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News from the Retreat

How to Meditate: Find Your New Beginning

Suffering quote

Suffering. While it is something that we all must endure as human beings, there is something so baffling about the way we hold onto, and create, suffering that is familiar. I don’t like to think that I’ve created suffering for myself, but if I’m being completely honest I realize that I have. Maybe you’ve done this… gone over and over something in your head, trying to figure out what went wrong, what you could have done differently, wishing you could go back in time and fix it. By worrying, we needlessly create suffering for ourselves. We know there is no going back, only the here and now, and only the hope of another day to go forward… yet we continue to allow the mind to worry, giving the only thing that we actually possess – the present moment – away to the power of fear.

Thoughts and feelings are complex parts of our human makeup, and we can easily make the mistake of taking them as truth or being consumed by them. But the truth is, you can control your thoughts and you don’t have to let them control you. Meditation can help.

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Introducing Home Baked Breads, Muffins & Granola

We are happy to introduce Kaycee Turner and her delicious baked goods.  Kaycee, Head Chef, shares her fabulous cooking skills with our guests, creating delicious and healthy made from scratch meals for retreats. Join us for one of our upcoming retreats to sample Kaycee’s cooking! Coming in 2017, you’ll be able to take a cooking class with Kaycee to learn some of her secrets.

She bakes all of our rustic breads and makes her delicious secret recipe granola for every retreat.

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Everything but the Kitchen Sink Breakfast Frittata

Frittata

Oh, the incredible edible egg. Eggs are, by far, my favorite way to start the day. They make a nutrient-rich, protein-packed breakfast that keeps me satisfied well until lunch, plus they’re one of those “brain foods” that are just really good for you. I know there’s a lot of confusion around whether eggs are “good” or “bad” for you, but this article does a great job of breaking it down and explaining it.

When I’m cooking for others the “Everything but the Kitchen Sink” Breakfast Frittata is always my go-to. It works great because you can put anything you want in the frittata and it tastes good. Kaycee or Heather prepare this deliciousness for Sunday Brunch for every retreat.

Get creative! I always love using leftovers in my kitchen creation: fajita veggies from last night, sausage from that BBQ place yesterday, sautéed mushrooms from dinner on the other day. Don’t underestimate the power of leftovers!

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Give More Than You Take

Nina and I on our Favorite Deck

Last year Nina treated me to the Give More Than You Take art exhibit at the Dallas Museum of Art as a Christmas gift. While I loved the exhibit (it was one of the most unique and interesting installations I’ve ever seen), what really struck me was the concept: “give more than you take.” While it might seem contradictory to one of my favorite topics, self-care, I believe they’re quite complementary.

Jim Hodges, the artist, transforms everyday items, often overlooked, into breathtaking pieces of art. I came across a quote that describes the installation perfectly: “Delicate art that conveys a sense that everything is precariousness, everything is fleeting, so embrace this lovely moment.” ~ WBUR The ARTery

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Discover Your Detox

Focus on the new quote

Sometimes (ok a lot of times) there’s something I need to do, but I just don’t feel like it. Like detoxing (getting rid of anything that doesn’t add joy to my life)… it’s something I don’t feel like doing, but I recognize how GOOD I will feel once I begin. It seems easier to let the junk pile higher, the unhealthy habits continue, the toxic relationships suck the life out of us. But it only seems easier.

If you need help getting your detox started, check out one of our Detox & Yoga Retreats – all levels are welcome and we offer several per year.

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. For a delicious and healthy”Detox” drink, try our Ginger Detox Tea. 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.

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Ginger Detox Tea

ginger teaHot Ginger Tea with Healing Spices to Strengthen Your Immune System

  • 10 Cardamom Pods (green) – Good for digestions and to detoxify the body through its diuretic properties
  • 2 Cinnamon Sticks – Controls blood sugar levels and is an anti-oxidant – protecting the body against damage from free radicals
  • 2 inch of Ginger Root (washed 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
  • 6 cups water

Add all spices to boiling water and let boil for ten minutes. Let stand for 20 minutes. Strain out spices.

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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 can take care of YOU. You’ll have time.

You might be 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. It’s not a “want to” – it’s a need to.

A yoga retreat is a perfect first step on your journey of taking care of you.

Learn to Say No

In this day and age we’re expected to do more… 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!

xo
Love,
Nina

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

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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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