If you’ve ever found yourself at a crossroads in life, wondering if there’s more out there to explore, you’re not alone. Some may argue that if you practice santosha – the yogic philosophy of cultivating a sense of contentment – then there’s nothing else in life that you need. But if you feel the grass could be greener, you can proactively create a life you love. After all, contentment is a choice.
At Retreat in the Pines, we offer weekend retreats so you can step away from the stresses of your life – perhaps even outside your comfort zone – to discover santosha while immersed in our safe and sacred retreat space. View our upcoming retreats here.
Discovering contentment doesn’t need to be a dramatic shift in your life. Making small adjustments in your day-to-day routine will allow you to find change and the greater satisfaction you’re seeking.
I have to admit, I absolutely adore chicken salad. Especially in the warmer months, when eating anything hot just seems like too much. Eating hot food (in temperature or in energetically) actually increases your feeling of heat. Something to avoid when the thermostat gets up to 100!
This recipe is a healthy take on a more traditional chicken salad.
If you love chicken salad as much as I do, you may be excited to know that Chicken Salad Chick is a restaurant that serves all sorts of chicken salad. I plan to check it out soon!
- 2 cups chicken, chopped
- 1 cup jicama, chopped
- 2 cups grapes, cut in half
- 1 cup roasted pecans, chopped
- ½ cup Mayo
- 1 cup Greek Yogurt
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- Combine all ingredients and mix thoroughly.
- Let refrigerate before serving.
Serve on a bed of greens or in a wrap for a delicious lunch!
At a recent retreat, I had the pleasure of meeting two lovely women from Houston. Carole and Cheryl took a chance and a step outside of their comfort zones, and got to know each other while carpooling to the retreat. They were destined to be friends.
Cheryl, a teacher and a divorced mother of 3 daughters, knew she had to take care of herself if she was going to continue to give so much on a daily basis. She came to the retreat on a journey to renew and rediscover herself.
Carole, having been through her own set of challenges, was coming to the retreat with her cousins for a get away to reset and connect with family.
Since Cheryl didn’t want to make the drive from the Houston area by herself, she reached out to me fo find someone to carpool with her. Carole immediately responded, finding it a coincidence that Cheryl had the same first and last name as her sister.
We hear the word freedom quite a bit at this time of year. We celebrate our country’s independence on July Fourth, but what about celebrating freedom in our personal lives?
You’ll often hear yoga instructors expressing this idea in class: clear your mind, let go. And in letting go, we can find freedom. This might seem like a very broad concept, so it’s helpful to hone in on what exactly you’re looking to let go of: self-doubt, negative self-talk, attachment to the past, attachment to any ideas of what the future “should” look like, and so on.
For me personally, the journey of letting go is something I must be intentional about. It’s easy to get off track. Here are ideas on how to do just that:
Let go of self-doubt. As women, we play many different roles in our lives: friend, employee, boss, mother, sister, wife; the list goes on. With all the hats we wear, it can be easy to doubt how we are “performing” in any given role. We might wonder if we’re good enough, or if we’re doing enough. The reality is that we are doing the best we can—and that is always enough.
This cool and healthy salad is the perfect way to keep your cool this summer. Enjoy it as a side dish, or add protein such as chicken or salmon, for an easy and delicious main dish.
In the heat of Summer, the best way to stay cool is to eat cooling foods, avoiding hot food (in flavor and temperature). Cooling foods such as melons, cucumbers, cherries and zucchini will definitely help you keep your cool as the temperature creeps up. Here’s a list on what fruits and vegetables to enjoy and what to avoid.
Wild rice is packed with protein (more than quinoa), low in fat and gluten free. The slightly nutty flavor and texture is a great base for any salad or just sprinkled on greens.
When I began my own digital detox, over a year ago, there was an immediate sense of relief. I started by turning off the notifications on my phone. With that first step, I realized, I’m in charge again! Not my phone! I recently deleted social media apps that were distracting me. At first there was a sense of what do I do now? Then I realized I had much more time in my day to engage with those around me. My dining table has always been a screen-free zone and I have memories of great meals and conversations with loved ones and friends over the years.
Many women come to Retreat in the Pines seeking a way to “unplug” from their daily lives. Often just getting away to a place where the focus is relaxation and the only thing you really have to do is breathe, is enough to get grounded, settle into a clear headspace and calm emotional state. If you’re in need of a get-away, book a retreat with us.
Relaxation is easy to achieve while away at a retreat. But what about unplugging while in the midst of daily life? Modern society is hyperconnected, and the tools that were designed to make our lives easier can, in some ways, make our lives more complicated. The apps on our phones often distract us from being fully present in the moment. While it’s almost impossible to completely unplug, there is a new trend in managing the overwhelming and nearly constant stream of information at our fingertips: a digital detox.
It’s almost time to pick Blueberries in East Texas! Those fresh blueberries combined with a little bit of Rosemary from our garden creates a little bit of heaven for our Sunday Brunch. I tried year after year to grow one of those Rosemary Christmas trees with no luck. Now we have huge rosemary bushes and we have more rosemary than we know what to do with!
We stuff our chickens (sourced from a local farm) with fresh rosemary before roasting. We add rosemary to our famous Breakfast Potatoes and stir a little in to our Chicken and Veggie Soup. Rosemary adds a unique flavor, plus it’s anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and can reduce stress.
Our guests usually can’t get enough of these scones. I’m certainly not a baker, but this recipe is simple and the result is delicious!
I love being a woman, but there are definitely challenging seasons. I have survived challenges in my life by consistently taking time for myself on my yoga mat. My favorite pose Savasana, final rest, is even sweeter with Zoe. Our retreats are for ALL women – no yoga experience is needed. Discover the power of yoga, when you join us for a retreat.
As women, there are many ways to approach living a healthier lifestyle. Developing a consistent yoga practice is one of them. For those of us who have already begun our yoga journey, we rolled out our mats for the first time for various, and often very personal, reasons. For some women, the practice begins as physical: we need to add movement and activity to our lives or have a tangible, physiological goal in mind. For others, we’d been advised that yoga can help alleviate stress, promote better sleep, or reduce anxiety.
Whether you’re in the early stages of your yoga journey or have been practicing daily for 10 years, the practice has the power to positively impact your health and well-being in many ways.
My recent Cooking Class at Central Market was focused on all of the wonderful things you can do with chocolate. While I didn’t care for the Chocolate Marinara Sauce, it even sounds bad, I loved the Chocolate Chunk & Cherry Biscotti, the Chocolate Bark with Cranberries and Almonds, but my favorite was the Chocolate Truffles. So decadent!
- 2 Bags of Ghirardelli Chocolate Chips
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- Fresh mint
- Almond extract
- 1 cup of Red Wine (cooked down)
- Any of these ingredients can be used in place of the cinnamon and vanilla.
Chantel Carlson, recently attended the January Detox & Yoga Retreat, as well as a Yoga Nurture Retreat in June. I had the pleasure of visiting with her on both occasions. This is her story.
In May 2016 I made a difficult decision about my health. I was 43-years-old, and I had spent almost 30 years of my life suffering from the debilitating effects of endometriosis. After the latest round of hormone therapy failed me (yet again), I made an appointment to see my gynecologist. When she walked into the exam room, she sat down in front of me and said, “It’s time.” And even though I knew the time for a hysterectomy had come, it was still an emotional journey. I had accepted the fact that I wasn’t going to have any children of my own long before I met my husband, but knowing I was having my uterus, cervix, and one ovary removed was still difficult to imagine – it’s so much of who we are as women. What defines us. But I also knew what defined me was living a meaningful life without pain, and to me, that outweighed the negatives.
It took a full year to get used to my new body, and to be honest, the healing process was not as easy as I had hoped. My friends who had taken this journey told me to be patient and also said that one day I would wake up and forget my surgery had happened.
A year later that time came, and I began to think about my body in a different way. With the “diseased” parts removed, I wanted to honor and celebrate this new beginning, but I wasn’t sure how. I thought about a retreat, so I began doing random Google searches, not really knowing exactly what I was looking for. All I knew is I wanted a place focused on women – not just moms, not just single women, not just divorcees.
I wanted a retreat where women would gather in support of one another…gather in celebration of who we are. In celebration of where we are in our lives no matter what that looked like.
That’s when I clicked on “Retreat in the Pines.”