Shed those winter blues

WINTER dries everything out.

From your lips to your face and all the way down to your feet.

And while we're busy fighting off colds and flu, it's important to take care of the body's largest organ - the skin. So if you're tired of having dry, lacklustre skin, it's time to indulge yourself in a treatment to combat the effects of this season's cold weather.

The Power of 3, available at The Golden Door Spa, is a treatment that targets the body, face and feet to give back that radiant healthy glow through winter.

It might sound like it's too good to be true, but it isn't.

The treatment starts with a full-body salt exfoliation, using a blend of balancing oils and salt derived from the Himalayas, which removes dry skin cells and encourages better circulation.

You can literally feel the layers fall away to leave you with baby-soft skin all over.

As if that's not enough, you then get to relax while your therapist pampers with a soothing express facial, which includes an active concentrate mask that will boost your skin's hydration and leave it glowing.

Finally, the attention turns to your poor tired feet, which are treated to a revitalising mask and specialised pressure-point massage, leaving them fresh and energised - you'll feel like you're walking on air as you float out of the rooms.

After 80 minutes of pampering, you'll feel ready to face any dry wintry weather. And if you can squeeze it in while you're there, take advantage of the day spa facilities, including a steam room, spa bath and relaxation lounge before or after your treatment to extend the luxurious experience.

To keep your body healthy through the winter months you may want to consider The Golden Door Health Retreat Queensland, which offers five- to seven-day programs, designed to strengthen the immune system, help fight off seasonal viruses and provide guests with invaluable tools and knowledge to live a healthy, rewarding life.

For those who are unable to book into The Golden Door Health Retreat, Brigid Walsh, the retreat's program manager, has some top tips to keeping your health on track this winter.

There are ways to ward off the winter blues and prove that the cold weather doesn't have to signal a time for compromised health, she says.

Brigid's top flu-fighting tips to help you have a healthy winter:

• Eat fresh food: Choose from a bounty of fresh, local root vegetables to feed the heart and warm the soul.

• Source your vegetables from markets and growers, which in turn allows you to get out in the cool crisp air and invigorate those senses that dull when too much time is spent indoors.

• Experiment with soups, clear vegetable broths and stewed fruit combinations, which are not only healthy, but also easy to prepare and store.

• Low-fat and taste-rich foods are in abundance this time of year, so consult the Golden Door cookbook for a range of warming recipes, ranging from lasagne and warm salads to fruit loafs and herb breads.

• Add chilli to your meals where possible to warm you from the inside, speeding up your metabolism. The active ingredient of chilli is capsaicin, which is a natural decongestant and expectorant, so it wards off sinus congestion and upper respiratory infection.

• Herbal teas are a healthy alternative to hot chocolate or coffee. Ginger is particularly warming and boosts circulation, while having a mild respiratory clearing action. For an excellent immune boost, see below for Golden Door's recipe for Immune Boost Tea.

• Stay active. Exercise stimulates circulation, burns fat, boosts your immune system and promotes well-being. It may be harder to get started on cold days, so exercise indoors if it really bothers you, and warm-up with at least five minutes of stretching before any activity.

• Rather than talking yourself into early morning exercise with “I should”, motivate yourself with “I choose to”. The word “should” can make us feel defeated or pushed into action by a power outside ourselves, whereas choices give us a sense of empowerment, freedom and achievement.

Recipe - Immune Boost Tea

This tea tastes great, can warm and help give your immune system a boost. If you feel a winter chill or flu coming on, mix up this great home remedy to hit it on the head before it takes hold. Golden Door's tea recipe includes the flu-fighting properties of lemons, a natural anti-septic, garlic, nature's anti-biotic to ward off infection, ginger, which assists circulation and also has a mild upper respiratory tract clearing action, and cayenne pepper, a natural decongestant and expectorant that can also assist against sinus congestion and upper respiratory tract infection.

Ingredients:

 • 2 litres of water

• juice of 4 lemons

• 3 cloves of garlic

• 1 tablespoon of chopped ginger

• 1 tablespoon of honey

• 1 cinnamon stick

•¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper

Method:

 1. Boil 2 litres of water in a pot

2. Chop up garlic, ginger, and cinnamon or put in a food processor/blender if you have one and add to the pot

3. Add lemon juice and honey

4. Boil for 5 minutes

5. Strain and serve

Drink three to four cups throughout the day. It can be reheated the next day.

The body will need warming up, so after a spice tea, rug up warm and go to bed to bring yourself to a mild sweat.

For the ultimate winter health boost, give yourself a holiday full of healthy living at The Golden Door.

Set in the Gold Coast hinterland, The Golden Door Health Retreat Queensland's Winter Warmers Special offers a 50 per cent discount (when booking with a friend). This offer is strictly limited and available until August 29. Conditions apply.

See more offers at www.goldendoor.com.au or contact The Golden Door Health Retreat Queensland on Toll Free 1800 816 906.

Ingredients: Method:


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