This past weekend, Carley from Fairy Gutmother and I joined forces to put together a yoga and gut healing yoga retreat called Healthily Ever After. It was something near and dear to my heart because both she and I have hit rock bottom in terms of our health (we both had Lyme disease) and have healed ourselves through a combination of western medicine and ultimately found optimal health through the gut healing diet GAPS. The more we learned about gut health, the more we realized that the majority of diseases can be traced back to poor gut health. Everything from anxiety to mild depression to hormone issues to adrenal fatigue to IBS to allergies to arthritis and more - those can all be traced back to the gut.
So we put it out there and invited people who weren't feeling 100% to come and learn about gut healing and support their health with therapeutic yoga practices like yin, yoga for digestion, and yoga nidra. My mom, who is a licensed massage therapist, came to offer massage, and Carley and I offered one to one consults for more in-depth individualized protocol.
Carley was in charge of cooking and I don't know how she did it! Girlfriend made it look easy, but I guess that's what happens when you do what you love. At the end of the retreat she said she realized how much she actually loves cooking for others.
Carley put together educational presentations about gut health, healthy fats, meal prepping and her 70/30 plan. Every day, we had a few presentations from Carley combined with a few yoga classes and time in the middle of the day to relax.
We want to give special thanks to those who sent some food to enhance our retreat. We really wanted to share a few companies who create products we recommend for their ingredients. Below are a few:
Four Sigmatic sent a number of their Mushroom Elixirs, and these were my personal favorite. Now, I personally don't care for mushrooms, but you can't even taste them in this drink mixes, and they offer so many healing benefits. I made all my drinks using warmed milk, and for some of them, I added a little honey for extra sweetness. The hot cacao was hands down my favorite.
Lark Ellen Farm sent a bunch of grainless granola for our yogurt parfait breakfast, and it was fantastic. They also included travel size granola for our swag bags. My favorite was the vanilla chai.
These are excellent and only have a handful of ingredients and are gluten free, soy free, non-gmo, grain free and dairy free. Their cinnamon raisin is my favorite.
Super Sprout sent their blueberry and strawberry powders which we used for our yogurt parfait bar. This would be a great product to bring if you're traveling but still want the benefits of fresh berries.
For our swag, we reached out to a bunch of companies we love to see if they'd be willing to send along some goodies for our participants. We essentially wanted them to be aware of these companies, knowing that they are brands they can trust as they continue on their healing journey. Up above we've got:
1. Yum Butter - This is an almond butter with plant based protein and probiotics. Great for putting on celery, apples, or toast.
2. Lark Ellen Farms Grainless Granola - These are so good!
3. Asutra Mat Cleaner and Microfiber Towel - I love this product so much! You have to be careful about cleaning products but this one is 100% natural, and I even use it for my countertops! I love that it comes with a microfiber towel.
4. Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides - I've sung their praises over and over again, but in case you're just hearing about this product, it is a fantastic, no-brainer way to get extra protein into your diet. They're made from pasture raised, grass-fed cows, and I have added them to my dog's diet and have completely healed his joint issues! They are tasteless, and work well in pretty much anything. I personally like to put them in my yogurt.
We also had aromatherapy roll-ons for participants from Aura Cacia. This is my go-to brand for essential oils, and I love their travel-friendly blends like this one. Below that, you can see the mala beads we included.
1. Thrive Market sent a 3 month free subscription to Thrive.
2. A headband from Sweaty Betty.
3. Mala Beads.
This was a very different type of retreat than what I normally run. The yoga was more toned down- more therapeutic, less athletic. It was really nice to get out of my comfort zone with regards to what I teach, and I hope it was helpful to those attending.
We received some excellent feedback and we are looking forward to holding more long weekend retreats like this in the future!