Food to Fuel your body and mind

Why eat well?

At My Escape we believe ‘You are what you eat’ when you fill your body with high fat, high sugar foods you are ultimately going to feel pretty rubbish and sluggish. Of course we are big believers also in ‘Everything in moderation’ so some of those high fats, sugary foods are ok just on the odd occasion. If you completely deprive yourself of certain foods there’s always the chance that you will slip one day and go on a big binge.

My Escape Pilates and Yoga holidays healthy food

In a traditional Yogic diet we do not eat meat and this is for many reasons. “The fundamental ethical precepts of yoga teach that if we want to be free and happy, we should not harm others, emphasizing ethical vegetarianism and animal rights.

If we learn to eat in this way with no harming we will not only feel better for it but we are also helping the planet. If you decide to eat meat, as we do occasionally then at least make it organic and from a local reliable butcher who ensures the animals are bred in a safe and humane environment. So this probably means investing a bit more money into good quality meat.

 

 

What foods inspire us?

Fresh, local when possible and full of colour. On our popular Sussex day retreats we make all of the food ourselves and this takes careful planning and investment in good quality products. We make our dishes so they are bright and colourful therefore pleasing to the eye. On our retreats abroad we ensure we have amazing in house chefs who cook fresh local produce and usually in keeping with the region. So for us we love to see Moroccan dishes when we retreat in Morocco, dishes like cous cous, spicy tagines, vegetable bakes and plenty of herbs and spices, amazing array of fruits are displayed at breakfast. At home however, we aren’t so blessed with amazing tropical fruits so really it’s important to find the fruits that are in season. Most of the fruits we see in the supermarkets have been packaged and shipped around the world so it’s hardly fresh and really this isn’t exactly an ethical way of selling food.

 

Eating healthy on retreat

My Escape Pilates and Yoga holidays Moroccan food

When you decide on booking a health and wellbeing retreat you’d expect to be fed well. After all the practice of Yoga is not just about physical asana it’s about nourishing your whole body and mind. So whatever goes in it through food or thought will ultimately affect the way your body runs. We live in this mad multitasking world and our meals can often be put aside as less important to our work schedules. So on retreat when the idea is to start to slow things down, we can let go of all the external distractions that keep our mind busy back home and start to pay more attention to ourselves. Basically we move out of stress mode and when we are in this clearer mental state it’s the food on the table that becomes so much more interesting. We start to taste more clearly, recognize the amazing smells of the foods, appreciate the time and care taken to cook it.

 

The importance of maintenance

It’s easy to eat well on retreat when the food is cooked for you. The biggest challenge is maintaining it back home and one thing we love to do on our retreats is offer cookery lessons to our students. These classes provide useful information on recipes and are designed for everyone to take ideas home and share recipes with friends and family. The key is to getting organised when home, doing a healthy food shop preparing for the week ahead on a good healthy note. Our top 10 ways to maintain a healthy diet when home;

  • Keep up the Yoga & Pilates
  • Everyday eat a variety of colours
  • Plan and organize meals
  • Don’t stress about it
  • Drink lots of water
  • Have a foodie buddy- sticking to a plan is always easier with a friend.
  • Seek out local health food stores
  • Follow our My Escape 30 day cleanse
  • Seek out healthy takeaways – so you never feel deprived. 
  • Remember it’s all about balance and everything in moderation. 
Try out our food or join a healthy and fun retreat with us, next escape is to Morocco 4th-11th July 2015. www.pilatesandyogaholidays.com

 

 

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BaliFloatingLeafHollyCooperYoga

Rice fields and swimming pool at the stunning Floating Leaf in Bali with Holly Cooper Yoga

Only a few weeks have passed since I returned from Bali and it already feels so long ago, I’m missing the heat and the healthy Indonesian cuisine cooked for us daily and the incredible array of raw superfood dishes at the Bali Floating leaf retreat. I’ve not quite replicated any of it yet but plan to as the Summer kicks in here in Brighton.

The reason for my visit to Bali was to take some time out to practice yoga for myself and explore a venue for a future retreat destination. After many years of emails with Mikaku of the Floating Leaf it finally came into action I my trip was booked. On arrival at the Floating Leaf you immediately feel a sense of calm and ease as you are whisked to the cosy seating area and greeted with a refreshing hibiscus juice which we were told is from the hibiscus tea that is grown locally and the Floating Leaf support communities locally and sell their teas. Shortly to our surprise a sweet lady comes over to massage and clean our feet, a real treat. We feel refreshed immediately and can now relax bare foot for our stay.

Blissful and cool beats are heard around the venue from the outdoor speakers and allow you to float into dream world, however, you have to check yourself as actually you are in a REAL dream world. Surrounded by beauty, colour, fresh air and amazing architecture. all you have to do here is truly relax but there is a whole host of activities you can enjoy from traditional balinese healing with a specific healer for your needs, amazing photography trips with Mikaku an award winning photographer, wonderful massage and treatments, visit local communities, enjoy the world famous surfing locally, explore the local beaches, learn how to make local crafts and much more. I choose to just sit back and take it all in for a few days. Enjoy my kingsize bed and air conditioned room, take time to float around in the pool and make use of the amazing roof top Yoga Shala looking out over the rice fields and ocean. The space is just perfect, huge and airy with even a few yoga swings to play around with.

Yoga Shala at Bali Floating Leaf with Holly Cooper Yoga

Beautiful sunrise over the padi fields in the Yoga Shala at Bali Floating leaf with Holly Cooper Yoga

The food was out of this world and you won’t feel like you miss out or feel guilty as even the treats and desserts are healthy. Catering for dairy free, gluten free, vegetarian and a whole range of tasty smoothies, superfood juices, protein shakes plus energy balls and endless raw delights in salads, burgers and much more. The hardest thing was trying to chose the food all weekend. It was all too good.

 

Super smoothies at Bali Floating Leaf with Holly Cooper Yoga

Super smoothies at Bali Floating Leaf with Holly Cooper Yoga

The staff along with Mikaku and his wife were such a joy to meet and made the whole stay a truly memorable one. I can’t wait to go back and spend more time there and explore more of the area and get back on a surf board when I can.

SO next up is the My Escape Yoga, Pilates and surf trip to Morocco in July. In the future we aim to set up some special Yoga and Pilates retreats to Bali Floating Leaf, focussing on 2016 around November, perfect time for an Aussie Spring holiday or March for the Uk Spring time. The trip would include all the Yoga and Pilates with various price plans for meals and excursions. However, flights are always extra. On behalf of Ellie and myself of My Escape we can not wait to share this experience with you so please do keep in touch or follow us on my Yoga page or My Escape page for updates.

In the mean time you can join us in Morocco 4th-11th July for a week of sunshine, surf and the usual dosage of fun in the sun with Yoga and Pilates. Special couple deal is £575 per person so come along with a friend or loved one. More details here.

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