My Blissful Week at Gaia Health Retreat & Spa

My Blissful Week at Gaia Health Retreat & Spa

Back in June, I had the pleasure of experiencing 6 blissful days at Gaia Health Retreat. We all need a break every now and then, this was the perfect place for me to do so. It was truly an unforgettable experience that I had to share with you! Gaia is a luxurious retreat and spa located in the hinterlands of Byron bay. One of the main points that drew me here was the fact that you can create your own retreat to suite you. All activities are optional – so you can choose to attend, or simply relax and enjoy the space. What a typical day looked like 7:30am: 90 minute yoga class (optional) 9am: Breakfast Fresh turmeric, ginger & lemon tonic The choice of a fruit or vegetable freshly pressed juice A delicious buffet of GF muesli, strewed & fresh fruits, superfood toppings, Gaia-style porridge (eg. sour cherry and rosewater), pumpkin bread, avocado, smoked salmon, or the daily special of a cooked breakfast. 10:30am – Chef’s Garden Tour (optional) 1 hour 12:30pm: Lunch Fresh turmeric, ginger & lemon tonic Chilled lemongrass & hibiscus water Sri Lankan chicken curry with brown rice and fresh greens from the garden   1:30 – 5:30pm: Pamper time (eg. Facial) OR free time Afternoon snacks – GF muffins – baked fresh, activated nuts, dried fruit, selections of beautiful hand blended herbal teas are on offer all day. 5:30pm: Activity 1 hour (eg. Meditation/Nutrition talk/Fitness class) 6:30pm: Dinner Entrée: Salad – baby beets, rocket, goats cheese, tomato, candied walnuts & balsamic dressing Main: Barramundi with roasted brussel sprouts, wild mushrooms & toasted pine nuts Dessert: Green tea chia seed pudding...
Health consequences of sleep deprivation

Health consequences of sleep deprivation

How high do you rate a good night’s sleep when it comes to health? Today’s society has a tendency to burn the candle at both ends, trying to ‘do it all’ and relying on that next cup of coffee to get them through the day (their adrenals certainly don’t appreciate that!). Common excuses that easily take priority over sleep – “one more email to send”, “one more hour of work/study”, “one more episode of Game of Thrones”… the list could go on. Family responsibilities, work, household duties and email chew threw those critical hours of sleeping time. The most important hours of sleep are between 9pm – 1am While you may justify a few hours here and there won’t make a difference, let me tell you – it does. The body does not contain a sleep bank, you cannot pay back those vital hours lost. Sure we know that 8 hours sleep per night is supposed to be good for us, but how often do you make a conscious effort to be in bed at a reasonable hour? Sleep deprivation carries both long and short-term consequences, perhaps the points below might make you re-think a few things. 1. Increased appetite – Insufficient sleep enhances the pleasure response process in the brain, meaning the desire to consume food increases. 2 major hormones involved in regulating food intake are ghrelin and leptin. Leptin supresses the desire for food, and ghrelin is the ‘hunger hormone’. Inadequate sleep throws these hormones out of whack.Research has shown that even after one night of sleep deprivation, ghrelin significantly increases – and so do feelings of...
Girls Weekend in Byron bay

Girls Weekend in Byron bay

Over the June long weekend I went to Byron bay with 3 beautiful souls to celebrate my birthday, Michelle’s completion of a Nutrition degree (woohoo!) and long awaited girls retreat. We arrived on Thursday, where I was blown away from the minute I walked through Shambhala’s doors. It was like I had entered a whole new world – a very nice one! A huge amethyst crystal greeted us in the doorway, incense was burning throughout the garden and relaxation music played softly in the background … I felt like I was floating! This place really is heaven on earth. We stayed in the Sarita cottage (click here), which is elevated up in the treetops. It has a fully equipped kitchen, laundry, heavenly bedrooms and bathrooms with a spa bath of course! There is an indoor & outdoor jacuzzi, yoga pavilion, steam room and sauna to top everything off. This place isn’t your regular weekend away, Shambhala is something else – I am grateful for every single minute we had there. 5 days filled with pampering, laughing, healthy food, chai … oh so much chai, and relaxation left me feeling completely rested, refreshed and invigorated (HEAVEN!). I spent my 28th birthday feeling extremely loved – thank you ladies! We had lunch at Mavis’s kitchen – this place is a must, then we tackled Mt. Warning. It really was an incredible birthday surrounded by 3 inspiring women, I couldn’t have asked for anything more. My favourite places to eat in Byron were Naked Treaties, The Roadhouse, The Treehouse and Mavis’s Kitchen… love love love ALL of these restaurants and would definitely recommend them! This trip is something I will never...
The Secret to Breaking Eating Habits

The Secret to Breaking Eating Habits

How often do you hear yourself saying “from tomorrow, I’m not going to eat any more …….?” or “I’m going stop eating ……. and start eating …….”? Now ask yourself, how many times have you ‘fallen off the wagon’ with a new diet, only to beat yourself up with guilt, anger and frustration? These might be some of the patterns you experience when trying to make a dietary change. If you can relate to any of these questions, you are definitely not alone. So why do we find it so difficult to stop eating something when we know it doesn’t do our body any favors? Your mind knows that you should stop eating pasta because feel bloated and uncomfortable every time you eat it. But before you know it, you’re having it again a few days later! I want to share with you a powerful tool, something to keep in mind when you are ready to take action and make a change. Because lets face it – change is hard, and it’s even harder when we live in a world where food is so readily available. So what is this big secret weapon that is going to help transform your eating habits for good? The Brain. The brain decides how you react to a situation. If you can recognize this, you can discover other alternatives to help break those old habits. Brain Fact #1: Your brain is made up of billions of nerve cells called neurons. Learning happens when neurons connect with each other to form a pathway through which electrical signals flow. These pathways are strengthened through repetition, the...