Authentic Wellness Follow Up

Dear 2018 Guest:

Many guests have asked for a follow-up to help them to look at what they may have accomplished since their most recent New Life experience. My follow-up will consist of two parts.

Part 1 is for those who may still be reading the book or have not yet gotten to it. I want to point out action themes and provide you with references to those portions of the book that key you in to those action themes.

Part 2 is for those who have completed the book and from whom I will be asking for opinions.

Part 1

Whether or not you have had an opportunity to examine New Life Hiking Spa’s 40 Years of Authentic Wellness, we all recognize the difficulty, for many reasons, of changing our relationship with food. This complex difficulty drives me to impress upon you the significance of mindful attention to lifestyle choices in achieving food behavior changes. As you learn to observe your own lifestyle choices, you may find that even the seemingly smallest modifications in food behavior will yield benefits that become the cumulative basis of your authentic wellness. Consequently, as presented below, I wish to key you into major action themes of the book that will accelerate your wellness quest.

Food preparation and meals:

A primary lifestyle determinant of our food behavior is related to the preparation of the food we eat. Prominent among the many lifestyle variations include scenarios in which:

  • Those of  you who cook, have your own recipes and a reasonably equipped kitchen. For this lifestyle variety, the book’s section on converting recipes would be applicable.  Please see Chapter 5’s sections entitled Recipe Conversions (pages 86–97) and Recipes-Jimmy’s Favorites (pages 97–100).
  • Those of you who do not cook but who, for health reasons, would be willing to learn to do so to make realistic food and eating related modifications.  Please see Chapter 5’s sections entitled Example of How to Read Labels (pages 77–82), Allergies, Fads and Different Diets (pages 82–83) and Kitchen Suggestions (pages 83–85).
  • Those of you who, for food preparation and meals, are or are not equipped with the basic pots, pans, cutlery and a rice maker.  Please see Chapter 5’s sections entitled Ceramic Knife (page 85), Pots, Pans, and Other Kitchen Items (pages 85–86) and Chapter 3’s section entitled The Rice Maker (page 44).

Social settings and influences:

Another primary category of considerations that affect our food relationships encompasses people and places encountered in both the routine and occasionally unique experiences of our lives. These scenarios involve the circumstances of selecting and buying food, daily business, school, commuting, group gatherings and dining out.

  • Along with learning to understand food packaging information, it is impossible to overstate the importance of becoming familiar with the physical configuration of supermarkets, grocery stores and other sites at which you purchase food.  Our advice is that the initial state of mind to bring to your encounter with supermarket layout would be a leisurely stroll through the aisles, just as you might wander through a museum on a first visit.  Please see Chapter’s 2 sections entitled I Will Be Your Guide (pages 10-12), What Real Food Is (pages 12–14), The Grocery Store (pages 15– 30), Additives in Food (page 34) and Chapter 5’s section entitled Example of How to Read Labels (pages 77-82).
  • Food related demands arising during the course of your daily routine and associated travel present opportunities both to address your need to eat and to discover imaginative and satisfying ways to do so.   Chapter’s 3 sections entitled How Much to Eat (pages 41–42), Calories (pages 42–43), The Rice Maker (page 44), The “Only One Cookie” Situation (pages 63–65) and Chapter 5’s section entitled Nuts:  The Healthy Alternative to Health Bars (pages 101–103).
  • Social gatherings, holidays, special events and celebrations can be grim arenas in which, without perspective and preparation, combat against our best food choice intentions may be futile.  But you are not without guidance and resources with which to understand and address the dynamics of such circumstances.  Please see Chapter 3’s section entitled The Cocktail Party and Chapter 5’s section entitled Jekyll and Hyde and the Pig-Out (pages 72-74).
  • Dining out can be as precarious as other gatherings and occasions. However, to these challenges you bring the ability to exercise the best judgement possible in deciding where you dine. You are aware of the importance of water based foods.  Your confidence to navigate these encounters will increase as your stress in doing so diminishes.  Please see Chapter’s 2 section entitled What Real Food Is (pages 12–14) and Chapter 3’s section entitled Decisions at Restaurants (pages 44-63).

The underlying emotional dimension:

If you recognize that often you are not eating just because you are hungry, you are hovering over a realization of the subjective (i.e., personal, individual) forces within you that form your relationship with food.  Those inclined to explore the internal forces that create our food (mis)behaviors will not be surprised that the mind based structures shaped before self-awareness may, over a lifetime, continue to dominate our relationship with food.  That these structures were established in the course of feeding interactions with parents and other childcare is not surprising.  More daunting are these structures’ relative permanence and the serious commitment in later life needed to articulate and renovate these emotional constructs.  Although the whole of brief Chapter 4 The Psychology (pages 66-71) is suggested, the sections entitled Emotional Eating (pages 67-68) and A Deeper Understanding (pages 68-69) are most relevant.

The first portion of this follow-up is complete.  For those who may still be reading the book or have not yet gotten to it, my hope is that the references offered to the book’s major action themes are an encouragement not only to read the book, but most importantly, to initiate or continue your pursuit of authentic wellness.

Part 2

As indicated earlier, the second portion of this follow-up is directed to those who have completed their reading and evaluation of the book.  It is my sincere wish that you share your views with me.  To that end, enclosed please find a summary of opinions compiled by one New Life guest who lent the New Life Hiking Spa’s 40 Years of Authentic Wellness to a number of his professional colleagues.  In conveying your evaluation, please include any food related behavior or lifestyle changes that the book or your visit to New Life may have inspired.

Thank you for your established relationship with New Life and, in particular, for your assistance in our effort to achieve New Life’s core mission:  Your health, fitness and well-being.


Jimmy LeSage

Reader Feedback on New Life Hiking Spa’s 40 Years of Authentic Wellness

Below is an unsolicited compilation of opinions conveyed by a New Life guest who lent the book to a number of his professional colleagues.


Crowe, B. (DDS)

To: New Life Hiking Spa


Hi Jimmy,

Happy Holidays to you and family and best wishes for a GREAT New Year!!

I read your very nice book and asked several other colleagues to read it. The following are a collection of remarks made by a Nutritionist, Dietitian, an Adaptive PE instructor, a MD, a marathoner and of course me.

  • Great read
  • Basic common sense about food an exercise everyone should be following
  • A nice holistic approach to good health
  • A very thoughtful commentary and guide about making the correct choices in one’s life around food and exercise
  • This is a great stocking stuffer so people can read your book as the best New Year’s resolution ever
  • Finally, someone who faithfully practices what they preach

I would be interested in your views on the book, including any food related behavior or lifestyle changes that the book or your visit to New Life may have inspired. Please feel free to contact me directly at

Be well and happy holidays!

New Life Hiking Spa & Wellness Retreat is suspending the 2020 season.  We are sorry for any inconvenience.  Please read the full statement on our blog.