Spa Living: Ideas,
Tips & Recipes for Revitalizing Body-Mind-Spirit

by Sunamita Lim

reviewed by Madelyn Miller

Whenever I go to a spa, I think about what it would be like to be so rich you could spend every day in a different spa, experiencing each of their unique treatments and features. Your body would always be polished and glowing. Your skin, soft and supple. You eyes, clear and bright. Then I wake up from the dream, grab an energy bar and rush off to another activity.

Sunamita Lim has figured out how to craft a spa lifestyle, every day. It is the way I would love to live. Her book fills in on my fantasy and makes it a possible reality for everyone.  And on the days when I can't manage to make spa living work in my life, I can just read her book before I go to bed like a fabulous fairytale as I dream myself to sleep.


Richly illustrated, Spa Living: Ideas, Tips & Recipes for Revitalizing Body-Mind-Spirit (Gibbs Smith, Publisher, $39.95, 2007) shows how adapting spa cuisine delights with unexpected flavors fresh from garden to table. Written by an author without health insurance, her goal is to show readers how living a happy life can bestow beauty from within, how delicious spa cuisine nurtures, tips to strengthen emotional fitness, and how serene environments reward with life-long good health.

Chapter 6 of Spa Living treats readers to tasty spa recipes from world-renowned destination spas such as Golden Door, Rancho La Puerta and Cal-a-Vie, and Albuquerque's Ayurvedic Institute. Recipes from day spas such as Body Café in Santa Fe, and Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs Resort & Spa in New Mexico are also included.

Deborah Szekely, doyenne of the modern spa movement and founder of Golden Door and Rancho La Puerta spas advises readers, "May the pleasure begin now, as you enjoy Sunamita Lim's inspiring and informative tour of the spa world."

Headlining their piece as "The Book of (Spa) Life," DaySpa's October 2007 issue notes, "Sunamita Lim has combined lovely images with useful information for creating a spa-like lifestyle with tips for meditation and boosting energy and immunity; healthy recipes; and steps for attaining physical and emotional fitness from industry experts who share ideas and advice promoting inner peace and ultimate well-being."

The Rebecca Review rates Spa Living a 5-star read because, "Sunamita Lim's newest work is a book of rare beauty. Page after page invites you into tranquil spaces where you can nourish body and soul."

Spa Living features the voices of spa directors, managers, estheticians, and therapists with practical tips for radiant beauty and good health. With a resource guide of spas across the U.S., this book makes it easy to capture the healing serenity of spa treats at home. Other benefits of "spa living" include:

How radiant beauty and dynamic vitality can enhance good health, confidence, serenity, and joy in living life more fully.

Why proper skin care (for men, too, on pages 82-90) is vital  in maintaining good health with in-depth advice from aestheticians.

Why emotional and psychological rewards are tangible with a person's positive, upbeat outlook affecting everyone else around them.

How meditation enhances daily life, with tips on getting started.

Lim's other books are: Japanese Style: Designing with Nature's Beauty (2007) and Chinese Style: Living in Beauty and Prosperity (2006).

She Walks the Talk

I was lucky enough to meet Sunamita right before her three books were published. Even working on deadlines, she seemed serenely poised and focused. She ate the healthy foods while I ordered double desserts. She was living in Santa Fe--an obvious new age mecca, while I commuted to various destinations and airports from a suburban high rise. I imagine her view was of the sunsets, I know mine was of the tollway and parking lots below. Yet as different as we were-the small, slender Oriental girl who had lots of time and space in her life and the hyper-robust lady from Texas who did everything in a big way--we somehow clicked. And our paths seem to continue to cross.

When I was in Santa Fe I called her and we had lunch. I had just started doing Yoga. Sunamita greeted me with, "your posture has improved so much."

No one except my mother and my fourth grade teacher had ever commented on my posture. But she was right. And her noticing it reinforced my desire to have better posture. She went on to complete a spa book, I started a yoga website,

Then when I started a tea website, Sunamita introduced me to a wonderful tea source and even wrote a story for my site.

Next up is a romance site. I expect Sunamita to come out with a gorgeous coffeetable book about the Oriental influences of love and romance.

Madelyn Miller is a travel and food writer who wishes she lived in a spa. Read her stories on,,,,, and