Berries ~ Superfood to Boost the Immune System

As today’s headlines continue to show alarming rates of the flu across the US, I am focusing on increasing the quality of nutrient dense foods at our dinner table.  It is so very important to boost the immune system during times as the present, where our bodies are being exposed to viruses and bacteria wanting to attack the body.  Top of this list are the amazing super powerhouse foods ~ berries ~ full of anti-oxidants, phytochemicals, fiber and flavonoids.  When I am talking about these superfoods, I am referring to blueberries (my favorite), strawberries, raspberries, cranberries and the delicious blackberries.

I mentioned 4 reasons that the berry is such a powerhouse as they contain anti-oxidants, phytochemicals, fiber and flavonoids.  You might be wondering what these benefits are and why they are so beneficial to your health.

Anti-oxidants:  known to boost the immune system and neutralize damage caused by free radicals trying to attack the immune system.  Brightly colored foods with rich, deep blues, oranges, reds, greens and yellows are full of these immune booster and disease fighting superheros.  Berries are rich in anti-oxidants and blueberries have the highest levels of antioxidants than any other berry.

Phytochemicals or Phytonutrients: these are plant-based nutrient rich foods full of vitamins and minerals, which focus on preventing disease and sickness.

Fiber: the stringy stuff holding our fruits and vegetables together encouraging healthy active digestion, lowers cholesterol and gives you that full feeling without over eating.

Flavonoids: part of the phytonutrient, flavonoids aid the immune system by protecting the cells of the body against environmental pollutants and work with the body to allow for proper functioning.  Assisting the body in fighting off infections, flavonoids are responsible for bringing the rich reds, oranges and greens to fruits and vegetables.

As all fruits and vegetables are important in boosting the immune system and protecting the body from infections and disease, I am particularly fond of the berry…especially during the cold and flu season.  Lets hear what your powerhouse food of choice is for protecting your immune system…



Character ~ defining our credibility and competence

With all the talk about character these days in the news, I thought I would share and expand on how I view one’s character both in life and the workplace.  Stephen M.R. Covey’s book, The SPEED of Trust was an inspirational read that truly changed the way I led and conducted business.   If you have not yet read this book, I encourage you to obtain a copy and read it.  Truly inspiring.  Lance Armstrong might not be where he is today, had he had access to this book years ago.  TRUST, as defined in Wikipedia, means to believe in the reliability, truth, ability, or strength of one’s character.  CHARACTER is defined as the mental and moral qualities distinctive to an individual.  Both definitions translate to me that for one to withhold both trust and character, one is truly a decent human being on this Earth and is mindful and thoughtful with every decision and action performed.

It has been my experience both in life and the workplace that once I am able to trust one’s character, a fulfilling and prosperous relationship ensues.  Relationships are expanded upon with ease, efficiency, and care.  When someone is not trustworthy or has character flaws, unnecessary time, discussions and research are needed to either further pursue the relationship or as in recent headlines, clean up a mess created.  This time almost always equates to money spent and typically money not initially accounted for in a budget.

“The first job of a leader—at work or at home—is to inspire trust. It’s to bring out the best in people by entrusting them with meaningful stewardships, and to create an environment in which high-trust interaction inspires creativity and possibility.”
Stephen M.R. Covey, The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing that Changes Everything

In the workplace, these principles set a foundation of attracting and selecting the right people for one’s business.  Taking time in the hiring process to sift through applicants, conduct thorough interviews, and mindfully understand how one’s character will add value to the current team structure will benefit the business tremendously in the end.  Always looking to add character and trust to an existing team will ensure longevity and productivity in the end.

In your personal life, character and trust are almost a given, yet I view as the most compromised and overlooked qualities and values.  Whether choosing relationships, working to improve existing ones or moving away from relationships, always first look at yourself and judge your own character and trust.  How are you measuring up to your own expectations?  Are you contributing to your relationships with extraordinarily high levels of character and trust or are you part of the problem?  I understand this can be a difficult one to execute although an important one.

Spending meaningful time aligning yourself and your business with individuals and organizations reflecting strong values of character and trust will open doors for your success long-term.  If this topic intrigues you and you would like to discuss further, please share your thoughts.

Portion Control

We often see the words “portion control” pop up in the news, in magazines, and from our doctors.  Portion control has become quite popular as restaurants continue to deliver over sized meals and fast food establishments continue to “super-size” servings.  I mean for a long time our society has thought more is better, right?  Well not the case at all.  Your goal should always be to super-size the amount of nutrient dense foods you are consuming, not the portion size.  Our bodies need more nutrients and less fluffed food.  When choosing your next meal, think quality of food, not quantity.  Bon Appetite!


Steam Room Down Again?

I have been there, I have experienced this time and again, and I have told myself never again will the steam room be down during operating hours.  Yet, for whatever reason, the steam room goes down on that Saturday mid-morning when you have 185 guests enjoying the spa and of course, they all want to steam…  Sound familiar?  Oh too familiar.

Preventative maintenance is the key!!!  I will say this again, preventative maintenance is the key to ensuring a smooth, operating and dependable steam room (or any piece of equipment for that matter).  If you have on site engineering, connect with them, if you have an offsite vendor who manages your equipment, connect with them.  I strongly recommend a plan of action in how to properly manage, clean, maintain, and repair all of your equipment.

If you compare the steam room to your car, it’s easy.  You give your car an oil change, you wash and vacuum your car, you even have its tires rotated.  All of these action items are to prevent damage to your car long-term.  The same is to be done to the steam room in order to preserve its longevity and to function properly for a minimum of 10-15 years.  Do not wait until the steam room is “down”  on a busy Saturday to call in your engineering team.  Create a preventative maintenance plan today and properly anticipate the functionality of your equipment.  Your guests and most importantly, your lounge attendants will thank you.

Each minute a piece of equipment is not working in your spa, you will experience lost revenue.  Who can afford lost revenue?