Tennis Tips From Capella Pedregal’s Pablo Martinez

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Tennis is one of my favorite sports.  I love that not only does it involve strength and technique, but elegance as well.  Unfortunately, loving it and always winning are not the same thing.  So, after a particularly tough loss, I approached Pablo Martinez, Personal Tennis Instructor at Capella Pedregal, to help me improve my overall game.  He explained that tennis, while a combination of exercise and technique, also requires great psychological and mental training.  This is because a large part of the game has to be decided in the head of each player.  Intrigued by his explanation, I asked Pablo to share technical, mental and tactical tennis tips, which I am excited to share with you as well.

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Technical Tips:

1. Bend the knees at the same time the ball is bouncing on your side.

2. When preparing to hit the ball the racquet should be in a position where the strings face the direction you want the ball to go in.

3. Use the toes of your feet to help support yourself and to create better balance.

Mental Tips:

1. During a game, never ask yourself “What am I doing wrong?”  Instead ask, “What can I do better?” 

2. Focus on playing “good tennis,” you don’t need to stress about playing “very good tennis.”  By this I mean play it safe – go for shots that are effective but not overly risky—not every shot need be a “winner.”

3. Mentally, focus on relaxation during your running and hitting, breathing is very important.  Try and time your breathing so that when you connect with the ball you are also exhaling.

Tactical Tips:

1. Body language is crucial in beating your opponent!  Pay attention to the way you behave on the court, it is really important to project confidence—this is a great way to throw your opponent off.

2. Play with a strategy.  Focus on your strengths and attacking your opponent’s weaknesses.

3. Use the time between points to reinforce the previous point.  Immediately after a point look at your strings and make a mental note of what you did right or wrong.

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These are great quick tennis tips that I plan to put into practice immediately.  If you like tennis, or would like to learn to play it, I recommend you visit Pablo Martinez at the Capella Pedregal Tennis Courts.  Not only is he a great instructor, but he is a lot of fun as well!  Your Personal Assistant will be happy to schedule your tennis class with Pablo.

Consejos de Tenis por Pablo Martinez de Capella Pedregal

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El Tenis es unos de mis deportes favoritos.  Me encanta que no solo involucra fuerza y técnica, sino elegancia también.  Desafortunadamente, amar un deporte y siempre ganar en el no son la misma cosa.  Así que, después de una reciente y dolorosa derrota, me puse en contacto con Pablo Martínez, Instructor Personal de Tenis en Capella Pedregal, para que me ayudara a mejorar mi juego en general.  Me explicó que el tenis, aunque requiere de técnica y esfuerzo físico, también requiere de un entrenamiento mental y psicológico.  Esto es debido a que gran parte del juego debe decidirse en la cabeza de cada jugador.  Intrigada por su explicación, le pedí a Pablo que me compartiera algunos tips técnicos, mentales y tácticos, los cuales ahora también comparto con ustedes:

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 Tips Técnicos:

1. Flexiona las rodillas al mismo tiempo que la pelota está botando hacia tu lado.

2. Cuando te prepares para golpear la pelota, tu raqueta debe estar en una posición mediante la cual las cuerdas se coloquen en la dirección que quieres que la pelota se dirija.

3. Utiliza las puntas de tus pies para tener un mejor balance durante el juego.

Tips Mentales: 

1. Durante el juego, nunca te preguntes “Qué estoy hacienda mal?”  Por lo contrario pregúntate, “Qué puedo mejorar?” 

2. Concéntrate en jugar “Buen tenis”, no necesitas preocuparte por jugar un “excelente tenis”.  Con esto quiero decir que es mejor jugar seguro – trata de ir por tiros que son efectivos y no tan arriesgados – no todos tus golpes tienen que ser “golpes ganadores”.

3. Mentalmente, enfócate en relajarte mientras corres y golpeas la bola, tu respiración es muy importante.  Prueba y mide tu respiración para que cada vez que golpees la bola también realices una exhalación profunda.

Tips Tácticos: 

1. El lenguaje corporal es crucial para vencer a tu oponente!  Pon atención a la forma en la cual te comportas dentro de la cancha, es muy importante proyectar seguridad en uno mismo – esta es una manera efectiva de intimidar a tu oponente.

2. Juega con estrategia.  Concéntrate en tus fortalezas y ataca las debilidades de tu oponente.

3. Utiliza el tiempo entre punto y punto para reforzar los puntos anteriores. Inmediatamente después de un punto dirige tu mirada hacia tus cuerdas y realiza una nota mental de lo que hiciste bien o mal durante el punto.

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Estos son excelentes tips prácticos que voy a implementar en mi juego de inmediato.  Si te gusta el tenia, o te gustaría aprender a jugarlo, te recomiendo que visites a Pablo Martínez en las canchas de Capella Pedregal.  Ya que además de ser un gran instructor, es una persona muy divertida!  Tu Asistente Personal estará feliz de agenda tu clase de tenis con Pablo.

The Rye Bar’s Romantic Cocktail Tips

Valentines Day Cocktail

What are the secrets to creating a great cocktail?  This question came up during my chat with one of the Rye Bar’s signature & most well-known D.C. bartenders, Angel Cervantes.  “The liquor must stand out and the herbs and liqueurs must always come secondary.”   I wanted to get a deeper look into how our bartenders at Capella Washington, D.C., Georgetown create these unique, flavor punched cocktails, and what the basics are to create my own at home.  With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I asked Angel for his best romantic cocktail tips:

Valentines Day Cocktail

One of my favorite words of recommendation from Angel is, “It doesn’t matter what you’re making, it matters who you’re making it with.”  Creating cocktails involves letting loose and being creative.  To make it romantic, try tasting new flavors with your significant other to experience what you both like.  “Play with flavors of liqueurs, juices, sweetness, and acidity and decide what you are in the mood for.”  First, you must choose your liquor that will be the main focus of the drink.  Then think about what to add to your cocktail- herbs like lavender, rosemary, basil (infused in simple syrup), and citruses like lemons, limes, and oranges.  Once you both develop your favorite ingredients, fixings, and liquors, you will have an easier and more pleasurable time crafting cocktails.

Some of Angel’s suggested staple bar ingredients are:

  1. Lime or Lemon
  2. Sugar infused with an assortment of herbs or fruits
  3. Bitters, a liquid, often an alcoholic liquor, in which bitter herbs or roots have steeped, used as a flavoring

Will this Valentine’s Day be bitter or sweet for you? Regardless, here’s a great cocktail recipe that you can try out for yourself at home in case you’re not able to be here with us this year!

My Bitter Valentine

1.5 oz. Boyd & Blair Vodka
Dash of Hum Herbal Liqueur
.75 oz. St-Germaine
1 oz. Luxardo
Top with 3 dashes Boston Bitters
.25 oz. Lime juice

Shake and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a dried rose petal.

For a more hands on learning experience, The Rye Bar is hosting a Couple’s Cocktail Class on Valentine’s Day weekend, which is all about enjoying quality time with your significant other while developing romantic craft cocktails and learning essential bar techniques.  Guests will also delight in canapés and small bites, followed by a 3-course meal with cocktail pairings.  At the end, each couple will receive a signature take home gift from The Rye Bar!  For reservations, contact Elisabeth Thomas at (202) 617-2429 or email elisabeth.thomas@capellahotels.com.

A Spa Detox at Capella Ixtapa

Spa Detox

In my last post I introduced a detoxing tip from Executive Chef, Alex Branch.  But, if you are like me, there is still more detoxing in order!  So I reached out to Capella Ixtapa’s Spa Manager, Valentina Velazco for some additional detoxing tips.  She was happy to oblige and shared her favorite post-holiday treatments.

Valentina recommends a visit to the sauna.  Specifically she suggests combining Finn and Turkish Sauna (Ice Room and hydrotherapy), as it is a very efficient way of ridding the body of toxins.

Spa Detox

After that she recommends a 3-step treatment:

1) Body Exfoliation.  Look for options with anti-inflammatory and purifying elements like papaya or mango.
2) Body Wraps.  This is opportunity to add nourishments into the skin.  At Capella Ixtapa we often include the local Melissa plant in these sort of treatments.
3) A Massage.  Whether you like something deep or lighter, a therapeutic massage is a great way to free the tension in one’s muscles.

Also, don’t forget about your face!  A purifying facial treatment will help you remove all impurities and remedy the saturation of make up usage during the holidays.

After a spa day like that and Alex’s fantastic Cocoa Tea, it will be easy to continue with the good habits in the rest of the year.  I am implementing this plan and am already seeing results!

Do you have a special detox recipe or treatment plan that works for you?  Please share it with me in the comments below or on Facebook or Twitter! Here’s to continued good habits in 2013!

Desintoxicación de Spa en Capella Ixtapa

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En mi último post les presenté un tip de desintoxicación del Chef Ejecutivo, Alex Branch. Pero, si son como yo, aún se necesita más desintoxicación por realizar! Así que me acerqué a Valentina Velazco la gerente de nuestro Spa para que me diera más tips de desintoxicación. Ella felizmente accedió y nos comparte sus tratamientos post-celebraciones navideñas favoritos.

Valentina me recomendó una visita al sauna. Específicamente ella recomienda combinar el Baño Turco con el Sauna Finlandés (Hidroterapia y el cuarto de hielo), ya que es una manera muy eficiente de deshacerse de las toxinas del cuerpo.

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Después de esto, recomienda un tratamiento de 3 pasos:

1) Exfoliación Corporal: Busca las opciones que incluyan anti-inflamatorios y elementos purificadores como la papaya o el mango.
2) Envoltorios Corporales: Esta es una oportunidad para añadir nutrientes a la piel. En Capella Ixtapa es común que incluyamos “Melissa” una planta local nutriente en estos tratamientos.
3) Masaje: Ya sea que prefieras un masaje profundo o suave, un masaje terapéutico es una gran manera de liberar tensión de los músculos.

Así también, ¡no te olvides de tu cara! Un tratamiento facial purificador te ayudará a remover todas las impurezas y remediar la saturación de maquillaje utilizado durante la temporada de celebraciones navideñas.

Después de un día de Spa como ese y el fabuloso té de cacao de Alex, me será más fácil continuar con los buenos hábitos el resto del año. Estoy implementando este plan ¡y estoy ya viendo resultados!

¿Y tu, tienes una receta o tratamiento especial para la desintoxicación? Por favor compárteme tus comentarios en este post, o en facebook o twitter! ¡Y que sigan los buenos hábitos en el 2013!

Secrets To A Christmas Goose

The Christmas season has officially arrived!  Now, last year at this time I told you about our Christmas Markets.  This year I want to fill you in on a very special dish that is served during the holiday season: roasted goose with dumplings, glazed chestnuts and red cabbage.

Do you know the feeling when certain scents are attached to memories?  Well, when I smell roasted goose and those side dishes, many childhood memories come to mind— Christmas with my grandparents, wintery evenings at home with the family and vacations in the countryside.

Also at Breidenbacher Hof’s Brasserie “1806” the season for roasted goose has begun.  And our chefs are not just preparing the traditional roast— they also created an entire three-course menu to go along with it!  In addition to the goose, the menu includes truffle and liver pate for starters and chocolate and quince dessert.  Yummy!

I have always wanted to prepare the goose for Christmas Eve with my family, but have been too intimidated.  This year I plan to conquer my fears and have asked our chefs for tips on preparing the perfect roast goose at home.

Christmas Goose

Here is what I learned:

-  The weight: A goose with a weight of 4 kilos should be enough for 6 people.

-  The ingredients: You should add water, oranges, apples, some lemon and herbs (e.g. Mugwort) to the goose in the roasting tray. Use the resulting stock to moisten the goose throughout the roasting period.

-  You can calculate 45 minutes in the convection oven (180°C) for every kilo of goose.

-  The perfect side dish: We add traditionally red cabbage to the goose. Some of you may ask, why we always eat that much cabbage in Germany.  Well, like potatoes or corn in the US, this is one of the most prevalent crops in Germany.   One secret to good red cabbage: Add some cassis liqueur and goose fat to it.  Believe me it makes a huge difference!

Hopefully I have taken some of the mystery out of roasting the ideal Christmas goose!  Let me know if you tackle this dish for your holiday meal.