Recently, I was fortunate enough to spend five days at Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat. It is a gluten, dairy and sugar free organic health retreat located on the Gold Coast. What an experience! It completely exceeded my expectations, and believe me, they were high! Why you might ask? What can a health retreat possibly offer that is so amazing? Well, it wasn’t just the luxury, the beautiful natural surroundings, the delicious and innovative food, the plethora of activities and the pristine facilities. It was so much more. What really impressed me was the incredible amounts of valuable information, real-life experiences shared by the over-qualified staff, and well-formulated seminars on offer, aimed at helping you understand health on all levels – mind, body and spirit. As a nutrition student I truly think this information was presented in such an accessible way for people from all walks of life, and it was heart-warming to watch my fellow retreaters eyes open up in such a gentle way. They were learning, understanding and most importantly they were being inspired! It is Gwinganna’s true intention to ensure you not only leave feeling reviltalised but that you are equipped with the tools to implement your new-found knowledge and appreciation into your everyday life, wherever home is. It is a true investment into your health and wellbeing. I could go on and on, but I will summarise my experience by outlining three highlights during my stay at Gwinganna. All the activities are optional, but these, in my opinion, are must-do’s…
- Wake up every morning with the group and with the sunrise – a 5:30am knock on your door (again, optional) ensures you are up in time for 6am lemon water and Qi Gong. Qi Gong is an ancient Chinese practice of gentle exercise aimed at balancing and harmonising our vital energy, reducing stress, increasing overall health and building awareness of mind and body. A gorgeous start to the day!
- Sharon Kolkka’s seminar on reframing your brain. So informative! And full of good stories and great laughs. A look at the physical implications of mental health as well as assessing our thought patterns and making positive changes. Extremely uplifting and fascinating. A must!
- Spend some time with Shelly, resident organic gardener and former chef, she is so full of knowledge on all things nature-related and is truly inspiring. She can teach you everything from how to make your own Aloe Vera juice to what herb to take when, and how to grow it.
Overall, a life-altering experience that I couldn’t recommend higher, if not just for the glorious food, the majority of which is grown on the property! Another highlight, if I can just sneak it in, was the people, both staff and guests. If you go, make sure you interact with those around you. It sounds simple, and perhaps intimidating for some, however it was so refreshing to be around people from all walks of life who have made this commitment to their health! They all have a story to tell and they all want to hear yours. Over the five days we became a little community and it was so wonderful to share the activities and experience with them. Be open and willing, and you will be beyond rewarded!