DAY IN THE LIFE: Retreat in Costa Rica
The brilliant Costa Rican sun filters through my room. I’m awake. I do my personal meditation now, to prepare for the day ahead. We are on Day 3 of my Clean Living Retreat at Villa Estrella. The others will be up soon, ready to attack the day and I set my intention to serve them to my highest and best.
Hydration is key to wellness - I have 2 litres before I eat or drink anything else. While sipping I review my notes for the day. The retreats demand being flexible and fluid with the itinerary because, even though I have prepared one, there is always something that changes.
I pre-fuel with a few slices of mango + 2 Tbsp coconut oil.
The first activity is meditation. I prepare the space with yoga mats and pillows. I’m using Clary Sage essential oils to heighten focus and clear mindedness for the day.
The group arrives, ready to learn this new skill.
Mediation session begins. We get comfortable on our mats and slip into the 30 minute guided meditation.
Everyone returns from their meditative state and we share our experiences. What did they feel? Did emotions come up? Were you able to relax? Could you turn of monkey brain? The women seem to enjoy and even embrace meditation. Now we are ready for our beach/hill walk.
We leave Villa Estrella, heading downhill towards Playa Ocotal, the black lava sand beach that sits on the northern Pacific Coast of Costa Rica. The air here is hazy with a white mist, rich with negative ions that healers and energy workers believe is abundant with healing benefits.
The walk downhill is pleasant, filled with the smells, sounds and breezes of this tropical climate. We are sweating - the humidity is intense. After exploring the beach for a few minutes, we begin the climb up. What takes us 30 minutes to descend takes 45 minutes to climb. It is nothing short of work. Some walk up the hill. Others run for short stretches. It is no easy task - I call this a walk but it’s really a workout. In the heat and humidity, it feels punishing. But we make it.
Breakfast is served. We enjoy Cauliflower Pancakes with whole, sunny side up eggs. No one leaves a crumb? We are hungry after all that effort. We relish the time to connect, savour our rich Costa Rican coffee and launch a discussion about Eating Clean® (what else?).
An education session about hydration highlights the need for this most essential nutrient. Yet it remains North America’s #1 nutritional deficiency.
It’s time for another workout. I’ve created a whole body session using bands. Each retreat experience is different because the locations have different equipment. I can carry resistance bands, and other light equipment in my suitcase. There are varying levels of fitness in the group. Bands are equalizing in that you can select a resistance that works for you, providing more or less resistance. The buff gals are surprised to discover how hard this kind of workout can be. Their favorite exercise - band leg press. It’s surprisingly effective.
Lunch! We have a beautiful green salad with an equally green dressing. Each meal is Eat Clean® approved. There’s NO sugar anywhere but plenty of green, living food. We are feeling energized and ready for this meal. Delicious beef and chicken, protein rich kabobs round out the meal.
The ladies pair up for massages. While they are being massaged, I settle into one on one sessions with each guest.
Massages and one on one’s are over. I’m ready to refresh my energy.
I jump in the pool and it now begins to rain. But it feels wonderful. Diego, the resident manager, grabs his camera and takes some pics, as others join me in the pool. The Sonos system plays local music, energizing us with the happy beats.
At the same time, Chef Alberto serves snacks. Cauliflower Hummus and roasted veggies make us very happy as our metabolism is on fire from the Band workout.
It’s time for an education session in the kitchen with Chef Alberto. He and I discussed the recipes to be made: Bone Broth, Nut Butter, Nut Milk and Chia Seed Pudding. There are plenty of happy oh’s and ah’s as the guests learn how easy it is to make this clean, whole food.
Down time and time to prep for dinner.
We gather for dinner on the veranda. The gentle rain still falls but we are content to connect in our little community, warm and dry and filled with energy. We savour the Mahi Mahi in banana leaves, yucca and plantain with steamed broccoli. A Mango Sorbet completes the meal.
We gather for one final meditation and head for bed, excited and fulfilled.
The house is quiet as I journal the day’s events.
I am excited to visit one of the world’s rare places tomorrow - Nicoya. It is one of 5 Blue Zones where residents live past 100 with great regularity. We will visit and learn about this place. It’s exciting for me as this has been on my Bucket List.
Goodnight and much love,