Monthly Archives

February 2019

Award-Winning spas Forest Bathing Hawley PA lodging Hiking, fishing, and nature trails in Northeastern Pennsylvania Lifestyle Lodging with outdoor activities Northeastern Pennsylvania lodging Pennsylvania spas and resorts The Lodge at Woodloch Where to stay in Northeastern Pennsylvania

The Lodge at Woodloch

  • By
  • February 22, 2019
  • Sticky
Forest Bathing - The Lodge at Woodloch

Reconnect With Nature

What is Forest Bathing?

What comes to mind when you hear the words, “Forest Bathing?”

I admit I was somewhat confused and intrigued the first time I heard the phrase. Is it frolicking under a cascading waterfall or immersion in a cool mountain stream?

Actually, it’s neither. Forest Bathing, or its Japanese counterpart,
Shinrin Yoku (forest bath), was developed in Japan in the 1980s as preventative health care that promotes healing as we absorb nature through our senses. The management at The Lodge at Woodloch, an extraordinary award-winning spa destination in Hawley, Pennsylvania, added Forest Bathing to its long list of services. Activities are centered on enabling guests to leave their worries behind as they unwind and reconnect with their true inner being. The management team and staff take their roles as hosts and concierge seriously to the point that every detail, from the decor, activities and classes, men’s and women’s spas, and dining areas, is purposely tailored to promote self-care. Forest Bathing is an ideal vehicle for guests to cast their worries to the wind.

Forest Bathing - The Lodge at Woodloch
Allow nature to heal you and replenish your zest for life. Try Forest Bathing, an activity available to guests at The Lodge at Woodloch, an award-winning destination spa resort in Hawley, PA.

Watch clips from my recent assignment at The Lodge at Woodloch to learn more Forest Bathing and this extraordinary destination in the Pocono Mountains’ Lake Region.

Our guide, Derrick, took us on a gentle meditative walking tour of the grounds surrounding The Lodge at Woodloch. We rooted about for edible native plants, listened intently to forest sounds, meditated for brief intervals, and rounded out our Forest Bathing experience with a brief stopover at the lodge’s greenhouse, where we enjoyed a cup of woodland tea. Watch this video to catch a glimpse of my first Forest Bathing experience.

During a recent assignment at The Lodge at Woodloch, I bundled in layers of clothes as I set out on my first Forest Bathing experience with our enthusiastic guide, Derrick and an inquisitive, nature-loving husband and wife team who were also guests at The Lodge at Woodloch. Winter had already set in with below normal temperatures but the cool air was invigorating. We met at the lodge and after an introduction, we stopped along a path to enliven our sense of smell with a sprig of wintergreen.

Travel Note: Forest Bathing is not synonymous with exercises like hiking or jogging. The pace will vary but the focus is on nature as medicine. Your guide will likely stop periodically and encourage you to reflect on what you see, feel, hear, smell, and possibly taste.

Forest Bathing is one of the many activities, workshops, and events available to The Lodge at Woodloch guests. Whatever your passion, whether you’re artistic, love to cook, can’t get enough of the outdoors, I guarantee your retreat will be memorable and uplifting year-round. The schedule changes daily. You’ll find an up-to-date schedule here.

Foraging plants while foraging for native plants
Forest Bathing offers an opportunity to get outdoors and learn more about woodland plants, herbs, and reacquaint you with nature’s healing benefits.

Before your stay comes to an end, you should carve out time for a spa treatment at the lodge’s newly renovated men’s and women’s spas. Couples can reserve individual “me-time” to unwind after a busy day.

Robert Baldassari, The Lodge at Woodloch general manager, said he is honored to receive many awards and accolades over the years and attributes each and every award to his “truly amazing team.”

Baldassari commented, “One thing that sets The Lodge at Woodloch apart from other destination spas is our motto of curating choice. Guests can choose to be as active or relaxed as they like, they can choose to enjoy our healthy and artfully crafted spa cuisine or splurge on a steak and wine. Furthermore, they can choose among dozens of offerings each and every day.”

Call 1.800.966.3562 to book your stay and schedule your appointment.

Disclaimer:

My visit was comped but my opinions are my own and based on my experience.

No Comments
Harrisburg Dining Harrisburg Restaurants Harrisburg Vegan Vegetarian Restaurants Lifestyle Where to eat in Harrisburg

Plant-Based Food & Brew

  • By
  • February 2, 2019
  • Sticky
The Vegetable Hunter Vegan Vegetarian Restaurant logo

Whole Foods and Boutique Brewery Meet on Harrisburg Restaurant Row

Years ago, if someone suggested I limit my meals to include only vegetables, I would have said, NO WAY.

But incorporating plant-based food options into my daily regimen is nothing new. My diet has always been centered on vegetables with meat, poultry, and fish as side-dishes unless of course my mother’s homemade meatballs and other comfort foods I’ve grown up enjoying are on the menu.

The Vegetable Hunter vegan vegetarian restaurant
The Vegetable Hunter is owned by Kristin Messner-Baker and conveniently located on Harrisburg’s restaurant row. Shown is the “Superfood Protein Bowl” packed with energy-rich ingredients.

Fast forward to 2018 when “The Vegetable Hunter” quickly became one of my favorite restaurants. During a recent media trip to Harrisburg, arranged by Rick Dunlap, Visit Hershey-Harrisburg, I had an opportunity to sample a variety of menu items Harrisburg restaurant owner Kristin Messner-Baker and her staff brought to the table. The menu caters to vegans and vegetarians with generous portions of quality plant-based whole foods made to order.

“The Vegetable Hunter” is where Kristin’s hunger for travel, culture, and different types of cuisine met with recipes rich in made-from-scratch healthy ingredients she created and tested. After experimenting for several years, while raising her family and practicing law, she decided to open The Vegetable Hunter in 2014.

“I had a dream of opening a restaurant,” Kristin said. “I worked in restaurants with many different types of cuisine before, during, and after attending college and law school.”

Kristin Messner-Baker
The Vegetable Hunter Restaurant Harrisburg
Eat in or take out one of Kristin Messner-Baker’s vegan and vegetarian selections. The menu includes Appetizers, Large Plates, Bowls and Tacos, Sides, Desserts, Handcrafted Small-Batch Beer, Cocktails, Smoothies, and an assortment of cold drinks.

What makes The Vegetable Hunter’s menu so appealing?

Kristin has compassion for her patrons who are not accustomed to a vegan or vegetarian diet and she recognizes and caters to them in the same way she feeds her customers who pass on animal-derived ingredients. Her goal is to offer “creative vegetable-driven quick dishes, magical elixirs, complimented by small-batch beer made with unique and fresh ingredients.” The menu offers such a variety of tastes and textures with the sweet or savory selections that will suit everyone’s hankerings.

From left, Raw Brussels Sprout Salad; Kale and Quinoa; Chick Pea Salad, and Asian Noodle Bowl.

She developed her restaurant model with help from her husband, John Baker, a graphic designer, illustrator, and high school history teacher. John helps at the restaurant when he’s not teaching and their love for music and traveling are a few of the elements that give the restaurant a unique spin.

Kristin Messner-Baker, “The Vegetable Hunter” owner, offers a selection of made-to-order vegan and vegetarian fare and thirst-quencher options. She incorporated a boutique brewery, featuring handcrafted small-batch beer selections and created a relaxing atmosphere.
The Vegetable Hunter vegan vegetarian restaurant Harrisburg Restaurant Row
When a contractor’s estimate to renovate the former barbershop decor exceeded her budget, Kristin said she, “Came in with a sledgehammer and ripped out the walls and floors.” The exposed brick is an ideal backdrop for memorabilia and images of some of her favorite musicians. Her family and a contractor helped to put the interior back together.

Recommendations (based on the plates we shared)

Asian Noodle Bowl: Rice Noodle Broth Bowl with bok choy, carrots, broccoli, chili sauce, and boiled egg (Vegans can request no egg).

Superfood Protein Bowl: kale salad, chickpea salad, thyme roasted sweet potatoes, quinoa, spicy raw beet salad, boiled egg, and homemade hummus (Vegans can request no egg)

Chick Pea Salad: garlic, cumin, shallots, and parsley

Spicy Raw Beet Salad: lime juice, cayenne, and jalapenos

Raw Brussels Sprout Salad: with balsamic vinaigrette

Curried Egg Salad: Mixed greens, tomato and onion in pita

You can view a full menu here.

Location

614 N. 2nd St., Harrisburg, PA.

Telephone Number:

717-695-6229

Disclaimer:

My trip was comped by Visit Hershey-Harrisburg but my opinions are my own and based on my experience. Don’t miss a beat! Check out upcoming events in Hershey and Harrisburg.

No Comments