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Six Senses Spa Punta Cana
March 10, 2020 - She cooks. She teaches. She ferments. Her Instagram is wall-to-wall deliciousness. She’s also willing to share her top snooze-worthy foods. What’s not to love about our Eat guru Celia Lam?
Celia joined Six Senses in 2017 to work with our culinary teams on creating and implementing our Eat With Six Senses initiative. This has since become the ethos behind everything we eat and drink around the world, from our urban hotels to snow-topped mountains and tropical beaches. It is based on the guiding principles of using fresh, natural ingredients, local and sustainable practices and a less is more approach.
“Everything starts with the philosophy of better food,” says Celia. “It is a holistic approach that connects people to sustainability, nutrition and health. It begins with knowing where our food is from, reading food labels, utilizing food from our own organic gardens and farms and cooking from scratch. We focus on educating and improving our purchasing practices while working with suppliers to eliminate plastic food packaging and support our Plastic free 2022 initiative. The end result is, whatever our guests choose from the menu, they are eating from this foundation of better food by default.”
Behind the symbols on each menu lies years of work to incorporate all the different regional realities and validation from the Six Senses Wellness Board including Dr. Michael Breus and Dr. Mehmet Oz. With new hotels and resorts opening all the time, from Six Senses Bumthang in Bhutan to Six Senses Shaharut in Israel, it remains a dynamic and exciting labor of food love.
“Our menus include dishes that promote our wellness offerings at our properties. You’ll see “Fitness”, “Detox” or “Sleep” next to these dishes to indicate they include key ingredients designed to help our guests reach the objectives of the respective programs. If you’re curious, you can meet with our chefs for a private consultation following your wellness screening. They can design a customized meal plan curating specific foods and nutrients that will help you reach the desired outcome of the program. For a Sleep program, our nutritional food guide features ingredients that promote sleep health. It covers the key nutrients that might be deficient or that can help you fall asleep faster, sleep sounder and all through the night.”
Guests are supported with valuable tools including access to a nutritional food guide for their particular program.
“For us, success is when a guest doesn’t just eat better but sleeps better and therefore feels better at the end of a stay compared to when they arrived. The guide is a useful tool as it enables guests to continue making positive, sustainable and long-term changes after they leave our properties. Eat With Six Senses is about empowering people to make mindful choices to feel their best every day.”
The following foods will help you get a better night’s sleep by reducing stress and calming anxiety.
Magnesium relaxes blood vessels and muscles, helping you to unwind. Dark chocolate (eaten before 2:00 pm), bananas, walnuts and avocado are all great sources of magnesium. Dried banana peel tea is a favorite recipe recommended by Dr. Breus.
L-tryptophan foods boost serotonin and are found in poultry such as turkey, oily fish (which is also a source of omega-3 fatty acids), nuts and seeds. Although dairy is high in L-tryptophan, it’s a common food sensitivity or allergen, so Celia prefers cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli or fresh leafy greens such as spinach. Soaking nuts or seeds in water is a great way to improve digestibility.
Melatonin is a hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle and helps overcome insomnia. Tart cherry juice, asparagus and pomegranate are naturally high in melatonin, as are grains such as rice, barley and rolled oats.
Herbs can be an effective way to help our bodies unwind and improve our sleep. Try making a tea with chamomile, passionflower and peppermint or stinging nettle. Drinking two to three cups a day over the course of a month will help relax your nervous system. The practice of preparing your own tea further helps to train our bodies to “switch off”. Celia recommends steeping the herbs for 15 to 20 minutes. Put your phone away, breathe deeply, stretch and check in with yourself: this time is mindful time.
Celia joined Six Senses after setting up the first plant-based cooking course for the Matthew Kenney Culinary Academy at Evason Hua Hin in 2016. Previous to that, she studied holistic nutrition in Vancouver before relocating to New York City to pursue the Chef’s Training Program of Health & Culinary Arts through the Natural Gourmet Institute. She is a member of Slow Food International and an advocate for sustainable food systems. Waste good food at your peril if Celia is nearby!
Find out more about our Sleep Programs.