Discover Your Detox

focus on the new

Sometimes (ok a lot of times) there’s something I need to do, but I just don’t feel like it. Like detoxing… it’s something I don’t feel like doing, but I recognize how GOOD I will feel once I begin.

Detoxing is an important aspect of wellness and finding peace. Don’t worry, I’m not referring to one of those detox fad diets where you only drink a disgusting “detox” formula for two weeks… those are dangerously unhealthy. I believe that a healthy detox is an ongoing practice of ridding ourselves of the things that are toxic to our lives. When talking about detoxing, most people immediately relate it to food – but toxins go far beyond food. Anything with an inherent property that “tends to destroy life or impair health” could be considered toxic. This means that negative self talk, harmful relationships, unhealthy habits, faulty coping mechanisms, stress, unnecessary clutter – emotional, physical and mental – are all forms of toxins… and the list goes on. With 2015 upon us, it’s the perfect time to make a positive change in our lives.

It’s a perfect time to start a practice of detoxing.

Not Feeling It?

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Warm Up with Healing Spices

Hot Tea for Healing

Cozy Up with a Warm Mug of Healing Goodness

Winter…perfect weather to curl up with a mug of warm, healing spices in your hot tea or cider. Find a place to sit quietly – put on your favorite PJs or sweats, wrap yourself in a warm blanket (or my favorite, an electric blanket) and get comfortable in whatever place you find. Take a moment to enjoy the present moment:

  • Observing the beautiful winter landscape out your window.
  • Start that book you’ve been wanting to read.
  • Journal
  • Your hopes and intentions for 2015
    Your gratitude for 2014

  • Meditate on an affirmation
  • I am…peace, strength, joy
    I let go of…anger, disappointment, negativity
    I deserve…love, happiness, forgiveness

Choose whatever speaks to your heart and what nourishes you at this time of year.

Winter is the perfect time to strengthen your body’s immune system. Enjoy a festive treat on a cold day when you combine healing winter spices with your favorite hot tea or cider.

Hot Tea or Cider with Healing Spices

  • 1 Cardamom Pod (green) – Good for digestions and to detoxify the body through its diuretic properties
  • 1 Cinnamon Stick – Controls blood sugar levels and is an anti-oxidant – protecting the body against damage from free radicals
  • 1/8 inch of Ginger Root (peeled and thinly sliced) – Promotes circulation and lowers high blood pressure
  • 2 Whole Cloves – Warming and soothing for the digestive system (what you need in the winter months) and anti-flatulence properties
  • 2 Whole Peppercorns – Stimulates digestion and has anti-bacterial properties, keeping the digestive system healthy
  • 2 cups water

Add all spices to boiling water and let boil for five minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes. Strain out spices.

Add 1 or 2 TBSP to 1 cup hot tea or cider. For tea, feel free to add sweetener (I like a little bit of stevia or raw local honey – good for the immune system if you have allergies) and milk or squeeze a slice of fresh lemon or orange into the tea.

I love to combine the tea and the cider with the healing spices. Warm, delicious and soothing.

Store the remainder in the refrigerator.

The healing properties of spices are endless, here’s more information on what spices will benefit your body and lifestyle. Learn more about the healing aspects of spices and Ayurveda at one of our Detox and Yoga Retreats.

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Just Say No…So You Can Say Yes to You

just say no

Wouldn’t it be nice if somebody took care of you? Say no to the non essentials in your life and you’ll have more time to take care of YOU.

2014 almost gone…how did that happen?! Before the madness gets even more maddening, take a moment to press pause and take care of yourself. I know, with a late Thanksgiving it feels like Christmas is going to be here any second and you’re thinking “I don’t have time for that!” Just as I’ve shared with my retreat guests – if you don’t take time to take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of others or do all of the things you need to do on a daily basis.

Learn to Say No

In this day and age we’re expected to do more…holiday parties, volunteer work, homemade gifts, more, more, more! There’s the implication if you do more, you’re a better person – better than you were last year, better than your neighbor, the best version of yourself (never attainable). And the funny part of being the best version of yourself, every year the bar gets a little higher. You can stop the madness by saying no.

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Savory Sweet Potato Soup

savory sweet potato soup

You know that feeling of a fresh cup of your favorite coffee, nothing to do, and listening to Christmas Jazz in your pajamas feels like? Okay so maybe this isn’t one of your happy places (yet), but I think I’d describe this feeling as a “perfectly cozy”. And I’m pretty sure that this soup is exactly that. And mom totally agrees – as she put it, it’s a “hug from the inside out”.

Just a disclaimer for all those non-curry-lovers out there: this recipe calls for curry! But wait! Will you please try it? It’s only a little bit of the spice (it’s not an actual curry dish) and it’s really good for your health - add as much or as little as you’re comfortable with.

Let me know what you think!


P.S. I found the original recipe on Dishing Up The Dirt and added my own twist. Enjoy!

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Turkey Noodle Soup

Easy recipes for turkey leftovers

Warm up on a cold day – Turkey Noodle Soup with a mug of hot tea and warm crusty bread.

We recently created a delicious homemade and healthy Chicken Noodle Soup for our Gratitude Retreat. It’s just as amazing with turkey. With Thanksgiving next week, this is an easy and delicious way to use any extra turkey.
  • Leftover turkey chopped into bite sized pieces
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 2 medium onions chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup celery diced
  • 2 cups carrots cut into coins
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary or 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoon lemon pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning Blend
  • 5 cups low sodium chicken stock or use pan juices from turkey with water added
  • 1 cup water
  • juice from 1/2 of a fresh lemon
  • 16 oz package of egg noodles
Directions Sauté garlic, onions and celery in coconut oil for five minutes. Add sautéed veggies along with herbs, carrots, turkey pieces, chicken stock and water to crockpot. Let cook on low in crockpot for three hours. Add noodles and cook an additional ten minutes, turning the heat to high, or until noodles are soft. To use chicken instead of turkey, I recommend roasting the chicken (stuffing it first with several cloves of garlic, rosemary and a lemon cut into quarters). Use pan juices and add water to equal liquid. This is delicious served with grilled cheese, crusty bread with olive oil or crackers and cheese. The perfect warm up for a chilly day! Our gratitude retreat was such a success we’ve added a three night Gratitude Retreat in 2015. If you need a jump start for your gratitude journey, we’d love to have you! Get more details. We are so grateful for each of you. What are you grateful for?
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How to Relax the Tightness in Your Neck

Does your neck feel tense and tight? Maybe these stretches will help. I was recently asked to submit information for an article about stretches that yoga instructors use for themselves and teach to their students. I frequently get neck discomfort and tension from working on my laptop. These neck stretches work beautifully.

Yoga Retreat at Retreat in the Pines

Neck & Shoulder Stretching at a Yoga Retreat

I plan to incorporate these stretches into upcoming yoga retreats. These feel especially good if you’ve been driving for awhile, with your neck and shoulders hunched and tight. It’s a perfect complement to our Friday evening hip opener class. Learn these soothing neck stretch when you join us for a retreat.

Read the whole article here.

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Lemon Chicken

Yoga Retreat

Theresa & Nina Learning to Cook Lemon Chicken

Nina and I went to a Central Market cooking class to celebrate our birthdays this past winter. When they asked us about our favorite parts of the class, her response was “learning new cooking techniques.” And as much as I wanted to say that…I had to be honest. My favorite part was the eating. So many delicious dishes…and out of all of them the Lemon Chicken was my favorite. Of course I tweaked the recipe and made it my own, and according to our guests, it’s delicious. Here’s my version.

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium onions sliced
  • 5 cloves garlic, 3 whole and 2 minced
  • 1 cup prunes cut in halves or quarters
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tsp. turmeric
  • 2 tsp. ginger
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 tsp. curry powder
  • 3 lemons
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken stock from pan juices plus water or white wine to make up the difference
  • 1 cup uncooked Quinoa, Brown Rice or other grain

Stuff chicken with 1 lemon cut in quarters and squeezed and two cloves of garlic. Roast chicken in covered dish to reserve juices. Heat oil in saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and cook until onions are caramelized. Add spices, prunes and juice from two lemons, cook another five minutes. When chicken is roasted, add strained pan juices to sauce. Shred chicken and add to sauce. Prepare quinoa or brown rice according to package directions. Serve chicken and sauce over cooked quinoa or brown rice.

This is the perfect warm-you-up dish for cooler weather, but I cook it all year round. If you like you can always add more spices to give it even more of a kick.

If you’ve always wanted to take a cooking class, I highly recommend Central Market’s classes. Low key and fun and did I mention they serve wine?

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Finding Gratitude

Finding Gratitude - Retreat at Home Tips - Retreat in the Pines Women's Wellness and Yoga Retreats - Texas

Gratitude. In a society that’s constantly ogling over the newest iPhone, racing to the newest hipster hot spot, and hashtagging the latest Twitter trend, gratitude seems to be an afterthought… if that.

I believe, that while most people are well intentioned, the concept of gratitude gets lost in the busy reality of life. What if we took small steps towards thankfulness? I think we’d all discover that a life lived in gratitude is so much richer.

In a society that’s continually encouraged to have MORE – how does one embody an “attitude of gratitude”? For me, it was a combination of awareness, perspective, and making changes.

Photo: Shannon Kringen (Flickr CC)

Blinded by the Bubble

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10% Off Any Retreat – Celebrate Retreat in the Pines 10 Year Anniversary!

Celebrating 10 Years Banner  

Celebrate 10 Years of Retreats at Retreat in the Pines with our one-day-only sale!

Register TODAY for a 10% discount off ANY upcoming retreat.

Please Note:
  • No other special offer applies.
  • 10% will be deducted off of your final payment.
  • 10% off is applicable only to the price of the retreat.

Click Here to View Upcoming Retreats & Register!

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Celebrate Ten Years of Retreats with Us!

Yoga Retreats

Celebrating Ten Years of Yoga Retreats!

Our Story When we opened our doors in 2004, we were one of the only retreat centers in the state of Texas, but as the yoga industry boomed, so did the retreat business. While I have seen many retreat businesses come and go, I’m proud to say Retreat in the Pines (formerly Yoga in the Pines) is still growing strong. Just Google “yoga retreat Texas” and see for yourself! I started the business in 2004 and my daughter Nina joined me in 2013. Read more on the beginnings of Retreat in the Pines. I was inspired to begin hosting yoga retreats when I was invited to teach at a fitness retreat in 2004. While I was disappointed at the “un-retreat” like weekend – non-existent free time, very little sleep, and highly restrictive meals – I was also inspired. I wanted to create a more “retreat like” experience, inviting women to indulge in some of my (and hopefully their!) favorite things – wine, coffee, chocolate, and delicious meals cooked from scratch – all as a complement to yoga. Even more importantly, I imagined a getaway that could be accessible to women of all sizes, ages, levels of yoga experience, and budgets. Focused on that idea, my first retreat was priced ridiculously low at $199! In order to continue to reach more women and cover the costs of doing business, I’ve gradually had to raise the retreat prices. Prices now range from $369 to $499, a very budget friendly price in the retreat world.
Yoga Retreat

First Yoga Retreat in the New Studio was Co-Ed, November 2007

At first, I hosted co-ed retreats, but I quickly realized that having men changed the dynamic, especially after experiencing a disastrous co-ed retreat in 2008. I wanted women to feel comfortable and relaxed and not worry about makeup or wearing pajamas to breakfast. Many women tell me that the retreat feels like a slumber party – and they love that. And I love that! We may occasionally offer co-ed retreats, but we will disclose that on the retreat listing, this is the perfect opportunity for you to bring that special man in your life! The rest of the retreats will remain women only. I believe women only is where the good stuff happens, we are relaxed enough to get out of our comfort zones and find a change of perspective. That perspective change can be life changing. Read more »
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