I had the privilege to travel to Italy. A long awaited trip that I have been wanting to do for years. This was the destination for our honeymoon, a year after our wedding. Italy just seemed to be the perfect place for so many reasons, Ryan being part Italian, the food being fresh and Italy just being Italy. So either way this trip couldn’t get any better until I had the opportunity to get myself on a Tuscan Retreat.
I was lucky enough to be one of the 16 chosen girls to join Debbie Travis, (TV Host, producer, author and so much more) on her Tuscan Girls Getaway. The trip just seemed to fit so well for me since I was going to Italy anyways. This was a week for me to truly indulge and treat myself to a week full of wonder and amazement. My goals for the retreat were just to relax, enjoy and meet incredible new people, and each one of them was met and surpassed.
For those of you know don’t know Debbie Travis beyond her TV hit show The Painted House, she is a kind, warm, genuine soul with a sense of humour and sense of adventure. Getting to know her personally over the week was a real pleasure.
She lives by the motto Dream it, Do it, Live it. It was her dream to have a place in her paradise, Tuscany for her and her family to escape to. Her even dream is to have groups of fabulous women gather together for a week of pure enjoyment.
Debbie has created success in her life through the media, but she is about so much more than that. Passion, fulfillment, love and joy are at the true heart of her success. I can tell you that because I experienced it.
The week was amazing – the retreat was created with all of us in mind and to truly put us first. We were driven around to different villages by excellent chauffeurs, we did yoga, ate the most amazing fresh foods, drank local wines (sulphite and tannin free) spent a day at a spa, went bike riding through Tuscan hills, went to an organic sheep farm, made homemade pasta, visited local wineries, shopped, and just laughed A LOT together. The ladies came mostly from Canada all the way to New Zealand.
My overall take away message reconfirmed the motto that I try and live by everyday, do what you love and love what you do and that is the true success in your life. I luckily get to do this everyday with the work I do. And on a personal note, I got to feel a sense of true happiness and contentment with who I am, where I am right now in my life.
I wish for you all to do the same. My goals is that you find a way to take a week for youself somewhere during the year that is all about you. I am lucky enough to be able to provide such an experience in March 2013 in Costa Rica where my goal, similar to Debbies is to provide a week that is dedicated to make each person feel special, help them reach their goals and to just relax, indulge and enjoy while being place in a beautiful setting.
I hope to see you there.
Warm Tuscan Farro Salad
What’s in it:
2 cups farro
3 cups of water
1 tsp mixed herbs
1 bunch of greens, kale or swiss chard
4 sweet potatoes (I used white, red and orange ones from the farmer’s market)
½ cup white beans, cooked
¼ cup snap peas, chopped
2 cloves of garlic
4 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 drop of white truffle oil (strong flavour)
½ teaspoon sea salt
Optional: Add 2 tbsp crumbled goat cheese
Pre-heat oven to 35oF.
Pre-soak farro for 5 hours in room temperature water.
Pre-soak white beans in water for 5-8 hours.
1. In a medium pot bring beans and water to a boil and allow to simmer for 1 hour or so until beans are tender.
2. In another medium pot bring farro and 3 cups of water to a boil, add a pinch of sea salt, lower the heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
3. While the beans and grains are cooking, wash, peel (optional) and chop the potatoes into bite size cubes, place on a baking tray toss with 1 tbsp olive oil and chopped garlic and place in warmed oven for 1 hour.
4. Wash and chop the green vegetables, and snap peas into bite size pieces.
5. When the farro has absorbed all the water and the beans are done, place both into a large bowl. Add in the roasted sweet potatoes, greens and snaps peas. (the greens will wilt naturally with the warm grains, beans and potatoes).
I am still just coming down from my high after leading another successful retreat in Collingwood, Ontario. This is now the 4th one I’ve led and each time they just get better and better! I have this pure, positive feeling of satisfaction that I’m making a difference in people’s lives. I know this because my participants couldn’t stop sharing with me all weekend how good they were feeling, how much they were learning, how their perspective on nutrition has changed. This is all as a result of fully immersing themselves in a power-packed intensive weekend that was completely catered to their needs.
I also didn’t expect to come out of this retreat having them affect my well being. It has only just enhanced and justified that what I do with passion everyday, and the fact that I am someone that’s contributing to people shifting their views on their health and well being. I know that each and every participant on my retreat is going to make significant change in their life – and there are just no words to describe how rewarding that feels. I know I’ve got at least two ladies starting a juice cleanse this week. Another couple is thrilled to have more raw recipes to tackle and then there are those that just feel so good, they are going to continue to eat a pure, clean, and predominantly, a plant-based diet with emphasis in raw food.
I know that in my heart this is why I do what I do. I love to teach, period. I love to educate and share my knowledge about food, but more importantly I love to show people that this can be done! It is easy to eat well. It’s not some far fetched difficult thing that you have to overcome or start doing after this vacation or that diet. You can start right here, right now. If it means adding in a new vegetable, or buying a blender or your starting to juice – these are all components to a better way of living. My ultimate goal is that people enjoy it and don’t look at this new approach as a chore but a lifestyle. It should be fun, easy and of course, delicious.
“Loved the retreat. Everyone was so great there! We have already incorporated so much of what you have taught us. We have already been a week tomorrow without coffee and 98% raw all week. Have also done sprouting of a couple of things and incorporating seaweeds into our diet. We feel amazing! We both had such a wonderful time.”
There is no greater thrill than to be the catalyst in peoples lives and I can’t wait to continue spreading my passion and delicious knowledge. I hope you will join me at one of My Cooking Classes, Retreats – like my Delicious Bliss Escape to Costa Rica – or take the journey on my Fully Nourished Lifestyle Program. Or, if you live away from Toronto, get started with my easy to read Ebooks. This is who I am and I want to share it with you!
Some of the most beautiful and heartfelt testimonials I have ever heard!
So I did it again. Took a wonderful week away in Collingwood to host an amazing retreat!
Get a Glimpse of what went on during the week:
The theme was raw, cleansing and superfoods. But the goal of the retreat was not to convert people, but rather to inspire them to make small changes. Whether it was through adding more superfoods, living foods, raw foods into their life or to get more active on a regular basis or just to take time to nurture their well- being, all were accomplished in these five incredible days.
I had 15 participants and I had all kinds of people attend, from a mother and a son to a married couple, to friends, to single individuals just wanted to take a week away for themselves. My oldest retreat participant was 78 and the youngest was 16. So this just goes to show that anyone, at any point in there life can take positives steps towards their health.
Everyone also came with their own areas of expertise. This is the best part, that I actually get to learn from my participants, there were reiki practitioners, spiritual psychotherapists a line of work called heart math and so much more. People became friends and really got a chance to connect with other that were like minded.
The week was organized with education, eating, relaxing, activity and rejuvenating in mind. We kick-started the week with an incredible hike up blue mountain.
This was followed by an informative talk on Cleansing with Superfoods where everyone got a copy of my brand new Health E Book Cleansing with Superfoods
(get your own copy HERE)
Garden of Life – the only plant based supplement I would ever recommend – was kind enough to donate samples of their Raw Vitamin Code Supplements to my participants (B12 and Vitamin C). So everyone got to take home veggie capsules to test out along with the book The Raw Truth , filled with recipes and tips!
Here is why I only recommend these supplements…if any!
The next day we visited an Organic Farm, The New Farm which was an amazing experience for all. We got to see interns in action working on the farm. Planting, harvesting and just how they make their organic farm work.
Other activities of the week included relaxing a Hatha based Yoga class and a trip the Le Scandinave Spa – a traditional turkish style spa with hot and cold pools, steam room and sauna room. This was a perfect way to aid the body to detoxify and also helps to strengthen the immune system. Everyone just felt amazing after this experience!
We concluded the retreat with a final hike on the last day. This was great because everyone got to see just how much energy and strength they had gained over 4 days on healthy foods. We reached the top in no time and everyone attributed this to the amazing food that was consumed during the week!
Have a look!
Watch some of the Superfood Cooking Demos I did during the week:
Feeling inspired to come on one of my retreats? Well the good news is that I will be hosting one in Costa Rica in March! So book early to get your spot!
Please check back soon as I will be sharing with you the amazing results that my participants experienced during and after the retreat!
Grab a spot on my Raw Urban One Day Detox Retreat!
Adding more raw foods into to your diet is a great way to boost your health. This means making sure the bulk of what you eat focuses on fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouts. With these foods as the foundation of your diet you will have more energy, lose weight and feel great. Raw foods are loaded with enzymes, vitamin and nutrients.
I am not suggesting you become a 100 percent raw foodie or adhere to strict guidelines, but rather simply incorporate more fresh foods into your diet. Even if half your meals each day consist of raw food, you are on the right track.
Five easy ways to add more raw to your diet:
1. Have at least a serving or more of fresh fruit every day: This can include an apple, pear, orange, berries or a fresh fruit smoothie.
2. Have multiple servings of fresh vegetables every day: Cut up carrots, celery, peppers, make a large dark leafy green salad or a fresh pressed green juice.
3. Enjoy a handful (or two) of raw organic nuts and seeds. Put them into a trail mix with raisins, goji berries, apricots – and you can even add some pure raw dark chocolate (cacao) into the mix.
4. Grab a bag of fresh sunflower or pea sprouts from your local health food store or farmers market, these make a great addition to salads, sandwiches, soups, stirfrys and smoothies. Or order them directly from Giddy YoYo and have them delivered to your door!
5. Get creative and try to prepare a few new raw recipes each week (check out different books, websites or videos on how to prepare things like smoothies, raw nori rolls, cookies and nut based spreads).
For an informative and inspirational day on living well with raw concepts grab a spot for my Raw Urban One Day Detox Retreat!
Try this recipe – this is a delicious spread to enjoy with raw bread, flatbread, and crackers or served with crunchy raw veggies, kelp noodles or shredded zucchini
Almond basil pesto
2 tbsp torn fresh basil
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 cup whole almonds, soaked overnight or for eight hours
½ cup pine nuts
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 garlic clove
¼ cup olive oil (or more) for a creamier consistency
1. Place all ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth
2. Place in a small bowl and refrigerate
3. Serve with cucumber slices, zucchini noodles, carrots, whole grain or raw crackers or brown rice pasta/kelp noodles or steamed vegetables
You can get more delicious knowledge by checking out Marni’s Cleansing with Superfoods e-book, available here: http://www.marniwasserman.com/ebooks/
There is a magical little place perched in on the lake in Bancroft, Ontario and it is known as Grail Springs. I was lucky enough to first find out about it from a good friend of mine who went there for spa weekend with her mom. After hearing all the details about what this place had to offer, I knew I had to try it out for myself. I immediately booked Ryan and myself a room for Labour Day weekend last September, and it was everything I had imagined and more!
Since I had such an incredible time the first time. My friend who had told me about it, Jaime, and I went back in November on my birthday to see David Wolfe and just take a night away from the city! This was one of the best birthdays ever… (if you know what I mean)! I was so well taken care of up there. Madeleine Merentette, the founder and face of Grail Springs made me feel so welcome and special on my birthday. She is an incredible powerhouse of energy and passion. She has put her entire heart and soul into her haven at Grail Springs. She brings together the mind, body and spirit all wrapped up into one gorgeous and healing venue.
It’s not only that the property and setting of Grail Springs is amazing, so is everything that they offer. Grail is somewhere that you would escape to for a weekend, week or month away. Whether you want time for yourself, with a partner or a friend. Grail is a platform to heal, rejuvenate, relax, detox, meditate, do yoga and achieve a higher sense of well being. We are so lucky to have a place like this so close to Toronto. The accommodations are cozy, each week there is a different host or expert guiding guests through something fun, intriguing and enlightening, and the food is absolutely incredible. For someone like me who has to travel with a second suitcase or bag full of my own food, I don’t have to do this at Grail Springs. As it accommodates me as a vegetarian (as this is Madeleine’s philosophy) – being sensitive to wheat, dairy and sugar. Grail Springs has got it all. Here is just a sample of what the menu was on my birthday…if that’s not to die for, I don’t know what is!
With all that being said, there is no doubt I was made to host my very own retreat at Grail Springs. We just both have way to much in common! So on May 2nd I will be there for 4 days taking individuals through a journey in food. I will be there to talk, share and demonstrate all things plant based. Showing people how to make the transition to a more delicious lifestyle eating only the best foods nature has to offer. For more detail on my retreat and to book your spot please click here
HAVE YOU BOOKED YOUR SPOT YET? Early Bird rate go up on April 1st!
Treat yourself this summer to a little YOU time. You deserve it! Come away with me for 5 unforgettable days to recharge your body and your mind!
The emphasis of this 5-DAY retreat is to revitalize, detoxify and rebuild YOUR health through organic, whole living foods and delicious knowledge.
The retreat will take place the week of June 26th – 30th at an amazing, cozy venue in Collingwood, Ontario.
Check out HOUSE OF VERONA for more details on the venue or look at some pictures here.
During this all inclusive week you will get to enjoy:
Delicious Organic Living Food Meals –4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners, desserts, snacks, loose leaf tea and fresh spring water
Interactive Living Foods Classes with Marni – learn to create simple and healthy plant based meals with living foods.
(with a specific emphasis on detoxing, enzymes, sprouting, juicing, blending, superfoods, and incorporating greens into every meal)
Movie viewing of the Films – Raw for 30 Days, Food Matters, Crazy Sexy Cancer and Fresh followed up with a dynamic workshop on raw foods, health and vitality.
Dynamic Workshops and Information Sessions with Marni- How to Rebuild Health and Immunity through Whole Foods and Super Foods. It is never too late to start bringing the best foods nature has to offer into your diet!
This could be you!
Photography by Tara Noelle
I have had the honour and pleasure of teaching a group of fine, fabulous, healthy, energetic ladies a series of cooking classes. Most of them are former nutrition students, who never had the benefit of taking any practical cooking courses as part of their holistic nutrition program. So they requested an private 8-week private cooking series, custom make just for them. The classes started in the fall and the last one is schedule for the end of march- I am sad to say good-bye.
It was last year in Februray when I was fortunate enough to meet a few of them at a priave class that I held on behalf of the Holistic Cooking Academy, then I was lucky again to have them + more their friends join my Spring Detox Retreat in Collingwood. This incredible weekend together set the foundation for some amazing bonds and a platform to express our common interests.
Then come fall we started their very own private cooking series. They were keen, interested and intrigued to learn more about healtha nd nutrition. Most of them, being nutritionist are already well immersed in the world of holistic health and cooking, but just wanted to take their knowledge a little bit further…and that is where I came in!
We set out with several classes at one of the ladies, Susan Schroeter’s Lean on Me nutrition studio in Oakville. She has an incredible private kitchen cooking space that was very accommodating to our classes. Not to mention it is steps away from Organic Garage – so if I was ever in need of an extra lemon, or more quinoa, there it was! Then the last few classes have been held in my home, as we started to cover more complex and involved winter warming recipes that required more than one oven and a few gas burners.
I has been so amazing to work with a great group of ladies that live and breath health just as much as me, they have all taught me so much. They are all experts in the field of nutrition with their own focus and are extremely passionate and dedicated to a holistic, natural and a healthy way of life. It is so much fun to be able to teach and connect with others that are like-minded and have a similar path in life!
Here’s a glance of what our 8 – week itinerary looked like:
Week 5: Heart Health Recipes and Balanced Blood Sugar – baked cinnamon apples etc…
Week 6: Indian Flavours and Healing Spices – Cozy Chai Latte etc…
Week 7: Winter Warming Comfort Foods – Mac n Cheeze etc…
Week 8: Breakfasts and brunch foods: Granola etc…
Here are some pictures of the ladies in action, unfortunately not all of them were at this particular class Warming Comforting Veggie Meals – but we have 5 of 7!
Lovable Laurie chopping squash.
Thorough Susan..pulsing those beans!
Careful Anne, making those onions perfect!
Beautiful Sam, delicately adding water.
Joyous Jessica, peeling yams.
Thank you ladies, you have made my life and my knowledge that much richer – and I will miss our fun cooking sessions together!
Are you in love with whole foods as much as I am? I hope so. If not, then you have your chance to be. There is an opportunity coming up in the fall, I know I know, you don’t want to think that far ahead right now, but you must! As you can have the chance of a lifetime to come on an amazing RETREAT in northern Ontario. And if you don’t get on board soon, you will miss your opportunity until next year. I am giving YOU the chance to make that true connection with food from the earth. The food that nature has intended us to eat. When we eat these foods we are nourished, cleansed, rejuvenated and complete. If you don’t believe me, just try it. Start adding whole foods in to your life and just see what happens. I don’t want to be responsible for what takes place – well maybe I do, because only good things will happen!
There is so much information out there about health, nutrition etc… It can be overwhelming, exhausting and discouraging. That is why I want to make it easy for you. Give you a weekend away, where you have nothing else to worry about except for being fed incredible organic foods, learning about your health and wellness and taking time to relax and renew. That can’t be all that bad can it? So if you want to join this amazing retreat then please contact me right away.
Here is just a little bit about what you can expect on this weekend retreat of a lifetime -
First of all you will be trekking all of 2 hours north of Toronto to the amazing Collingwood, home of Blue Mountain. You will be staying in a cozy, spacious and luxurious chalet in the mountains, with fresh air and lots of trees, you will be fed 6 incredible organic, vegan and delicious meals to boost your immunity and take your health to the next level. You will have a chance to learn loads of information on how you can learn to FALL in love with whole foods. Plus did I mention that we will be going to an organic farm, this is where all the magic happens. You can’t really make the connection with whole foods unless you see where your food actually comes from…right? Then of course your body will renew through yoga, hiking and vegging (if that is actually an activity?). We will be watching some incredible and inspiring movies and you will also learn how to prepare whole foods in your own kitchen. I don’t know if I should go on, but the one last component is that you will have a chance to meet, learn and share from group of like minded individuals. This was the best part of my last retreat in the spring!
So please join me – if you register in the next month before September 1st – you will be eligible to have your name put into a draw to have your very own KITCHEN MAKEOVER after the retreat! Which means I will come into your kitchen, clean it out and help you to restock it!
If this is for you, please tell me why, leave a comment and contact me right away to reserve your spot -as there are only a few left!
Have you ever just wanted to get away for a weekend to reconnect, rejuvenate and re-energize your whole being? Who doesn’t? We often don’t get the opportunity to take a mini vacation and escape to nature and explore what really matters in our life. We get so caught up in our busy day to day lives and don’t take enough time for ourselves. Well I if I told you that I had an opportunity for you to break away for a weekend mini vacation- to restore your body and your mind – would you do it? …I hope so!
Here’s what I got – I am part of an amazing group of people -organized through Evergreen Adventures and together we are creating a healthy living weekend just for you. A weekend where you can connect with nature and participate in a whole range of activities that are geared towards rejuvenating and rewarding yourself, by bringing your soul back to life!
Can you think of a better way to spend 3 days at the end of the summer? This is for everyone and anyone who is interested experiencing a relaxing weekend that will guide you towards a path of healthy living!
This amazing weekend starts on Friday August 28- Sunday August 30th 2009
And this weekend includes…
4 yoga classes (active hatha and vinyasa flow)
2 interactive healthy living cooking classes (taught by me!)
lessons in canoeing and kayaking
tea tasting and so much more…
So come and experience the 150 acres beautiful waterfront Muskoka property and stay in our 5000 square foot lodge for a weekend of relaxation, fun, and worthwhile activities.
If you are interested in participating in the amazing weekend please click here or call 416.843.6421 or email email@example.com as spots are filling up fast!
***JOIN MY URBAN 1Day DETOX RETREAT THIS SUMMER ***
If you aren’t juicing already…you are truly missing out on the powerhouse of nutrients one glass of fresh vegetable juice has to offer. I am not talking about getting some pre-made concoction at the grocery store that claims that it is all natural – I am talking about making your own organic, whole vegetable juice in the comfort of your own kitchen!
Juicing is key to vitality and an overall sense of well being. It is even a great part of a good cleansing regime. Juices are a great addition to any diet. Even if it is just as simple as apple juice…I am encouraging you to make them!
You can go as basic as you would like with juicers, they range in price from $150 – $500. So pick and choose what works for your lifestyle and your budget. But remember, the more expensive juicers give you more juice and more nutrients and enzymes. (This is due to the way the juice is extracted from the vegetables.)
Check out online resources and other places in your area that may sell juicers and ask around to other people you may know – which juicer they use and if they like it!
If you are not ready for a juicer yet…
At the very least start your day by making a cup of lemon juice! You don’t even need a juicer for that! Squeeze a half of a lemon into some warm or cool water and drink on an empty stomach.
Another excellent way to cleanse your body (and flush your kidneys) and get your metabolism going for the day.
If you have a blender or a vita-mix you can make all kinds of concoctions and pour your juice through a sieve and capture all the pulp – or you can make a vegetable smoothie with the pulp (see the Simply Smooth posting below!)
But if you do get a juicer and you want a recipe to crack in your new toy…here it is!
Revitalizing (Salad) Juice
I call this a salad juice because instead of making a salad for lunch you can juice it! But don’t do this all the time as you don’t get any of the beneficial fibre from the vegetables. This is a great recipe for days when you don’t really feel like eating or when you are cleansing!
Handful of Sunflower sprouts
2 small (really small) Beets
1 or 2 apples (Granny smith work nice)
2 stalks of Celery
1 inch piece of Ginger
handful of Collard green or kale
small handful of Romaine lettuce
Place everything into you juicer according to instructions….best to do one vegetable at a time and finish off with lemons because it cleans the juicer at the end!