Living the Spa Life
I'm no spa junky. If anything, I'm more of a junk-food junky. But everything I heard about the Aveda Spa Retreat in Osceola, Wisconsin, appealed to me: a pint-size spa located on 300 rustic acres, rooms decorated with antiques from around the world--no two are the same--and treatments that pamper not just the outer body (massages, facials and the like) but the inner body too (only organic food, mostly local, all delicious).
So I got on a plane to check in and check it out. I was eager to meet one of the forces behind Aveda, Creative Director Kiran Stordalen. I'd been told that Stordalen is the embodiment of Aveda's corporate philosophy: she uses the company's naturally derived beauty products, takes advantage of the spa facilities and has a strong sense of responsibility for her own health. Maybe, I thought, she could set me on the road to a balanced life.
This is what I discovered. As the person who signs off on Aveda's product design and packaging, Stordalen leads a life that's every bit as hectic as mine. Meetings all day. Long hours. Travel week after week. And yet she looks, well, healthy--kind of glowy. Part of her secret is clearly in the genes: she was tall, blonde and gorgeous before she met Horst Rechelbacher, Aveda's CEO and founder, more than 10 years ago. Another part is having Aveda's spa right down the street from where she lives. But there's also her diet, which, needless to say, interested me the most.
Stordalen starts her day with a smoothie and granola from Organica, the restaurant at the spa. She has a light lunch and finishes off with dinner at Organica, usually a Wisconsin fish, perhaps salmon or trout, simply cooked. Great ingredients don't need a lot of fussing. I followed Stordalen's regime for my 24 spa hours and brought the recipes from chefs Betsy Nelson and Jim Kyndberg back to the Food & Wine test kitchen in New York City. The dishes were so good that we decided to share them with you.
Here's a day's worth of recipes (including six of Kiran Stordalen's favorite smoothies) from Betsy Nelson, head of Aveda's food operations, with help from Jim Kyndberg, chef at the spa's Organica restaurant. They use only organic ingredients. For the cooking spray, they recommend filling a pump-spray bottle, such as Brown & Company's Donvier (905-475-6104), with organic oil.