I had an absolute pleasure of attending Mind.Body.Reset self-care day retreat last month hosted by a Naturopathic Nutritional Therapist Gemma McGuigan from Gemma McGuigan Nutrition and Energy Psychologist Donna Van Vuuren from Source Health in a beautiful countryside setting at Warborne Farm in Lymington.
It was an incredible day spent with a small group of like-minded people who took the time out of their busy schedules and dedicated it to learning about self care, nutrition, dealing with stress, influencing your belief system and lots of other empowering things.
Our morning started with getting to know each other over some incredibly delicious homemade juices prepared by Gemma. Whilst trying to guess the ingredients of each juice, we were also learning the nutritional information about each powerful ingredient in the juice: papaya and pineapple contribute to a good digestive system, celery protects liver cells, fennel serves as a great anti-oxidant whilst turmeric has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Needless to say, our digestive system had a great kick start after having those juices.
We talked a great deal about the importance of maintaining a healthy gut & proper gut microbiome (the bacteria that lives in our digestive tracts), which is crucial for overall wellness. It is also important for the absorption of nutrients as well as reducing toxins in the body and maybe even improving your mood. Gemma reminded us all how important it is to pay attention to our eating habits (eating slow, chewing food properly, focusing on solely eating your food rather than mindlessly consuming it whilst watching TV/staring at your phone screen etc). It certainly made me think about my ‘eating on the run’, which I’m rather guilty of being a busy working mum.
It was very interesting to learn from Gemma that it only takes ONE WEEK to change your microbiome. You can diversify it by including fermented foods and drinks into your diet (kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut), prebiotics (live bacteria found in certain foods or supplements) and probiotics (these substances come from types of carbs (mostly fiber) that humans can’t digest). If you’re looking to increase a fibre intake, these easy tips might help.
Tips to increase fibre intake:
- Keep the skin on your potatoes
- Swap refined white carbohydrates to wholemeal alternatives (wholemeal bread, brown pasta and rice)
- Include nuts, seeds, flaxseed and chia in your diet
- Drink at least 8 glasses of water a day to aid digestion fibre
- Include bitter foods like rocket, radishes, kale, watercress – they’re fantastic at stimulating digestion.
A serving of therapeutic tea with fresh mint leaves, lemon grass, ginger & lime and raw coconut bars was a great mid morning treat for the group (everybody was oh-ing and ah-ing after trying Gemma’s coconut slices, they were absolutely sensational!)
Donna delivered a very interesting talk on the subject of stress, its triggers, how it affects our health and its coping mechanisms. Being the ‘products’ of our fast paced society, I dare say that all of us have to deal with different levels of stress on a daily basis. It was very empowering to learn from Donna how to recognise stress triggers and learn coping mechanisms. It produced quite an emotional response from the group and Donna empowered us with an impromptu lesson on Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT for short), which I personally have been a fan of for a few years now and use it myself when I’m emotionally challenged. A beautiful serene ‘beach meditation’ from Donna was very centring and it reinforced the true power of a deep breath.
Donna also touched upon our belief system and how much it affects our emotional health. We all inherited different beliefs from out childhood and some of them don’t necessarily serve us in our adult life. It’s like running a modern day computer with the software from 1986… The same applies to our beliefs – it’s important to recognise which beliefs needs re-shaping in order to empower us and better our mental health.
Before we stopped off for lunch, we took a trip to the Warborne Farm greenhouse and collected our own rocket salad, radishes and beetroots. It was very special to be able to pick your own veggies, knowing where they’ve come from and how they’ve been harvested. It definitely made our lunch taste even better.
Gemma showed us how to make a sensationally delicious fresh salad which we had the pleasure of tasting for our lunch.
You might know by now how much I love food, especially when it comes to nutritious good-for-you food, so I can honestly say that I was in food heaven when I saw what was being served for lunch. You can see for yourself how beautiful each dish looked. I just wish you could taste it too!
After lunch Donna took us all for a walk to the woods where we had an afternoon meditation, which was very grounding and empowering. I felt like I was shaking off all that didn’t serve me and at the same time letting the nature energise me with a new sense of vitality.
Upon our return from the meditation in the forest Gemma was welcoming us back at the farm with delicious raw tart with avocado mousse. I polished off my plate in an instant!
At the end of the day we all gathered by the firepit where we burned our notes with beliefs that no longer served us and shared our aspirations for the future.
I came back home from the retreat with an amazing bag of goodies, a new lease of energy, centered and very empowered to be intentional about how I choose to live my life.
I would really urge you to dedicate yourself a little time for self care and attend one of Gemma & Donna’s day retreats. Look out for upcoming dates by following Gemma @gemmamcguiganxx and Donna @donnasourcehealth on Instagram or visit their websites https://www.gemmamcguigannutrition.com/ and https://www.sourcehealth.co.uk/
Have a great day my friends and look after yourselves.