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Archive for November, 2009

Spa Light On Paulette Lambert

spalightpaulette Spa Light On Paulette Lambert


Paulette Lambert, L.D. CDE, leads the nutrition programs at The California Health & Longevity Institute, where her classroom is a spacious demonstration Wellness Kitchen. There, guests and program participants have the ability to learn about ways to eat healthier and to make changes in the way they prepare food in their own homes. Ms. Lambert brings more than 30 years of experience to this role, with the last 27 spent in a private practice. Her experience is in clinical nutrition, specializing in development of dietary plans that fit an individual’s lifestyle and medical needs. She has implemented various wellness programs and has been involved in development of healthy lunch programs for schools.


The California Health & Longevity Institute gathers certified experts in medicine, nutrition, fitness, and life balance, enhanced by the most advanced medical technology available. Comprehensive fitness facilities, spa treatments, and accommodations at Four Seasons Hotel Westlake Village  are also available under one roof.


How did you decide to embark on a career in nutrition?

I was a political science major in the mid ’70s, hoping to be a teacher.  At that time, however, they were predicting few teaching jobs available, so I changed my major in my junior year of college. This was right in the middle of the hippie era, when organic foods were becoming more popular. Since I always loved cooking and have always been a real foodie, I considered dropping out of college and going to culinary school. I decided it would be in my best interest to finish college, since I had already completed three years, so I looked for a major that would involve food and teaching. Many told me that nutrition was just a fad at the time; it turned to be a great fad! Thirty years later science is continually finding that good nutrition is a major cornerstone to good health.


Give an insider’s look at the importance of nutrition for overall health.

Scientific evidence has long linked good nutrition to overall health and longevity. When all essential nutrients are provided to the body, it can carry out its normal functions. Good nutrition provides the body with energy; it’s the fuel that keeps your engine running. The better the fuel, the more efficient the engine runs. Optimal nutrition provides the raw materials for growth and repair, functions that are needed throughout a lifetime. Good nutrition provides the body with compounds that act like a catalyst, making certain reactions occur, such as breaking down food into usable energy or muscles contract. Other compounds such as minerals become structural components of the body, such as calcium in the bones. Antioxidants ward off disease and protect the body from pollutants in the environment. The role of good nutrition is complex and is of utmost important in maintaining good health and longevity.


Is a healthy diet only for the wealthy?

Absolutely not!  For most of us, protecting our health is a good investment. Why spend money on health care that would not be needed if we had better nutrition? Studies have shown that a less rich diet that consists of fewer processed foods, smaller amounts, less sugar, and less fat can actually be healthier. Many parts of the world that are not wealthy have better diets than the average American! Beans, lentils, simple whole grains, with only small amounts of more expensive animal protein, are actually better for you. If you add a large amount of fruit and vegetables that are seasonal, it would be the ideal for most everyone, and you can eat this way very cheaply!


Can you provide tips for healthy nutrition for those on tight budget?

First, use some sources of plant proteins; they are not only less expensive, but also better for you. Try beans, lentils, nut butter, seeds and nuts, and soy products.


Buy fresh produce seasonally. This is much less expensive than shopping for out-of-season produce that has been shipped from around the world, and it’s more nutritious as well (not to mention it reduces the carbon footprint). Buy inexpensive frozen fruit and vegetables when what you want is out of season.


Buy store brands. Ninety-five percent of the time they are equal in quality and can save you a lot of money in a year!


Spend money on food that has the highest nutritional benefit. If money is tight, limit the non-nutrient foods to one or two items per week. Americans spend a huge amount of money on processed foods with little or no nutritious value.



What does it mean to have a “balanced life”?

To me a balanced life is living a complete,  full  life with all areas working in conjunction with each other.  It means not letting one part dominate totally to the point that other important aspects, such as health and family, suffer. It means riding the ups and downs and staying as centered as possible. I like to think it of it as a wonderful symphony full of ups and downs, moving slowly and quickly, changing all the time, but all working together.


What are the top five nutrient myths that you would like to debunk?


Coffee is bad for you. New studies show that two cups of coffee per day decrease risk factors for diabetes by 40 percent because of the high antioxidant level. If you have high blood pressure or are sensitive to caffeine, drink decaf.


That food advertised as “natural” is better for you. This claim is one of the most misleading ones used in marketing at this time. Natural does not mean good for you. Lard is natural, and so is sugar, so go figure!


Eating large amounts of animal protein is good for you. Most Americans eat too much protein, and that contributes to obesity, heart disease, and cancer. The average man needs only 8 to 10 ounces per day; the average women, only 6 to 8 ounces. Most of us eat that in only one meal. The body cannot use excessive protein, so it is turned into energy, and if it is not expended, it is stored as body fat. All animal proteins contain some saturated fat. If a high level of increased saturated fat is in the diet, it can lead to heart disease.


That frozen fruit and vegetables are less nutritious than fresh. They are not!  In fact, if the fresh ones are not in season, frozen fruits and vegetables are actually better for you. Many of the produce sold in our markets that is out of season was picked unripe before the full nutrient content could be developed, and then shipped thousands of miles to the stores.


Salads are always the best choice when dining out if you are trying to reduce your weight. Most entrée salads in restaurants are higher in calories than a burger and fries because of the large amount of salad dressing. The average large entrée salad has 500 to 600 calories of dressing, equivalent to 10 teaspoons of butter! Order the dressing on the side and limit it to 2 tablespoons for a healthier, lower calorie entrée.



How important are spas in a healthy lifestyle?

Spas help individuals focus on a healthier lifestyle. They incorporate stress management, fitness, and good nutrition. They can provide that supportive environment that is needed to focus on change. Studies have shown that those who go to spas on a regular basis are more aware of their bodies and are more actively engaged in taking care of themselves.


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Susie Ellis to Preview SpaFinder’s 2010 Spa Trends at Free Webinar

top10Join SpaFinder’s Susie Ellis on December 7, 2009, at 1:00 pm PST for a free webinar sponsored by UC Irvine Extension. Ellis will be giving attendees an exclusive preview of the annual “Top 10 Spa Trends to Watch” for in 2010—a forecast much anticipated by global spa and wellness executives and regularly covered by the press including the New York Times, US News & World Report, USA Today, and major newspapers worldwide.


Credited with having forecast numerous industry “mega-trends”—from the wider shift from “pampering” to wellness, to the continued interweaving of medicine and spas, to the impact of spa on design and cuisine—Ellis will spotlight just-emerging new concepts impacting spa, wellness, fitness, and the ever-evolving consumer that should shape the industry next year and beyond.


To register for the online presentation, please click here and find the ‘Exclusive Preview of SpaFinder’s Top Spa Trends for 2010.’


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He Loves His Job and It Shows: A Lesson in Customer Service

SFcustomerservice2By Milana Knowles


A couple of weeks ago a flight attendant on a Delta flight affirmed my opinion of what it takes to serve with excellence. A young man dressed in a cancer prevention–logo T-shirt and jeans personified the energy and spirit you want all the people working with you to have. Guess what: For once, someone was having fun at his job. The flight attendant was genuine, attentive, and creative, and he made this otherwise ordinary flight unforgettable.


Those who know me know that I am not a big fan of flying. Everything about flying—from food to delays to turbulence—is something I can do without. But what had all the makings of a long and torturous flight turned out to be anything but. He was working this overbooked plane like a master maître d’, giving all of us equal attention, making eye contact, collecting money for cancer research and prevention, telling jokes. Could it be that someone actually liked his job working as a flight attendant?


He stood in sharp contrast to the other three attendants, who chose to wear their regular uniform, although the airline apparently offered the option of wearing the pink ribbon T-shirt and jeans. Not only did they not follow suit of this exuberant colleague, but they even looked annoyed at his ability to engage the passengers. They seemed to be even grumpier than grumpy. When I requested my Coke without ice, the guy serving me barked at me as if I’d asked him to bring me a steak au poivre.


Anyway, this got me thinking. You may not expect—or even like—the attendants to be entertaining, but you cannot deny the value of a truly genuine person. I always thought that it takes more energy to be unpleasant than it takes to be nice and try to have fun while doing your job. There is so much to be said for the person on your team who truly gives a damn.


It is what makes one place of business more successful than the other. It is what makes people come back for more. It is the whole point of a service business. If we could have more people like John, the Delta flight attendant, we would all have a lot more customers, even in these tough times.

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SpaFinder Gift Cards Launch in Germany and Spain

germangcSpaFinder Gift Cards have launched in Germany and Spain, just in time for the busy holiday gift-giving season. This new distribution means that SpaFinder cards can now be found in an additional 15,000 stores across Europe and that you could soon be seeing German and Spanish nationals visiting your spa with Euro 25 and 50 gift cards! Simply use the current exchange rate to establish the value of the card in USD and redeem as usual.

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Harnessing the Power of Change—SpaFinder’s Red Mountain Event Recap


By Milana Knowles


This past October, SpaFinder held its ninth annual educational event at Red Mountain Spa, with the theme of harnessing the power of change.


The event brought together spa industry leaders, business owners, and spa-goers from all over the United States and Canada. When I first thought about the theme for this year’s conference, I couldn’t help but think of the effects this past year had on all of us. CHANGE seemed to be the common thread in all of our lives—in business and in attitude.


It seemed that those who most successfully overcame the challenges of change were the ones who most readily embraced it and found ways to use it—to reinvent, renew, and realign both their lives and careers. I set out to gather a group of people who would speak about change from different perspectives and share their views on how to capture and use change to power their business and reinvent their personal lives.


The event’s keynote speaker this year was famed broadcast journalist Joan Lunden. Joan delivered a powerful and inspiring message on change and transition. Although Joan left ABC’s Good Morning America more than 13 years ago, her star power has not diminished.


She started her speech with a quote that resonated with all the listeners: “A bend in the road is not the end of the road, as long as you remember to turn.” How true. Who better to speak on change and the opportunity it brings than Joan? She spoke about the challenges she faced at Good Morning America and her life after the show with her husband and seven children. (That’s right—seven children, including two sets of twins under the age of 7!)


Joan’s no-nonsense life and success strategies resonated with the audience, as she shared some of the rules she has applied to her career and life in general. Here are just a few that stuck with me:


  • Embrace change. Don’t be paralyzed by fear of the unknown 
  • Always say YES, and then figure out later how you are going to do it
  • Remove failure as an option
  • The power of a positive attitude and wearing a smile—a simple secret to success
  • The most important opinion is the one you have of yourself
  • Discover your joy and passion and pursue it
  • Opportunities are all around us and are seldom labeled as such
  • Count your blessings
  • It is never trespassing when you cross your own boundaries


Life coach, motivational speaker, and recovering attorney Cindy Clemons shared with the SpaFinder group some of the strategies from her book, Life is a Do-over, that may help us lead a more productive life:


  • De-clutter. While this is not a new concept, Cindy offered an interesting approach and suggested that one needs not do it all at once, but dedicate some time daily (10 minutes) to organizing and de-cluttering


  • Take a few minutes a day to take three deep breaths (scientifically proved to release stress) and quieting your mind on a daily basis 


  • Get rid of energy vampires, people in your life who are not interested in you but take a lot of your time and energy


Sharing her knowledge of social as well as old-fashioned networking was Spa Buzz president Kristi Konieczny. Kristi talked about the benefits and pitfalls of social networking and pointed out how important it is today to connect with new people, share information, and add to professional development by keeping in touch with peers and consumers. Kristy also touched upon potential pitfalls of networking such as:


  • Sticking only with people you already know
  • Talking too much
  • Trying to “sell”
  • Breaking into personal conversation, not related to business
  • Not following up fast enough


Dan Chandre, VP of Operations at SpaBooker, shared with attendees an impressive presentation on the benefits and challenges of membership programs in spas. There was not a spa operator in the room who was not intrigued with the possibility of creating their own membership program and opening a path for a new revenue-generating alternative.


Providing an intriguing presentation was Rhana Pytell, president of the Green Spa Network and owner of Gaia Spa in San Diego. Rhana’s presentation focused on reconnecting with your passion and engaging with one’s to-do list in a spiritual way. Her latest project includes the creation of the inner bagua and finding “being” in all of our “doing.” We all engaged in the exercise of finding out what is on our to-do list and how we can expand or contract Chi (good and bad energy) in the key areas, or “harvests,” of our life.


Rhana emphasized the importance of being grateful and giving back to our community and taking care of the planet. Her involvement in and profound knowledge of green practices are inspiring, and we were made to understand the connection with the planet we live in and the importance of implementing practices to protect it.


To learn about yield management and the subject of revenue, we turned to Kimberly Matheson Shedrick, president of Natural Resources Spa Consulting. We are all aware of the seismic shifts and changes in the marketplace, and Kimberly offered some advice on how to adjust and adapt to the changes. She spoke about the importance of retail sales, group sales, and targeting new markets—including the bridal market—and emphasized the value of the local community and reaching out to the local consumers.


Kim also discussed expanding the customer base by developing special offers for men, minorities, and teenagers, and even children’s programs for some spas. She encouraged the spa owners to create value, to customize and personalize service. It is crucial to be creative with pricing and promote added value over straight discounting.  


For some PR advice, we brought in Christine King, president of TMG International. With a roster of recognizable and distinguished clients, Christine was an ideal person to speak about public relations: why we need PR, what is good PR, and how to find a perfect PR company for our business. 


Christine not only is a wealth of useful tips and advice, she also embodies the qualities we all look for in a PR person. She is confident, tenacious, and knowledgeable about the industry. Christine strongly encouraged spa owners to maximize the results from events by publicizing them and leveraging the spa’s brand, the only way to invest resources wisely.


When it comes to getting the most out of a PR company, she advised owners to find that unique quality of their product that sets them apart and engage the PR company to help them define it and therefore set the brand apart from the competition.


For more information and video recordings of some of these presentations, check out our partner pages starting in January.


Share with us your stories about change, the challenges it brought, and your stories of success in harnessing its power. Email them to


My best wishes for your journey through change,


Milana Knowles

VP, Spa Sales and Marketing

SpaFinder, inc.


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SpaFinder Introduces NEW Online Instant Gift Certificates

SpaFinder is excited to announce the launch of our new online instant gift certificates. Beginning November 23, consumers will be able to order SpaFinder gift certificates and have them sent electronically—without the need for conventional shipping—ultimately sending more consumers through your door. 


Just in time for the holiday season, SpaFinder online instant gift certificates will make giving the gift of spa faster and easier than ever before, perfect for those last-minute shoppers and consumers who are looking for convenient shopping experience in the comfort of their own home.


Since recipients of the instant gift certificate will have the ability to print them out, we need to introduce a special processing policy, which requires that you REDEEM the instant gift certificate BEFORE providing a service. 


This will ensure that your spa accepts only valid instant gift certificates and that you avoid any redemption difficulties. SpaFinder cannot issue payment for invalid instant gift certificates, should you not follow the new redemption policy.


We are making the instant gift certificate redemption easy! When a customer brings in an instant gift certificate, you can redeem the certificate either by calling our 24-hour automated calling center at 877.803.0684 or by logging in to your SpaFinder account


In case you need assistance, the program will offer a live 24/7 customer service option.


SpaFinder is excited about this new opportunity to drive more business to your spa. We hope that the launch of the instant gift certificates contributes to your successful holiday season!




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Marketing Idea of the Month—Are You Communicating with Your Customers?

How you communicate with your customers is just as important as what you communicate. Here are some things you should always keep in mind when communicating with your clients.


  • Value your customers. Let your clients know that you think they are special. Reward them for their loyalty—create membership rewards programs to thank them.


  • Educate your customers. Offer expertise they cannot get in a department store. Explain how your product or service benefits them: how it can satisfy a need, solve a problem, or give them added value.


  • Listen to your customers.  According to a recent UCLA study, 7 percent of communication is verbal, 38 percent is tone of voice, and 55 percent is nonverbal. Take note of customers’ tone and body language.


  • Invite your customers back. This communication is all about lasting impressions. Motivate customers to come back by offering an incentive valid toward their next visit.
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We Want to Know: Take Our Poll

surveyboxDo you have an iPhone? If so, we would love to hear whether you would be interested in using your iPhone to submit SpaFinder gift certificates and cards for redemption.


 Please take a moment to take our poll. Who knows? One day soon you might be using your phone to get paid even more quickly!


Click here to take our quick survey


  1. Do you have an iPhone?
  2. Would you want to redeem SpaFinder Gift Certificates/Cards via iPhone?
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