In an ongoing series, Keren Weinstein, our Guest Life-Balance Editor, took a much needed trip. More than the need to go on vacation to a new locale, she wanted to find her own sense of balance and thus Project Detox began. Last week, we arrived in the gorgeous Desert Oasis of Tucson and today we continue with an interesting cocktail!
For me, the best part of the journey on the Loews Ventana Canyon (LVCR) ‘Window Trail’ (and the rest of the resort grounds) was the cocktail of the senses that seemed to bathe me with every step.
Healing. Organic. Aromatherapy.
…and I was soaking up every drop allowing it to hydrate my soul.
With 66 different types of plants and cacti native to the Sanoran Desert, identified on this trail, I was not only inspired visually, mentally & spiritually, but I also did much of my exploring closing my eyes and following the scents. According to LVCR, when they built the resort they relocated 3,500 cacti to preserve the natural environment. Nothing was destroyed. All was left for Me to enjoy.
Take a NYC girl that is obsessed with picking her own fruits and vegetables. Put her in the Sanoran Desert Oasis at the start of the bloom season for the Prickly Pear Cactus. Watch how quickly she finds ways to experience this fruit bearing cactus.
Thanks to my new “Old Pueblo” friend (Emilio the taxi driver/tour guide) I discovered a lot about this multi-use South Western Gem.
The Prickly Pear Cactus one of the most widespread cacti on Earth, with over 100 species, is edible, medicinal and is the state plant of Texas. The pad called ‘nopales’ is a signature vegetable for Mexicans that (raw) tastes like green beans or asparagus. It is eaten in many ways from raw, pickled or sautéed with garlic to scrambled eggs, salads, salsa & many Mexican dishes. The ripe prickly pear fruit (“tuna”) is sweet & juicy can be diced as toppings for yogurt, blended into a smoothie, made into a gelato, syrup, jelly, candy, alcohol, flour & tea. Low in calories & fat, it contains many essential vitamins and is rich in antioxidants.
Some herbal medicinal uses are believed to be for diabetes, cholesterol, colitis, viral infections, for first aid or as a mosquito repellant. Emilio tells me that people even eat Nopal prior to drinking to prevent hangovers.
If we are talking drinks, you must try the Prickly Pear Margarita at the LVCR Flying V Bar & Grill or their Cascade Lounge – Yum! I love how the LVCR infuses the indigenous nature into the character of their resort leaving you with a very unique experience.
For a more holistic approach to hydrating & mood lifting, the ‘Sanoran Desert Ultimate Rehydration Polish’ body treatment at the Loews Lakeside Spa gets you all ‘wrapped up’ in Prickly Pear. Since Project Detox was kicked off to infuse balance into my everyday life, clearly I had to get the bottle of the Prickly Pear Jojoba Body Butter that they use in this treatment from the Spa’s Boutique so that my body and soul can ‘drink’ from this hydrating cocktail.
Next round of cocktails on me.
Keren Weinstein is a seasoned professional in Fashion & Beauty with over 12 years in Integrated Marketing, Advertising and Celebrity Fashion Styling