• Totally Relaxed {Canyon Ranch}

    May 21, 2013

    Hello, hello!

    Here’s my recap from the second part of yesterday. The first part of my day was active; the second part was really relaxing.

    Once I finished eating lunch, I headed outside to explore the property. It was a beautiful day, and I was craving sunshine and fresh air in a major way.


    The grounds at Canyon Ranch Lenox are absolutely gorgeous!


    I especially loved all of the outdoor seating for reading, relaxing, and reflecting.

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    Eventually, my walk led me to The Labyrinth, an ancient meditation path constructed out of rocks.



    I walked toward the center and out again, thinking about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness. I wrote that kind of jokingly, but it’s actually what I thought about.



    A little while later, it was time for a trip to the spa. The nice folks at Canyon Ranch gave me a credit to try one of the services, so I used it for the Euphoric Ritual.

    The Euphoric Ritual started with sage compresses for my face and then an aromatherapy scalp massage. The amazing aromas totally relaxed me. Ahhhhh. Next, a warm botanical mask was applied and scrubbed all over my body (it took about 30 minutes) and then I climbed in a soaking tub to rinse off the scrub and relax. The water had a grapefruit aromatherapy oil in it, and it smelled so nice. The treatment concluded with a full body massage that used a warm herb-infused oil. OMG, it was incredible. The Euphoric Ritual was easily the best spa treatment I have ever experienced.


    After my treatment, I had about an hour to kill before my next activity, so I grabbed a banana to snack on and called Mal to catch up (and talk about fecal transplants). Canyon Ranch has big fruit bowls in a number of locations through the facility, so you can always grab a healthy snack if you’re hungry.


    A little while later, I headed to a meditation class. I’ve always wanted to try meditation, so this class was the perfect opportunity.

    The class started with the instructor telling everyone to get comfortable since we’d be meditating for about 20 minutes. There were all sorts of comfort options—blankets, bolsters, mats, pillows, meditation chairs. (I ended up grabbing a blanket and a pillow.) Some people meditated sitting up while others laid down. I actually went with a laying down, Shavasana pose, which I always find super relaxing.


    Before the meditation began, the instructor told us to focus on our breathing and let our minds wander. She also suggested using mantras while we meditated. The example she used was “I feel peaceful,” which I liked a lot and decided to use for the first few minutes of meditating. Saying those words over and over again helped me focus on my breath and really relaxed me. Eventually, my mind started to wander, but I didn’t let it make mental To Do lists like it normally does or fall into a negative place. Someone actually asked the instructor about negative thoughts during meditation, and she said it was ok to let your mind go there and suggested exploring the negative feelings. For example, if you don’t like someone, think about why you have those feelings and/or what you do like about that person to make it a more positive experience.

    I really enjoyed my first experience with meditation. I can’t say I came to any big realizations or anything like that, but I definitely left the class feeling relaxed and even a bit energized. I’m actually surprised how much clarity (my mind felt light and clear) I experienced afterward.

    After meditation class, I headed to dinner, which started with a Virgin Bloody Mary. (There isn’t any alcohol at Canyon Ranch, but it’s still a good place.)

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    The Blood Mary definitely wasn’t made from a mix. It was so fresh and flavorful. I actually went back for a second pour because I loved it so much. Who needs vodka?

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    Dinner started with a trip to the salad bar.

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    I grabbed a few things (beets, butternut squash, tofu, olive, artichoke heart, rice cracker) to snack on.

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    For my meal, I started with the Chilled Cucumber & Arugula soup, which was one of the specials of the day. (The lunch and dinner menus change daily, but the breakfast menu stays the same.) It was light, refreshing, and had a lot more flavor than I expected. Cucumber can be sort of bland, but this soup was really tasty.

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    For my entrée, I ordered the Arctic char, which my server convinced me was amazing. I was little indecisive with my order, so she suggested it. I had never actually tried Arctic char before, so I wasn’t sure if I’d like it, but I ended up loving it. FYI: It tastes a lot like salmon.

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    I also ordered a half serving of the Red Curry Vegetables. They sounded so interesting.

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    The Red Curry Vegetables were good, but the Artic char was the highlight of the meal for me. It was served with rice pilaf, roasted tomatoes, and broccoli rabe. I ate every last bite of it.

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    And, as always, I had room for dessert. I enjoyed the homemade coconut ice cream with a mug of hot rooibos tea. Love.

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    I ended up finishing dinner pretty early, so I popped by Guest Services to rent a DVD for the night.

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    I ended getting Smashed, a movie about a young married couple who first bond over drinking, but it turns into something more serious. The plot initially interested me, but seeing Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) and Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman) on the cover sold me. I really liked it.

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    I have another busy-relaxing day ahead!

    Questions of the Day

    Do you meditate? Have you ever tried it?

    What’s your favorite kind of vacation? Busy? Active? A mix of both?

    P.S. Boston friends: Be sure to enter my giveaway to win a free entry to the Tory Row 5K!

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    { 49 comments… read them below or add one }

    Hillary | Nutrition Nut on the Run May 21, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    That sounds like the ultimate spa treatment – what luxury!!


    Beth @ Mangoes and Miles May 21, 2013 at 12:17 pm

    All of your photos of the grounds are STUNNING. It’s like they were pulled straight from scenes in a Victorian novel! And your food, as always, looks fabulous. :) Canyon Ranch sounds like heaven. I’m utterly convinced that I need to go at some point during my life. Preferably soon. ;)

    I’ve never meditated…I have a really hard time shutting my mind off. Even in yoga, where you’re given something to actively concentrate on (your breath and your movement), I still find it so difficult to stop myself from thinking about everything–school, life, did I forget to lock my door, I hope my phone doesn’t die…


    laine May 21, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    That sounds heavenly! Do you tend to make new friends when you travel alone or just stick by yourself? Are meals eaten at communal table there or smaller ones?


    Beth Sheridan May 21, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    I still can’t get over how amazing this place looks! I think I would’ve really enjoyed all the meditation (even though I’ve never done any) and the labyrinth path looks so interesting.


    Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries May 21, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Wow – looks beautiful! And delicious!

    I like a mix of both relaxing and active. I get bored if I relax allll the time, but I definitely need some downtime in there to feel rejuvenated!


    MelissaH May 21, 2013 at 12:37 pm

    The resort looks beautiful.

    That’s not the plot of that movie at all though. They don’t bond over drinking. It’s a pretty serious movie about alcoholism.


    Annette May 21, 2013 at 12:38 pm

    That place looks amazing, how can you not feel relaxed, even while staying active…lol…Enjoy!!


    Rachel @ Undercover Diva: A Sitcom May 21, 2013 at 12:39 pm

    I always fell asleep during savasana in yoga. I think that makes me the worst. I haven’t tried meditation, but I have a REALLY hard time shutting my brain off!

    I loved this quote: “There isn’t any alcohol at Canyon Ranch, but it’s still a good place.” I laughed out loud.


    Fizz @ fizzsbizz.com May 21, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    I have tried meditation, but I just can’t do it! I simply cannot quiet my mind down. I would LOVE to learn how to do it properly and be coached through a session or something, but for now it just doesn’t happen.

    I definitely like a mix of active and relaxation in my vacations. That’s why Hawaii is my all time fave holiday. Hiking, surfing, swimming and then relaxing and fruity cocktails – perfection.


    victoria @ reluctantlyskinny May 21, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    these posts definitely make me crave a relaxing canyon ranch getaway! jesse pinkman in a serious role cracks me up!!


    Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat May 21, 2013 at 1:01 pm

    Your photos of the grounds are absolutely amazing! It looks so gorgeous! I can see what you had a relaxing afternoon…who wouldn’t in a place like that! :-


    Lillian @ Seize the Latte May 21, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Oh, WOW. That whole afternoon sounds amazing! I’ve heard great things about labrynths, and I like that your meditation teacher said you could let your mind wander while repeating the relaxing mantras. (If there’s one thing I can’t stand, its when meditation teachers tell you to empty your mind — as if that’s something easy to do. Like, “Oh, sure, I’ll just take out the trash and then empty my mind. No problem-o.” That’s usually when I start rolling my eyes, despite them being closed in an attempt to be zen-like.)

    And that DVD looks great — Pinkman FTW! (I love Aaron Paul — is it just me, or his eyes seriously dreamy?)


    Annette@FitnessPerks May 21, 2013 at 1:26 pm

    That massage sounds ahhhhmazing! I want, I want :)

    Have a fun/relaxing day today!


    Rachel McIntyre May 21, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    That place looks amazing.

    A few years ago I did a 6 week meditation course and by the end I loved it. I kept it up for a while, but I haven’t tried meditating for ages now. It’s something I’d love to try again.


    Bitch on a Diet May 21, 2013 at 1:49 pm

    The grounds look absolutely stunning!

    I don’t do meditation, but I have been doing hot yoga and am an absolute fan.


    Kristen @ notsodomesticated May 21, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    All of the food looks so good!!! I typically prefer a mix of both for vacation. I want to be able to relax the majority of the time, but I also like throwing in a few fun activities!


    Shel@PeachyPalate May 21, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Busy in the morning and relaxing after is the perfect day! That place seriously sounds like heaven! I wouldn’t want to ever leave!


    Sara @ fitcupcaker May 21, 2013 at 2:15 pm

    I like busy and relaxed. I dont want to get totally bored with doing nothing but I also like trying new things. Ill be in FLorida soon so Ill be doing lots of beach relaxing plus some biking and maybe jet skiing, I cant wait to relax with an alcoholic beverage…or a non alcoholic if it looks as good as that bloody mary!


    Amy @ What Jew Wanna Eat May 21, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    I’ve always wanted to go to Canyon Ranch- I feel more relaxed just reading about your time there!


    michelle kim May 21, 2013 at 2:50 pm

    I have tried meditating for five minutes at a time. My classes were always talking about it and even had us do it at the end of classes sometimes. It’s pretty nice to be centered on breathing and to be in the moment, instead of thinking of all the things there are to get done.
    The salmon dish looks SO GOOD!
    And I like a pretty active vacation, which is why I need a vacation from the vacation when I get back home.


    Jackie W May 21, 2013 at 3:05 pm

    Every time I try to meditate, I fall asleep!


    Alli May 21, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    I am really curious what was written under the cracker signs?


    Erica @ For the Sake of Cake May 21, 2013 at 3:34 pm

    Wow, that spa treatment sounds heavenly and the dinner looks wonderful!


    Katie @ Talk Less, Say More May 21, 2013 at 3:38 pm

    I’ve never been to a meditation class or I guess “officially” tried meditation other than relaxation in savasana in yoga. I do have times when I try to meditate on my own just by focusing on my breath and clearing my mind.


    Emily May 21, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    Just reading this post has me relaxed! haha sounds like you are having a great time!

    I like a mix of both for vacation. I usually crave a trip with nothing to do, but once I’m in vacation mode I can’t sit still.


    Lisa May 21, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    wow– looks so beautiful! I am definitely jealous! :-)


    Hannah @ CleanEatingVeggieGirl May 21, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    That salad bar looks fantastic!! Any place that offers a fabulous salad bar is a winner in my book :).


    Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner May 21, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    My favorite vacation day is definitely a mix of both. A nice long hike followed by relaxing by the lake or campfire is just perfect…makes you feel like you’ve earned it! (Plus, I get restless if I don’t do anything active).


    Tara May 21, 2013 at 4:31 pm

    looks like a wonderful day.
    I cannot get enough of those Mary’s Gone Crackers crackers. love that Costco sells them!


    Katie @ Daily Cup of Kate May 21, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    I love Jesse Pinkman and Breaking Bad. Was it hard to see him in a different character?

    The closest I get to meditation is Yoga and I love a vacation with a good mix of both activity and relaxation for sure!


    Tina May 21, 2013 at 5:01 pm

    He actually played a very similar character!


    Kristy @ Kristy's Health Revolution May 21, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    A few things:
    - I want that Euphoric spa treatment. Oh my word.
    - I’m sitting here at my desk for the last few minutes of work reading blogs and the salad bar pics made my stomach churn with hunger. Can’t wait to make a huge salad when I get home!!
    - “There is no alcohol at Canyon Ranch, but it’s still a good place” cracked me up.
    - I really liked Smashed too!

    Glad you’re having fun! I wish I could afford to go there!


    Heather @ Run Eat Play May 21, 2013 at 5:30 pm

    Everything looks amazing! With a bust schedule and two kids, I love a super relaxing vacation!


    Jamie @ Sometimes Healthy Living Blog May 21, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    I do not meditate, but I have been told by many people that I should :-) Canyon Ranch looks heavenly – always wanted to go there before your posts, but I want to go there even more now :-) Looks like a great place to relax and recharge.


    Karen May 21, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Active vacations are the best for me. Active all day, relax at night.


    Tara May 21, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    So jealous! Looks like heaven!


    Elisabeth May 21, 2013 at 7:06 pm

    My favorite kind of vacation is a heavy-duty sightseeing trip! I’ve never been that into the beachy/just relaxing sort of trip ;)


    Katherine May 21, 2013 at 7:42 pm
    Hayley @ Running on Pumpkin May 21, 2013 at 7:54 pm

    I would LOVE to go to a resort like this! I actually had a labyrinth at my college campus and it was so peaceful walking by it. I want to go here!!


    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers May 21, 2013 at 8:14 pm

    I want to go to Canyon Ranch! It’s so beautiful! I love a relaxing vacation, but of course I need fun activities to do and good food!!!


    Avery @ SBLW May 21, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    That looks sooooo incredibly relaxing. And the salad bar? Mmmm….


    She Rocks Fitness May 21, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    I like a vacation that is a mix of both! I like to be able to have the chance to do yoga, running, or use a gym, and then take some days to do absolutely NOTHING and just soak up the relaxation, eats, drinks, and time with whomever I’m with. Dinner looks fabulous and so does that salad bar. :)


    Jan @ Sprouts n Squats May 21, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    That looks like a great place to go :) So jealous of your spa treatment.

    I need to get into the habit of meditating more again, I did last year but haven’t since then.


    Wendy Irene May 21, 2013 at 10:20 pm

    I feel like I am there with you! Thank you for sharing all the pictures with us. Meditation really helps me keep my stress under control. I feel much more peaceful in general since making it a regular part of my life.


    Christina @ The Beautiful Balance May 22, 2013 at 3:01 am

    I love that they serve Mary’s Gone Crackers! The landscaping of Canyon Ranch is gorgeous, I would never go indoors.


    tina May 22, 2013 at 8:30 am

    “Who needs vodka?” I DO! Haha! I, too, loved your quote about there being no alcohol, “but it’s still a great place”. Haha! The no alcohol policy would keep me from going to Canyon Ranch, though…not that I’m a total drunk, but if I’m on vacation, I want my wine with dinner! I wonder if that’s common at a lot of spas?


    Tina May 22, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Ha! Someone I was chatting with here told me the website says you can bring a bottle of wine in your bag!


    Elle @ The Clean Project May 22, 2013 at 2:35 pm

    This looks so fabulous. I need to find a destination spa close to me! I love half active/half relaxing trips too. I don’t enjoy the relaxation part as much unless I work for it a little bit :)


    Jen May 24, 2013 at 8:27 am

    I envy you for the spa treatment!!! The place looks really stunning..


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