Blissful Gaia Yoga Flow.

We now share our own Yoga, Pilates and Fusion classes over at MerryBody! Come join the fun!

This is a guest blog post from Danielle. We hope you enjoy it! The time is NOW to get your flow on! Always merrymaking, e + c

Hi sweet peas!

How are we all?

“Happy, healthy and full of energy!” I hope you enthusiastically reply, however, I’m well aware this may not be the case…

As the cooler months creep in, so too do cravings for all sorts of comforting, foods that make us feel warm and happy. For me and my merrymaker sisters, these types of food include: fat cake, plantain chippies, sweetener free choccies, slow cooked beef cheeks… even bone broth!

how to make paleo baked plantain chips2

But for others, types of food cravings may include some not-so-great-for-you things like fake chocolate (basically any choccie product containing more than just cacao, cacao butter, sea salt), hot chippies fried in naughty oils or ‘easy-peasy-greasies’ – my name for take away dishes filled with all the sugary, processed trimmings.

If this is the case, then never fear, I totally understand because that used to be me too – a very loooooong, unhealthy time ago! The good news is you can take yourself out of this rut by feeding your body with fresh, nurturing foods topped (and mixed) with natural herbs and spices to satisfy cravings, to help you leave the dinner table feeling fulfilled.

Along with my many learnings I’ll be sharing with you throughout my journey to becoming a Natural Foods Chef in New York City, I am committed to helping you navigate your way through the foodie maze of confusion. It’s not always easy to stay on top of the latest news and information about food if health and wellness isn’t the field you specialise or work within.

And by the time the latest science is translated and published by mainstream media, we’re often exposed to such a jumbled-up ‘best bits’ version that never ever represents the full story! Case and point: a few years ago I read a lengthy article in a popular woman’s magazine about how effective and essential omega 3 fatty acids are for health… then the following week, according to another popular rival magazine, omega 3 fatty acids were one of the worst things to include in our health regime.

Confusing much?!

Well you can rest assure when you come here to read all the merrymaking latest, you will never get watered down versions of the facts. We all deserve more, we deserve  to live our best, most healthiest life! And I am super duper excited about working with and learning from the best of the best in the world to bring you more factual foodie fabulousness!

Until then, I am packing and spending downtime with the people I love. Getting in some important face to face time with family and friends is oh so important to me, so you can only imagine how excited I was to be invited along with Em and Carla to experience three days of Gaia Retreat and Spa (yes, the place owned by Olivia Newton John!!) HEAVEN.

Visiting Gaia truly was unlike any other holiday I’ve ever experienced. Not only do you have all the time in the world to do whatever the hell you want without interruption – sleep, go for a walk, enjoy spa treatments and connect with mother earth, you can also take part in a raft of included information sessions and classes taught by the best of the best in Australia – all subject matter experts who love what they do – yes please!

You can read all about the best bits of our Gaia stay here, but I feel compelled, as your future Natural Foods Chef, to tell you all about my fav experience – the fun free cooking class with Gaia’s head chef, Dan Trewartha.

We began by getting to know the natural ingredients Dan had portioned out into little dishes (note to self: begin ALL cooking sessions like this to be super organised and prepared! Has anyone else gone to the fridge to grab the eggs mid-bake, only to realise you have none left, or is that just me…?!)

dan chef gaia retreat

Kale chippies, perfectly poached eggs, yummy panna cotta and vegan choc mousse were on the menu – each dish made with precision with minimal ingredients – nothin’ but superfoodie fabulousness – every bit tasted a-mazing!

sweetener free vanilla raspberry panna cotta

The main takeaway (aside from the delish food of course!) was that healthy food doesn’t mean bland food. In fact, healthy food means tastier food because you’re using natural ingredients like fresh raspberries and cacao powder to add flavor, colour AND antioxidants that’s NOT going to harm your insides!

Without a doubt, Gaia’s cooking class has made me even more excited to adorn my chef whites and get my cooking on! I simply cannot wait to share my very first Natural Foods Chef recipe with you all to try – brace yourselves for an onslaught of happy, healthy, shine-y yummy-ness!!

Until then, have fun making and tasting this little beauty… Sweetener Free Vanilla Raspberry Panna Cotta – inspired by the sights, smells and general (magical) surrounds of Gaia.

Oh! And don’t forget to flow along with me this week – this latest vid was filmed at Gaia during our stay. I recorded it on a day where Carla and I had been tortured by worked out with Gaia’s head of fitness, Damien Schofield (AKA ‘Mr Punish’). Please go easy if practicing the full wheel pose in this video – you will see my arm alignment isn’t so hot because… well… by that point of the day, I couldn’t really feel my arms (thanks Damien!).

Always remember to take things at your own pace. Always move how it feels good to move in YOUR body. Never look at any another yogi and think you have to look the same as they do – that’s like saying you have to have the same nose as me in order to breathe…craziness!

Until next time, take care of you and smile often.

Namaste, Danielle x

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