This is my kind of “diet” food. Love their bento box!
Eclectic mix of classes:
Daily hikes– choices include everything from a silent, soul reviving meditation walk through the bamboo garden to powering your way up the mountain where you’re rewarded with a calorie-free stunning view when you reach the top. The Door promotes the 10,000 step program, which is based on numerous studies that show walking 10,000 steps a day (about 5 miles) will result in significant health benefits. If you amp it up to 12-15,000 steps, the pounds will really start falling off.
Tip: purchase a pedometer to clip on first thing in the morning to keep track of your steps, very motivating.
PS. Not to brag (oh hell, yes, to brag) I was awarded the highly coveted Golden Door Gold Seal of Approval “Hiking Honey” award at the final dinner, which made those 5:15 wake-up calls all the more worthwhile.
Zumba-a blend of salsa, hip-hop and and reggae moves paired with pulsating, hip- swerving music that will get even the most rhythmically-challenged white girl up and dancing. Exhilarating fun and a great calorie burner.
Other classes stress balance and posture, strength training, stretching, cardio (their boot camp will really kick your bootie) and water exercises.
Self defense- This should be a mandatory class for all women. It included important information about how to scope out sketchy situations, personal safety awareness and defensive techniques using improvised weapons. We left with a new sense of empowerment after Brendt, the kick-ass “drill sergeant” who looks like a cross between a Green Beret and a GQ model, taught us some Bash & Dash moves.
Inner you- After attending to the outer you, the Door also encourages focusing on the inner you with a full roster of mindful classes such as biofeedback from the heart, dream analysis, meditation, etc.
One not-to-be-missed standout, simply titled “How to Get Happy” was led by my new idol, Annharriet Buck, who I later found had served as the Director of the Door for decades. Over the years, Annharriet has been dispensing her pragmatic pearls of wisdom with clarity, kindness and a heaping dose of humor. She certainly plays a key role in the Golden Door’s successful 50-plus year reign.
My biggest “ah-ha” moment occurred the last evening during their special closing ceremony: a candlelit, meditation walk in the herb-scented Labyrinth, accompanied by soft music and my Yukata clad posse. We were each handed a piece of paper where we could write down any fears, problems or self-defeating thoughts we had. We then silently wound our way through the maze until we reached the middle of the labyrinth where we were handed a candle to burn the paper and release all the negativity in a puff of smoke.
Clothing optional…..not in the nudie way but in the free yourself from the stress of packing way. The Golden Door thoughtfully supplies all your spa wardrobe needs from a warm-up suit, t-shirts , tanks and shorts, sandals, tote bag, fanny pack and water bottle, the ever so glam- dinner Yukata as well as a heaver bathrobe. All you really need to bring is hiking shoes, aerobic shoes, some undies (they offer daily laundering) a swim suit, and that’s it.
Your bathroom is well stocked with nourishing Golden Door skincare and bath products. And you’ll definitely want to bring home the G.D. Signature Citrus/avocado/sea salt scrub after you experience how baby-butt soft your whole bod feels after just one treatment. As one repeat guest said “I’ve learned to leave all my make-up at home. I don’t think I’ve ever looked so bad or felt so wonderful.”
Fantastic group of women
I’m not sure if we just had an exceptionally great group of women my week (although I sense that’s probably the norm) but our Sisterhood of the Traveling Yukata really bonded and at the final dinner we were all sniffling and group-hugging as we promised to keep in touch. Our group included some very successful businesswomen (who could not have been nicer) such as one totally fab lady who one day sat down at her kitchen table to put together a bouquet garnie for a soup recipe which she then parleyed into a multi-million dollar spice business. The other extreme was a woman who wasn’t quite sure what her hubby did since his business was on the NYSE and therefore he couldn’t discuss work with his wife because of insider trading!
Although the reasons guests gave for their visit varied from wanting to lose a few pounds to mourning the loss of a loved one, the common denominator was that “I’m great at looking after the kids, my husband, my aging parents…but I finally decided that I need to learn how to look after ME!”
This won’t be where you’re going to find all walks of life…not with a hefty price-tag of $1000/day (although there are some special discount weeks). But for anyone who’s more financially- challenged, I’d suggest doing yourself the favor of a lifetime and start a G.D.H.I.C. (Golden Door- Here I Come) fund.
All too soon, my week was over and as I sadly put out my travel clothes to be cleaned and ordered my picnic lunch for the flight, I thought about what a past guest, Margie Brochert, had written:
The journey begins
Who knows where it will take you
Just come through the “doors”!
To plan your week at the Door or for more information visit the website at ,TheGoldenDoor.come-mail [email protected],
or call Debby at 800-424-0777 or 760-744-5777.