What inspired you to write a book about delicious and beautifully presented spa water?
My husband. On a weekend golf trip to the Hyatt Tamaya in New Mexico, I could not help but notice his frequent trips to the beautiful spa water server in the guest lobby. I have always nagged him about not drinking enough water, so this was a revelation! Upon arriving home, I couldn’t wait to purchase my own beautiful beverage server and a spa water recipe book so I could begin hydrating my family with healthy water recipes…only to be disappointed when my search turned up just one or two recipes online, but no book! So, I spent the next two years experimenting, researching and writing. With the support of my family, friends and neighbors Spa Water was born.
Spa water has rapidly become a phenomenon worldwide. What do you think sparked it?
A more health conscious society. We are becoming more aware of the many health benefits associated with hydration, and because spa water is so much more appealing than plain water, it makes it more tolerable to get the recommended six to eight glasses each day.
How does spa water help sustain essential elements imperative for a healthy life?
Dr Rob Parker (my family’s wellness doctor) writes in my book foreword that there are three essential elements necessary for our bodies to sustain life. In order of necessity, they are air or oxygen, water, and nutrition from food. Spa water contains two of the three elements—water and nutrition from food. When you infuse water with food, you get hydration with an infusion of whole food nutrition that is perfect in every way.
You seem passionate about increasing awareness for the work that’s being done by the Love/Avon Army of Women in the fight to eliminate breast cancer. How does this tie in with Spa Water and why this organization?
I am a breast cancer survivor. Through the research that went into this book, I discovered many connections with dehydration (and plastics from water bottles) that may contribute to a higher risk of breast cancer. I am passionate about the Army of Women because they are actually working to find the cause of breast cancer. If they are successful in recruiting one million women, we could finally know the cause of this disease in my lifetime. What an opportunity this is for all of us who are willing to stand up and be counted as one in a million!
Some will argue that there isn’t scientific evidence to prove the correlation between hydration and cancer prevention, how would you respond?
There are way too many health issues plaguing our nation that have been scientifically proven to be associated with, or have very strong links to dehydration, to argue about the cancer connection. These include juvenile diabetes, arthritis, obesity, joint pain, back pain, digestive problems and headaches, and the list goes on.
The recipes included in Spa Water come from twelve distinctive spas from around the world. How did you select these spas and the twenty-two recipes included in the book?
That was the fun part! I contacted several resort groups listed in Spa Magazine asking for recipe submissions and had a great response. After recreating each recipe, I then enlisted the taste buds of family, friends and neighbors. The recipes chosen were based on what I thought were most appealing—not only in taste, but also for appearance and health benefits.
Do you have a favorite spa water recipe that you create at home?
Yes, I love the Cantaloupe Agua Fresca from Trellis in Houston.
Are the recipes easy to make?
Most are very simple. One of the many great things about spa water is that you can use what you typically have on-hand. My kids will eat strawberries the first day I buy them, but after a few days (when they are the sweetest) they aren’t so appealing and used to get tossed out. Now, I will cut them up for spa water. Same goes for oranges and apples. The older and sweeter…the less likely they are to be eaten, but they’re perfect for spa water recipes.
As a mother of two, what do your children think about drinking water loaded with all kinds of fruits and veggies?
That is the best part, they love it! My daughter will cut a few cucumber slices and add them to her water thermos for school. My son always asks for grapefruit with orange when he feels a cold coming on. I love that they ask me to make water when their friends come over; it saves me tons on juices and sports drinks, and they always drink as much as their bellies can hold.
Do you have suggestions for parents on ways to help their children bypass soft drinks and other highly sweetened beverages when peer pressure and consumer marketing to this audience has so much influence?
Yes, take the time to educate them on the importance of healthy hydration. Juvenile diabetes, juvenile arthritis and juvenile obesity cases are at an all-time high. These three health issues can all be related to dehydration. Kids (and adults) confuse thirst with hunger, and they are washing down food with sodas and sugary drinks. If my child asks me for a sports drink or soda, my first question is “how much water have you had today?” I also like to allow my children to create their own spa water recipes. I keep frozen berries on hand; they are easy for kids to manage, and when they make their own water, they are proud and always want to share it.
What’s next? Are there other books in your future?
As a matter of fact, quite possibly, yes. My kids (and my neighbors’ kids) have been creating recipes we all love and want to share. Kids’ Spa Water could be something to watch for!