Dr. Wendy’s Cinnamon Challenge: Completed!

Over the past two weeks, close to 100 of you RSVP’d to Dr.Wendy’s Cinnamon Challenge on Facebook and commented on the event wall with the healthy and delicious ways you incorporated cinnamon into your diet every day for two weeks! From coffee and teas to yogurt, apples and squash, we were blown away by all of the different recipes you shared with us! We were so inspired by your suggestions that we brought you even more cinnamon-themed goodness with our DIY Mulled-Cider Cinnamon Sachets (which triple as a aromatherapy pack, cider drink mix and a lovely holiday gift) and we showed you how to fight acne with a Cinnamon and Nutmeg Masque made from holiday leftovers.

It was great to see how many of you participated in this festive challenge by keeping a cinnamon shaker on your stove/counter top to as a constant reminder to spice up your health. Not to mention, lots of you said you were so inspired by Dr. Wendy‘s challenge that you even went out and bought cinnamon scented air freshener!

The best part of this Spa Week Daily Health Challenge (besides the added health benefits) was that Food and Wellness Expert, Dr. Wendy, was right there along with us offering 15 Guiding Practices for a Life of Wellness along with supportive and informative tweets, likes, comments and tips. A great question came from Susan K. on our Facebook Event wall asking:  What are the key things to keep in mind when buying good cinnamon? Dr. Wendy offered her expert advice, saying:

Aroma and taste are the good indicators of ‘freshness’. . .so if your cinnamon loses the aroma or flavor, it’s time to replace it. When buying cinnamon, choose a trusted brand or try to know the ‘source’. If it’s in bottle, the top should be safety sealed for safety AND freshness. If it’s in bulk, put a little in the scoop and waft to smell the aroma. If it lacks in that ‘tingly, aromatic spiciness’, it may have be less fresh. Saigon cinnamon will have more of the ‘red hots’ cinnamon flavor (like cinnamon candies) due to the levels of a certain cinnamon compound; Korintji cinnamon (the usual one most of us commonly buy and it’s often not labeled as to origin), it’s a bit milder, but also delicious and antioxidant rich.

Thank you to all who participated in the Cinnamon Challenge; we’re so happy you enjoyed it! As per the usual, here are the winners of the $50 Spa & Wellness Gift Cards by Spa Week (who shared their experiences on the event page):

Susan G: I keep a bottle of cinnamon on the stove…it goes into and onto everything! But i am not really sure about all the facts, so I am excited for this learning opportunity.

Kimberly Y: I start with whole wheat bread, drizzled with butter or flax seed oil, honey, and then heavily sprinkled with cinnamon. Toast, lying flat, until golden brown. Also, stirring hot chocolate with a cinnamon stick really gives it a delicious taste- YUM!!! But my favorite way is by adding cinnamon to breakfast cereal to help start my day a little healthier, and it makes the cereal a lot better, especially oatmeal or rice.

Congrats you two, thank you so much for sharing your thoughts, and please contact michelle at spaweekmedia dot com within 3 business days to redeem your prize!

15 Guiding Practices for a Life of Wellness – By Dr. Wendy

Our sixth Spa Week Daily Challenge, The Cinnamon Challenge comes from quadruple threat Dr. Wendy Bazilian. Her slogan, Eat well, Move daily, Be Healthy® can truly be applied to every area of her expertise. Dr. Wendy is a Doctor of Public Health, a registered dietitian, a best-selling author and the Nutritional Advisor to the famous Golden Door Spa.  Just like her Cinnamon Challenge, Dr. Wendy looks to create fun, interactive and informative ways we all can better our lives through knowledge and realistic application. Join the challenge on Facebook and experiment with adding cinnamon to your plate. Track how it affects your body and mood by sharing on the event wall. It could even get you a $50 Spa & Wellness Gift Card and a copy of Dr. Wendy’s book, The SuperFoodsRx Diet and a bottle of cinnamon!  In the below list, Dr. Wendy reminds YOU to spice up your life and harness your own sparkling potential!



For more from Dr. Wendy on Spa Week Daily:

Spa Week Daily Challenge: Dr. Wendy’s Cinnamon Challenge

Spa Week Daily Challenge: Dr. Wendy’s Cinnamon Challenge

Did you know Americans purchase more than 16 million ounces of cinnamon during the months of November and December? That’s more than 174 million teaspoons and enough to make a whopping 682 million cups of flavored sweet potatoes! Cinnamon is warming and mildly sweet in flavor and packed with antioxidants. In fact, 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon has as much antioxidants as a half-cup of pomegranate juice!

From the inner bark of the cinnamon tree, this spice has been used for thousands of years for its flavor and potential health benefits. Today’s modern research shows cinnamon may help regulate blood sugar levels, decrease risk of insulin resistance, lower cholesterol, and may even play a role in helping us manage our weight. While most of us know cinnamon easily pairs with bakery favorites and sweet foods, it is widely used to season savory dishes in Asian, Moroccan, and Middle Eastern cuisines.

Are you ready for CHALLENGE #6?

Here’s what to do:

Pledge to boost the flavor and nutrition of your meals by adding cinnamon to your plate (at least once a day) for TWO WEEKS.


Tuesday, November 22-  Monday, December 5

Who Says:

Dr. Wendy Bazilian, author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet, Nutrition Advisor at the world-renowned Golden Door Resort and Nutrition Editor of Healing Lifestyles & Spas


Did you know that spices, like cinnamon, contain powerful antioxidants—many rivaling familiar and nutritious fruits and veggies?! It’s true. In fact more than 2,000 phytonutrients have been identified in our flavorful friends.  That’s why they’re superfoods, too!  It’s the holiday season in fact, so how about bumping up the seasoning, flavor, and antioxidant power of your meals by adding a dash of cinnamon? (You might just find yourself using a little less sugar and salt, too!)

How to get started:

Join the Challenge Event on Facebook and share your experiences with flavorful hits –or misses!

What’s in it for me? (WIN!)

Join Dr. Wendy’s Spa Week Daily Challenge Event on Facebook and share your success story or struggle. Once you RSVP and start sharing, you are automatically entered to win one of two $50 Spa & Wellness Gift Cards by Spa Week.

More on Dr. Wendy:


“I love great food; it’s where flavor and health collide. They can be pals on our plates and our palettes!”

Writer, researcher, educator, and real foods enthusiast, Wendy Bazilian is a doctor of public health, registered dietitian and American College of Sports Medicine-certified Health and Fitness Specialist. Dr. Bazilian graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa with a Bachelor’s Degree from Tufts University, and received her Master’s Degree from the University of California, San Diego. She has her doctorate in Public Health and Nutrition from Loma Linda University, graduating summa cum laude and received the highest academic honor, the prestigious Chancellor’s Award.

Education and honors aside, Dr. Wendy loves food—real food that tastes great and makes the body feel great too. As a nationally-known health and wellness expert, her focus on food and fitness, alongside healthy living behaviors, drive her philosophy on the bonus of PLUS instead of minus when it comes to healthy, vibrant living. Insisting on accentuating the positive and what’s valuable about our healthy living allows us to seek health daily as a dynamic, exciting and constantly evolving state.

No stranger to the spa industry and spa wellness, Dr. Wendy is the Nutrition Advisor at the renowned Golden Door Spa in California since 2003, and is the author of The SuperFoodsRx Diet: Lose Weight with the Power of SuperNutrients (Rodale). She is also a contributor to the James Beard- and IACP-nominated Golden Door Cooks at Home (Clarkson Potter), and the New York Times Bestseller SuperFoodsRx (Harper Collins).  Wendy is also a frequent contributor to ABC’s Good Morning America Health and ABC News, and has appeared on NBC’s TODAY show, Live with Regis and Kelly, ABC7 in San Francisco, Telemundo, Univision and many shows. Wendy lives in San Diego with her husband and business partner, Jason Bazilian, where they co-own and run Bazilian’s Health Clinic. She is also Nutrition Editor of Healing Lifestyles & Spas magazine and has written and contributed to a variety of major media outlets.

Dr. Wendy is committed to helping us all enjoy real, whole foods in abundance with the promise that flavor and nutrition do unite—in our delicious meals we consume. And the fitness and wellness practices ensure we enjoy well-lived days in good health. Hard pressed to name only one favorite food (she has so many depending on the season and whim), she can name her current favorite herb—oregano, which she affectionately refers to as a ‘mini-salad’, and her favorite spice is cinnamon for its flavorsome versatility and aroma—as well as their antioxidant powers.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Sprinkle cinnamon on your coffee grounds before brewing for a tasty and aromatic morning cup of Joe.
  • Swirl some cinnamon into your morning oatmeal.
  • Add cinnamon to chunky applesauce and spread on your morning toast instead of sugary jams and jellies.
  • Make some baked apples with cinnamon and dried cherries for snack, dessert, or serve with yogurt for a breakfast. . .’tis the season!
  • Whirl some cinnamon into your fruit smoothie.
  • Make a mulled-cider or wine beverage for the holidays with cinnamon and other spices.
  • Power up peanut butter by stirring in some warming cinnamon.
  • Add some cinnamon to your favorite homemade or store bought chili.
  • Hot cocoa sprinkled with cinnamon is a special flavor treat.  Add to that a little chili powder and you have yourself a Mexican hot chocolate!
  • Sprinkle away on pumpkin dishes, sweet potatoes, butternut and acorn squash.
  • Add a stick of cinnamon to the water as you cook your rice.
  • Make up warm cup of Dr. Wendy’s Cinnamilk—on stove top, warm low fat or fat-free milk (using a double burner or on low) with a stick or two of cinnamon and a teaspoon of honey per 8-10 ounces.

Let us know how YOU are taking on this challenge and spicing up your day!

5 Food Cures from Joy Bauer’s Bestselling Book

By now, you know all about the Fast Track to Health Giveaway to The Biggest Loser Resort at Fitness Ridge and the amazing health and fitness programs and activites, not to mention all of that luxurious spa-ing. And you’ve also been introduced to America’s favorite nutritionist, the lovely Joy Bauer.

Now get a sneak peek into Joy’s totally revamped, New York Times Bestseller, Food Cures. Inside is power-packed with food cure recommendations for some of the most common, obxnoxious and painful conditions millions of americans face evryday, like arthritis, osteoporosis, migranes and more. Along with the health and wellness vacation of a lifestime, one lucky winner will receive Food Cures and an at-home nutritional plan custom-made by Joy. Five lucky runner-ups will also receive Food Cures so they can start getting healthier with every bite. And for everyone who is just dying to know all about the yummy food remedies inside Joy’s book, we have picked some great excerpts and food reccomendations for you to start to incorporate into your healthy lifestyle regime:

1. Beautiful Skin

“Skin is built from the inside out. Day to day and year to year, skin draws its healthy glow from good nutrition… Nutrition can help minimize these problems and enhance your skin’s natural beauty.” (Page 63)

  • Improve Collagen Vitamin C: guava, oranges, bell peppers, strawberries and broccoli
  • Anti-Aging Vitamin E: almonds, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, avocados, and spinach
  • Fight Sun Damage Selenium: Brazil nuts, tuna, brown rice, and whole wheat bread
  • Promote Healing Beta-Carotene: sweet potatoes, carrots, kale, butternut squash and pumpkin

2. Healthy Hair

“It is estimated that we each lose about 100 hairs a day. The actual number you’ll lose on any  given day depends on how abundant and healthy your follicles are, what medications you’re taking, and many other factors, some are beyond your control.” (Page 81)

  • Promote Healthy Follicles B Vitamins- Foliate, B6, B12: chickpeas, wild salmon, soy milk, lentils and spinach
  • Jump-Start Growth Iron-Rich Proteins: clams, oysters, shrimp, egg yolks, lentils and black-eyed peas
  • Repair Hair Zinc: lobster, ostrich, oysters, pine nuts, peanuts, fat-free yogurt, and wheat germ

3. Memory

“Memory depends on your total number of brain cells and their connections, smooth flow of communication between them and their overall health.” (Page 273)

  • Increase Blood Circulation Antioxidants: spinach, kale, mustard greens, Swiss chard, turnip greens , collard greens,
  • Fight Age Defects Anthocyanin: blackberries, black currant, blueberries, eggplant, raspberries and cherries Quercetin: onions, kale, leeks, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, apricots, and hot chili peppers
  • Plump Your Mind “Neuron’s outer membranes are teeming with DHA and it’s this fattu lining yhay allows for smooth conductivity of brain signals.” Omega-3 Fatty Acids: wild salmon, mackerel, herring, sardines, ground flaxseed, walnuts and soybeans

4. Migraines

“We know from brain scans that during migraine headaches, there is increased bloodflow in the brain stem and the cerebral cortex. Inflamitory chemicals, such as substance P and other substances are released; and there changes in levels of brain chemecials called neurotransmitters…The main lessons are that migraines are physiologically complez and that they aboslueltuy are not “all in the mind” of the sufferer.” (Page 324)

  • Staying Hydrated Liquids: Water, herbal tea, skim milk, club soda
  • Reduce Inflammation Omega-3 Fatty Acids: olive oil, rainbow trout, oysters, chia seeds, flaxseed oil and walnut oil
  • Keep Your Energy Up Riboflavin: lean beef, whole gran cereal, eggs, mushrooms, asparagus and broccoli
  • Fight Menstrual Migraines Magnesium: pumpkin seeds, spinach, Swiss chard, amaranth, sunflower seeds, quinoa, potatoes and artichoke hearts

5. Insomnia

“If insomnia occurs at least three nights a week for a month or longer, it is considered chronic. At this point, lack of sleep becomes more than just an annoyance – it can be life altering. Almost all cases of chronic insomnia can be traced to a medical condition, lifestyle habit, or psychological preoccupation.” (Page 365)

  • Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol, Large Meals, Late Night Liquids
  • Stock Up on Sleep-Inducing High-Quality Carbs and Tryptophan: bananas, grapefruit, plums, mangoes, grapes, turkey, beets, broccoli, corn, spinach, quinoa, brown rice, yogurt, pumpkin, celery, peas

To find out more about Food Cures, visit JoyBauer.com or grab your copy at Amazon.com. And don’t forget to enter The Fast Track to Health Giveaway!