A few weeks back I spent 5 days with the fab team at Target Fitness Retreats (you may have read my blog diary!). The fitness was varied and fun, the trainers were experienced, interactive and motivational and the venue was stunning. But as a self professed foodie, the one thing that kept me going when both energy and mood levels were low was the incredible food on offer.
Now, I know what you’re all thinking…
“But you were on a fitness retreat, surely all you get when you go on one of those is lettuce leaves and water!?”
Which is exactly what I thought before I went, I mean come on surely the whole purpose of a fitness retreat is to lose weight by restricting the number of calories you consume and exercising from dusk until dawn?
As more and more people are now looking to spend their precious holiday time on specific fitness and activity based adventures and with an ever increasing interest in healthy eating to help fuel these workouts, fitness companies have started to realise that food plays an important factor. A poxy bit of salad or a week of nothing but juice will certainly see you lose weight, but it’s not going to be enough to ensure you exercise to your best ability, in fact, you are more likely to cause yourself injury. Plus let’s face it, losing weight that fast just isn’t sustainable. As soon as you get home it’s highly likely you’ll slip back into bad habits because you’re body is craving the things you’ve denied it.
Healthy eating is a lifestyle thing; it’s not just for the summer when you want to fit into that new bikini, it’s not just for the New Year when you’re trying to counteract the damage of gluttonous festive feasting and it’s certainly not about having to denying yourself your favourite foods – I mean imagine a life without chocolate *shudder*.
Healthy eating is about educating yourself about what foods you’re putting inside your body, what foods make you feel best and most importantly it’s about following the age old adage of ‘everything in moderation’.
So, back to the food I experienced on the Target Fitness retreat…
The chef on the retreat was a lovely lady called Ellie, who owns and runs the Sage and Honey cookery school. She offers lessons in things like sushi making, eating for health and vitality and vegetarian and vegan cooking, as well as providing her services as a private chef and menu planning. Ellie has 14 years worth of chef experience under her belt and is incredibly passionate about food, which was clearly reflected in the beautiful creations she placed before us at mealtimes.
So, the big question is…
What Food Will I Eat on a Fitness Retreat?
Tasty, nutritious, carefully planned, beautifully presented food is what! Just check out this little lot that I shovelled down my cakehole when I was there:
- Roasted Vegetable Tagine
- Raw Cacao Mousse Bar
- Bibimbap with Brown Rice, Quinoa and Turkey
- Guilt Free Sticky Toffee Pudding
- Beetroot Risotto with Goats Cheese
- Deconstructed Apple Crumble
- Protein Pancake Stack
- Falafels with Tzatziki, Greens and Pomegranate
There wasn’t a single moment during the retreat when I felt hungry or unsatisfied by the food. And the best bit…pudding every single day! What’s not to like about that?
Each dish had been carefully planned to provide guests with the right kind of nutrition to feed the body by either acting as fuel for the workouts ahead or as sustenance and replenishment at the end of a very active day. No refined sugars, no bad fats, just plenty of fresh, seasonal produce (Ellie even made use of the apples and blackberries growing in the garden).
So, please don’t be put off going on a fitness holiday if you’re concerned that you’ll only be fed meagre portions of something even your rabbit would turn it’s nose up at, because things just aren’t like that any more.
To find out more about what Ellie can do for you and to discover some of her amazing recipes, check out the Sage and Honey website or if you would like to book a fitness retreat on which I can personally guarantee you will be fed well, visit the Target Fitness Retreats website for details of their 2017 retreat dates.