I couldn’t have found a better place to recover from the massive energy output demanded by our annual natural products trade show than a quick trip across the border to Rancho La Puerta, the renowned destination wellness center in Mexico. Originally inspired as a health retreat in June 1940 by its visionary founders, Debra and Edmund Szekely, the family has created a true health oasis in Tecate, Mexico.
Nestled up against the foothills of beautiful Mount Kachumaa sitting astride the US border, 3,000 acres of gardens are interwoven with paths that weave amongst the plants, rocks and Spanish style buildings. Here you can partake of extensive exercise regimes, receive healing treatments at their world class spa, and eat the freshest food prepared from their nearby organic farm, Tres Estrellas. Founded by the Szekely’s daughter, Sarah Livia, who is a true visionary architect and plant person extraordinaire, the farm produces six acres of organically grown fruits and vegetables in abundance.
I had the privilege of being invited to Rancho La Puerta back in 2002 to work on their garden fresh herbal tea program. We began at the spa by serving fresh “herbal waters” made from the infusion of freshly cut mints, lemon verbena, rosemary and other fragrant herbs. These aromatic infusions can be made by anyone growing herbs in their garden. Read these simple instructions to make your own!
Next, they invited me to do a Teeccino tasting for their staff. The outcome was that Rancho La Puerta has been serving Teeccino for more than a decade to their guests three times a day in their dining room and lounges. Over the years, many people have written us to say that they first experienced Teeccino at Rancho La Puerta where they were seeking healthier habits to improve their well being.
*Photo Above: Chef Denise Roa, Sarah Livia and Caroline MacDougall
During my visit this time, I again had the privilege of doing a Teeccino tasting for their devoted and energetic service team with the goal of improving the Teeccino experience for their guests. It is such a pleasure to work with people whose foremost goal is to make sure other people’s experience contains optimal enjoyment combined with the best health education possible!
La Cocina Que Canta *Cooks prepping the food for a healthy meal
The highlight of my trip was visiting the new cooking school, La Cocina Que Canta, – translation: The Kitchen that Sings – founded by Sarah Livia to bring top chefs and their cooking techniques to benefit and educate Rancho La Puerta’s guests on preparing delicious meals from freshly harvested organic ingredients. Chef Denise Roa runs the cooking school and is an immensely talented chef herself. The meal I enjoyed was guided by guest chef, Meadow Linn, co-author of The Mystic Cookbook, along with her joyous mother, Denise Linn, the author of numerous inspirational books on sacred living. They created a memorable evening for 21 of us privileged to partake in their enthusiasm for garden fresh organic vegetables and herbs. With lots of laughter and chatter, we prepared the meal together on the large island that allows everyone to stand around it, working side by side. The meal was called “Align Your Chakras: Simple and Scrumptious Ways to Eat the Rainbow”. My chakras must have been singing because my body, mind and soul felt so nourished by the sense of community and harmony this evening inspired!
*Chef Meadow Linn, Sarah Livia and Denise Linn Harvesting Dinner
Abundance of Veggies The men are working hard at prepping the food
*Chef Meadow Linn and Caroline MacDougall *Caroline MacDougall all smiles as she cooks up dinner
Chef Meadow Linn demonstrates chopping veggies Organic Veggies from Tres Estrellas
*Dinner posy *La Cocina Que Canta dining table
* Photo credit: Jan Mangan Photography