Food foraging, infusing and decocting your own herbal remedies
Spring is in bloom at The Lodge at Woodloch in Hawley, PA, where guests can now not only eat local, but also become food foragers, alongside the Lodge’s Master Herbalist Nathaniel Whitmore, who will guide the Nourish, Nosh and Nurse with Nature program, beginning in May.
The program includes a 50-minute Wild Edibles plant walk and a two-hour class, where guests learn about, identify, harvest and prepare wild vegetables like dandelion, burdock and mushrooms. In a 50-minute Herbal Remedy preparation, Whitmore will teach guests about tinctures, infusions, decoctions, syrups, capsules, and other preparations, including a demonstration on how to prepare herbal “tea” infusions and decoctions. According to Whitmore, foraged foods are rich in phytonutrients, enzymes, fiber, chlorophyll and more; they can offer medicinal benefits; they are free of GMOs; cost nothing; and reduce your carbon footprint.
Nourish, Nosh and Nurse with Nature will extend through the fall. Other Lodge news: A fleet of new custom bikes will arrive in time for National Bike Month in May and the property will also be buzzing with a new beehive program in June, featuring two hives and a class on Beekeeping 101. thelodgeatwoodloch.com
Esperanza Resort in Los Cabos takes guests beyond the gym with the help of a new running concierge.
Barbie Álvarez, the “running concierge” at Esperanza Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico, has been running since she was 15. “I’ve never stopped, and I don’t plan to for a while,” says the certified fitness instructor and marathoner who ran the Chicago Marathon twice and placed first in the Los Cabos Half Marathon in 2012. “Running, to me, is like yoga. It makes me feel great, and it’s a time to connect with myself.”
Now, resort guests can go for a guided run with Álvarez and learn everything from proper pre- and post-run stretching techniques, training tips, pacesetting and gait analysis. And, “for guests that forgot their running gear, we lend running shoes and gear at no cost,” she says.
Here are her expert tips, including three things every runner (whether beginner or veteran marathoner) must know.
Top three running tips?
Have a simple plan and start with an easy goal that is achievable. Invest in a good pair of running shoes and join a running club. Having a heart rate monitor helps you to achieve realistic goals.
Favorite running routes?
My favorite running routes are Medano Beach and The Marina in Los Cabos. I love running on the beach early in the morning with the challenge of running on soft sand and hard surfaces at the same time. We also have a running trail inside the property that has some easy hills with flat stretches, but I like to take guests to see the Saguaro cactus and discover the local flora and fauna.
Any pre-race meals or rituals?
Being alone the night before a race helps me to visualize my race plan for the next day. I also have a secret formula provided to me by my friend and wellness coach Isabelle Gagnon. It’s a preparation of coconut water, honey and lime to hydrate before, during and after the race.
Your dream race?
The New York City Marathon.
A Lustrous Glow
The new pearl facial at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel, features the organic jewel
For 30 years, The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel in Southern California’s Dana Point has been luring guests with offerings from an eco-adventure center with guided sea hikes to daily yoga classes, and an airy spa with 12 treatment rooms. To celebrate the seaside property’s milestone anniversary this year, the Spa has debuted the Iridescent Pearl Facial, to help brighten parched skin using pink pearl, botanical extracts and fruit enzymes.
The hour-long journey begins with an inhalation of the spa’s custom-blended “peace offering” essential oil with bergamot, ylang-ylang and lavender followed by cleansing with Naturopathica products. Next, lead esthetician Lola Clark exfoliates skin with a pink pearl scrub by 02CH (an organic, paraben-free line) that is removed with warm towels.
“Pearl is known for its conditioning properties,” says Clark. “It glides on the skin beautifully; polishes dull, dry skin; leaves a youthful, radiant glow and stimulates collagen.” The facial concludes with a Pink Pearl mask and includes a foot massage. ritzcarlton.com/lagunaniguel
A Light House
This beautiful collection of three sustainable pillar candles—in vetiver, lavender and bergamot—features a cotton wick, and renewable, biodegradable materials, natural vegetable wax and 100 percent pure essential oils that are extracted through a chemical-free process. $36-68; liteandcycle.com