Eating RAW at a SPA
I just came back from a Mini Vacation to Ste. Anne’s Wellness Spa in Grafton, Ontario. After driving for over an hour, I pulled off the highway and followed the Road Signs towards the Spa. As I turned off the main Road onto the Private Spa Road, these signs below greeted me as I drove through the Lush and very Green Countryside. The first Sign “Yield to Your Inner Self” spoke to me and actually made me pull over and take its picture. I stood there, reading it again and felt my body, mind and spirit release to what was in store for me.
The next Road Sign “Take a Deep Breath and Relax” was exactly what I was hoping to accomplish and again, felt compelled to take this picture. I took several deep breaths and my tense shoulders dropped and I could feel them relax and soften.
And finally the Last Sign “Prepare to Unwind”. OMG – someone who was stressed out must have suggested these Words of Wisdom. I slowly stopped my car, got out with my camera, took the picture and cried. I was unwinding just by standing there looking at this sign. Funny how I stayed in first gear the rest of the way to the Main House.
What does all of this have to do with what I can eat on Spa Vacation? Alot! When you decide to go on a Vacation, you plan alot of things. What to take, what to wear, what to bring, where to go, transportation, how many days to spend here and there, excursions, visits, tours etc. But rarely do you take the time to think about Food. Most people usually fly by the seat of their pants and eat whatever foods are near them, served to them in local and/or hotel Restaurants etc.
A Spa usually thinks more conscientiously about the Food they serve. Especially Wellness and Health Spas concentrate on Fresh and Organic Ingredients. That’s usually why you go to a Spa, to Rest, Relax, Rejuvenate and hopefully Eat Better. But, that’s not always the case. Although these Spas are geared towards Healthier Choices, there are still TEMPTATIONS! Rarely are RAW, Vegan dishes created or listed on their Menus.
And because Conventional “Protein” is not something RAW Foodists eat, choices like Avocado and Sprouts are great Protein Sources (besides the Vegetables). If you want an added bonus, bring some Nutritional Yeast with Hemp Seeds in a baggy and add on top of your Salad. It will taste like Parmesan, so I’m now calling it ‘Nutrisan’. I packed several baggies pre-mixed for this trip and always have at least one Nutrisan baggie with me.
What I’ve also learned to do when I go out to eat to a Restaurant, is look over the ingredient choices. With my list of available menu ingredients, I ask if the Chef can put together a big Salad based on the available RAW ingredients. If RAW dishes are available as appetizers, ask if they can be put together on one plate. Before I booked this Spa Vacation, I asked if the Chef would be open to preparing RAW dishes for me. The answer was a quick YES. I was even emailed their full Menu, which I printed out and looked over. You can see below the Lunch Menu, where I made my choices and notes to take with me. When I registered for my meal, I was accompanied by a little sign that was put on my table “RAW”. It was kind of neat.
When my Meals came, other people looked at what I was eating and a few ladies came over and asked what I ordered because they couldn’t see it on the menu. Let me tell you, each dish was Beautiful – full of Colour, Fresh, Exotic, Organic and was DELICIOUS! It took time to plan my Food, but figuring out what to take, took more time than looking over the Menus. Here are just two of the Salads that were created for me:
Lunch was a special Avocado, Cucumber and Sprout RAW Wrap with Cashew Cream Filling. The Chef made some Hummas and Salsa for my Veggies and added some Fruit Skewers. He even made a V8 Juice in his Vitamix for me!
I did get my Casear Salad with cheese and croutons, and it was no problem to just take it off. The Servers that took my orders, were interested in my choices and even offered other ingredient suggestions that they thought I might like and that they saw in the Kitchen. When they served my Food, even they commented on how great the food looked. The Chef came out to meet me and was delighted that I enjoyed his creations. It was fun for him because it was different and offered him some variety.
And for Dessert, Fresh Fruit is always a great choice. The Chef wanted to jazz it up a bit and made me a RAW Mango Sherbet.
So the next time you are planning your Spa or Travel Vacation or even a night out in a Restaurant, read the Menu ingredients either before hand or when you are there. Look for RAW, Organic, Fresh Options and Ingredients, and if a RAW Dish is not offered, ask if the Chef could take your list of ingredients and make you a wonderful Salad. If you give them ingredients that are offered on their Menu, you shouldn’t have a problem. If you see Herbs and Sprouts, always incorporate them into your Dish.
Happy Travelling and Happy Eating!