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How to Spa Between Travels

Spa Food at Home While In-Between Travels

by Jessica Howell

The perfect escape for many is found only in the confines of luxury destination spas, where decadent pampering and bodily bliss are blended to fulfill every weary traveler’s needs. These sought-after spa resorts boast the ability to restore body, spirit and mind, and have drawn a great number of devotees during the past decade, resulting in a spa “boom” across the United States.

Living in the lap of luxury, if only for a week, comes with plenty of perks. Typically, destination spas feature culinary masterpieces—guaranteed healthy—and prepared by award-winning chefs, as well as soothing body treatments and massages, outdoor activities and classes, and a perfectly relaxing atmosphere.

In short, the spa lifestyle is one not difficult to become accustomed to.

For those spa lovers who can’t frequent their favorite getaways as often as they’d like, and for those who simply can’t afford a week of rejuvenation, options are available.

Chef John Procacci, an award-winning former spa chef and Florida native, has recently launched his own line of organic, spa-inspired cuisine—for home delivery. Procacci’s company, Healthy Chef Creations, offers the simplicity, nutrition and refreshing taste of spa meals within the comfort and ease of one’s own home.

Based on five food principles, these whole grain, high-nutrient meals boast PhytoPower—which incorporates legumes, natural soy, nuts and seeds to reduce cancer risk—and FlaveRave, high flavonoid food sources that contain loads of antioxidants and great taste. Other highlights include free-range and organic proteins, meaning no hormones or antibiotics were used in animal meats.

Delivered to your doorstep, a week's worth of Chef Procacci’s meals arrive packaged in re-heatable containers and surrounded by ice. Delectable delights like the creamy Tomato and Cheddar Quiche (made with organic eggs, tomatoes, cheddar cheese and soy creamer), Mediterranean Chicken Wrap (in whole grain tortilla), and my favorite, Chicken Pasta Primavera (veggies and chicken on a bed of whole wheat pasta with lemon basic sauce) are available for inclusion in customized meal plans.

Simply pop into a microwave or oven and you’ll be enjoying spa-worthy cuisine in your own kitchen, in no time—no passport or plane ticket needed. Delicious and pleasantly proportioned (think smaller than “Hungry Man” and bigger than “Lean Cusine”), Proccacci’s home-delivery meal system is the ideal solution for spa-seekers between visits and makes dining simple and satisfying.

Breakfast pricing starts at $8.95, while lunches cost $9.95, and dinners range from $11.95-$15.95. (For more information, visit or call 1-866-575-Chef .)

Another option is to check for local meal planning services that specialize in healthy cuisine. Many such businesses offer customer pick up locations, cutting cost of shipping charges.

If home-delivered or prepared meals are too costly an option for you, consider culling your own talents with a copy of your favorite spa’s cookbook. Available at local bookstores, or online, most spas offer a collection of their most popular meals for purchase.

Our favorite’s include the following:

Canyon Ranch Cooks cookbook

Canyon Ranch Cooks
Canyon Ranch chefs and nutritionists blend innovative cuisine and expertise in this easy-to-use, hardcover cookbook. Featuring 214 new recipes from Bohemian Chicken Soup with Dumplings to Lemon Blackberry Pie, the book offers bright photos, provides handy guidance and lures timid cooks into the kitchen. Of course, nutritional analysis accompanies each recipe. (Find it here. $30)

Lake Austin FRESH cookbook

FRESH: Healthy Cooking and Living
Lake Austin Spa’s clean, refreshing cookbook, FRESH, features Chef Terry Conlan’s “nothing is forbidden” food philosophy. Combining flavor, texture and beauty in updated old favorites and new creations, FRESH features treats like Jerk Crusted Snapper with Bananas and Buttermilk Fig Cake.
(Find it here. $30)

Rancho La Puerta cookbook

Cal-a-Vie's Living Cookbook
Spa chef for 15 years, Steve Pernetti filled this beauty of book with over 100 tantilizingly nutritous recips. Find traditional hits like Spa Pizza and Tenderloin in Cabernet sauce among trendier takes on great goodies like Spicy Rock Shrimp Won Tons and Lobster Mashed Potatoes. (Find it here. $35)

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