A wellness retreat is a special kind of getaway—not quite a vacation, not quite an adventure, and yet likely the most rewarding getaway you’ll ever give yourself. Because that’s exactly what a wellness retreat is—a gift to yourself, a chance to up the ante on your mental and spiritual well-being.
Wellness retreats really are designed to allow everyone who goes on them to take a moment out from the daily grind. Sure, you can do this at home, but how often do you take the time? The fact that a retreat takes you out of your usual mindset and opens up your schedule and mental space to dedicate time to—really—the most important thing you’ve got going. You.
Let go of your usual routines, and give yourself the freedom to recharge, relax and reflect. Enjoy the restorative power of letting go and you might just find the experience life changing. You might find it addictive and realize you need to do this far, far more often than you already do.
Of course, whether you’re on a wellness retreat or not, you still have to eat. Wellness retreats take this everyday necessity and turn it into a way to detox and learn new ways to reward your body with the foods it needs…in the tastiest fashion possible. I have included the exact recipes and foods that I consumed on my stay-at-home winter retreat.
Let’s face it. We live in a busy world and while we all know meditation is great for our bodies and brains, it’s not so easy to learn to shut off the constant barrage of everyday thoughts. A wellness retreat factors in time to meditate and reflect. This not only allows you time to recharge, but also usually opens up opportunities to enjoy guided meditation—namely, someone to help you get to that perfect mental space to decompress, focus, let go or whatever you need to do. The walking is a great way to meditate and you can also do some self-focused breathing – simply take four deep belly breaths, it I will trick your body into the relaxation response.
How often have you wanted to take a moment to journal, but not gotten to it because your days are too full? Work, kids and the general stresses of everyday life tend to kick centering activities like journaling to the wayside. But a retreat is the perfect time to journal. Away from that daily routine and fully immersed in a serene environment, your mind clears, and you can sort through thoughts and ideas in a way that’s not always possible at home. So, go ahead. Go shopping for a new journal and bring it along. You’ll likely find yourself relaxing rather introspective on your retreat either way, but by journaling, you’re all the more likely to take the experience home with you.
Here’s what I want you to write about: five things you are grateful for and one thing you are ready to let go of.
Now it also a nice time to do some goal setting. Perhaps think of one thing that you would like to achieve in these areas of your life as I have listed here:
Exercise is another aspect of life that can suffer from a busy daily routine, but wellness retreats focus on benefits to mind and body alike. On this retreat day, you will do a walk preferably with Nordic Walking Poles (I really like my Black Diamond poles) and you have the choice to do yoga or a strength training metabolic workout. The walk will be an hour to an hour and a half, the perfect amount of time for fat burning and for it to truly free your mind from your day and become meditative as a walk-through peaceful surroundings. Exercise is often viewed as an extra chore to do, but a retreat is the perfect time to view it as a luxury and indulge. You will wake up tomorrow a little stronger and empowered. The walk will happen in the morning and the yoga or strength component will be in the afternoon, after your lunch.
Ok? Now that you know what is included in your retreat day – here’s the daily overview and it is exactly what I did last Sunday. I felt awesome on Monday and even lost a few pounds. I have kept the sauna treatments going and am on my sixth in a row today. We have an infrared sauna at Clear Medicine, I can’t tell you how great I feel after a session. Read more here.
I also kept up my exercise, diet and supplements – but even if you do this one day a week – it will be great for you mind and body. There is a rationale to the order of the activities – mostly for blood sugar balance and fat loss. Here’s why I have laid it out like this:
Why have this drink?
✔ Helps Increase Energy,
Muscle Growth/Recovery And Brain Power
✔ Helps With Skin, Joints, And Bones
✔ Aids Digestive Problems And The Immune System
✔ Boosts Thyroid, Improves Skin Hair And Nails
✔ Stabilizes Blood Sugar And Reduces Inflammation
Mix these simple items in a shaker cup with as much water as you prefer (we prefer less water!) and begin your day by drinking these three ingredients:
1) Creatine: Did you know this is one of the only supplements proven to increase energy, muscle growth/recovery, and brain power? Yes, it’s true – it is not just for muscle-bound body builders anymore because almost everyone can take it for mental function, energy, and preserving muscle mass. It is also excellent for concussion victims. Take 5 grams – about ½ scoop per day and make sure its pure and simple creatine with no added sugars or caffeine. Our Clear Recovery mixture is clean with some extra benefits, such as glutamine and amino acids that aid in muscle recovery. You have a choice of flavoured(raspberry) or unflavoured. Read more about creatine in this blog post.
Collagen (hydrolyzed and with Vitamin C): As we
age, our body’s ability to produce new collagen declines and existing collagen
begins to break down. The loss of collagen effects skin, joints, and bones. The
decreased collagen may also lead to increased digestive problems, weakened
immune system, and increased risk of chronic illness. A recent article in
the Globe and Mail turned Dr. Turner ND on to collagen’s
benefits for tendons, bones, ligaments, and repair after exercise as the scientists
gave 15 grams to the athletes (so it is recommended to take about one and a
half tablespoons). The researchers saw great improvements in the 15-gram dose.
By the way, 5 – 10 grams didn’t do the trick – it must be 15g or more. Since
then we have gone on to find these additional benefits of marine collagen: it
builds bone strength, boosts thyroid, improves skin, hair, and nails – and even
wrinkles, stabilizes blood sugar, boost the mood hormone and brain function,
reduces inflammation, heals inflammation and immunity within the gut and helps
with joint pain. Read more about Marine Collagen in this blog
post. Clear Medicine has mixed berry
flavoured and unflavoured collagen from Nova Scotia – my home province.
3) Protein: For immunity, muscle, metabolic, antioxidant and strength benefits toss 1 to 2 scoops (at least 20 to 30 grams for women; and 30 to 40 grams for most men) in your cup. If you can’t take whey protein – plant-based proteins can work too. For the purposes of the winter retreat day I used 1 scoop of Clear Vegan d-tox Shake as the protein source as it also contained ingredients to support liver and hormonal detox
With this shake I took the following supplements:
I did this for two days on the weekend and I was down two pounds by Tuesday and felt like a million bucks!