Raving About Brad’s Raw Chips

Brad’s Raw Foods

Brads Raw Chips rock. End Of. When i first read about Brad’s inspiring life changing weight-loss story and the creation of unique raw chips I just knew i had to review them!!  Like many people after transitioning to a raw diet Brad found that he missed crunchy, crispy snacks to fill the gaps in between meals. Crunchy snacks are usually fried or baked and contain little nutritional value so how and what could a raw foodie do? The answer- to dehydrate the chips & crackers below 115′ thus preserving their active raw enzymes & super food nutrients.

                                 www.bradsrawchips.com

Brad’s box of raw love arrived on my UK door step and since then I have been munching my way through names such as ‘vampire killer‘ kale chips, ‘Nasty hot‘ kale chips, ‘Nacho vegan cheese‘ kale chips, Sun-dried tomato flax crackers, and ‘Hot red bell pepper’ buckwheat crackers.

I first investigated ‘Naked Kale‘ as I wanted to taste the pure kale chip flavours. The moorish air light chips pack a crunch far better than any corn chips. WARNING! Once opened you may loose control of your senses and it real hard to close that lid!  My computer keyboard bears the evidence of a kale chip feast and as I type this Im brushing off the remains of a kale party.But whats so nutritionally satisfying about kale?

The Nutritional Low Down On Kale 

  • Kale is very versatile and nutritious green leafy vegetable. It is widely recognized as an incredibly nutritious vegetable since ancient Greek and Roman times for its low fat, no cholesterol but health benefiting anti-oxidant properties.
  • Kale, like other members of the brassica family, contains health-promoting phytochemicals,sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol that are appears to protect against prostate and colon cancers.
  • Di-indolyl-methane (DIM), a metabolite of indole-3-carbinol has been found to be an effective immune modulator, anti-bacterial and anti-viral agent through its action of potentiating “Interferon-Gamma” receptors.
  • Borecole is very rich source of ß-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. These flavonoids have strong anti-oxidant and anti-cancer activities. Beta-carotene is converted to vitamin A in the body.
  • Zeaxanthin, an important dietary carotenoid, is selectively absorbed into the retinal macula lutea in the eyes where it is thought to provide antioxidant and protective light-filtering functions. Thus, it helps prevent retinal detachment and offers protection against “age related macular degeneration disease” (ARMD) in the elderly.
  • It is very rich in vitamin A, 100 g leaves provide 512% of RDA. Vitamin A is required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is essential for vision. Foods rich in this vitamin offer protection against lung and oral cavity cancers.
  • It is one of the excellent vegetable sources for vitamin-K; 100 g provides about 700% of recommended intake. Vitamin K has potential role bone health by promoting osteotrophic (bone formation and strengthening) activity. Adequate vitamin-K levels in the diet helps limiting neuronal damage in the brain; thus, has established role in the treatment of patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
  • 100 g of fresh leaves contain 120 mg or 200% of daily-recommended levels of vitamin C. Scottish curly leaf variety yet has more of this vitamin, 130 mg/100g. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant, which helps body develop resistance against infectious agents and scavenge harmful oxygen free radicals.
  • This leafy vegetable is notably good in many B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, vit.B-6 (pyridoxine), thiamin, pantothenic acid, etc that are essential for substrate metabolism in the body.
  • It is also rich source of minerals like copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure by countering effects of sodium. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase. Iron is required for cellular oxidation and red blood cell formation.

Kale provides rich nutrition ingredients that offer protection from vitamin A deficiency, osteoporosis, iron deficiency anemia, and believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases and, colon and prostate cancers.

Dehydrating the kale keeps all the above in tact, Brad then adds crushed cashews, sunflower seeds, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, & Himalayan crystal salt. The chips are such a delicious light crispy texture I’ve never tasted anything like them. The nuts & seeds allow for a lovely flavoured coating and also increase protein content and add essential fats and vitamin e. The next flavourite of mine is ‘natural nacho vegan cheese’ kale chips that satisfies your cheesy cravings and is great sprinkled over  salads, raw pizza etc.  The ‘Nasty Hot’ is jalapeño fiery & has a very Mexican flavour but remember to wash your hands after eating or you could go blind. Within my generous sample box was also crackers of two varieties, ‘Red Bell Pepper buckwheat‘ & ‘Sun dried Tomato flax‘ crackers. These crackers are very filling and high in protein and super energy sustaining.  They are versatile and are excellent with dips, like hummus, raw salsa, mayo, etc…. You can also make mini bruchetta by adding veg on top.

chips n dips

There are other tantalising varieties such as sweet potato,Indian Spice and beet flavour crackers. All available to order on line at the company website.

Brad used his love of  local organic sustainable farming, raw foods,passion for health and new found raw energy to come up with an ingeniously health preserving way of making a crunchy snack. He has created two kinds of snack: kale chips & crackers. Flavoured by cashew nuts, flax seeds,garlic, lemon,buckwheat, sweet potato, beet,Indian spice, jalapeño chilli, red bell pepper and many other wonderful herbs he dehydrates the snacks below 115′ so that the healthy active  enzymes and digestive  nutrient are preserved in this crunchy raw snack.

What I particularly love is Brad’s approach. He uses local, fresh readily available ingredients dehydrates them without messin with nature and then presents them all in a clear re-sealable green pouch/tray box that has an easily readable label and a lovely personal Brad bio on the back. You are invited to join his facebook page and twitter and read the company blog theworldofraw.blogspot.com

By buying this product you will also be supporting a company that’s ethos is clean & green. Using local grown kale and other veg means that the carbon footprint is reduced, local farming business is supported and community is enriched. The ethos from seed to chip is ethical & beneficial.  How refreshing to have a company who’s soul is not simply money motivated but rather gives back on so many levels putting profit after peace n love.

Brad planting the seeds of creation

The company is based in Bucks County, PA, U.S.A and has become a social hub for the local eco-concious clean living locals. There are regular events, workshops, talks, community meetings and

Since 2011 Brad’s chips www.bradsrawchips.com   have  been making there way all over the globe including the U.K. They have been endorsed by super food experts such as David Wolfe, Amy Levin. Whole Foods stores around the world stock them &  Organic Avenue in the U.S is a big fan. They are also stocked by a large range of independent health shops.

As well as being MD of the company Brad is also a Lifestyle Coach and has raw retreats and workshops at the company’s community  space. For more info and to book go to the company website.

A true expert & pioneer of healthy raw living Brad Gruno gets the rawfood seal of approval and we thank-you for adding crunch to our health concious lives. I am so grateful for your help in making this review possible & want to spread the word in the U.K about these amazing products. One day I hope to visit the home of Brad’s Raw Foods and drink a green smoothie or two with Mr Gruno & his community.

Namaste.

Lucie Nutri Fit.

Guilt free choc brownies with stevia and raw cocoa

This florless recipe uses stevia and cocnnut butter instead of butter and sugar and results in a rich brownie that is much lower in cholesterol and sugar than traditional brownies. Using dark chocolate and raw cocoa nibs and nuts also gives you a boost of magnesium and antioxidants and healthy fats.

Image

 

 

Ingredients

 

110g of organic coconut butter

50g organic 70% cacoa choc ( sugar free or not)?

50g cocoa powder

2 large eggs or vegan egg

100g of stervia or fructose

1 tbs baking powder

110g of nuts of your choice, i like walnuts macademia or hazelnuts, almond also work well 🙂

Method

 

Pre heat over 180′

Grease a tray with baking papper.

Melt chocolate and coconut butter in a bain-marie ( water bowel)

Take off heat.Beat in all the ingredients and eggs. Whisk in thoroughly as oil will try and separate.

 

Add nuts.

 

Pour mixture in tray and bake for 20 mins.Leave to cool for 10 mins, square and serve

Lentil stuffed Red Peppers

Lentil peppers

One of my favourite Mediterranean meals with a healthy twist. They usually uses feta cheese or white rice to stuff the peppers in Greece but here I offer an alternative-lentils 🙂

You will need:

200g red split lentils

2 tbs virgin olive oil

1 onion chopped

1 small carrot, grated

3 garlic cloves chopped

1 small courgette chopped

400g of tinned tomatoes

125ml of swiss boulion veg stock or similar (yeast free)

1/4 rosemary

1/4 oregano

1 tbs dried thyme

100g of spinache

1tbs fresh parsly

4 red peppers halved and cleaned

1/2 a lemon (juice only)

Method

Pre heat oven to 200′

Cover lentils with water and bring to the boil. Then simmer for 20 minutes.Drain and set aside

Heat oil in a pan, add onions,carrots,garlic and courgette. saute for few mins.Add in tomatoes, herbs and liquid stock

Remove pan from heat and add in spinach and cooked lentils. Add salt and pepper to your own taste.

Place peppers on oiled baking tray. Stuff them with mixture and squeeze on lemon juice

For a crunchy topping finely chop some oat cakes and thyme and sprinkle over. Add this once the peppers are cooked and pop them back in oven for 10 mins

Enjoy al fresco preferably in a sunny location 🙂

Banana, Walnut & Oat Bake Bars

These quick and easy bars are high in fibre, b vitamins and give a slow GI energy release. Great for on the go , before a workout or snack time.

 

You will need:

400g of organic oats

date syrup 100g

coconut oil 200g

natural vanilla extract

cinnamon

4 ripe organic bananas 

crushed walnut peices

handful of roasted sunflower seeds

100g fructose/stevia or other  natural sweetner

Method

 

Slowly melt coconut oil in a pan, add in date syrup, dont let it boil.

 

Take off the heat and add in the mashed banana

mix in nuts, cinnamon,sweetner and half a pod of raw vanilla.

 

Press into a baking tray and bake for 25 mins on 200′

 

Cool, square and serve!

 

You can add a carob topping or raw chocolate topping to make them more decadent 🙂

 

Image

 

Add in oats string to ensure good coverage

 

 

 

 

Holistic Spa Heaven at the Lopesan Corallium Costa Meloneras Spa Hotel in Grand Canaria

My deep love nearing on obsession with the Canary Islands started over ten years ago when a friend and I took a  holiday to Tenerife. I was instantly struck by their raw organic volcanic beauty, balmy January temperatures and the abundance of fresh year-round produce. Bananas, pineapples and goiaba along with the medicinal healing wonder plant aloe vera.From then on this little set of islands nestling only 100km off the coast of north Africa have been a favourite winter-sun get away for me. I was very lucky to be invited to visit and review the Lopesan Spa by the Spanish tourist board- ‘GRAND CANARIA   WELLNESS<  who promote all the holistic and wellness aspects of the island. The Canarian tourist board know that their islands are unique  and want to keep them that way. There are designated protected national parks areas on all the island and nature co-exists with mankind in a harmonious fashion. As a traveller this is an important aspect of my needs, and I love the fact that interior of Grand Canaria is protected form tourist leaving their mark and eco- preservation is very important.

Himalayan Salt Grotto

click to enter hotel website and for reservations

click to enter hotel website

The Spa Hotel Lopesan Costa Meloneras is located in the south of the island in a coastal area called Meloneras. It sits next to the protected natural oasis ‘Dunas de Maspalomas’ (Sand dunes of Maspalomas) This is a dramatic yet tranquil landscape that is great for meditation, restoration, sun worshipping and water sports. Its also a favourite with naturists, so anything goes!

The Lopesan Hotel group is a Spanish owned company and has several themed hotels across the island, all of which are top notch. The themes are based on nature, be it African influence, Thalasso sea water, or the volcanic environment of the island. The architecture is built in harmony with its surroundings.  Now I must admit I’m not a huge fan of huge chain-hotels and prefer more intimate rustic abodes but the atmosphere ar the Lopesan Corrallium Costa Meloneras Spa Hotel is not what you expect. Its super friendly, un-pretentious and relaxing. It has a huge Spa area below including a modern gym, yoga, pilates platforms outside, indoor/outdoor pools and jacuzzies. So whether you prefer to be inside in the high-tech gym of outside meditating with nature its your choice.

Hotel lopesan meloneras & Spa

Ice therapy to cool & calm

Out door jacuzzi

Spa heaven in the Aqua dome

The staff are genuinely happy in their work and you feel very valued whilst within the spa. As soon as you enter the hotel you really are treated with genuine kindness and though it is a large building its architectural design is integrated with nature and infused with natural light so it is not at all imposing. The design echos a mystic past era and there are references to the Arabia, North African and Spanish culture. In fact the spa circuit transports you to the wilds of the tropical jungle, through ice lands of the Arctic and to the sultry ambience of a Turkish bath. You can view waterfalls and flora and fauna from all the windows.  This is an important aspect of the experience as I believe that you pick up on the energy of a building and the people around you. So from a holistic point of view my treatment started as soon as I entered the building and was able to absorb the sense of well being and the ambience of happy people. The exclusive original Spa Corrallium Costa Meloneras Centre covers some 3.500m squared and fuses modern and ancient healing techniques. The treatments use active natural extracts of herbs, minerals, thalasso therapy, himalayan salt and aloe very which all work on your mind,body and soul. So its a very holistic Spa experience.

I was greeted by Spa Manger Christina Tejo who lead me into the huge Spa & wellness/gym area. I was to be given a complementary Spa Circuit followed by the Exfoliating Aloe body scrub-treatment using native natural aloe products. I especially asked to have the island made and owned products used. I was introduced to staff who were happy to tell me about the products they used. ‘Aloeveria’ is a company based on the island who specialise in using local organically grown aloe vera to make an array of products. I was also introduced to the Spas new ‘Corrallium Cosmetics‘. A range of face & body products that utilise the natural plants, herbs and flower essences of the island. The extracts are raw and paraben/ phenoxyl-Ethanol free. The packaging is in keeping with the natural theme and fragrance with natural amber-myrrh aroma which is vitalizing and reminiscent of the African heritage of the island.

Lopesan own brand cosmetics

I sampled the anti-aging face cream.It had a pleasant fragrance and a good emulsion and spread smoothly on the skin. Its marine extracts kept my skin hydrated after my days on the beach.

Its great to see a large chain of hotels such as the Lopesan group supporting small local business and promoting the local products of Grand Canaria and the natural bio agriculture of the land. My exfoliating body treatment was performed using Aloeveria’s natural marine scrub and aloe body balm. I will go into more detail later.

                       ALOVERIA- http://www.aloveria.com
My Spa circuit included the following and really left me thoroughly revitalised and revived after a long cold northern European winter. I really cant recommend it enough!! If you are not a hotel resident you can still experience the luxury and the price is very affordable. Check the Lopesan Hotel logo link above for prices.
The circuit included……
The Spa Circuit Experience
  • Aqua Dome
  • Cosy Wall & Showers
  • Kneipp Walk (reflexology)
  • Lagoon
  • Out of Africa Sauna
  • Ice World Igloo
  • Saline Caldarium (vapour bath)
  • Zodiac Relax Romm
  • Lava Relaxation Dome
  • Turkish Hammam Bath
  • Lava Float Pool
  • Himalayan Salt Cave

The circuit is very extensive and you spend a least 15 minutes in each zone (though I actually stayed in the Lava Float pool for about 30 mins as it was so divine)….  staff are around to help you but they are very relaxed and let you go at your own pace through the holistic journey.

The Aqua Dome- is a set of different style showers that pulse firm and soft, massaging your skin and stimulating nerve endings on your back and shoulders. There is a colour light theme the changes with the intensity of the shower ie; blue is intense like thunder and red/yellow is activated when the tropical rain falls upon you while bird song is gently played in the background. This is the first spa zone and is aimed to prepare your skin to receive the other treatments. It tones and increases blood circulation so that you get optimum benefit from the preceding zones.

Next I moved onto the CosyWall Showers. These used warm water to relax tense shoulder/back muscles. The wide shower head creates a waterfall-like flow so covers your whole shoulder width-super indulgent! Following this warming session I was refreshed by a traditional Kneipp Walk through alternating warm and cold water pools. Acting on the reflexology points on the foot, the pebble floor realigned and massaged my sole/soul. It was refreshing and ice cold so really enlivening.

The Lagoon Pool  is heated to body temprature 35′ and features moulded seats so you can be seated below the water falls providing a firm massage effect. There is a cold water pool and you should dip alternatively to really open your pores and cleanse out toxins. I was already beginning to feel relaxed and cleansed and this was only the beginning………

The next part of my journey was the Out Of Africa Sauna the heat was a  dry 90′ and the air infused with exotic aromas. En circling you were leafy lush palms and the centre peace was a giant jungle palm. The low level lighting made it seem like another world and the jungle sounds were a nice touch. Being a bid sauna lover i rested up here for a good 10 minutes and made two trips to the cold shower room to cleanse my pores. As part of the after sauna programme the Ice World Igloo works to close your pores and was enchanting. The Igloo room is carved from real ice and is maintained at 4’c.The seat inside are heated to 15’c so you can stay a while without getting uncomfortably cold. The recommended time is a few minutes but I managed only 30 seconds as I just don’t do cold brrrrrrr………

The Saline caldarium vapour bath is housed in an Egyptian themed room with hieroglyphics and impressive pillars, you really feel like Cleopatra as you recline on the marble and stone seats and let the aromatic eucalyptus cleanse your respiratory system and pores. The 45′ heat of the room encourages your body to excrete toxins naturally and  your muscles are relaxed. After 20 minutes its recommended you use the shower in the corner to clean and close your pores before moving onto the Zodiac Room/waterbeds. Within the Zodiac room you encouraged to nurture your inner child. This may all sound a little far fetched but its a fact that everyone no matter what age still has a child-like side to themselves. This is something to be proud of and cherish, its what keeps us dreaming, believing and seeing the lighter side of life. The room is a warm womb-like space with a gentle rose hue, around the circular edge are water beds fringed with Bedouin curtains. Here it is all about soul revival, loving yourself and balancing your inner calm. Soft music plays and you float away on your water bed which allows you to feel weightless like you did as a baby. Next you move into the Lava relaxation dome. This too has ergonomic loungers to relax on. Here the focus is chakra re-alignment via colour therapy. Colured lights project onto the cave like walls and the room is infused with Brazilian cupasue fruit essence.

The heat really gets turned up in the Turkish Hammam bath. Its 90% humidity combined with 45′ temperature means rapid detoxification. The traditional ceramic interior transmits heat and there is a fresh water font in the middle to refresh yourself. Its based on an authentic Turkish style and combines well with the Turkish massage after treatment. Aromatic melissa (lemon-balm) fills the air which is a nerve tonic which has a a specific muscle relaxing effect.

Having been in several enclosed dark spaces it was nice to enter the mineral rich pool –Lava float pool. The style is carved out of volcanic Canarian rock and sensitively lit, its nothing short of stunning. Small cave arches lead you to secluded corners and you are suspended with weightlessness by the dead-sea waters. The water has such a high salt and magnesium level that you spontaneously float. After 20 minutes when you emerge your bones feel super relaxed and heavy as they have been re-mineralised by the waters. This had to be one of my favourite parts of the spa. I remained for 30 minutes but could have easily languished for an hour or so……

Lava floatation pool


Finally the unique and beautiful Himalayan salt cave. This is very special for many reasons. Firstly its the only space in Spain to be made from only 2,500 million year old Himalayan pink crystal rock salt. Each of the 3,200 salt bricks were hand carved, the floor is carpeted in fine salt crystals that massage your feet when walked upon and the centre piece is a huge pink crystal which you can obtain energy and re-mineralisation from direct contact. The salt Grotto represents the Lopesan Spa’s commitment to sourcing and combining ancient healing traditions and housing them within a modern wellness environment. It is regarded as one of Spain’s finest and most diverse spa’s for this reason.  But why is it good for you? The salt contains very hight levels of iodine which works to neutralise excessive positive  ions ( electro-magnetic waves/dirty electricity) that everyday life exposes us too, it strenghnthens the immune system and also contains every trace element that the human body requires for optimum function. Microbes and and toxins are reduced. The body rebalances and people suffering from respiratory problems  or those who work in toxic and polluted areas especially benefit.This was also a favourite room of mine and the ambience and stillness was truly humbling. You feel a kind of respect and smallness next to rock that has seen 250 million years of changes and it is very grounding.

Exfoliating body scrub with aloe vera (local) for sun-lovers

My last treat was an all over sea salt body scrub with very course salt. Now I have had this treatment several times in the UK and cant say it made a great noticeable effect but the extra course salt and firm but enjoyable force used by the therapist really delivered results. Combined with the Aloe body balm from the local company left my skin super smooth and soft.Its the perfect pre-beach body treatment as you will gain a more even tan by ex foliating before you sunbath. The effects lasted for a good two weeks after I returned home and I am still using the pure aloe body balm by ALOEVIERA which is 100% natural and has the fresh organic grown aloe extract within it.

There are plenty of alternative treatments you can have and over 10 different treatment rooms.

Additional Spa Circuit Treatments available 

  • Soap Massage
  • Wave Dream Room
  • Stone Therapy Room
  • Oriental Room

Massage Treatments Available

  • Turkish Soap Masssage
  • Akkison Method
  • Swedish Massage
  • Aroma Massage
  • Deep Tissue massage
  • Lomi Lomi
  • Stone Therapy
  • Tandem (head & feet)
  • Two by Two Massage
  • Four handed Massage
  • Mother-to-be massage
  • Reflexology Massage
  • Foot Massage

Body Treatments

  • Exfoliating body scrub with aloe vera (local) for sun-lovers
  • Chocolate fancy body envelopment with aloe
  • Sea algae envelopment
  • Slim n sculpt sea secrets wrap

Oriental origin Treatments

  • Reiki
  • Shiatu
  • Thai massage
  • Indian head massage

Facial Traetments

  • Active facial hygene (personalize)
  • Facial for men
  • Combination skin facial
  • Vital eyes facial

Hydrotherapy/Special Treatments

  • Hydro massage sensory journey
  • Golfers energy

Lopesan also offer standars beauty treatments such as manicure/pedicure,depilation and waxing.

My spa experience was nothing short of perfect and I cant recommend it enough. I loved the way the design echoed nature and wasn’t too clinical. Its organic forms and natural materials allowed me to connect with the nature of Grand Canaria, Africa, Arabia and the ancient Himalayas of the far east. This is a spa experience that revives mind, body and soul and is a truly holistic experience.

Finally many thanks to the Official tourist board of Grand Canaria who made this spa trip possible.Also to the staff at the Lopesan Corrallium Coasta Meloneras Spa Hotel who were more than friendly. I’d recommend going there to everyone, its unforgettable. Your co-operation and hospitality was first class. For anyone wanting to experience this spa trip for themselves or the many other wonderful spas, natural treatments and  products of Grand Canaria. Please visit the ‘Wellness’ specific website.

click to get tourism info

If you want to find out more about all the islands and holistic wellness, click the photos to the official Canary Island tourist website.

GRAND CANARIA SPAIN -island of eternal sunshine & wellness…..

GRAND CANARIA



A little History

The island’s historians date back to the 17th century, with the first writings on the existence of medical spring water of heaven-sent qualities. These were springs from which the island’s first inhabitants drank a slightly carbonated liquid of rich mineral content that proved to be highly beneficial to their health.

                                  map showing Canary islands world location

During the second half of the 19th century, Gran Canaria was quite known to the wealthy tourists of northern and central Europe, who visited the island and took medicinal baths in the ancient resorts of Azuaje and Los
Berrazales, in the north of Gran Canaria, as they enjoyed the island’s excellent weather any time of the year.

Nowadays, those stately buildings are out of use, although highly-therapeutic water still flows in the ancient Doramas forest – where Azuaje was located -, at a spot that boasts the best of the islands’ fine weather.

Likewise, on the Los Berrazales ravine, at the seaside town of Agaete, we find the remains of the ancient resort of the same name, one that profited from a fertile valley with iron-filled spring water of great healing power for those suffering from rheumatism and stomach and lung ailments.

Apart from these traditional resorts, Gran Canaria was also viewed as one of the best health tourism destinations thanks to the great vision of Eduardo Filiputti, the Italian who built a heliotherapy centre in the Maspalomas Dunes during the 1960s. The spa – which made use of the beneficial effects of sun and sand – was brought down in 1990 as part of a plan to recover the ecosystem.

Today, one century and several decades later, Gran Canaria is consolidated as one of the most beneficial natural surroundings for the treatment of chronic diseases, or simply to recover vital energies thanks to a perfect combination of mild temperature, mineral-rich water, and privileged golden sand beaches

Beautiful protected Bio-spear & Natural plant health

Gran Canaria exhibits an authentic showcase of scenery, providing possibilities for one to appreciate the peculiarities of nature in the Micronesia and the wide variety of indigenous flora and fauna to their visitors.

This rich nature has contributed favourably to the fact that a great part of the geographical territory has been declared a Biosphere Reserve. Gran Canaria is the island with the most diverse milieus in the Micronesia, as a result of the centralised positioning it has in relation to the Micronesia and the Archipelago of the Canary Islands.

National Park- Dunas de Maspalomas
Above is the beautiful protected and designated natural park of Maspamolmas. Made up of undulating sand dunes and rare plants and birds.Its an amzing escape from the crazy hedonism of Playa de Ingles. The area covers 5 kms and is a great place for exercise, yoga and meditation.If you want you can even join the naturist’s! The park starts at the lighthouse on Meloneras beach and ends near the RUI Palace Hotel in Playa de Inglese. It is a great place to escape the winter and as the dunes are so large you can always find your own secluded spot.
Organic Aloe vera – the purest in the world from the Canary Islands
Aloe vera finds its perfect environment on Grand Canaria, with mild sunny winters and hot summers the plant thrives. You will notice it everywhere when you tour the island along with cactuses. The volcanic mineral rich soil
makes the aloe grown here the purest in the world and it is produced to strict organic standards. But what is exactly is aloe vera and how can is help your health?
Aloe vera is a plant in the desert lily family with a long history of medicinal use. It’s referenced in both the Bible and in Egyptian records as a topical treatment to help speed healing, and as a digestive aid. The fleshy leaves of the aloe vera plant contain a medicinal gel that has been used for centuries to help promote wound healing, soothe burns and reduce inflammation from minor irritants.
Because of its long history of use and anecdotal evidence, aloe vera gel is one of the most widely accepted folk remedies by the traditional medical community. Research into its properties and chemical composition support the traditional health benefits of aloe vera gel, but the most exciting research is advancing the theory that aloe vera gel may help boost the body’s immune system functions, and provide important protections against many common ailments. There is additional preliminary evidence that suggests aloe vera gel and aloe vera extract may reduce the size of tumors, and help slow the process of many degenerative and digestive related diseases.

What Aloe Vera Gel Can Do:
The gel of the aloe vera plant is made up of amino acids, minerals, and sugars that help the body ward off infection, repair damage to tissues and reduce inflammation. Aloe vera gel contains nearly a full complement of B complex vitamins, including B1, B2, B3, B6, as well as vitamin C, and choline. These vitamins help protect the body from damage and stimulate the immune system. Extract of the aloe vera plant also contains phytochemicals that may confer protection against cancer, inflammatory diseases of the intestinal tract and ulcers.
Topically applied, aloe vera helps heal wounds by stimulating cell production and providing nutrients that the body needs to manufacture new cells. It’s reported that one teaspoon of aloe vera gel extract contains more than 75 different chemicals that stimulate some biological reaction in the body. These reactions include binding oxidative cells, creating new cell walls and retarding the growth of cancerous cells.
It’s speculated that aloe vera juice helps to clean the intestinal tract, and soothes inflammations, offering relief in cases of inflamed bowel such as those seen in irritable bowel syndrome. The various phytochemicals and minerals may provide a boost to the immune system which in turn help relieve symptoms of allergy and asthma due to allergy. It also seems to offer relief to those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis when aloe vera juice is taken internally.

Health Benefits of Aloe Vera Gel:

Speeds the healing of burns and other wounds
The most commonly reported use of aloe vera gel is to speed the healing of burns, abrasions and other skin injuries. The extract of the aloe vera plant contains many of the enzymes and amino acids that the body uses to heal and repair cells. In one study of 27 people with first degree burns, those who were treated with aloe vera gel healed faster.
Relieve the symptoms of shingles
Topical application of aloe vera gel seems to ease the pain and inflammation caused by a shingles outbreak. There’s also evidence to suggest that it prevents infection of the blisters.
Reduce the symptoms of psoriasis
Aloe vera gel has been shown to relieve the symptoms of psoriasis in several studies. In one group 83% of those whose psoriasis was treated with aloe vera gel three times a day showed significant improvement. Less than 6% of those treated with a placebo showed any improvement at all of their condition.
Relieves the pain and symptoms of digestive inflammatory diseases
While the use of aloe vera gel taken internally for the relief of heartburn, ulcers and inflammatory bowel syndrome goes back as far as the 6th century BC, it is only recently that traditional medicine is catching up. The results of preliminary studies are promising and support the traditional uses of aloe vera gel. In one Japanese study, for instance, 17 of the 18 patients who were given an aloe vera supplement showed some improvement in the symptoms of their peptic ulcer.
The perfect temperature & one of the worlds best climates


According to a study conducted by Dr. Thomas Whitemore, a US climatologist, which compared 600 cities from around the world, the capital of Gran Canaria was identified as the city with the “best climate in the world”! Because of its oceanic subtropical climate that is primarily determined by the Trade winds, the climate on Gran Canaria is wonderfully pleasant throughout the year.

In winter, temperatures remain at 20°C and in summer at 25° (in the shade). This means that in the height of summer, when temperatures in Turkey or Morocco climb above 40° and many people begin to experience circulation problems, the Trade winds assure that it is always pleasant on Gran Canaria. As a rule, you can say that the sun shines on more than 300 days a year! If it is raining, the rain comes in short bursts of heavy showers, 20, 30 minutes and that’s it.

Gran Canaria has special attractions in every season. September and October are particularly delightful months. Water temperatures are then still between 23 and 25 degrees, air temperatures range from 25 to 30 degrees during the day (in the shade) and there are heavenly, mild summer evenings that can be experienced in a T-shirt or a light sweater thrown over the shoulders. In fall, the water temperature stands at 23 to 25 degrees – about 3 to 4 degrees warmer than during the months of March, April and May.

Gastronomy and foodie heaven
The  traditional cuisine of Grand Canaria combines traditional Spanish recipes with African and Latin American influences. Produce is 90% fresh and locally grown as the year round sun allows for it! Local markets are buzzing and still its the fashion to shop locally and organic produce meat,fruit and veg are demanded by the people. Like in mainland Spain food is a serious issue. So while there try to visit a local market, you will be amazed by the array of things on offer.
Favourites include the canarian mini-banana, mango, aloe vera, pinapple and avocado all locally grown. You will taste the difference and supermarket fruit will never be acceptable after.The basis of Canarian cuisine is a variety of fresh vegetables, fruit and fish, generally light meals, more easy to digest in a warm climate. Meat is usually consumed as a part of stews or as steaks.
Traditional Canarian food
One of the best-known traditional dishes from Tenerife are the Papas Arrugadas(wrinkled potatoes), made of potatoes boiled in salted water, served with two delicious “mojos” (sauces): the mojo picón (spicy sauce) and the mojo verde (green sauce).
  Mojo green and red is served with all foods in the Canary islands. Patatas Arrugas’ (wrinkled potatoes) is also a tradition.
If you are a fish lover you will be delighted in the Canary Islands. Among the most typical regional recipes are Caldereta and Sancocho Canario, salted fish in a “mojo” sauce. You will find a wide variety of international recipes of fish and seafood, too.
Among vegetarian dishes Potaje de Berros, a hot pot of chickpeas, is perhaps the best known.
The most typical dessert is “bienmesabe”, a mixture of honey, almond cream, eggs and rum,but you’ll also find a wide choice of tropical fruits, like mangoes and paw paw. “Platanos Fritos”, fried bananas, are also worth tasting, as is the local goat cheese.
The Tapas concept is one of the most delicious Spanish contributions to international gastronomy. A Tapa is a light and small piece of food that Spaniards have either before lunch or dinner, usually with a glass of wine or beer. The Tapa can be presented in several ways: as a pincho (with a stick), as a mini-dish of a traditional recipe, as a canapé, etc…
The luscious and palatable Canarian cuisine is based on natural products: exotic fruit, a large variety of cheeses, fish of excellent texture, vegetables grown on hill summits and mid-slopes, and exquisite meats …

Dishes of long tradition such as the renowned wrinkled potatoes with mojo sauce can be tasted at any point on the island, or you can go for a healthier and more balanced item such as vegetable, watercress, or caper pottage.



 Cultural travellers will find plenty of museums, churches and historic cities to explore, and will have the chance to immerse in the atmosphere of the colourful and cosmopolitan capital of Las Palmas. With the proper means of transportation you can explore the island in 3 days, indulge in sun baking or simply blend with the environment, or fully enjoy your vacation and have fun.
The attractions that Gran Canaria offers are more than enough – a Cathedral from the XVI-XVII century, San Antonio monastery, Santo Domingo square, as well as the house of Columbus, located in the capital of Las Palmas. The great explorer visited the islands on his way to the New World in 1492 and stayed for about a month in the Governor’s house – a small three-storey house in Spanish style. The name of the governor is forgotten, but the glory of Columbus has spread over this house. The house-museum has a collection of items from his era as well as several items that once belonged to him. Of great interest is also the Bandama crater, over 1 km wide and 200 meters deep.  You will find on its bottom a fruit farm with a neat building. Nature lovers shouldn’t miss Parque Rural del Nublo at the foot of Pico de las Nieves, which is rich in species typical of the archipelago.
Extremely interesting is the origin of the name – Gran Canaria. Everything started from the bloodthirsty dogs – called kanis, worshipped by the first settlers of the islands – guanchite. Before the Canary Islands were known as “islands of prosperity” and “Happy Islands”, which among other things, best describes them even today. Their beauty can not be described, you just have to go there and experience this unforgettable world.
Gran Canaria has many natural resources, in addition to its beaches, and this is the perfect place to go back to nature. A tourist may chose from visiting beautiful natural regions, practicing adventure sports or just watching hundreds of unique native species. In Gran Canaria, anything is possible for those wishing to become one with Mother Nature.
Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, also known as Las Palmas is the administrative center of the Province of Las Palmas on the island of Gran Canaria. Las Palmas offers excellent hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, exhibition galleries, intense social life and a calendar full of festivals throughout the year. A must see part of this modern and vibrant city is the old part Vegueta where one can find wonderful old houses with impressive courtyards and artistically constructed balconies overlooking narrow streets and internal squares. In the Old City can be found a great number of important landmarks such as the Neo-Gothic Cathedral, the house of Columbus, the residence of the first governor of the island, which is a wonderful building, the Canary museum possessing the most complete collection traces left by the Guanches – the people who inhabited the island before the Spaniards. There are also many interesting churches, a museum of fine arts, the Perez Galdos Museum and Nestor Museum. In the beautiful park Dormas there is an area called the Canary village, created by Nestor. Here is shown the Canary architectural style and the scenic backdrop of the village is used for musical and dance performances.
Nature in the area is magnificent. The city has five main beaches offering great attractions, picturesque parks and botanical gardens. Like anywhere else in Spain, Las Palmas also has a festival that is one of the most colorful events on the island and is known worldwide, while in June is celebrated the festival of San Juan – the founder of the city.
Spa & wellness in prefect harmony with nature



Grand Canaria is a holisic health heaven. From its natural landscape that revives your soul to it s super sleek 5 star eco-spa retreats it utilizes all its natural resources to  bring you the ultimate organic experience.Using natural plants such as Aloe vera you can wrap you body or bath in thalasso therapy pools which are rich in volcanic mineral and excellent for skin,bone and muscle health. Eating a raw or all organic diet is easy here as fresh local organic produce is in abundance all year round. So you can be healthy from the inside out! For me this is a big plus and im even considering re-locating here one day! Living here really does add years to your life and slows your ageing clock.Health tourism is one of the oldest forms of tourism known in the world. The first tourists who came to Gran Canaria – around the second half of the 19th century – belonged to the so-called health tourism. These were people who suffered from their lungs, stomachs and nerves, having been attracted to the islands by the stories of miracle cures that were circulating throughout Europe, and even by the advice of the doctors themselves, who recommended the climate and mineral waters of Gran Canaria.
                                    The himalayan crystal room at the Lopesan spa
                     The Lopesan Costa Meloneras is one of the top spa hotels on the island
Check out the official wellness Canary tourism website: http://www.grancanariawellness.com/
Today, a century and some decades later, Gran Canaria maintains its prestige as a health resort and a place to rest, having developed a wide range of services and facilities for consultations and the treatment of different disorders or just to pamper your body and relax as an alternative to conventional tourism.
On the island, you can find spas whose waters are rich in minerals and blended with sea water. They are ideal for rehabilitation treatments, acute rheumatism, ulcerated lesions, skin and bone disorders as well as fatigue and stress. In these spas you can find all kind of techniques and services ranging from algae wrap, sea mud, hydrotherapy, salt bath, bandages with aromatherapy, mud bath to thalassotherapy, thermotherapy, pressotherapy or lymphatic drainage, reflexotherapy, chyromassage, specific massages, vichy shower, turkish bath, jacuzzi, sauna, swimming pool with jets, and so on….
But Gran Canaria is a destination for health tourism for more reasons than just its specialised centres. The entire island is a paradise where you can forget about stress, exhaustion, the need to break away and all the ailments that are provoked by the daily hustle and bustle. All you need is a therapeutic walk on the golden sands of the island’s expansive beaches, or a swim in its warm and crystal-clear waters, which is charged with iodine, sodium and other elements that are beneficial for the body, or to be oxygenated by some contact with nature, where you cannot help but relax.
For all the travel, culture, gastronomy and wellness news you need on Grand Canaria visit
Look out for my next post for an exclusive spa review of the Lopesan Costa Meloneras Spa.

NATUROM SKINCARE RANGE: the art of Science and Nature

Naturom is an innovative high quality skin care and cosmetic brand that utilise the natural power of nature with the advances of modern science. Founded by a collective of health professionals including a Surgeon Dentist, a Medical Dr, Biologist,Cosmetologist and Beauticians it has been designed to give you visible results and new confidence in your skins appearance.  Naturom has fulfilled a previous gap in the market in so far as that it offers a skincare range that is made using herbal extracts in high dilutions selected exclusively by Medical Doctors. You can have total reassurance that the products you use have been extensvly researched and refined by a team of leading experts.

NATUROM is a fusion of science and nature

Naturom are also an ethically based company and on the home page of their company website http://www.naturom.com/index1.html they proudly tell you about their continuous donations to the ‘Rain Forest Aliance’ which is a green charity set up to help protect the worlds most vulnable rainforset areas. As Naturom products are made using the finest organic plant extracts from around the world  protecting the ecology and environment is very important to them. This ethical background means that a portion of the money you spend with them will go back into preseving this wonderful world we live, which is very important to eco-concious customers.

For more information on what the alliance does go to http://www.rainforest-alliance.org/

Naturom products are high end because they dont compromise on quality, prices reflect the scientific research, highest quality natural herbal extracts and modern innovation.

Naturom Facts

NO                                                                                                               YES

  • mineral oil                                                                  authentic raw herbal extracts
  • parabens                                                                   edible oils, biologic origin
  • isothiazolineone                                                        organic herbal extracts
  • animal derived bi products                                        quality ingredients

We prefer to use expensive edible oils and other precious ingredients, cutting down on our profit, because we consider it wise to gain average profit from a larger number of satisfied customer”.  Naturom spokes person

organic olive oil extract is used

As founder and surgeon dentist Sofia Vasilara says

Naturom doesnt make simple products, it makes innovations”………..

How Science & Nature harmonise in NATUROM

Naturom has a complete range of skincare systems to suit you whatever your skin type is. It is made up of an extensive range, all of which use natural plant,mineral and oil extracts. These advanced technology formulas have all been thoroughly tested according with E.U safety standards. They contain no animal bi-products ( apart from the caviar range).The oils thats are used such as olive oil, soya oil and sunflower oil are all sorced from organic origin and biologically cultivated. The result is that these products contain high natural extracts in dilutions rarefactions. You will feel the difference in your skin quickly. Its important to remember that up to  70% of what we put on our skin enters our blood-stream. Naturom uses edible grade oils that are totally safe.

Scientific studies have shown the following benifits and significant observations when using NATUROM products:

  • reduction in wrinkles
  • immidiate long-term firming
  • deep nutrition and toning
  • decreased skin stress
  • reduction in eye puffiness and black circles
  • immediate tightening of the epidermis
  • effective uva/uvb protection
  • anti oxidant and free radical effect
  • enhanced dermal microcirculation/elasticity
  • dermal collagen synthesis
  • increased dermal cell oxygen consumption
  • activation of dermal metabolism
  • authentic herbal extracts in high dilutions
  • strict microbiological testing according to E.U standards.
  • only company to use all edible oils!
  • anti-aging through use of live,edible precious oils.essential amino acids,and biological origin oils.

The range is so extensive and presented in luxury gold packaging and colour coded so its easy to identifie the different products that NATUROM offers.

I was sent two products to test and decided to use them both for a month before I wrote my  review. The first was a day cream in a pump-action slimline bottle -WYETHIA Advanced Moisture Cream. The second was MYRTUS PLUS PURIFIYING VITAMIN FACE MASK which is used with select fresh fruit extracts. Both products supassed my expectations and you could smell and feel the active botanical extracts at work!

WYETHIA DAY CREAM

This advanced moisurising non-oily day cream is from the ‘Exotic herb’ range that NATUROM do. It has a nice light creamy consistency and spreads evenly over the skin. A little goes a long way and you feel immediate hydration. Its great for combination skin such as my own as it doesnt clog pores, especuially on the troubled T-zone area. After a week I noticed an increased glow to my skins surface and the epidermis retained a higher moisture level even against the harsh extreams of a northern european winter. In winter our skin experiences quick changes of artificial heat from centarl healting in our houses to the cold winds of outside. This cream forms a thin barrier on the surface of your skin and can be used under makeup as extra protection from the elements. NATUROM describe it as being aimed at ‘young, tiered,dry or less-young skins’. Certainly its suited to young or middle aged skins, however if you have a dry skin you may prefer a more moisurising cream from their range.

WYETHIA cream had specific effects on my skin and its collagen felt plumper,the texture was smoother after only 3 weeks and it maintained my much needed moisture levels. The cream contains herbal/flower extracts of philyra and calendula flower which calm and smooth, reducing irritation and redness.The Calendula flower has been used since ancient Greek times as an anti-inflammatory and calming ointment. Philyra is very hydrating and firming and has an anti-oxidant effect on the skin cells. I continue to use this day cream and couldn’t be happier.

calming calendula flower

MYRTUS PLUS PURIFYING VITAMIN FACE MASK

This is a high-end home use salon standard face mask. The tub is a good size and it will last you around 3-4 months depending on how many applications you do a week. It is based on the Ivy plant which has strong regenerative properties.MYRTUS PLUS  mask is a non-drying base mask that you can add your own fresh fruit juice too. It s a great idea that gives you control over the effect you want the mask to have. For example if you have very dry skin you could blend the masks paste with some fresh avocado or banana. If you want a slight exfoliate effect use papya juice/pulp. I used fresh orange juice from valencia oranges as they have a toning effect and are high in anti-oxidants. My skin is not very sensitive so this suited me perfectly. If you have a more sensitive reactive skin stay away from very acidic fruit juices as they may cause redness. Instead stick to avocado, banana or apricot. There are many fresh fruits that are benificial to feeding your skin and the internet will offer you lots of information on this subject This site is fun and gives you a list of fruits and their associated benifits.http://funnfud.blogspot.com/2008/06/natural-fruit-facials-healthy-skin-glow.html

MYRTUS is a non-drying mask

The mask does not dry to a hard clay as it is made using organic olive oil but it is purifying. Previously I have always used rather harsh clay based products, either dead sea mud or rassoul clay. They draw out toxins as they dry but also strip your skin of all moisture. The MYRTUS MASK is unique as it cleanses whilst not drying.It enlivens your skin, I added fresh orange juice and made a paste. I applied it to freshly cleansed skin and left it for 20 minutes or until most of the white cream had sunk in and become semi-transparent. The olive oil present in the mask plumped up my skin and the organic aloe extract calmed it. It has a very fresh clean herbal smell and off white look. The mask also contains sea plant extracts that deliver proteins and amino acids to your skins epidermis (top layers). Beech extract offers an ani-ageing factor and pure bees wax hold the ingredients together in a balm. This balm-like quality mean that the mask is easy to applie and doesn’t drip on clothes.

organic aloe is calming

I added fresh orange juice to MYRTUS mask vitamin c and aha's

The mask which I used twice a week for a month gave my skin a very healthy glow. It had a relaxing aromatherapy effect and as it was non-drip you could carry on normal everyday tasks whilst it worked its wonder. Using it with fresh orange juice gave a lift to my sun-damaged skin and evenen out the tonal imperfections. I definatly recommed this mask to people of all skin types as it is so gentle and non -drying. The innovation of using fresh fruit juice power with the NATUROM cream mask base is genius and gives you potent vitamin facials that you create at home. Fruit extracts added during the manufacturing process loose their potency and vitamin c is very unstable. The NATUROM mask acts as a carrier agent to the fruits vitamin and AHA properties and delivers them straight into your skin.

Overall I was very satisfied with the products I sampled. Naturom is a modern, quality, and innovative company who make it their mission to deliver you the best user-friendly products and source the finest natural plant/herbal/oil extracts from around the globe and bottle them for you in convenient attractive packaging. The range has something for all skin types and has an intentional dedicated client base. For a more information and complete product listings visit http://www.naturom.com/index1.html