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The Body Retreat

The Body Retreat

Women Only Weight Loss & Wellbeing Retreats

Caramel Latte Smoothie

How does an avid lifelong coffee hater go about creating the perfect Latte Smoothie?

Co-founder Juls was playing around with new ideas for Weight Loss Retreat and was looking to add in some new smoothie recipes for the afternoon snack that was based on store cupboard/ freezer ingredients.

In trialling the mix without the coffee, it just felt too sweet, so adding a little coffee for bitterness just seems to make sense.

Now at TBR we advocate going caffeine free from about 2pm (you know that coffee has a half-life of up to 8 hours don’t you?), so to get the flavour she wanted Juls looked to Clipper Organic Decaf .At just 0.1% caffeine and water filtered it has no added nasty chemicals found in most decafs, this is a winning combo.

The maca powder gives the caramel flavour, along with the date and it also gives a boost of natural energy, perfect for warding off the afternoon slump.

This Carmel Latte Smoothie is so good that even coffee haters like Juls are converted. Give it and go and let us know what you think?

Green Liver Detox Smoothie ingredients

Ingredients – serves 1 x 250ml 

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 large medjool date
  • 200 ml plant milk
  • 1 tsp ground flaxseed
  • 1/2 tsp Maca
  • 1/2 tsp decaf coffee made up with a tablespoon of boiling water and allow to cool

Blitz and enjoy!

Buckwheat blinis with salmon & crème fraiche

Its time for something a little festive, these blinis topped with salmon and crème fraiche are light and delicious and can be served as a canapé pre lunch or dinner, you could even have them for breakfast on Christmas day. The blinis are gluten free and could be made dairy free by using a plant based alternative crème fraiche.

The blini bases can be made in advance and frozen, simply allow them them to defrost before adding the toppings. The addition of a little sprig of dill makes all the difference, enjoy!

Ingredients

Makes around 20-25

Serving 1-2 as a canape or 3 for a light breakfast or snack

Time approx 1 1/2hr

Blinis:

  • 175g Buckwheat flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • Pinch salt & pepper 
  • 2 eggs
  • 300ml milk (almond or dairy)
  • Oil for frying

Topping:

  • 200g smoked salmon
  • 300ml crème fraiche (half fat)
  • Fresh dill to garnish

Method

  1. Sieve the buckwheat flour into a large bowl, add the baking powder, salt & pepper and mix well. Make a well in the middle for the wet ingredients.
  2. In a separate bowl whisk the eggs until aerated and stir in the milk. 
  3. Gradually add the egg & milk mixture to the flour, whisking at the same time.
  4. Heat a little oil in a frying pan on a low heat. Add the batter 1 tbsp at a time to form a small circle. Fry for 3 minutes each side until golden. Set aside on kitchen paper and allow to cool.
  5. Place the blinis on a plate and top with 1 tsp of crème fraiche, a small piece of smoked salmon  and garnish with a piece of the fresh dill.

Buckhwheat blinis

Food Glorious Food …do you love food too much?

“I just love food”

“Life is too short to eat boring, bland food”

“I hate diet food”

Does this sound familiar to you?  Us too!!

Diet Mentality

It never ceases to amaze me how many women who join us here at The Body Retreat are surprised to hear that they don’t have to stop eating real food in order to be able to shed the weight that is unnecessary for them.  They love food but they feel that is shameful to admit it.  It’s wrong to love food.  Food is just fuel right??

The diet industry has convinced us that we need to starve ourselves, make great sacrifices, deprive ourselves of our favourite foods in order to shed the pounds and inches.

Just recently I was reading an introduction to a diet book that recommended that us girls ( ….yes this was a diet book aimed solely at women …for the record I read these things to keep abreast of the nonsense still being shared out there!!)…anyway I digress… this introduction advised us girls to prepare ourselves to battle against our food demons, to fortify ourselves for the struggles to come over the next couple of weeks…but the promise of shedding pounds and inches was so real that these sacrifices would be all worth it.  It read like they expect the reader was preparing for war!!!

Do you really want to do battle with your body?

Do you really want to spend the rest of your life denying yourself?

Do you want to be in a permeant state of denial, deprivation and dieting?

No me neither!!

The Key to Weight Loss

But that’s the only way to shed weight right???  You have to diet and dieting means giving up on nice food. You cant be on a diet and love food at the same time.

Except that it really doesn’t.

Shedding the weight that is unnecessary for you, achieving and maintaining the body, health and wellness you want and deserve isn not about dieting, willpower and deprivation.

It does mean creating a new positive relaionship with real food.  It does mean eating in a way that nourishes your body and your brain.

That is what is so different about our approach to eating here at The Body Retreat.  It is why mindset change is at the heart of what we do.

But you can’t simply think your way thin… sorry I’ve read that book too 🙂

You need to start to eat in a way that supports your brain chemistry and your hormones so that it genuinely starts to feel easier to make positive choices about food.

Eat Real Food

Let me show you some of the food that we eat on retreat to illustrate my point

  

  

Real food right?

Yes of course some of the food we serve regularly on retreat you may not have tried yet…but thats great as you get to experience new foods in a way that you don’t have to worry about how to make it, store it  etc

On our retreats no whole food group is excluded, so this means that you eat bread, potatoes, cheese, pancakes etc etc. Like I say real food, for real results.

We focus on nutritional density, eating foods that are rich in protein, with good quality fats and high in fibre..because these foods are nourishing your body and your brain, they click the satiety switch in the brain meaning that you don’t need to eat so much, they tell your hormones how to act.

Once we have built this base we then get to work on changing how you feel about food, letting go of old unhelpful habits, recognising emotion eating patterns and building up positive resources to help you want to make positive choices about food.

Does that mean that you simply want to diet!!!  No way… we are all about balance.  The Body Retreat is about eating for life and so enjoying a little indulgence is an important and wonderful part of life.  Life is too short to not enjoy a little sweetness right??

What to do?

So if you want to continue to love food, if you want to eat exciting tasty food at every meal, if you want to feel able to enjoy a little indulgence and not feel guilty then it is time to ditch the diets and start to build better behaviours instead.

 

“I honestly cant believe how easy it has felt to make good food choices.  I’m down 9.5kg since I joined you on retreat.”  DT. Oxford

“I’ve really enjoyed making your recipes at home, it has made healthy eating so easy” JG. London

“I still cant quite believe that I get to eat all my favourite foods and I’m still losing weight…slowly but surely. What a result” PT. Glasgow

Get out of the Diet Trap

You don’t need to give up on food in order to shed weight.  That is the very thinking that is keeping you stuck in the diet trap.

If you are looking for food inspiration then why not check out our Conscious Cooking Blog,we post a brand new recipe there every Friday.

We would love to have you try out some of our recipes and see for yourself how easy it is to make healthy and delicious meals.  If you do try out any of the recipes then do please leave us a comment or question not the blog and we will come back to you.

Or if you feel that you are done with feeling stuck in the diet trap and want to do something different then check out our Weight Loss Retreats every year we help hundred of women break the vicious cycle and achieve and maintain he body, health and wellbeing they want and deserve.

Till next time… happy eating xxx

Are you intoxicated by Carbohydrates?

Are you addicted to carbohydrates?

 

Take this short quiz to find out.

 

Do you often feel hungry very soon after you have eaten?

Do you feel that a meal is not really complete unless you have some form of starch included (bread, pasta, rice, potato, qunioa etc)

Do you sometimes feel sluggish after you finish a meal?

Do you find it difficult to say no to starchy or sugary foods?

Do you struggle with energy levels?

Do you need to snack between meals, especially mid afternoon?

Do you crave starch or sugar?

Do you find your concentration improves quickly after you have eaten starch or sugar?

Do you find it difficult if not impossible to stop eating certain foods until they are all gone?

Do you snack or graze daily?

 

Now.. count up your Yes answers

 

0 – 2  You are probably not addicted to carbohydrates

3 – 5 You appear to have a mild carb addiction which, at times, you may be able to control and with some difficulty.

6-8 Your score indicates that you are moderately addicted to carbohydrates. At times you may be able to control your eating but you may find that stress, premenstrual changes, tiredness, boredom, unexpressed anger or pressure may increase your carbohydrate cravings.

9-10 You have scored in the severe carbohydrate addiction range. You may be struggling to control your eating without realizing that your body has been fighting you, literally driving you to eat and then storing the excess food energy as fat.

You may not be surprised by your score or you may think that surely everyone is in some way a little addicted to carbs in some form.

Perhaps you know that you have a problem with carbs in whatever form that takes but you cannot seem to break the cycle of eating.

Hands up here….I am a total Carbohydrate addict!!!

I thought I was just greedy or that I didn’t have enough willpower to resist the sugary or starchy delights.

I was wrong…. Being a carb addict is not about greed, hunger or willpower.

Let me explain.

 

It all starts in childhood.

I was brought up in the 1070’s by an Irish grandmother.. It was the beginning of the snack era. I can still remember the adverts for Milky way Chocolate bars..”the treat you can eat between meals and not ruin your appetite”.  I could eat about a dozen of those little morsels, then there was the lemonade van that came door to door every Wednesday I was allowed two bottles for the week of whatever garishly coloured highly sweetened beverage I liked.  But its wasn’t only the treats that were changing, the food we eat regularly at home changes too, the bread became more processed, in addition to meat and two veg there was now exotic dishes like pasta or curry and rice…  add into the mix that an Irish grandmother is also a big fan of having a pudding after supper EVERY EVENING and you can see where the trouble began.

My sweet tooth was almost insatiable.

Next comes college.. living on cheep student fodder of pasta, pizza, cheesy chips, pot noodles ( no judgement pls) choosing to fill myself up on cheep stodgy foods actually felt like I was nourishing myself. But basically when you add in the alcohol consumption as well the college years are just one long carb feast!!

Then there are the corporate years.  For me that meant years of working in hospitality, so shift work and availability of restaurant food meant that I was often eating rich indulgent foods at all times of the day and night…oh and then add in the social life. More eating out, more alcohol…more sugar , more starch, more carbs!!!

Does any of this sound familiar to you?

This is the story of how I became addicted to carbs.  Your story may be slightly different but it probably follows a similar pattern.

Year after year, decade after decade you have eaten progressively more and more carbs.

You began to change your taste buds, you changed your glucose tolerance threshold, you change how your brain reacts to sugar and starch… slowly but surely you become more addicted.  Need just a little more sugar, a little more starch, more carbs to just feel normal. Its feels difficult to function properly if you don’t have enough “fuel” and for you fuel need to be fast acting…fuel needs to be carbs!

The diet industry doesn’t help…for years we were told to eat less fat…fat makes you fat!!  Of course the problem was that what we were left with was CARBS… and when you take the fat out of a dish or product you have to replace it with something that adds in not only flavour but also texture… enter in sugar, starch and artificial sweeteners.

You can find yourself on a starchy sugary carb fuelled rollercoaster.  Needing more each day to get through the day.

We meet so many women week after week at The Body Retreat who are are struggling to regain control from addiction to carbohydrates they try to quit the habit at home but find it too difficult…if not impossible to get through those first few days.

The problem with many at home plans is that they focus too much on what you need to tae out of our daily eating…this void leave you at the mercy of cravings.   Which is why on our retreats we focus equally on what you put into your daily diet alongside those foods you are looking to remove or reduce.

Rather than building your diet around carbs we focus on increasing the amount of protein, fat and fibre.. which help to keep you feeling satisfied and not at the mercy of blood sugar cravings.

What is your biggest challenge when it comes to starch, sugar and carbohydrates?  Do you think of yourself as being addicted to carbohyrdates? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

Five Reasons to Start Meal Prep This Weekend

Top 5 Reasons to Meal Prep

If you’re like most of the women who join us here at The Body Retreat, you’re super busy!

There just never seems to be enough time in the day to accomplish everything on your to-do list. Striving to live a healthier lifestyle becomes more of a distant memory, rather than something achievable.

However, by planning and preparing, you’ll be more successful in achieving your health goals. It’s the same principles that you would apply to becoming a successful business professional or entrepreneur.

In order to be successful you have to plan, prepare and practice.

Although you may argue that you try to make it to the gym and that’s enough, it’s not. What you put in your mouth is much more important, you cannot out train a bad diet.

Now don’t get too carried away and cancel your gym membership or cancel your personal trainer; fitness still plays an important roll in your health and wellbeing.

To get started, pick a day (typically Saturday or Sunday) and meal prep for the week.

Doing this will help you reduce stress and overwhelm.

 

Here are 5 reasons to get you on board with meal prepping.

  1. Ingredient Control. When you purchase packaged foods and or eat out, you expose your body to a host of food additives that are toxic. These additives can disrupt your hormones, and promote inflammation; some have even been deemed as carcinogens. Choosing quality foods and spending time in the kitchen, can help reduce the toxic load in your body.
  2. Peace of Mind. The one thing we all strive for is peace of mind. I’ve never met anyone who jumps for joy because they enjoy chaos and frustration. You have a hectic life as is, take the load off by meal prepping. Just imagine getting home from work and realizing you don’t have to cook from scratch but still enjoy a delicious nutritious meal! Just the thought of one area of your life being organized, brings peace of mind. Why? One less thing to think 
  3. Save Money. Do you know how much money you are spending by purchasing “convenience foods.” If you took the time to add up the cost of purchasing and preparing your own food vs. buying food on the go, you’ll realize that you save a money by home cooking.
  4. Slimmer Waistline.. Prepping your meals gives you the opportunity to control portion sizes, and helps you keep track of what you are putting in your body.
  5. Quality Time. Busy schedules leave you limited time for family, friends, relationships or other personal desires. Not having to think about cooking food from scratch every night when you get home will be a sigh of relief. All you have to do is grab your food, heat it up, and you’re good to go.

 

If you want to conquer anything in life, it starts with a mindset shift.

Don’t convince yourself that you don’t have time to meal prep. I promise you that once you get into a routine, it’ll become second nature. Start by researching some new healthy recipes, then make a list of ingredients, head to the supermarket and when you return home, put the radio on and enjoy spending some time cooking / prepping. An hour well spent on the weekend brings a week of content.

If you lack inspiration for healthy meals then check out our Conscious Cooking Blog or even check out our Conscious Cooking Book on Amazon. These recipes are simple, quick, easy to make. You’ll spend less time in the kitchen while you lose weight, have more energy, less food cravings and more mental clarity.