Six Teas That Reduce Stress and Soothe The Soul

Don’t let the darker days get you down! We’ve scoured the web for the six teas that will whip you into shape during the winter season.

Tea

There’s no getting around it—‘tis the season of high stress, sore throats and (everyone’s favorite) the sniffles. Work kicks into high gear before the holidays and the sudden onslaught of cold weather has us hibernating beneath the covers for as long as humanely possible. In short, late autumn can often turn into a time of anxiety and physical fatigue. So what can we do about it? Well, sometimes a little tea can provide more than just a little sympathy.

We’ve rounded up six teas that can help soothe your body and your soul this season.

Chamomile Tea

Our first contender has long been touted as the top tea for relaxation, but do you know why? Its herbal properties help soothe the stomach as well as reduce mild anxiety. The absence of caffeine in chamomile tea will also help calm you down before bed.

Passionflower Tea

Passionflower, which is known to decrease muscle tension and calm nerves, is actually prescribed commercially (in the form of Oxazepam) to treat Generalized Anxiety Disorder. But you don’t need a drug to reap the stress-reducing benefits of this healthy herb. Simply add a teaspoon of dried passionflower to a cup of boiling water and you’ll be good to go.

Green Tea

Packed with antioxidants (which are pretty much good for everything), green tea also contains theanine—an amino acid which helps increase relaxation by promoting alpha waves in the brain. Beware of green tea’s subtle caffeine content, however, and opt for the decaffeinated kind.

Lemon Balm Tea

Lemon Balm contains terpenes which aid in relaxation. They also act positively against cold sores and have even been shown to enhance long-term memory. Combine them with valerian root, and you have the perfect pairing to protect you against pesky anxiety symptoms.

Lavender Tea

If you’re looking to de-stress, look no further. Lavender is as good for your body as it is beautiful. Known for its anti-inflammatory properties, lavender tea is your ally in the battle against bloating. It is also said to lower anxiety levels in women.

Valerian Root Tea

For all you Game of Thrones enthusiasts out there, we’re sorry to say this has nothing to do with Valerian steel (although, we must admit, the name sounds positively medieval). Valerian root possesses sedative properties that will help ensure a good night’s sleep. Don’t drink too much during the day, though, or you’ll end up dragging your feet.

 

Elle Fure is the Editorial Director of Spa Week Daily.

3 Healthy & Delicious Thanksgiving Sides

Thanksgiving doesn’t have to derail your diet. These healthy sides will still satisfy your comfort food cravings. 

Mashed-Potatoes-with-Simple-Mushroom-Gravy

Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and there’s no time like the present to start preparing for everyone’s favorite meal of the year.  There’s no shortage of mouthwatering recipes floating around the web, but just looking at the gluttonous dishes can

Traditional Thanksgiving fare is made with cheesy, creamy ingredients that can do some serious damage on your diet. But what if you could indulge in your favorite Thanksgiving comfort foods without gaining a pound?

With resources like Pinterest chock-full of original recipes, it’s totally possible to feel like you’re indulging in your favorite comfort foods without ingesting the requisite calories. We consulted The Minimalist Baker, one of our go-to sites for delicious and nutritious recipes, for some remakes of classic Thanksgiving side dishes.

PS – Don’t forget to join us on Pinterest for our Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe contest. You could win a spa day on us! Click here for all the details.

Mac and Cheese
Vegan Caramelized Onion Mac ‘n’ Cheese
Recipe by The Minimalist Baker 

Ooey, gooey mac ‘n’ cheese is always a temptation come Turkey Day, but not when you can opt for a healthy alternative made from one of nature’s superfoods. This vegan alternative of the cheesy classic actually uses an eggplant base, which creates a smooth and velvety sauce. Even the most die-hard macaroni and cheese enthusiasts will be licking their spoons. Click here to get the recipe from minimalistbaker.com.

mashed potatoes

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes with Mushroom Gravy
Recipe by The Minimalist Baker

No Thanksgiving is complete without a hefty pile of mashed potatoes drowning in rich, decadent gravy, but those starchy spuds are loaded with carbs. Mashed cauliflower is near perfect replacement, and the fluffy texture is spot on. A vegan mushroom gravy tastes shockingly decadent, and will taste divine smothered over your Thanksgiving turkey. Click here to get the recipe from minimalistbaker.com.

Squash

Warm Roasted Butternut Squash
Recipe by The Minimalist Baker

It’s important to get your greens, even on Thanksgiving, but the occasion calls for a more sophisticated salad. Impress all of your guests with a Warm Roasted Butternut Squash Salad, that incorporates one of the season’s most yummy ingredients. Topped with pecans and dried cranberries, this is the perfect holiday salad that you can turn to time and time again. Click here to get the recipe from minimalistbaker.com.

Noelle Chehab is the Senior Writer of Spa Week Daily.

Pin to Win: Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe Contest

Share your healthy holiday recipes and be entered to win a $50 Spa & Wellness Gift Card AND 5,000 Wellness Points!

It’s officially November, which means our minds are running amok with thoughts of mouthwatering Thanksgiving meals. From warm slices of cornbread to creamy mashed potatoes, there’s simply no shortage of drop-dead delicious sides and dishes. But while we’re eagerly anticipating stuffing our faces, we’re also planning on putting some health back on our plates this year.

That’s why, this season, we’re looking to you to help us get healthy. Simply share your healthy holiday recipes with us on Pinterest  and we’ll give thanks by treating one lucky chef to a $50 Spa & Wellness Gift Card. But that’s not all! We’ll also pamper our winner with 5,000 Wellness Points. Pretty good deal for putting up a few pins, don’t you think? So what are you waiting for?

Here’s how to enter Spa Week’s Healthy Thanksgiving Recipe Contest:

1. Follow Spa Week on Pinterest

2. Create a pin board titled “Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes”

3. Board must contain at least 10 pins (5 must be from the Spa Week board)

4. Post the link to your board on the original contest pin located in our Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes board

5. Sign up for MyWellness Rewards at spaweek.com/rewards to start earning rewards now

We will choose our favorite recipe on Nov. 26th.

Elle Fure is the Editorial Director of Spa Week Daily.

Best World Vegetarian Day Recipe

Happy World Vegetarian Day! Try a savory and satisfying meat-free recipe to celebrate the occasion!

Sweet potatoe

Happy World Vegetarian Day! As you probably know, we’re all about living a balanced lifestyle, and a healthy diet is a huge component of overall wellness. While we definitely don’t judge any meat eaters out there, we’re always open to nutritious spins on our favorite foods.

But, if you think we’re about to tell you to forfeit comfort food for tofu, than you’re wrong! There are actually a whole slew of vegetarian options that will tickle your taste buds just as much as a slab of bacon (if you’re into that kind of thing!). To prove it, we’re sharing one of our all-time favorites – a recipe that incorporates seasonal ingredients like sweet potatoes and chickpeas. There are tons of nutrients in this supremely satisfying dish, and it only takes 30 minutes to make!

Sweet potato 2

Mediterranean Baked Sweet Potatoes
Recipe by Dana for Minimalist Baker

Fun fact: The high levels of Beta-carotene and Vitamin A found in sweet potatoes is more easily absorbed when digested with 3 to 5 grams of healthy fat. The olive oil and almond milk found in this recipe are examples of heart-healthy fats, and make the Garlic Herb Sauce incredibly decadent. This mouth-watering veggie recipe only takes 30 minutes to prepare, and it’s one that will keep the family feeling warm and full as we transition into winter. Get the recipe at minimalistbaker.com.

Noelle Chehab is the Senior Writer of Spa Week Daily. 

Celebrate National Coffee Day At The Spa

Indulge your love of caffeine with these $50 Spa Week treatments

Coffee_Resized

Here at Spa Week, every day is coffee day! Whether we’re rolling in with a French roast or treating ourselves to a late-afternoon latte, you’ll never find us far from a warm cup of java. Needless to say, we were pretty pumped when we learned that today is National Coffee Day!

But it’s not just those flavorful aromas or that energizing buzz that makes coffee such a necessary staple in our lives. Coffee can work wonders for our brain and even our bodies. Believe it or not, we absorb more antioxidants from coffee than from fruits and vegetables. Wild, right? And if that’s not enough, research shows that females who drink three or more cups of coffee a day are less likely to develop skin cancer than those who don’t. Coffee drinkers are also less prone to develop Type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease and dementia. And let’s not forget that fabulous fact that consuming coffee, when sleep-deprived, can actually jolt you into caring. “When you’re sleep-deprived and you take caffeine, pretty much anything you measure will improve: reaction time, vigilance, attention, logical reasoning – most of the complex functions you associate with intelligence,” Time reporter Michael Lemonick explains.

To celebrate all things caffeine, we’ve put together a list of spas that incorporate the many health benefits of our favorite beverage. So sit back, relax and book yourself a coffee-based beauty treatment today. (Hey, it’s good for you!)

  • French Vanilla Latte Brown Sugar Scrub at Graceful Spa in New York, NY
  • Coffee & Cream Body Polish with Triple Shot Caramel Coffee Scrub from Farmhouse Fresh at Spa Botanica in Concord, NC
  • Pumpkin Pie Ice Cream Pedicure, Polish Change Manicure and Pumpkin Spice Latte Beverage at Zubeda’s Spa in Medford, MA
  • Pumpkin Latte Pedicure with Milk Soak and Butter Brulee at Evensong Spa in Green Lake, WI

There are even more coffee-based treatments to be enjoyed during Spa Week! Click here to find a city near you and book your appointment today!

 Elle Fure is the Editorial Director of Spa Week Daily.