The Body Retreat

The Body Retreat

Women Only Weight Loss & Wellbeing Retreats

Choosing the Weight Loss Retreat that is right for you

Choosing a Weight Loss Retreat to suit you

Anyone who has ever been on a diet or exercise plan will know just how difficult it can be to stick to. You eat as little as you can manage and you try to squeeze in as much exercise as is possible and the weight starts to shift.  Then it sticks, then you get frustrated and stop the eating less and moving more and the weight just seems to pile back on

Even if you do manage to reach your target weight, it can be equally difficult to maintain it.

That is why heath and fitness bootcamps are so popular. They are designed to put you in an environment conducive to successful weight loss, with people facing similar challenges.

There are many different types of weight loss retreats– or bootcamps as they are often known – so making sure you choose the one that is most suitable for you will help you achieve your goals.

At The Body Retreat we offer a range of different retreats to suit you and your lifestyle. We take a holistic approach health, fitness and weight loss, focussing on the ‘Four Pillars of Women Wellness – Mindset, Menu, Movement and Maintenance.  You can read more about them here if you like.

So, what do you need to consider when choosing a retreat?

What are you trying to achieve – a quick fix? Or weight loss and maintenance?

What is your goal?

A rapid weight loss where the ends justify the means.  You may be happy to only consume juices for several days? Or exercise like a beast in military style bootcamp classes.

Or do you want a programme which will educate you on how to shed weight successfully – and maintain that weight loss?

At The Body Retreat, we offer the latter. We know that old habits are impossible  to break and, in some cases, there may be other obstacles to maintaining your weight loss (such as understanding why you reach for that biscuit tin when you get that 3pm slump, or that glass of wine as soon as you walk in the door after a bad day).

On our weight loss retreats for women, losing weight is just one part of the programme. We have a personalised, holistic approach consisting of an equal balance of  behaviour exercise and nutrition on all our events.

Our aim is to provide you with a new framework for your life so that you can learn how to shed ht weight that is unnecessary for you and then maintain your weight through a mixture of healthy eating, exercise and new behaviours (such as dealing with stress, or foregoing pick me ups such as caffeine when you are tired).

Big groups – or one-to-one attention?

Do you want one-to-one or one-to-few attention?  Do you want or need and environment where you can exercise at your own fitness levels under the expert eye of a trainer? Or are you happy to be part of a large group where you just throw yourself in the deep end and hope you don’t injure yourself because no one is telling you if you are doing a particular exercise correctly?

On all of our retreats, we have small groups so that everyone gets a personalised service. Our groups tend to be a mixture of all levels of fitness, ages, shapes and sizes, and our programmes are tailored to each individual so that they can meet their goals.

What is included in the cost?

You may see some weight loss retreats advertising themselves as cheap – while this is all well and good, do make sure you know what is included in the cost before you sign up.

Some of these so-called “cheap” camps will charge you extra for things like en-suite rooms, towels, snacks and even bottled water!

At our retreats, everything is included. Your food, snacks and drinks will have the emphasis on being healthy while still being tasty and satisfying. Main meals and snacks will ensure that you never go hungry, plus herbal teas and water are on tap!

And all our venues offer clean, luxurious, and (usually) en-suite rooms – no dormitories!

What variety of Activities is available?

If their website details it, check out the sort of activities you’ll be doing to make sure that they:

  • are varied, so that you get to try lots of different activities as well as work different muscle groups;
  • do not require lots of equipment (meaning that when you go home, you can keep up with the new routines you’ve learnt, without having to join an expensive gym);
  • appeal to you – well at least a bit! For example, if running for a bus is the only running you do, suddenly being thrown into lots of 10k runs and very little else won’t make for an enjoyable time at your camp.

For us we love variety so you can expect a varied mix of activities – such as indoor and outdoor based exercise classes and workouts intermixed with sessions on nutrition, workshop activities and low impact exercise such as yoga, pilates, and Nordic walking etc – We think this is ideal, as it meets all the points mentioned above.

Finally, whatever weight loss retreat you decide to attend, don’t forget to check out the credentials of the Team – being in the care of qualified and hopefully experienced people will help you achieve your goals – as well as give you peace of mind.

Choosing the Weight Loss Retreat that is right for you should not be a quick decision, unless you are happy with a quick result that is likely to disappear just as quickly after you return home.

If you would like to chat about how we might be the right retreat for you then CLICK HERE to set up a call back.

What Are Your Weight Loss Weak Spots?

Many women begin a new diet or healthy eating plan and while the first few days go well they see, to find themselves inevitably falling off the wagon time and again.

Now you will already know our view on diets and restrictive plans here at The Body Retreat, but we do appreciate that for many women they feel that their eating has literally spiralled out of control and so for them they need and want the structure that a diet plan or programme can give them.

In our time running Weight Loss Retreats for women we have identified the following 7 Common Weight Loss Weak Spots that come up again and again.

Identifying for yourself your own weak spot can really help you to over come them and achieve your health and wellbeing goals.

First a word on weak spots… I want to be very clear here that these are not a weakness, failing or fault of yours. In identifying the weak spots that have in the past let you down is an opportunity to empower yourself not beat yourself up!!

7 Common Weight Loss Weak Spots


Where you spend your time obviously has a big impact on how you behave. If you work in catering, hospitality or food retail and find yourself surrounded by food all day every day you may find that you have adopted the habit of grazing through the day.

Likewise if you live in a household of all males then you may have found that you serve up the same size portion for yourself as the boys.

Do you have children for whom you feel obliged to keep sweets and snacks on tap?

Is the environment that you spend your time conducive to supporting your healthy eating? Think about what small changes you might like to make to your environment or your behaviour in that environment to help you to eat healthily.


Do you allow yourself to be unduly influenced by those around you? Do you find it hard to say no when offered delicious and tempting foods? Do you have an “eating buddy” you know the friend with whom you can enjoy a good old foodie blow out?

Most people don’t deliberately set out to sabotage your best efforts to eat healthily, perhaps you have simply adopted a habit that has got out of hand, maybe you have never had the firm conversation that you don’t want to eat in the old way anymore.

Think about how your relationships impact the way that you eat, are they as constructive as they could be? If not then it may be time to have a conversation and ask for support or a new way of behaving.



Think eating healthily is expensive? This may be because the last diet plan you followed meant a complete restock of your cupboards with items that once you finished the plan or gave up you never used again. Or perhaps it was a plan that was 100% organic and you cannot justify the extra food bill.

I understand, we do advocate organic at the Body Retreat, I would love it if we didn’t have to stipulate organic because pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and other “Stuff” wasn’t routinely added to the food chain…but that is a whole other blog…. I’m a realist and again this is about choice and a bit of compromise.

If you adopt the 80/20 principle and 80% of the time you choose to buy and eat food that is healthy, maybe organic then that allows you 20% of the time to eat anything else that takes your fancy. You will notice in the recipes on our Conscious Cooking Blog that they routinely use the same ingredients time and again. With just a few staple store cupboard ingredients you can always be ready to rustle up a healthy dish



When you begin your new diet or healthy eating regime, what are you thinking? Are you thinking “fingers crossed this time”; “here we go again”; “hope this one works”.

Perhaps you are even thinking “what’s the point”; “I bet it won’t work for me” or even “ I never stick to these things”.

Our thoughts become our feelings, become actions and ultimately become our results. So beginning any new venture with anything less than feelings of optimism, determination and confidence means that you are pretty much setting yourself up to fail.

Time to be firm and honest with yourself. Are you guilty of thinking self sabotaging thoughts and undermining your best effort?



This is a tricky one. So often we hear from the women who join us on retreat that they simply don’t have the time to eat healthy.

I don’t doubt for one minute that these are very busy women, often holding down successful careers as well as raising a family and running a household.

But here is a universal truth…We make time for the things that are important to us.

Healthy eating does not have to involve long and laborious meal plans, slaving over a stove or building up Popeye worthy biceps at the chopping board. There are many easy time hacks and shortcuts to healthy eating, on retreat we have a breakfast that takes just 90 seconds to prepare.

Time is an excuse…a bit of tough love here!!

Its about choice. When you are busy it is easy to grab the unhealthy option, you may even be unconsciously rewarding yourself for your hard work. But it’s just a choice. Grabbing a muffin rather than a yogurt pot, or a baguette rather than a soup.

There is never enough time, I know that. But it doesn’t mean you cannot make a better choice in the time you do have.



This is probably one of the most common weak spots that we hear from the women who attend our Weight Loss Retreats.

The women who join us on retreat are smart, bright professional woman, but over the years and decades they have been so bombarded by mixed health and weight loss messages that they find themselves almost stultified into inaction by the shear volume of choice. Should they be cutting carbs, sugar, fat, fasting , juicing, the list of options literally overwhelms them into inaction.

Keep it simple. Work out what works for you and then stick to that…stop switching and swapping. Allow your body and mind to understand what you want them to achieve and you may surprise yourself how easy it becomes to shed the unnecessary weight.



Everything above really falls under the same umbrella…these behaviours quickly become our Habits. Once a habit is ingrained it cannot be broken, rather you need to adopt a new habit ,which over time grows in strength and drowns out the old unhelpful habit.

Now that you have reviewed our list of Common Wight Loss Weak Spots you may have already identified for yourself those spots where you seem to come unstuck. That is great…because knowledge is power and you are now in a position to make a change.

10 Ways to Get Back on Track after Christmas

Not so long ago, in-fact just a few short weeks ago, you were energetic and determined to maintain your healthy lifestyle.   Then Christmas happened!

You had intended to enjoy the holiday, Christmas after all is a time to eat, drink and be merry with family and friends.

So you ate an extra piece of Christmas cake, had some chocolate from the kids selection boxes at breakfast and rekindled your love of Bailey’s coffee.

Every time you ate or drank something you knew it was a choice you were making, but its Christmas…….  Why not indulge a little.

But soon you find that each small mouthful is taking you further and further away from the path of your healthy lifestyle.

Realising you had “blown” your diet, you ate another mince pie and another and couldn’t get it together the next day either.

Of course in the run up to the big day itself, you have been so busy that you missed one workout, and that turned into a whole week away from the gym.

Now it feels as through your momentum to start over again is gone.

In your head you tell yourself tomorrow ill try…

Every time you misstep on your healthy journey, you have two choices:

To keep walking backwards, ignoring how bad you feel, beating yourself up because you have in some way failed a test (who made that rule anyway???)  every day takes you even further away from your goals.


You can choose to accept your lack of perfection as normal and forgivable, so ditch any guilt you may have been feeling about your Christmas treats, now is the time for positive thoughts not negative ones and so now you can choose to  take not one, but two positive steps down the path that brings your closer to the body and fitness that you want and deserve.

So now, instead of waiting for the next day, week, month or even year to overhaul your habits, start TODAY, right now!!.

Start small. You can’t go from the sofa to running for an hour or from cake to carrot sticks in a day. But you can do one, two or even a handful of small things that will help you regain your momentum for healthy living.

Below are The Body Retreats 10 ways to helps get you back on track right now!!

1. A short HIIT workout. Even five minutes is better than nothing. For ideas browse our back catalogue of workouts on the website.

2. Create a new recipe. Cooking healthy foods can be fun and it never has to be bland. Be creative with those turkey leftovers.

3. Eat a healthy breakfast. Your morning meal sets the stage for the rest of your day, so start if off right!

4. Drink your water. Aim for 8 glasses each day and you’ll soon feel the difference!

5. Get outside for at least 20 mins.  Walk around the block, take your bike out.  exercising outside will give you an boost as well as helping you to get that all important Vit D top up.

6. Write down what you eat and drink across the day.  No matter how it adds up, you’ll learn from it and it will help you to make a new choice tomorrow.

7. Share your goal to get back on track, why not post us on our FB page, let us know what is working for you.

8. Cut the carbs at night.  Plan your evening meal at night to be refined carb free and give your digestive system a rest in the evening.

9. Mix your drinks… and by that we mean for every alcoholic drink you have, have a glass of water or soda to help keep hydration levels up.

10. If you feel like you are way off track and need further help and support then book yourself onto our next Weight Loss Retreat where we guarantee you will drop those unwelcome festive pounds you have gained.

Real Women Helping Real Women.

We are very blessed to have a very high return rate on our retreats.  Over half of our retreaters return to us again and almost a third come every year.  I was proudly sharing these statistics at an event recently when I was asked a question that quite shocked me.  I was asked “so did the retreat not work for them first time?”  Wowzers…. It had never occurred to me that our return rate could be construed negatively.  But then it stuck me …if you don’t get it, then you don’t get it.

The Body Retreat is unashamedly not about a quick fix, we do not offer a magic bullet, we do not dictate what shape, size or weight you “should” be, we do not offer shameless boosted results, we do not pass everyone through the same old programme. We are about working with every one as an individual, making sure that she gets the results she wants. With us its personal as well as professional.

Some of the women who join us on our women only Weight Loss Retreats for example are on a journey to claim the body, health and fitness they want and deserve, for some that may take months and for others years.  Likewise we have women who come every year to our Health & Fitness Holiday because its their holiday, time for them to be active and eat clean while they tan.  Other retreaters have worked through the entire portfolio of retreats we offer.  So many women, so many results, so many reasons to return.

I’d like to introduce you to Wendy.

Wendy is one of our repeat returners, Wendy comes to retreat every year, sometimes more than once a year she is a real part of The Body Retreat family.  Wendy is even in the photos on our website as she volunteered to model for us along with other retreaters.  This summer Wendy went to another retreat…shock horror…it’s ok it happens 🙂  We only had one retreat over the summer and it was sold out…anyway I digress…back to Wendy.

When she returned from her trip Wendy sent me the email below,  after almost 4 years Wendy wanted to give us a testimonial for our website.  Her trip had made her reflect on why she liked to return time and again to The Body Retreat.  I was very touched, she told me I could use it in any way I wanted and could amend if I wanted.  Actually I don’t want to amend a single word.  Thank You Wendy xx

I have been going to The Body Retreat for a few years now. Every time I go I absolutely love it.

I have not, until now, had experience of other retreats, as I don’t really consider going anywhere else! This year circumstances lead me to another retreat (available dates and desperation). I was absolutely open minded and ready to embrace the week and why not? Why pay all the money and not get absolutely the most out of it?  I’m not here to criticise the other retreat – it had really great bits and not so great bits – but it got me to thinking about what makes The Body Retreat just so special. So here it is:

  • Unpretentious, down to earth real women with a passion for changing the lives of real women.
  • Realistic, reasoned, practical advice for real women in their REAL lives – not the lives that they are “supposed” to have.
  • Real food! Actually fantastic real food prepared by the food genius Juls. No “detox” (the body can do this itself thank you very much given the right, clean foods!).Real, clean food that you can (and do) eat when you get home.
  • You actually experience what it feels like to eat the food you would genuinely eat at home. This differs from the so called “detox breaks” where you are strictly limited with food or given only juices, then expected to then do something different when you go home.  These do have their place I am sure but it seems to me so important for real women in real life. It really is odd to watch someone refusing surprisingly utterly delicious, beautiful prepared dipped kale crisp (quite the most delicious thing I’ve eaten in a while) because it may muck up his or her juicing detox!
  • The Body Retreat works with your mind as well as your body. Juls and Julie, the real women behind The Body Retreat understand real lives and the reasons why some of us overeat, over drink and eat rubbish. Therefore understanding what drives certain behaviors and techniques to help with this is one of the key pillars of The Body Retreat. You learn about self esteem, being kind to yourself, learning to love what your body does for you.
  • The women who go!  Now, I love the company of men (after all I’m married to one) and would have blanched at the very idea of a “women only” retreat. But there is something very special that happens at The Body Retreat with the small groups of women who come. It just feels caring, trusting and safe. I’ve been many times and it’s an utter pleasure and privilege so see so many women (some really beaten down by life – me included) simply blossom in The Body Retreat’s nurturing hands.

It’s not easy! And that’s the good bit. Julie knows just how hard to push you to do just that little more than you think you can and those are the bits that make the difference.  It’s hard at times but you are lifted along by the group dynamic so skillfully guided by Juls and Julie. Pushing through the hard bits and then realising that you CAN do it, you ARE strong enough does wonders for your self esteem and your body confidence.

You do get real results. You may have noticed that all the reasons above are not about how much weight I lose! But… you really do loose the pounds! More importantly for me is that my clothes feel more comfortable, my body feels more comfortable and I am more comfortable with myself. I feel like a real women again.



Quick & Healthy Chicken and Lemon Soup

Lunches can be a challenge when you are trying to follow your commitment to eat healthy meals, thats why so many of us revert to the humble sandwich but as we have discussed in previous blog, eating a sandwich at lunchtime is actually going to set you up for weight gain…even if you eat one of those plastic fantastic calorie counted ones the supermarkets offer.

Soup really is the savour of waistlines, you make rustle up a soup that is high in protein, antioxidants and fibre in just minutes and once you have mastered a few basic chopping skills you will wonder what ever stopped you from unleashing your inner Nigella before.

So, onto the Chicken & Lemon Soup

If like me you had a roast chicken at the weekend and have all but stripped the poor bird bare, wait a moment before you throw her out.  Because I would like to share with you a delicious and nutritious soup recipe that takes only about 30  mins to prepare and will keep you feeling full all afternoon.  The addition of fresh lemon to this hearty soup really lifts the flavours and takes that humble old bird carcus to a new level.  Don’t be put off by the steps for making your own stock, this really is the most simple soup ever.. and you can feel doubly virtuous as you enjoy a big bowl full that not only are you eating a healthy and nutritious home cooked meal but you have also wasted nothing, we are really keen on that at The Body Retreat.

This soup make a great lunch if you are trying to stick to your healthy eating commitment or if you are detoxing from all the Christmas excess.  We make a version of this soup on our Weight Loss Retreat that I call Irish Granny’s Soup as it has the addition of pot barley too.  If you are a vegetarian you can replace the chicken with a can of rinsed chick peas but will also need to add a good quality veg stock like Marigold Bullion.

(you can freeze this soup or it will keep in the fridge for up to 3 days)

Serves 6
  • 1 Chicken Carcus
  • 1 Leek, sliced
  • 3 Sticks Celery, chopped
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 large leaves Savoy Cabbage
  • 1 sml head broccoli, chopped into florets
  • 25gm Frozen Broad Beans
  • 25gm Frozen Peas
  • Few springs fresh thyme or tsp of dried is ok too.
  • Grated rind of full Lemon
  • Salt & Black Pepper

Ok first things first…its time to get all that last lovely goodness from you bird.  Place the carcus in a large pot and cover with about 1.5 lts boiling water.  Bring to a gentle simmer on the stove and cover and leave to just bubble away for about 20 mins.

You can now get on with chopping your veggies, there is no right or wrong way, just small enough so that you can get a variety of veggies in one spoonfull.

Now for the messy bit…and ill admit i always wear a pair of rubber gloves for these, i keep a box of disposable gloves in the kitchen for jobs just like this. Take the pot of the stove and allow to cooler for a moment or tow, then lie the carcus out of the stock flaking off any last little bits of meat that by now will be falling off the bones. Discard the carcus and before you add the veggies just need to have a check that no small bones have fallen into the stock.

Add the veggies expect the broccoli, beans and peas and the thyme and bring back to a gentle simmer for 10 mins.  Then add the broccoli, beans and peas…you can add the beans and peas straight form the freezer there is no need to defrost.

Finally , grate over the zest of a whole lemon and add a little salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper to taste.

And that is it.  Just a few simple steps to make a delicious and nutritious soup that is perfect for lunchtime.