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New Heber Valley resort is headed up by former health gurus

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 25 2012 4:31 p.m. MDT

Although Heber Valley's can't offer Southern Utah's year-round hiking in Snow and Zion canyons, its cooler climate can be an advantage, said Marc Sorenson.

"In the summer in St. George, you had to get up early to beat the heat," he said. "Here we have a million miles of adventure hiking, and the Uintas are very close. In the winter we can play in the snow, with cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. We also have a fully equipped gym with treadmills that overlook the mountains. There's an indoor track seven minutes away, and we will be building our own indoor track."

Guests can also enjoy Zumba, yoga, Pilates, weight-training and other indoor fitness classes any time of year.

The new program in Midway has already attracted "regulars" from the old NIF, such as Emmet and Peggy Hoebel of Florida. They were planning a European cruise when they got a postcard announcing the opening at Zermatt.

"There was no question about it, we said we'll wait and do Europe next year," said Peggy Hoebel.

Wayne MacDonald, 72, of San Antonio lost 21 pounds during his stay from June 10 to July 7, and saw his blood pressure drop from 159 over 97 to 125 over 54.

"The food was really good, and they have people there who really care," he said in a telephone interview. "All I know is that the food, exercise and staff all added together for these fabulous results."

His friend, Ron Hall of San Antonio, Texas, lost 10 pounds during a two-week stay. His blood sugar dropped from the high 180-190s to the 100 range, so he was able to stop taking insulin.

"All in all, it was a very wonderful experience," Hall said. "The level of exercise helped, but I think the real key was the diet. I'm incorporating those things I learned now that I'm home. I try to have some nopal every day and a tossed salad at lunch. It seems to do an important job in controlling my blood sugar."

Diane Richman has fibromyalgia, and she credited NIHF's program with its vitamin D3 emphasis, as well as a skillful Zermatt spa masseuse, for avoiding painful flare-ups.

"I'm now hiking 14 miles a day," she said. "But I've put in the same number of miles at other spas and didn't lose the weight like I have here."

Chocolate Mousse

3/4 cup dates

2 avocados

1 cup almond milk

1/2 cup almond butter

3/4 cup Cacao powder

1/2 cup agave

Soak the dates in water until soft. Remove pits. Peel the avocados and remove seeds.

In food processor or blender, combine all ingredients and blend or process until smooth.

Refrigerate, then enjoy!

Serves 4.

— National Institute of Health and Fitness

Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna

10 whole wheat lasagna noodles or long, thin zucchini strips

1 eggplant, sliced into 8 slices

1/2 cup dry millet

1 cup water to cook millet

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon Braggs Liquid Aminos

1 small onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound mushrooms, sliced

1 pound fresh spinach

1/4 cup raw sunflower seed

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon black pepper or white pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

1/4 cup sliced olives

1 (16-ounce) jar vegan pasta sauce

Thinly slice eggplant and lay on lightly oiled cookie sheet (or use parchment paper). Cook 30 minutes.

Cook lasagna noodles according to package directions.

Cook millet in 1 cup of water until tender, about 20 minutes.

Cook balsamic vinegar, Braggs Liquid Aminos, onion and garlic in a large stock pot on medium-high for 2-3 minutes. Add sliced mushrooms and spinach. Drain all of the broth from this mixture into a measuring cup. Add water to make 1 cup of liquid total.

Pour 1 cup of above liquid into a blender and add the cooked millet, sunflower seeds and seasonings. Blend until smooth. Add to mushroom/spinach mixture and mix well.

Ladle 1/3 of the pasta sauce on the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch casserole dish. Layer noodles to cover bottom. Layer half of the mushroom/spinach mixture. Top with 1 layer of egg plant, of the pasta sauce, the rest of mushroom/spinach mixture, a layer of noodles, and remaining pasta sauce. Sprinkle nutritional yeast on top and add sliced olives.

Serves 12.

— National Institute of Health and Fitness

Valerie Phillips is the former Deseret News food editor. She blogs at www.chewandchat.blogspot.com. Email: vphillips@desnews.com

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