Entries for month: February 2012

On her second visit to Miraval, we caught up with Jean and asked her to tell us what, in her mind, makes Miraval so special. Enjoy this short video in the Raindance Pass courtyard!


Thank you.

We say these words all too often, frequently without thinking or feeling.

Most of us know that being grateful is something we should be doing, but what if expressing gratitude actually translates to improved health?  Research is beginning to show just how healthy this practice might be.

Dr. Robert Emmons is professor at the University of California-Davis, and one of the leading scholars investigating the healthy benefits of gratitude.  He describes the first major studies of this subject in his book Thanks!  How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier.  Dr. Emmons’ research has found that grateful people can increase their “set point” for happiness by as much as 25 percent, sustaining it for several months. 

The evidence for this is groundbreaking. 

It contradicts the widely held notion that people’s set points for happiness are fixed and unchanging.   Not only are these set points flexible, but some say gratitude has done more for them than improve things by just a bit.  Individuals have gone so far as to say that the regular practice of gratitude has dramatically changed their lives, impacting family, friends and everyone else around them. 


Join us for a National Geographic Weekend Photography Workshop! On select weekends throughout the year, we bring some of National Geographic's top photographers to our resort to lead inspiring weekends of photo instruction.

See several photos take by workshop participant Ken Bullock during a private performance by a Navajo hoop dancer.

Of the National Geographic photography workshop, a past participany says, "This is the first time I've taken a workshop and I've found it to be one of the best activities I've ever done. National Geographic only uses the best people available."
Learn more about the National Geographic Photography Workshop at Miraval!

As part of Miraval’s focus on healthy, sustainable living, we are pleased to present a new, experience:  The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Enlightenment @ Miraval.  Alex Giorgio and Heidi Nobantu Saul will lead a small group of Miraval guests in absorbing Alex’s groundbreaking methodology.  It’s oriented to a small segment of the population that has a unique way of living and performing in the world:  TypeE personalities.

While working with more than 10,000 entrepreneurs, innovators, executives, entertainers, artists, athletes and scientists, Alex discovered a common physiology, mental outlook and set of intuitive strategies hard-wired into their brains and bodies.  As a result, Alex was able to classify the TypeE personality – and a set of practices that, when activated, can lead TypeEs to a state of living an enlightened life.  We asked Alex and Heidi about TypeE and why they have chosen Miraval as a locale.


We know that many of our guests are moms with school-age children or grandmothers with school-age grandkids. And as mindful adults who are trying to make healthy changes in your own lives, you are probably wondering what steps you can take to mold your children and grandchildren into healthy, happy grownups. We asked Junelle some questions about the importance of good nutrtion for the younger generation and here's what she had to say.

What is the ideal packed lunch for elementary school aged kids?
A nice alternative to the typical PB and J would be using 2 slices of intact grain bread, like toasted Ezekiel Food For Life, then add 2 tablespoons of almond or cashew butter along with some fresh raspberries or a half of a sliced banana.  On the side serve some sliced organic red and yellow bell peppers and a piece of seasonal fruit. 

What is the ideal packed lunch for middle school aged kids?
Whole grain pitas are a great way to incorporate left over dinner veggies.  Place leftover grilled or roasted veggies (mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash, peppers, onions) into pita, add some sprouts and a piece of all natural cheese or, if your child likes, some smoked salmon slices.  On the side serve some sliced fruit like mango or make a fruit salad (chopped organic apples, grapes, melon, strawberries, and mint)

Can you talk a little bit about the importance of kids eating breakfast before school?
Breakfast is important for all of us, especially kids since they have growing bodies and growing brains.  Breakfast affects our intellectual, behavioral and physical well being.  Furthermore, skipping breakfast has been linked to the development of obesity.  Studies show that overweight and obese children skip breakfast more often than kids at ideal body weight, and recent data shows that 1 out of 3 kids in the US are considered overweight or obese. 

Even though I strongly recommend we get out of bed early enough each day in order to sit down and enjoy breakfast, many moms want advice on quick/portable breakfast ideas.  For this, I think smoothies are great.  Here’s a nice smoothie that is likely to hold kids over until lunch hour – add to blender ½ cup organic vanilla yogurt, 4-5 pitted dates, a banana, a few scoops of nut butter and ½ cup milk (soy or almond milk work great too) and blend until smooth. Or prepare diced honeydew, organic blueberries the night before and sprinkle with ground flax seed and shredded coconut and serve

When you have some extra time on the weekends, prepare some quick bread (zucchini or banana are great, add things like ground flax and  chopped nuts to the recipes and substitute white flour for spelt) these breads keep well and can be served on the go in the morning.

Often times, kids want to run and play during lunch and end up skipping it - how does this affect the child's day?
Skipping lunch can mean kids may go as long as 10 hours without eating.  This, just like breakfast skipping, affects our intellectual, behavioral and physical well being. 

You mentioned one morning during breakfast that you have a great recipe for energy balls or bars – would you be willing to share the recipe?

Junelle's homemade energy bars: 
1 cup almond, cashew or organic peanut butter
1/5 cup honey
3.5 cups oatmeal or granola
2 tablespoons ground flax
2 tablespoons chia seed
2 tablespoons hemp seed
2 cups pitted dates (chopped in food processor)

Mix all ingredients in large bowl.  Once mixed shape into balls or press into 9x9 inch baking pan and cut into bars.  Serve.

Read Junelle Lupiani's bio and her lectures and private sessions at Miraval!