Red Mountain Resort

By Erin Kingrey

ResortThe healthiest place on earth might well be the Red Mountain Resort. Until my stay at the St. George resort, I thought I knew about eating well and exercise - and I thought I did a pretty good job at both. I was wrong.

Upon checking into the spa, the guest services clerk reviewed the welcome packet with me. Everything seemed pretty standard - a map of the resort, schedule of activities, and information about the meals (three per day are included in the price of any stay) - until he pulled out a day planning worksheet (divided in half hour increments). I began to wonder what I had gotten myself into.

My first meal made me wonder even more. An immense buffet lay in front of me. Grated cheese, chopped meat, and even peas, were notably missing from the salad bar. In their place were squash strips, tofu, garbanzo beans, and oil-free salad dressings.

Dining Next to each serving dish was a card, detailing the nutritional information. I learned that each slice of cucumber added 5 calories to my salad, and honeydew is healthier than watermelon. I found self-inflicted guilt in choosing a high-calorie laden hard cooked egg (69 calories), and discovered truth in the old adage 'ignorance is bliss'.

Or is it?

By the end of my stay, I found there was something empowering about knowing exactly what I was eating, and in choosing the healthiest selections. Knowing the nutritional makeup of all the foods encouraged me to eat less. And I was surprised to find that at the end of each meal, I was full.

From gourmet-roasted duck, to vegan stir fry (including asparagus, brussel sprouts, and cauliflower), and blue corn pancakes with prickly pear sauce, the meal selections were both healthy and unique.

The Red Mountain experience isn't just about a healthy week or two - it's about making lifestyle changes. To help, classes (including one taught by the chef and resort nutritionist) are offered to teach guests how to take the lifestyle home with them. This is where the planner comes in handy! Starting at 6:00 am, and running all day, are numerous classes and activities, including yoga, weightlifting the "power circuit," guided hikes (for all levels of fitness), pilates, cooking, nutrition, mountain biking, "maintaining the miracle," and more...

To support the physical demands and changes, Red Mountain has a full-service spa and salon on the premises. The spa adds a spiritual connectivity to the physical changes, intended to help individuals become in tune with their bodies.

Hiking I tried a "sweet feet" treatment. More than a standard pedicure, it indulges the feet in a honey-butter and peppermint rub. The tingling sensation running through my feet and legs was enhanced as I watched the brilliant red sunset from the open window and listened to the cacophony of crickets below. The soothing experience allowed for a calm, comfortable peace to spread throughout my entire body.

While the Resort is a destination in itself, nearby attractions provide additional adventure. I spent a glorious afternoon in Zion National Park, riding the loop of the shuttle, and hiking. When I returned to the resort, I was exhausted and grateful to see my clean and comfortable room. I was even more grateful to have a balanced dinner waiting. It felt good to know that after all the exercise, I was continuing to take care of my body.

I don't know what I expected from Red Mountain Resort, but I think it was along the lines of rest and relaxation. My expectation was wrong - but not entirely.

Red Mountain is what you make of it. Go to bask in the beautiful scenery and hot sun. Or go to lose weight and jumpstart into a new, healthier lifestyle. Go for pampering at the spa, or for fitness adventures and instruction.

I went to relax. While I didn't find it due to all my "peaceful free time" - I was too busy for free time - I did find it in knowing that I was taking the best care of my body that I possibly could. And that should help anyone relax.

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