Hello New Friends,
Last weekend I had the pleasure of attending a Raw Urban Detox Retreat by Marni Wasserman in her beautiful new Food Studio and Lifestyle Shop in Toronto. Yes I know what you are thinking….didn’t Jo-Ann just say she was studying for exams. Well, I was, and this was one of the ways I studied. I also wanted to learn tips on how to host a wellness urban retreat and Marni does an excellent job.
I attended a Knife Skills course hosted by Marni Wasserman and Chef Doug McNish in the spring and knew I liked Marni’s approach with her guests. I also looked at Marni’s videos on Youtube and was impressed with how respectful she was of her clients. I have to say, I felt right at home from the moment I stepped into the Food Studio.
The Food Studio is stunning. Well designed, with a large centre island, three sinks, a large fridge and an Urban Cultivator which is on my dream kitchen list (see my post here on it). There are large windows so spending a day inside on a beautiful sunny day never felt too bad as we had the benefits of the sun, great food, good company and a quality experience.
Yoga and Breakfast
Marni started the day off with a drink of greens and homemade sprouted bread and jam. We then headed down the street for a yoga session with David Good of David Good Yoga. My wrists were still sore so I used blocks to reduce the pain and it did help. David was an excellent yoga teacher, telling us to go at the pace that our body allows us to. He also helped us to get the correct positioning – very important if you want to avoid sore wrists. After yoga, we headed back down to the Food Studio for a light breakfast of soaked oats and a protein smoothie lesson. I really enjoyed taking my knowledge deeper and learning about Irish Moss and some of the quality products Marni uses.
After breakfast, we had time to learn more about nutrition. I love hearing what I have already learned as it helps really bring your knowledge forward (think exams). Marni had sent out a package to read ahead on Cleansing with Super Foods. I was glad to see some of my study topics in it but I still learned more. Education is a never ending process. Marni made everyone feel comfortable with their level of knowledge. After this session, we had a nice break and time to take a walk in the sunshine and meet new friends.
After some time in the sun, it was time to prepare a raw lunch. We all participated in leaning how to make raw hummus, a colourful salad and nori rolls. I was super pleased to try to make a nori roll and was delighted with how easy it is based on the way Marni does it. I will be making these again.
Time for another break and getting to know each other better. We then had a lesson on facial care from Lori of Alma Natural Quick Spa. The products she used were amazing. I volunteered to be the model which meant I got to enjoy the products on my face. Lori also discussed Lymphatic massage with us. Now that I know more, I will definitely give it go. And I now better understand the importance of dry brushing as it helps your lymphatic system move and drain.
After some more time in the sun, we voted on a movie to watch as a group. We watched Simply Raw – a story about 5 diabetics who go on a raw food diet for 30 days and have profound changes in their insulin levels and over all health. A must see – I will do a Movie Night post on it.
With minutes left to go of the movie, I did the OMG, it is 5:55 and my parking time runs out at 6:00. Seemed like we all parked in the same lot, so we took a group break to fill the parking meter up. When we returned, we had a lesson on making raw zucchini noodles with kelp noodles and homemade pesto (a regular dinner at our home), and a raw pizza with cashew cheese. Oh my it was good. I am sure I have left out some of the food we enjoyed – there was so much of it and it all tasted amazing.
Walks and Sunshine
It might seem to you like we took a lot of breaks – and we did. At first I was thinking like the Type A I am, let’s just work through the breaks and end the day early. But I soon realized that you need the breaks to digest what you learned, take in fresh air, walk around so you don’t get too stiff and most importantly, get to know the people in the session with you.
The best part of the day was meeting a group of ladies who were on their own personal wellness journey. We had so much in common. We read the same books, we spoke the same wellness language and all enjoyed investing in our health. This is were the breaks paid off. We shared stories, books still to be read, shopping tips, places to see and classes to take. At the end of the session, we shared email addresses and will hopefully continue to share a friendship based on wellness.
We finished the movie, gave hugs and left fully nourished in mind, body and soul.
A day well spent. And there were several questions on the lymphatic system on my exam so it really was time well spent.
I would highly recommend spending a day with Marni Wasserman at her Food Studio and & Lifestyle Shop.
To your wellness education,
Jo-Ann Blondin, your Wellness Cheerleader, Holistic Nutritionist and 9 Cup Challenge partner