I am in Love with Italy, always have been and always will be! So when it came to choosing a spa for a short break, I gravitated towards this beautiful country that has so much to offer. A good friend of mine suggested Ti Sana Spa, which is a short 1-hour drive from Milan airport, and 30mns from Lake Como.
I arrived at the spa on a beautiful sunny November day, uncharacteristic for this time of year in Italy, and the sun stayed with me for my whole stay.
I was swiftly checked in by the friendly staff at reception and given my schedule for the few days I was there. I would essentially be on Ti Sana’s ‘Healthatarian’ program which has been designed to help you lose fat mass, improve stress related disturbances in the body such as insomnia/ gastrointestinal problems/ chronic fatigue/ anxiety, prevent chronic degenerative diseases, reduce anxiety, give more energy, improve quality of life and teach people how to manage their lifestyle there after.
My first appointment was with Mario, the in-house Health Guru, who conducted an integrated diagnostic consultation using a machine that ‘reads’ the whole body. This is a completely non-invasive process and the machine used has been found to be as accurate as blood tests and other medical procedures in detecting health problems.
I was given a detailed analysis of my nervous system, immune system, bone density, and detailed body composition to name a few. I learnt a lot in this process and picked up on a few things I would like to improve.
My daily schedule was different everyday. The day typically started with a long walk, always in a different area, and each more breathtakingly beautiful than the other.
This would be followed by breakfast, a couple of treatments, a lecture/cooking class, a fitness class such as Pilates, Tai Chi, Weight baring exercise and so on.
The food at Tisana is all Vegan and was honestly delicious and very filling.
I felt it was very well studied and perfectly balanced. I was given 3 main meals with 2 snacks in between. I was also given supplements as decided by Mario during my initial health consultation. My whole system responded extremely well to the food. My metabolism was enhanced, my digestive system was very happy and I lost 1.5kgs in 4 days, without starving myself. It has also been easy to keep the weight off which is generally not the case with Juice detoxes.
The treatments were great and I found all the therapists very qualified. I am very fussy about my massages and like them to be strong. The therapist who gave me the massage applied the perfect pressure and knew what she was doing.
The exercise classes were good as well, and always different which was nice. I have always had Knee issues and tend to avoid exercises that may put pressure on my knees. Mario was very knowledgeable and addressed the problem perfectly. He spent one-on-one time with me and taught me how to protect my knees during exercise. He gave me very good advice about what sort of exercise I should be doing for my body type, something again that I was unaware of, and he focused a lot on how it should be done to get the maximum benefit. He demonstrated in detail how my muscles should feel during exercise to insure I am doing it right, and this has been very helpful for me when exercising back home.
When I left, I was given a USB with lots of interesting and educational information. I love that they provided me with the recipes and I’ve already made a few of them.
All in all, it was a lovely 3 days of peace and quiet in a nice family-run spa. Ti Sana has 22 rooms in total and is not your typical busy spa. I am told that they have about 12 guests at any given time. For me, this was perfect and exactly what I was looking for. It was a welcomed break from my hectic life in Dubai! If you are looking for a little quiet sanctuary that offers great treatments, a well-studied ‘no-pressure’ detox that works, delicious food and an environment that allows you to switch off completely, this may well be the place you’re looking for. 'Till next time Ti Sana!
1711 – TI SANA DETOX RETREAT & SPAVia Fontana 5,
23885 Arlate Calco
Tel. +39 039 9920979
You’ve got kale, spinach, and collard greens down, right? Well, time to add another super-veggie into your energy-boosting diet. Enter kohlrabi!
Kohlrabi is a vegetable that is part of the cabbage family and is often referred to as German Turnip. It looks similar to a turnip and comes with purple, white, or green skin but the flesh inside is white. The leaves, stem and skin are all edible and the whole thing can be eaten raw or cooked.
If you need an instant immune system boost, then try snacking on a cup of raw Kohlrabi. Of all the vitamins in kohlrabi, vitamin C is the most abundant. In fact, a cup of raw kohlrabi has almost 84 mg of vitamin C, which is more than enough to meet your daily requirements. It also has a good amount of the B vitamins, such as vitamin B6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid and folate. B vitamins play a role in increasing metabolic rates and maintaining healthy skin and hair.
It has approximately 8 grams of carbohydrates and, almost 5 grams of this is from dietary fiber. This makes it a great source of energy and helps to keep you full longer whilst being beneficial for your digestion. Kohlrabi is a powerhouse of minerals too and contains magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, iron, selenium. and particularly high levels of potassium. The best part of all is that it’s super low in calories with a cup at only 36Kcal. Shred it on your salads, sautee it with your veggies or just bite into it like an apple! It is so versatile, here are some recipes to inspire you:
Kohlrabi Asian Salad
Shaved Kohlrabi with Apple and Hazelnuts
Everyone loves the taste of chocolate and those who like to indulge every now and then should know that there is a way to satisfy their craving in a healthier and more nutritious way!
'Cacao' is one of the main components of all chocolate, although you may have heard the word 'Cocoa' used more often. Generally 'Cocoa' refers to a more processed chocolate product with added sugar, as opposed to raw Cacao which has no sugar and is in its raw and natural state.
Most people are unaware that Cacao has one of the highest amounts of antioxidants of all known food! It boasts a high level of many amazing nutrients, especially magnesium, iron and zinc. These three are key for healthy blood formation, brain and heart function and strong bones. Cacao is full of health promoting and beautifying fatty acids and minerals, as well as a top source of nutrients that support mood and the immune system. It has been used for thousands of years to boost health and energy levels and infact the generic name 'Theobroma' is derived from Greek which means "Food of the Gods."
The main differences between raw organic chocolate and commercially processed chocolate are the processing methods used and the added ingredients:
Commercially processed chocolate:
- Highly processed through intense high heating method which ultimately 'burns' out all the nutrients of cacao.
- Made by gently heating to temperature of a maximum of 40c (104F). This ensure all of the enzymes are kept intact and the amazing nutrients are still present.
Commercially processed chocolate:
- Has a list of added ingredients such as white refined sugar, milk products, palm oil many other ingredients that we should all be avoiding in our diets. These ingredients include nasty chemicals, additives and preservatives.
- The end product is highly refined and processed and holds no nutritional benefits. Excess consumption can lead to diabetes, weight gain and many other health issues.
- Has a maximum of 4 to 5 plant based ingredients. Each ingredient has its own nutritional benefits, and being raw, they are readily absorbed by the body ensuring you reap all the health benefits.
- Raw chocolate has no refined sugars and is sweetened using a natural form of sugar such as coconut nectar, raw honey, agave or maple syrup.
- The final product is natural, organic and pure and is suitable for people with different dietary needs such as vegans, vegetarians, people following a gluten/wheat/soy or lactose-free diet and even diabetics.
We are all love to indulge once in a while so make it a guilt-free treat and take advantage of the many nutritional benefits in raw chocolate!
When it comes to food and health, as Hippocrates once said, 'Let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine be thy food’.
TURMERIC is often labeled “powdered Gold” for its incredible health benefits. It has been scientifically proven to exhibit powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal, and anticancer activities and has the potential to fight off various malignant diseases such as diabetes, allergies, arthritis, Alzheimer's disease, cancer, heart disease and other chronic illnesses. Here are our 5 favourite ways to add Turmeric to your diet.
Juicing is a great way to insure that you receive a maximum amount of nutrients into your body in just one glass a day! Here are our top 3 tips for juicing:
Here is my morning green juice recipe:
3-4 kale leaves with stems removed (flash boiled)
1 cucumber peeled
1 stick of celery or a little broccoli (flash boiled)
1 apple peeled and cored
Coconut water, which is very low in calories and full of goodness.
Whizz all the ingredients together in a blender, adding water as desired to adjust consistency.
This is one I fell for myself a few years back. So many vegans and raw foodists rave about agave that I didn’t really stop and think it could be too good to be true. Agave is a super sweet liquid that is often touted as the “healthy” or “low GI” alternative to sugar. A lot of research has confirmed that it’s hardly any better than high fructose corn syrup. Agave is also mostly highly processed, and super high in fructose.
What should we eat instead? Raw Honey, Maple Syrup, Date paste, Stevia, Coconut sugar, Yacon and Molasses...These are all great alternatives, make sure they are pure and good quality with no added ingredients.
The vitamin aisle is crowded, confusing, and overwhelming in its promises. Some of these are empty, and some are too powerful to be tested without guidance. After all, what is L-Theanine? Do I need it? And, at what dose? For answers, we decided to turn to frequent Goop and Dr. Frank Lipman, who distilled the offerings down to a handful of vitamins and supplements he frequently prescribes. He counts some as no-brainers—and others as little-known trade secrets—but all pack a veritable punch.
Q: We often hear that if you eat well, you shouldn't need supplements. What's your take?
A: “Supplements are essential health-boosters that can help fill in nutritional gaps and protect your body against the occasional diet slip-up. While I recommend everyone eat whole, preferably organic foods, I also believe that high-quality supplements are important as well. While they won't make up for a bad diet, think of them as your nutritional pit crew, standing at the ready to make those quick adjustments, tweaks and fixes to your internal engines to get you back out on the road.”
Q: Is it possible to take too many vitamins?
A: “While it is possible to take too many vitamins, it’s extremely rare. One should be careful with fat soluble vitamins like Vitamin A, D, E and K. Almost all of the vitamins I recommend taking regularly are safe and hard to take too much of. However, because most people are deficient in Vitamin D, and since it’s easily measurable, I do often recommend taking that with the supervision of a doctor.”
Here are dr Lipman's recommendations:
Fab Four basic:
Multivitamin, Vitamin D3, Fish Oils, Probiotics
Feeling Stressed Out:
B Complex, Magnesium, Acetyl Glutathione, L-Theanine
Acetyl Glutathione, CoQ10, Magnesium
B Complex, Powdered Greens*, Acetyl Glutathione
Living in a Cold Climate:
Magnesium, Powdered Greens*, B Complex
Missing The Sun:
Powdered Greens*, Acetyl Glutathione, CoQ10
B Complex, Acetyl Glutathione, CoQ10
Acetyl Glutathione, CoQ10, Alpha-Lipoic Acid, B complex
Acetyl Glutathione, Probiotics, MCT Oil
Turmeric, Fish Oil, Vitamin D3
Find out more about these different vitamins in our A to Z of Vitamins and Minerals.* No doubt you've probably seen friends and co-workers with a tall glass of greens in hand – and with good reason. Powdered greens are the easiest way to quickly nourish every system in your body, and help pick up some of the slack if you're not eating enough greens every day. They provide enhanced immunity; boosted energy levels; better digestion and, depending on the formula, a nice dose of good bacteria for your gut. Powdered greens are also full of vitamins and minerals, anti-oxidants, enzymes, phytonutrients and other health-enhancing entities. Just a scoop a day will deliver the same antioxidant support of three to five servings of fruit and vegetables, so toss a scoop into your morning smoothie and drink up. Make sure you're buying one made with organic fruits and veg and avoid those with added fillers and bulking agents.
Source: www.goop.com and Dr Lipman
“Why am I always so tired? How do I get my energy back and heal my adrenals?”
Adrenal glands are really important, because they help you respond to stress. If you have chronic stress, your adrenals get beat up, and it is difficult to manage your life, and your energy plummets.
You feel tired and wired. You get palpitations. You feel anxious. You have trouble sleeping. You might crave salt. You may get dizzy when you stand up. You might have low blood pressure. You might even have sugar cravings, because your blood sugar can’t be regulated. All these are clues that you could have adrenal problems.
So, why do we get adrenal burnout?
We get it from the chronic, unremitting, ongoing stresses of everyday life: stresses of our families, stresses of relationships, stresses of work, the stresses of constant interaction with Facebook and Twitter and the online world, and all these inputs that never let us pause.
How many of you know where your pause button is? I bet you haven’t found it yet, and you don’t know how to turn it on.
So, how do you know if you have adrenal burnout or if you’re on the way to adrenal burnout? These are some of the symptoms to lookout for:
· Are you feeling tired and wired?
· Are you irritable?
· Do you have trouble falling or staying asleep?
· Are you having trouble with low blood pressure or low blood sugar?
· Are you craving sweets?
· Are you craving salt?
· Are you just feeling kind of overwhelmed?
Alternatively go through Dr Hyman’s concise adrenal stress quiz that’s on his website. Simply register here for the UltraWellness Community. Once registered, login here and go to your profile. Then, select Available Quizzes and choose the Adrenal Quiz.
Find your pause button
The first thing to do if you have adrenal fatigue is to find your pause button. I do it through yoga—that’s one of my favorite pause buttons.
I also use a hot bath at night, with 2 cups of Epsom salt, half a cup of baking soda, 10 drops of lavender oil, and you soak for 20 minutes.
Massages are great, as is meditation and deep breathing. There are all sorts of tools and resources available for you everywhere online, where you can actually be guided through the experience of how to do this.
Exercise is also really important. Do something out in the fresh air to get natural light that affects your pineal gland and helps reset your brain and the stress response.
I also recommend regular rhythm in your life because your hormones are balanced in rhythms. So, waking at the same time every day, going to bed at the same time every day, eating at the same time every day—these are the rhythms in life that help to reset your natural balance. Take natural breaks when you are tired. Our bodies function best on ultradian rhythm cycles of 90 minutes of activity punctuated by a few minutes of rest or zoning out!
You can also boost Your Stress Resilience with Supplements (always check with your doctor before taking any supplements):
· Siberian ginseng or Rhodiola or Cordyceps are wonderful herbs that you can use to help balance your adrenal and stress response.
· Vitamin C, zinc, B complex vitamins, especially vitamin B5 help to balance your adrenals.
· Ashwagandha, magnolia, theanine (from green tea), and phosphatidyIserine can help calm an overactive stress response and improve sleep.
Source: Dr. Mark Hyman
So let's talk armpits! Specifically, let's talk about something you probably put on your armpits every morning: deodorants and antiperspirants. These B.O. blasters come in almost every scent imaginable, in forms from roll-ons to clear gels. Your supermarket aisle probably stocks two dozen varieties and almost every one will have this in common: aluminum chlorohdrate or aluminum zirconium. Most people have by now heard of the dangers of using anti-perspirant sprays/sticks that are laden with chemicals. Most antiperspirant worries center on this aluminum-based compound that temporarily plugs the sweat ducts and prevents you from perspiring. We just want to highlight that the following information is relevant for both men and women. Even though the focus below is on breast cancer, please be aware that the side effects of using anti-perspirants and blocking sweat ducts affect both genders equally.
A few studies in recent years have theorized that aluminum-based antiperspirants may increase the risk for breast cancer. According to the authors of these studies, most breast cancers develop in the upper outer part of the breast, the area closest to the armpit, which is where antiperspirants are applied. The studies suggest that chemicals in antiperspirants, including aluminum, are absorbed into the skin, particularly when the skin is nicked during shaving. These studies claim that those chemicals may then interact with DNA and lead to cancerous changes in cells, or interfere with the action of the female hormone estrogen, which is known to influence the growth of breast cancer cells. In addition, one common antiperspirant component, a group of chemicals called parabens, has been said to have estrogen-like qualities and linked to breast cancer.
There are so many theories flying around and many of us don't know what to believe anymore! To me, it makes complete sense that sweat glands should be left to do their detoxification work. It cannot be good for us to block our sweat glands, period. If, like me, you're concerned about the possible risk factors of commercial deodorants, you're someone with skin sensitivities or perhaps you're just looking to reduce the chemical exposure in your life, you'll be happy to know that there are much better alternatives out there. I personally use a crystal deodorant stick made of a natural mineral salt. The aluminum in crystal deodorant stones is a different type of compound known as potassium alum, also known as potassium aluminum sulfate.
Did you know that the smell that comes with sweating is actually caused by bacteria that forms on your skin? Potassium Alum is a natural mineral salt made up of large molecules that form a protective layer on your skin and inhibit the growth of the odor-causing bacteria. The molecules are too large to be absorbed into the skin and therefore only form a protective layer on the surface. These deodorants are recommended by many cancer treatment centers as a much better and natural alternative to most antiperspirants and deodorants on the market. For the purpose of general knowledge, I just want to mention that they are not completely 100% aluminum-free, but they are by far the better choice.
It is best to use them after you shower while your arm pit is still wet, simply rub it on and voila! Alternatively wet the stick and rub under one arm, then wet again and rub under the other arm. I purchased mine at the Organic Food and Cafe Dubai but you should be able to find these crystal sticks in most health stores or supermarkets.
Good news for your skin! Raw Cacao, not to be confused with highly processed chocolate sold these days, is one of the richest sources of anti-oxidants out there! It is jam packed with minerals and is especially rich in iron, zinc and magnesium. This chocolate-avocado face mask combines lots of great healing ingredients together and is great for tiered skin that needs instant rejuvenation:
- Avocado oil is famous for its anti-aging properties that create youthful, glowing skin. It is rich in omega-3 fatty acids that reduce inflammation and is a potent moisturizer. Avocados increase the elasticity of the skin.
- Honey is a great anti-bacterial agent, will open up the pores, and will deeply cleanse and detoxify the skin. It will also make the mask sticky.
- Green tea is consistently being hailed as a powerful antioxidant, and is one of the people of Okinawa Japan's secrets for longevity and vibrant health. Putting it on directly on the skin is equally potent.
- Oatmeal naturally exfoliates the skin to remove dead skin cells, leaving it soft and smooth.Oatmeal is also well known for its healing properties.
To make this chocolate avocado face mask, you will need:
1/3 of ripe avocado, well mashed
1 tablespoon unprocessed raw cocoa powder
2 teaspoons oatmeal
1 teaspoon Honey
Splash of cooled green tea
Mix all the ingredients together well and add a splash of cooled green tea to the mixture to make it into a paste. Apply to your face and leave on for about 10/15 minutes while you relax. Rinse well, gently massaging the creamy chocolate and avocado paste into the skin while rinsing. Pat your face dry and finish with your usual creams. As with any products that are applied to the skin, rinse off straight away if you feel a burning sensation or your skin becomes itchy.
Are you ready for change? Join our Detox Workshops