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News from the Retreat

Ayurvedic Crockpot Steel Cut Oatmeal

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My Favorite Way to Enjoy Oatmeal is with Fresh Blueberries

Winter is officially here, but if you’re in Texas you wouldn’t know it. I promise I’m not complaining. The 70 degree days don’t really fit with the holiday festivities, but with February right around the corner I know I won’t be the only Texan missing these blue sky, balmy days of early winter.

According to Ayurvedic principles, Winter is the season that our digestive fire is the strongest. To maintain balance in our bodies during the winter months, Ayurvedic principles encourage eating foods that are warm, cooked, slightly oily, and well spiced. With our bodies being naturally inclined towards heavier foods during this season, oatmeal makes the perfect meal to begin those cold, winter mornings.
If you’re interested in learning more about Ayurvedic principles, read this: Winter Guide. We also share Ayurvedic Cooking & Eating Tips at our Detox Retreats. 

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Easy Essential Oil Holiday Gifts

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My Favorite Holiday Bend!

Here are a few easy DIY essential oil recipes that make great homemade gifts for the holidays!

Some of our retreats offer DIY Aromatherapy Workshops. Find out more here.

Uplifting Holiday Essential Oil Blend

14 drops grapefruit essential oil
6 drops peppermint essential oil
4 drops sage essential oil

Add water to fill a small spray bottle. Use as a blend for any of these fun and easy DIY gift recipes! (You can also find other blends here.)

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Gratitude for Our Gratitude Retreat

Gratitude stoneIt never ceases to thrill me the amazing and wonderful women who visit Retreat in the Pines. Our Three Night Gratitude Retreat was no exception. The group bonded immediately, and we were sharing laughter and tears right away. To experience this magic for yourself, join us at an upcoming retreat.

No two retreats are the same, but there is often a shared feeling or theme that connects everyone who is present for the retreat. In this particular group, our common theme seemed to be transition. Women moving on from ending long term relationships. Women beginning new career directions. Women becoming strong and confident.

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Sweet Potato Pecan Muffins

Sweet Potato Pecan Muffins

Healthy Deliciousness in Every Bite

It’s fall and that means it’s sweet potato season! Sweet potatoes are hands down one of my favorite veggies. Did you know that sweet potatoes are superfoods packed full of health benefits? Make these muffins for your friends and family over the holidays, or make them on a Sunday evening to enjoy for breakfast all week! If you have leftover mashed sweet potatoes, you can do what I did which is replace the sweet potatoes and milk with leftover mashed sweet potatoes.

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Surrender to Your Discomfort

Believe in Yourself

Believe in Yourself

Six years ago I filed for divorce. Walking into that attorney’s office was very uncomfortable. I wanted – I tried – to make it work with my ex but he didn’t want to take responsibility, let alone apologize, for destroying our family when he had an affair. I could give you details, but that gives the story power, and while the experience is a part of my story, I’m no longer willing to let that experience be what defines me.

As women we have common themes in our lives. The theme of avoiding discomfort is universal. Share your story and find healing when you attend on of our retreats.

Discomfort is inevitable. No matter how wonderful anyone’s life looks from the outside, we are all in the struggle together. I, like most people, hate discomfort. I used to try to numb it with wine, shopping, busy-ness…anything to take my mind off of feeling. Until it was no longer an option.

“I wonder if pain comes from surrendering or resisting.” Donna Lynn Hope

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Chicken & Vegetable Curry

If you’re intimidated by making more exotic dishes, fear not! This Curry recipe is simple and delicious, and only requires a few obscure ingredients. Our guest love this curry. It’s on our fall/winter menu. Enjoy it at a Upcoming Retreats.

Oh, and if you like cooking (or even if you think you don’t like cooking), I highly recommend the article  Why I Cook, written by Dr. Andrew Weil.

Love,
Nina

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Chocolate Chip Coconut Oil No-Bake Cookie Bars

Healthy, No-Bake Coconut Oil Chocolate Cookie barsI don’t know about you, but I love having a sweet treat to come home to; something that’s sweet enough to satisfy my craving, without making me feel guilty. These easy, no-bake cookie bars are safe enough to have around the house (because if you’re anything like me, there are days when half of the pan will disappear), and they’re made with coconut oil–which is receiving so much praise for it’s health benefits!

Coconut oil, if you’re not familiar with it, is basically like a miracle in a bottle. You can Google “benefits of coconut oil” and see that even WebMD lists “Uses and Effectiveness” of coconut oil for heart disease, high cholesterol, dry skin, Alzheimer’s, IBS, and more.

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10 Reasons to Start a Yoga Practice Today

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Who knew I’d be able to balance on a rock and do “dancer” pose? Not me.

Yoga is intimidating. Even after the first couple of classes it can be intimidating. You may not think yoga is for you, I certainly didn’t think it was for me. But that’s where I was wrong.

I’m thrilled we offer a safe place for beginners at our yoga retreats. If you’re like me, uncomfortable in a room of strangers who you think are judging you (they’re not!), a Yoga Nurture Retreat is perfect for you.

Five years ago if you would have invited me to a yoga class, I would have laughed and replied, “You’re kidding, right? I can’t even touch my toes.” I thought I knew what it took to do yoga, and I was certain I had none of it. I was wrong.

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Meet an Amazing Woman: Our First Scholarship Recipient – Lisa Ciminelli

Love Yoga Retreats

“Love is Where You Find It” ~ Photo from Lisa’s Guest Room at the Retreat

“Pampering yourself is addictive!” Lisa’s comment to me following her recent retreat. One of the founding ideas behind Retreat in the Pines is my hope that every woman will take time to pamper and care for herself. It was a lesson I learned the hard way (of course!), but as I type this I’m preparing for my own pampering: a vacation consisting of all the things I love – riding my bike to yoga, walks on the beach, delicious food and good company. I can’t wait; taking care of myself allows me to take care of each one of you when you attend one of our retreats.

My dream is to make yoga retreats available to as many women as possible, with our recently introduced Retreat Assistance Program we are able to do just that – offer a life changing retreat to women who need pampering, but lack the financial means to do so.

Meeting Lisa, our first scholarship recipient, was a joy! She is intelligent, compassionate and kind-hearted.

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Refreshing Watermelon-Feta Salad with Fresh Basil and Mint

watermelon-feta salad

Healthy, Cool and Delicious

Looking for a little bit of refreshment in the mid-day heat of summer? This watermelon-feta salad with fresh basil and mint has you covered. Plus, with the sweet benefits of basil and health benefits of mint, it’s a healthy snack to add to your day!

Watermelon-Feta Salad with Fresh Basil and Mint

  • ½ large watermelon
  • 1 cup feta
  • fresh basil, thinly sliced
  • fresh mint, thinly sliced
  • 1 large jicama
  • juice of 2 limes
  • 2 tbsp honey
  1. Use melon baller to scoop out watermelon.
  2. Peel jicama and dice into ½ inch cubes.
  3. Whisk together lime juice and honey.
  4. Toss everything to combine; chill until serving.
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