One of the most important things you can do for your natural beauty is take time for yourself.
This afternoon I am writing you with so much love and gratitude after experiencing a truly magical 5 days at Mariagaården Retreat in Sweden. I have been completely nourished inside and out with amazing raw food, spiritual cleansing and beautiful people. Every cell in my being is feeling brand new and I am excited for what waits around the corner in this crazy journey of life.
Yes, it was that good...
Have I convinced you yet?
For those of you in Europe (or anywhere for that matter) looking for a detox & yoga retreat, look no further than Mariagården!
After such an amazing experience, I wanted to share this space with you and I hope you will get the chance to experience it no matter where in the world you're coming from; although, my Scandinavian readers may be able to get there sooner.
The last five days I took part in the Mariagården Detox retreat at the beautiful old school that has now been turned into a retreat and detox center. Surrounded by the beautiful Swedish countryside, lakes and abundant wild flowers, it was hard not to immediately feel at ease and grounded upon arrival.
Pulling up to the drive way I immediately noticed the organic gardens, a greenhouse, beautiful hammocks hanging from the nearby trees and smiling faces. None of us knew what the next few days would do to our bodies and minds, but we were all excited... and maybe even a little bit nervous.
Nerves aside, nothing takes away the edge off before a detox than a space created for you with love. Everything in this space was done with love - the wild flowers are lovingly placed around the house in glass vases, candles abound and antique furniture that surely has a story. The owners, Pia and Kristian, are one of the most beautiful couples I have ever met. They just radiate and glow with kindness from the inside out - they practice what they preach - and have worked tirelessly (although they don't look it) to make this place so special for all their guests.
While this was a detox retreat, I can't say I ever had the opportunity to feel hungry. The raw food chef and creator, Flavio Passos was a phenom in the kitchen. He created the most beautiful smoothies and salads from all raw and organic ingredients and each evening we were given a beautiful vegetarian soup made with garden herbs and organic veggies from around the area. He prepared everything with so much thought and care - and held for us a a raw food preparation workshop so we could see how the magic happens. Even for the absolute beginner, Flavio brought out the fun and excitement in everyone.
Detox Green Smoothie Recipe from Flavio Passos
Flavio created for us a perfect breakfast detox smoothie each morning to keep us going until lunch. The measurements are not exact, as he was preparing for ~20 persons, so add and take away as you feel fit. Enjoy!
Ingredients for Detox Green Smoothie
- 1 Apple (1 raw organic apple)
- 1/2 cup of organic orange juice
- 1/2 cup of coconut water
- 1 cup water (or less if you prefer a thicker smoothie)
- Hand full of organic parsley
- Hand full of organic spinach
- Splash of fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbs of ground Chia Seeds
- 1 tsp of Spirulina
- 1 tbs of Vegetable Protein powder (hemp, pea or rice)
Blend and enjoy a tall glass!
Each day started with a morning detox tea made from plants found around the garden, followed by a completely blissful yoga class from Pia.
Following yoga we would have our green smoothies (see recipe above) and have some free time for treatments, reading, writing, walking... really anything that made you feel good.
The retreat provided a variety of treatments including body work, massage, energy work, Ayurvedic massage and others from Elina at Open Circle as well as spa treatments (including the Eximia Machine which helps with lymphatic drainage) from Rutt at Pink Garden (a health spa based in Oslo that I blogged on previously here). Marie from Still Point (details below) was also there to give consultations.
In the afternoons we usually had a session with a wellness specialist. On two occasions we were able to spend time with Heda Kortnes who is not only a an organic farmer, she is also a wellness therapist, yoga teacher and course holder on numerous topics including making natural skincare! Further to that, she is also a master when it comes to foraging plants in the wild for food. We spent time walking the gardens and forrest picking and eating wild plants and learning how to make simple and delicious recipes (like pesto out of nettles!), as well as medicinal properties of plants.
In the evenings we sat into some deep meditation sessions with the brilliant Marie Minagawa from Still Point in Oslo. She stripped us down to our core and was instrumental in the complete detox process. Helping us to remove the negative though patterns is equally as important as removing the toxins from our bodies. With her guidance, we spent a lot of time in deep thought - including a full day of silence which is an incredible way to dig into oneself.
We also had nutrition lectures with Flavio each day. Here we learned some of the tricks to creating a balanced and complete raw food diet that is delicious.
Oh and did we eat - Flavio and his kitchen helpers created beautiful salads, smoothies and soups for us daily and no one went hungry, that is for sure. Foods were vegetarian, mostly raw and live (sprout heaven) and packed with superfoods.
Upcoming Retreats with Mariagården
I can't recommend enough taking time for yourself a few times a year. If you are able to get over to one of Mariagården's upcoming retreats, I highly recommend it. You can follow them on Facebook to get the latest on their upcoming plans. I know they have a lot of exciting things in the works for the upcoming year - not all of which will be taking place in Sweden... some of the retreats will be in foreign lands that you won't want to miss.
My loves, I hope you enjoyed my recount of this beautiful, blissful place. If you have the chance to get over to them, don't miss out.
Love and light from Oslo beautiful souls,