mind, or at least help you prioritize your fears, better understand your stresses, and problem solve more efficiently. 

Make music.  From playing an instrument to singing, every aspect of making music releases stored muscle tension and decreases cortisol levels.  It’s a bonus that this activity can be done alone or with others! 

This article was originally published on Pursuitist. Republished by permission

Vitamin C Bomb—Rose Hip Syrup

Whoever discovers a cure for the common cold will be richer than Midas, if not richer than the guy who can instantly heal hangovers, but in the meantime we’ve got vitamin C. It just so happens that rose hips—the red, globular fruit of the rose—have vitamin C in spades.

Making your own rosehip syrup, whether for health reasons, to top a scoop of ice cream, or even add zing to a martini, is an easy and delicious way to enter the burgeoning world of wild food foraging, that new frontier for foodies, health nuts, and outdoors enthusiasts. Besides, it’s fun. After a few seasons of making your own, you’ll find that foraging rose hips is a calendar event, an annual mission that connects you to your landscape.

Look for rosehips wherever ornamental shrubbery plantings are in abundance. City parks, sidewalks, and lakeshores play host to many varieties of rose bush, while more rural areas support native species. Scout the patches in summer when the roses are in bloom, then return in fall to collect the fruit, usually marble to walnut-sized and a deep shade of red. They say hips are at their best after the first frost when the flavor and sweetness are most concentrated.

The recipe is simple. After rinsing, grind the hips in a food processor. Transfer contents to a saucepan, cover with water, and simmer for 30 minutes before running the resulting mush through a food mill or sieve to strain out the pulp. Return the strained juice to a pot and add sugar—or better yet, honey—to taste. Simmer until syrupy.

You can mix in other flavorings or herbal supplements such as cloves, cinnamon, or ginger—and voila: a Vitamin C Bomb to chase away the winter nasties. Mix into juice or water when you’re feeling low, or use the syrup for more gustatory purposes in desserts, sauces, jams, or cocktails.

 

rose hip syrup

 

Langdon Cook is the author of  Fat of the Land: Adventures of a 21st Century Forager (Skipstone Press, 2009)The Mushroom Hunters: On the Trail of an Underground America (Random House, 2013) and Upstream: Searching for Wild Salmon, from River to Table (Random House, 2017).

The Many Reason To Eat Local

Have you ever wondered why it might be good to eat foods according to the season?  You probably notice how there are certain fruits and vegetables available in the fall (apples, pears, squash) versus what is seen in the spring/summer (melons, papaya, asparagus). Continue reading

Many Reasons to Eat Local

Have you ever wondered why it might be good to eat foods according to the season?  You probably notice how there are certain fruits and vegetables available in the fall (apples, pears, squash) versus what is seen in the spring/summer (melons, papaya, asparagus). Continue reading

Designing Wellness

Talking Spa Design With The Owners of Blu Spas. Out of all the buzzy trends that go in and out of popularity every year, here’s one that we’re thrilled to see sticking—wellness. Sticking doesn’t even quite do it justice, though, as reports from the Global Wellness Institute estimate that the wellness economy is worth an estimated $3.7 trillion. So, how does this sector continue to not only bask but also boom? Continue reading

7 Farmers Markets To Visit This Summer

It seems to be basic human nature to take everything outdoors in the summer. Answer us this: Why dine at the kitchen table when you could have a barbecue out in the sunshine? Who hits the treadmill when they could take a breezy sunset jog? It’s simple – when the weather’s nice, we want to be out in it, absorbing all that wellness-inducing vitamin D. Continue reading

An Insider’s Take On The Surging Demand For CBD Oil

I recently attended a trade show promoting various spa and wellness brands at none other than the Rainbow Room atop NYC’s Rockefeller Center. The boutique show—hosted by the Green Spa Network, a nonprofit trade association that provides education, resources and gatherings for the spa and wellness industry—represented my first glimpse into the burgeoning market of CBD oil. Continue reading

Slope to “Farm”

Canyons, Utah’s largest ski resort, has 4,000 acres of terrain, and your plan is to ski it all. In one morning you’ve managed to tackle bowls, woods and a chute that you vowed to never ski again. Before taking another run, you need to refuel with a proper sit-down lunch – a hearty vegetable soup and a steak and egg sandwich with horseradish cream, caramelized onions and poblano relish. Sound good? Continue reading

Soda in the Raw

5 Natural, Low Sugar Sodas To Try This Summer

It’s one of the biggest dietary don’ts: If you’re looking to trim up as the weather heats up, then you can’t drink your favorite carbonated beverage anymore. We say such rules are made for breaking, though. Continue reading

A Juicy Secret

A Best Seller Touts the Weight Loss Power of Grapefruit Juice and Caffeine

Should Starbucks sell grapefruit juice? If you’ve read Tim Ferriss’ New York Times Best Seller “The 4-Hour BODY” you might recall his mention of grapefruit juice and its effect on caffeine. While Ferriss himself is not generally in favor of much fruit or fruit juice in his diet, he does mention the benefit (or detractor, depending on your viewpoint) of a certain flavanoid found in grapefruits which extends the fat burning properties of caffeine.

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