Behind The Butter

Back in the AZ

Welcome to Miraval.


It’s quiet here. Like, really quiet.


I don’t have any cellphone reception and even if I did, Miraval maintains a strict no cellphone policy. As much as I miss constant communication, I have to say, it’s sort of nice to just totally disconnect. Well not totally because here I am online. On high speed wireless access. Sort of like camping in a cabin. Hey, it’s all about the balance, right?

If you missed my previous post, I’m down here in Tucson at Miraval Resort. Miraval is graciously hosting me for their Creative and Mindful Cooking Workshop taking place tomorrow through Saturday. I’m totally psyched!

Check out the pad:




Favorite part….

Bathroom with outdoor shower! Looooove.
I snacked on this lovely little fruit and cheese plate while I got ready for dinner:

And then I ate. I have to say, if you’re going to vacation alone, this is the place to do it. Outdoor tables were filled with people eating by themselves this evening. No one was playing with their iphones and ipads, no one was reading, no one was looking for something else to do. Everyone was just, simply, eating. And it was refreshing.

I sipped on a champagne cocktail and contemplated life.

For some reason, I always feel so grown up when I sip champagne. Either I looked really dark and mysterious, sipping champagne by myself this evening, or I looked like a loser with no friends. I’m going to opt for the former.
The best thing that I remember about Miraval from when I came here seven years ago? THE FOOD! It’s all just so delicious and so healthy! Every item on the menu has the calories, fat, protein and carbs written right there and if you ask any server, they can tell you the exact ingredients in the dish. Unreal….a healthy foodie’s heaven for sure.
So, obviously I wanted everything on the menu but I narrowed it down to starting off a small green salad with blue cheese and cherry tomatoes:

And then for my entree, I chose carne asada.

Totally not something I’d usually order but wow, was it fantastic. I used to love to order carne asada at this tiny hole in the Mexican joint in my hometown. But there, people got food poisoning and marriage proposals.
Dessert was citrus cheesecake napolean!

Does eating by yourself also give you permission to lick your plate?
Just kidding…but I thought about it!

I also thought that was a real wolf. Coyote? It’s not.
Tomorrow morning, bright and early, I’m heading out to do the Miraval Equine Experience. This is actually one of the activities that my mom and I did when we came when I was eighteen and it was my favorite. Y’all know how much I love being around horses!
Writing some book pages and closing.the.laptop..

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  • Amanda @ Vegacious
    July 21, 2010 at 9:48 pm

    Looks absolutely beautiful!!! And, I mean the food AND your surroundings. I once stayed at a beautiful resort in Tuscon, and it was one of the most beautiful places I had been in the U.S. Desert and all. Enjoy your time! 🙂

  • S @
    July 21, 2010 at 9:51 pm

    I once flew Calgary-Phoenix-Denver. My travelling companion LEFT THE PHOENIX AIRPORT to take a cab *somewhere* for carne asada burritos. He missed the connection. He thought it was worth it. There’s something about carne asada, eh?

  • Kerri Beth
    July 21, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    Wow! Looks like an amazing resort and divine food.

  • Courtney (Delightful Devours)
    July 21, 2010 at 9:58 pm

    Wow! I am amazed that the nutritional information is printed right on the menu! For local restaurants in my home town I am still suggesting they even have nutritional information available to consumers!

  • Jackie
    July 21, 2010 at 10:06 pm

    Beautiful… your post just made me go to their website and look at how I can swing a trip there for myself. 🙂

    July 21, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    your right in there with nature!! WOW, what a blissful view to wake up to!!!


  • Aubrey
    July 21, 2010 at 10:25 pm

    I am in Tucson! Let me know if you need any recommendations 😉

  • Allie (Live Laugh Eat)
    July 21, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Oh my gosh, just reading this post calmed me down. I need an outdoor shower and a champagne flute…and that BED!!! I hope you’re jumping on it 🙂

  • alex
    July 21, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    Wow! That place looks beautiful!!! I am vicariously living thru you right now…as it’s 55degrees and foggy in SF. Ugh, gotta love July! Hope you relax and soak up the heat!!!(And I totally thought that coyote was real too! haha)

  • Suzanne de Cornelia
    July 21, 2010 at 10:38 pm

    Just sending my condolences re the phone connectivity. NOT!! OMG–you poor dear!! The food, the room, the bubbly, the bathtub…..!!!

  • Morgan @ Life After Bagels
    July 21, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    it’s funny . . . even your post sounded quite and peaceful

  • Janna (janna's keeping it real)
    July 21, 2010 at 10:40 pm

    Wow!! What an amazing experience!

    I’m glad you embraced dining alone! It is honestly something I find to be totally refreshing and fun (I often think of the FRIENDS episode where Rachel has dates with herself, he he he). I love just fully enjoying the food and dining experience!

    I hope you have a stellar experience! Just take it all in!

  • Becki @ HikeBikeEat
    July 21, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    Soak it up, girl! That looks incredible!

  • Lisa (bakebikeblog)
    July 21, 2010 at 10:43 pm

    oooh I am so excited to hear about your horse adventures! I love horses!!!

  • Heather (Heather's Dish)
    July 21, 2010 at 10:44 pm

    wow, what an incredible place…i have to say that sometimes i’m totally a fan of doing things by myself…not in a lonely way, but it’s just great to have “me” time!

  • Becki @ HikeBikeEat
    July 21, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    Soak it up, girl! That looks amazing! We should definitely trade places…

  • marie
    July 21, 2010 at 10:46 pm

    awww pet a pony for me!

  • Jackie (Peaces of Earth)
    July 21, 2010 at 11:25 pm

    Wowzers, those are some seriously sweet digs!! Outdoor shower = my dream. Love that there is no cell phone reception. Kind of forces you to really take a vacation. Have fun!!!!

  • Crunchy Granola Gal
    July 21, 2010 at 11:44 pm

    absolutely stunning, all of it! looking forward to reading about the rest of your trip!

  • Jenny
    July 22, 2010 at 1:12 am

    Wow! That’s one of the most beautiful views! Ever:)

  • Julia @ Brit Bride
    July 22, 2010 at 1:46 am

    Sounds like absolute BLISS to me. I might book a calm and natural holiday like this next.

    J x

  • Rachel @ Suburban Yogini
    July 22, 2010 at 2:03 am

    Ooooh that bathroom reminds me of the bathroom we had in a hotel in Thailand. It was quite a surprise to us as I had no idea that the hotel was so swanky!

    Enjoy 🙂

  • sarah (this is it)
    July 22, 2010 at 2:45 am

    wow calories and nutrition info on the menu! Maybe most restaurants will go to that in the future!

    • Katie
      July 22, 2010 at 6:15 am

      Hope not!

  • Lindsay @ Summit Sandwiches
    July 22, 2010 at 2:57 am

    That’s so cool that they have the nutritional info right on the page. I love it when places do that! Hope you have a great time in Arizona….it looks so incredibly beautiful! 🙂

  • Nora@LifeLifeEatRight
    July 22, 2010 at 3:12 am

    Is that humboldt fog goat cheese I see on that plate??!?!?! SO jealous have an amazing time!

  • Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete
    July 22, 2010 at 3:23 am

    That looks absolutely beautiful! I absolutely love Tucson! Many people think the desert is ugly, but I’m not one of those people. I grew up in NM, then lived in Tucson for a few years before moving to Europe for a while. There is so much to do in Tucson, great food, plus the dry heat is great! Have fun, and enjoy the desert for me!!

  • Jessica @ How Sweet It Is
    July 22, 2010 at 3:32 am

    Wow it looks gorgeous! Jenna, do you handwrite for your book or type on the computer?

    • jenna
      July 22, 2010 at 6:41 am

      Type it! That would be a looooooot of handwritten pages 😉

  • Tina
    July 22, 2010 at 3:58 am

    That looks like such a beautiful place! I love the thought of no cell phones…especially since wireless internet is allowed. I’m too addicted to the computer.

  • Lauren
    July 22, 2010 at 4:12 am

    I’ve heard SUCH incredible things about Miraval. It really does look like a great place to be if you’re alone (not always an *ideal* situation whilst traveling), peaceful and beautiful. Hope you have an awesome time!
    Meanwhile I’ll be flying to your neck of the woods – BAY AREA WHAT WHAAAT! ( Spending a day in Berkeley too… trying to figure out what food spots to hit up in my short visit there. Hardest decision ever. Possibly La Note or Kirala (two favorites from my college days!)…. 🙂

  • Rosey Rebecca
    July 22, 2010 at 4:15 am

    That bathroom is SO cool! The whole place looks so beautiful. I hope you have an awesome time!

  • diana@mymarblerye
    July 22, 2010 at 4:25 am

    can couples go to this resort? I’m so happy you are getting some YOU time. Looks gorgeous and RELAXING.

    • jenna
      July 22, 2010 at 6:40 am

      I’ve seen a ton of couples here…I actually think it would be the perfect honeymoon spot!

  • Marilou @ Mostly Healthy
    July 22, 2010 at 4:30 am

    Fabulous! That bath is out of this world … need to try it, NOW!!!!

    Sipping champagne all by yourself looks a lot like an openning scene of any soaps out there. Before you know it, your evil twin sister (that you thougt dead) will come back for you with a vengeance!

  • amethyst
    July 22, 2010 at 4:34 am

    How gorgeous, Jenna! You deserve to have a great relaxing time in a wondrous setting – a brilliant antidote to stress and aggravation – enjoy! I’ve been entertained by your wit lately… A x

  • Jill@MySoCalledHealthLife
    July 22, 2010 at 4:36 am

    OMG I thought that was a real coyote!! haha.

    Also that tub it to.die.for. and I don’t even like baths!!

  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie
    July 22, 2010 at 4:52 am

    I love being forced not to use my cell phone sometimes. It makes me have to think about things, and relax.

    Everything looks so beautiful!

  • Tracey @ I'm Not Superhuman
    July 22, 2010 at 5:01 am

    For the first few minutes I eat alone, I always feel so awkward and imagine everyone is staring at me and mumbling Loser! under their breath. Then I get over it and enjoy. It’s really nice to once in a while just be in the moment and quiet.

  • Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble)
    July 22, 2010 at 5:19 am

    Wow, what an amazing resort! Looks like an amazing first day, can’t wait to hear about the rest!!


  • Jillian
    July 22, 2010 at 5:27 am

    So, I’m pretty sure I need to go to this place. And I’m jealous about the Equine Experience… Although I don’t know how much it would help me since I’ve ridden horses for 15 years. I might need to look into a mini vacation at this lovely place, although I don’t know if my boyfriend could do without his phone lol.

  • Lindsey @ Foodie on the Rocks
    July 22, 2010 at 5:33 am

    Love that hotel room. Earthy, yet modern. Have a great time down there!

  • Sara @
    July 22, 2010 at 5:37 am

    Man, that’s fancy! I would look like a frumpled hillbilly if I showed up at that resort.

  • Kristy
    July 22, 2010 at 5:38 am

    Breath Taking! You are a blessed girl…. Enjoy your time there!

  • Anna
    July 22, 2010 at 5:44 am

    It’s a NY state law to have calories listed next to EVERYTHING in restaurants. I have to say, it’s both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it’s lovely to be able to really know how much damage your meal is going to cost me, but on the other hand, it prevents me from really enjoying the things I used to love. I’m so afraid splurge at some of my favorite restaurants (The Cheesecake Factory) now because EVERYTHING seems to be 2000+ calories! A part of me wishes they weren’t there so I can enjoy a special treat once in a while without feeling guilty 🙁
    Miraval looks stunning! Have a wonderful and relaxing time. I actually love meals alone sometimes; it’s nice to spend some quality time with yourself every so often.

    • Katie
      July 22, 2010 at 6:16 am

      I really agree with this Anna, I think it would be kind of horrible to have the info everywhere.

      • Nelly@CrazySexyFit
        July 22, 2010 at 7:50 am

        Try this trick: use the napkin to cover up the side of the page with the calories before you have time to read them, or get your dining partner to do so if you know you’ll try to sneak a peek anyways. My man and I do the same thing with the prices when treating each other – we’re neither of us very affluent, so on the occasions that we really want to treat the other, it’s best for that other not to know what the damage is!

  • Caitlin in MD
    July 22, 2010 at 5:45 am

    That bed looks so. incredibly. comfortable.

  • eatmovelove
    July 22, 2010 at 5:51 am

    Hmmm….whenever I’ve contacted these guys – no response – hah surprise surprise….
    Guess I have to be charming and a writer like yourself 🙂

  • Chelsey
    July 22, 2010 at 5:59 am

    That looks absolutely gorgeous – I have never been to Arizona, but really want to go. I’ve heard it is just breathtaking! Come to think about it, FH has a cousin there! Why haven’t we visited her before? 🙂

  • Stacey
    July 22, 2010 at 5:59 am

    That show bill and Guiliana Rancic went there and did the equine experience. Just thought I would pass along that not important celebrity tid bit. It looks beautiful there.

  • Sarah (Running to Slow Things Down)
    July 22, 2010 at 6:01 am

    Dining alone reminds me of France, where it’s just *normal* for women to eat by themselves at a local cafe. It’s part of the charm. 😀

    I would totally love to go there someday. Absolutely breathtaking pics! 😀

    Have fun!

  • Jess.
    July 22, 2010 at 6:11 am

    Wow. That place looks truly amazing. I’m jealous. I will have to add it to my “places I want to go” list. Enjoy 🙂

  • Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat
    July 22, 2010 at 6:35 am

    Absolutely stunning! The food looks SO good, especially the fruit and cheese plate! Have a great day (I think it’d be pretty hard not to!)

  • style'n
    July 22, 2010 at 6:35 am

    Absolutely gorgeous. I would love to vacation here w/or w/out my husband! And the food looks so appetizing.

  • Naina (style'n)
    July 22, 2010 at 6:37 am

    The place looks amazing . I would love to vacation here with or w/out my husband. And those pictures of the food-so appetizing!

  • kellyO
    July 22, 2010 at 6:38 am

    I really enjoy eating alone sometimes. It’s good for me to just be with my thoughts. Looks just beautiful there – enjoy every minute of it.

  • Carly (Swim, Run, Om)
    July 22, 2010 at 6:38 am

    How relaxing … I love traveling by myself. It’s fun to go places with others, but sometimes it’s nice to just do your own thing.

  • Kati
    July 22, 2010 at 6:40 am

    What a great getaway! That room looks like you could do some major deep sleep damage 🙂

  • Michelle @ Turning Over a New Leaf
    July 22, 2010 at 6:44 am

    That hotel room looks incredible!

    And that menu is my DREAM! I ordered carne asada at a local Mexican joint on 4th of July and it was so good. It was topped with sauteed onions and cactus!

  • Nichole
    July 22, 2010 at 6:52 am

    Breathtaking. Looks beautiful and relaxing. Nice work on the bubbly. Have a fantastic time.

  • Amelia
    July 22, 2010 at 6:55 am

    That looks so relaxing! I would take a big bath and fall asleep in that comfy bed. Enjoy yourself. 🙂

  • Heather @ Side of Sneakers
    July 22, 2010 at 7:17 am

    What a beautiful place!! 🙂

  • Tammy (Defining Wellness)
    July 22, 2010 at 7:25 am

    It looks absolutely wonderful there. Have a great time horseback riding — one of my favorite things in the world. 🙂

  • Jen @ Jen is Green
    July 22, 2010 at 7:28 am

    that place looks incredible! sooo jealous!! 😀

  • Nelly@CrazySexyFit
    July 22, 2010 at 7:43 am


    *pulls chair closer to the computer screen*



    I’m going to live vicariously through you now, if that’s ok. Absolutely lovely pictures – I swear, they brought a breath of fresh air into this steamy green jungle that NC becomes in the summer!

  • Liz @ Tip Top Shape
    July 22, 2010 at 8:13 am

    That place looks just beautiful! The outdoor shower intrigues me. It seems like it would be nice but I would probably feel a bit odd in it although I know no one would see you. I agree with you on the food though, even without tasting it! lol It looks GOOD.

  • April
    July 22, 2010 at 8:31 am

    I noticed your on the bottom floor . Is is a one level resort?

    Looks blissful. You are lucky !

  • Jasmine @ Eat Move Write
    July 22, 2010 at 8:36 am

    Wow. I love your room. It’s decorated just my taste. I’m not sure I’ve ever had carne asada. They serve it alot here in the Southwest though.

  • Tina
    July 22, 2010 at 8:41 am

    I would like to be there with you. A lot.

  • Annie@stronghealthyfit
    July 22, 2010 at 9:07 am

    Oh my. That looks SO relaxing 😉

  • Laura @ Backstage Pass to Health & Happiness
    July 22, 2010 at 9:38 am

    What a gorgeous resort! A lucky girl, you are.

    And LOL – “But there, people got food poisoning and marriage proposals.”

  • Laura @ youngDCliving
    July 22, 2010 at 9:48 am

    Oh my gosh! That place looks incredible, that bath tub and bedroom are gorgeous. So jealous 🙂

  • Katharine (Meal Muse)
    July 22, 2010 at 9:55 am

    I’ve never had a desire to go to AZ until now 🙂

  • ida
    July 22, 2010 at 9:57 am

    That bathroom is outta control!! I think nutrition info on menus is great, but i do wonder how accurate it is- I mean are chefs really measuring every ingredient? I guess it gives you some insight… but I’d rather just eat what I want and not worry about it. I know dining out is always a treat, and I rarely do it.

  • Sarah (Oc2Seattle)
    July 22, 2010 at 10:19 am

    Lucky you! Have always wondered about Miraval, so your update on this is much appreciated. The food looks amazing, can’t wait to hear about the workshop.

  • Cynthia (It All Changes)
    July 22, 2010 at 10:27 am

    I love that it is just a time to relax. I went on a trip in May and didn’t bring my laptop and only used my cell phone to check in on Hunni twice and I had an amazing time. So relaxing.

    Soak it up Jenna. You deserve an amazing break.

  • Amber K
    July 22, 2010 at 10:38 am

    I would’ve licked my plate regardless of whether I was alone or not! 😉

  • Heather
    July 22, 2010 at 10:39 am

    Wow, that place looks amazing! And that Carne Asada looks delicious. Enjoy the trip!

  • Dawn
    July 22, 2010 at 10:51 am

    Oh, Jenna. That place is absolutely beautiful – I am seething with envy! I hope you have a fabulously fun and restful weekend there.

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin
    July 22, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    That must be so refreshing to just sit down and focus completely on you food. I’m so guilty of always eating while at the computer or in front of the tv.

    Also that food looks to die for! Enjoy the workshop tomorrow!

  • Katie
    July 22, 2010 at 7:56 pm

    OH MY GOSH!! Can I please come with you? That place looks absolutely amazing and so relaxing.