01 July 2013

Clean Food – and the 4 elements of gourmet health food

I am sitting in the dining room at Gaia, looking out on a golden evening as the landscape rolls away over serene hills and on into infinity. But amidst the calm and the beauty, my thoughts go to “What will the food be like?”

Will it be a disappointment, or a pleasant surprise? For this is Olivia Newton-John’s luxury spa retreat where I am due to give some talks and where people come to be pampered and treated with gourmet meals that are intended to be healthy. This week we find out, prepare for talks in Coffs Harbor, Katoomba and Sydney and share a short video link that is well worth a look. But first

Thought for the Day
To keep the body in good health is a duty,
otherwise we shall not be able to keep our mind strong and clear
                                                                                 The Buddha

Gaia. The luxury spa retreat in the hinterland near Byron Bay in the far north of New South Wales that I have heard about from my old friend Olivia (who is not so old at all!) and who I know to be genuinely passionate about good food and a healthy lifestyle.

Olivia’s hand is evident everywhere, whether it be in the beautiful setting, caring, discreet and friendly way the staff conduct themselves, or in the quality of Gaia’s facilities with their earthy, natural décor, or the excellent standard of the massage therapists, hand-picked to work in the day spa. There are thoughtful touches of care and beauty everywhere.

But what will the food be like? Gregg Cave, the resident manager who treats each and every person like a personal guest, a personal friend, is with us when the dinner arrives.

It is immediately apparent. More than a pleasant surprise, it is wonderful! True gourmet health food. A chef who knows how to cook good food well.

“I like to call it clean food” says Gregg. “We start each meal from raw ingredients and we make every effort to use organic produce for its environmental and the health benefits as well as the enhanced flavor."

"Then we keep it simple. We stay away from salt and sugar so that again, the natural flavours are not swamped and guests get to really taste what they are eating.”

What I notice is the clean taste and the lightness that accompanies eating such food. You finish the meal feeling satisfied, clean and light. So different to many meals we eat when out that in one way taste OK, but leave you feeling heavy and feeling like another meal at home would have been a better choice.

Here, every meal is delicious and delightful. And clean!

Gaia does believe in choice so at different meals they do present chicken, seafood and some straight vegetarian meals. You can choose to leave cheese or other ingredients out of the meals that are offered; with vegan and gluten free options reliably and easily catered for.

So, the four 4 elements of clean food?

1. Start with top quality raw ingredients

2. Use organic produce wherever possible

3. Avoid salt and sugar

4. Keep it simple. Allow the ingredients and the naturally enhanced flavours to speak for themselves and do not complicate things with heavy, overbearing sauces and too many complicated flavours.

Oh yes, and to add that gourmet touch, do what Gaia have done - hire a top chef or 2 or 3 who are really into this style of cooking! And support them with top staff.

Simple really.

So if you are fortunate enough to have the time and money to go to a top-quality health retreat in Australia, and if you are seeking a place where you choose what you do, where there is no set formal teaching program, where you can go when it suits you, with oodles of pampering, excellent regular optional Yoga, Chi Gong and fitness classes, then Gaia comes very highly recommended.

Organic food – good for fruit flies, good for you

Eating well, being well


Ruth and I were in Brisbane this last week where for the 30th year in a row I presented at the Relaxation Centre. Quite a milestone really and what a fabulous volunteer driven centre. See the recent blog : One remarkable man, one great lesson.

This weekend we are in Coffs Harbor being organized for a day workshop through another old friend and colleague David McRae. David and I worked closely together in the Foundation way back in the eighties and so we look forward to spending more time with him and his wife and speaking in Coffs.

Then the following week, Katoomba and Sydney

Coffs Harbour
July 6; Day workshop: Medicine of the Mind

July 9; Day workshop: Health, Healing and Wellbeing

July 13 - 14, Weekend workshop: A New Way of Living

Not sure whether to laugh or cry, whether it is politically incorrect or not, but here is a short video that is definitely worth a few minutes. Check it out:

It’s not about the nail

1 comment: