Last weekend I checked in at the Billabong Retreat, an eco-certified wellness retreat offering yoga, meditation and wellness workshops to spend one night at the retreat, recharge my batteries and spend some relaxing time alone. It is only located 45 minutes away to Sydney.
I stayed in one of the treehouses with a little balcony facing the gumtrees and billabong. I had a double bed and my own shower. I appreciated the kettle, hot water bottle and herbal teas in my own room as the weather was chilly!
Firstly, the food was amazing. It was mostly all vegan although there was an option to eat eggs and butter. I really liked the self-serve buffet option as I was able to have huge plates of food haha I am pregnant after all! I had 2 lunches, one afternoon tea, one dinner and one breakfast during my stay at the retreat.
Some of my favourite dishes were the flaxseed crackers, the charred broccoli and tahini cashew cheese sauce, the baked pumpkin and tahini sauce, the basmati rice, broccoli and almond salad and the chia pudding (SO CREAMY! Mine always has dried up chia seeds?!).
Check out the pictures below of my (big) plates hehe and at the bottom of this post for a yummy salad inspired by my stay there. I am inspired to eat more (filling) salads using in-season ingredients.
In my 2 day retreat I attended 2 yoga classes – one afternoon session and a morning session. Both classes were amazing overlooking the trees in a nice (and heated) big room. I had to adapt some of the poses due to my big pregnancy belly but overall my body loved the opportunity to have a big stretch. I need to be more consistent at home in doing yoga.
I also attended a meditation session which I found a little challenging as I am not good at keeping my mind still. Especially as it was after dinner and the chocolate mousse and the baby was kicking like crazy in my tummy! But doing a guided meditation was definitely very relaxing and I really loved when the teacher played the piano live for us (a tune from the movie Amelie Poulain) while we were laying down with eyes closed. It was magical and so relaxing!
The next morning I attended a workshop which was about self-love. It was good to write down what makes me feel good and hopefully do these activities a little more often like doing yoga, reading books and taking baths!
For me the highlight of my one-night retreat was being able to rest, relax and read self-development books by the fire while reading organic herbal teas. I really enjoyed having the (rare) opportunity to reflect and plan the next 6 months of the year getting myself mentally ready for the arrival of our next baby and the chaos it will bring. I also wrote lists of things I am grateful for and things I wanted to let go of and burnt that piece of paper in the fire. It was a really nice weekend on the theme of self-love and self-care for me. As the saying goes” “you cannot pour from an empty cup”and I really believe it is important for mothers to take time to do something for themselves. I am already planning to come back when my little baby will be done breastfeeding in about a year’s time.
I got inspired by the salads served at the Billabong Retreat and created this yummy healthy Roasted Pumpkin and Fennel Salad. This is a great winter salad recipe – filling, nutritious and delicious!
Roasted Pumpkin and Fennel Salad
Recipe- serves 4:
- ½ Kent pumpkin roasted
- 2 cups of spinach
- 2 cups of cooked quinoa
- 1 bulb of fennel roasted
- 1 head of broccoli roasted
- ½ cup of tahini
- 1/3 cup of chopped almonds
- salt /pepper and lemon juice
- Pre-heat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius and line 2 baking trays with baking paper;
- Cut and lay your Kent pumpkin, fennel and brocoli on the trays, season with herbs, salt and pepper and bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
- In the meantime cook your quinoa in water.
- Once the pumpkin fennel, brocoli and quinoa are cooked. Leave to cool down then mix with spinach and top with tahini, lemon juice, chopped almonds and salt and pepper.