Guests from all Corners

Hi Cristina and Ray,

I’ve been home almost a week now and I can’t believe how quickly it has gone. I just wanted to say the most massive thank you from every fibre of my being. My circumstances at home haven’t changed, my job hasn’t changed, the people I come into contact with every day haven’t changed but somehow it’s all very different.
— Alison

On their way home M, who has joined us three times (last vist with her husband) in Thailand, wrote this on Whats App:  

We are on the bus we got an early one. Thanks again, I always feel so good as I leave. I look forward to our skype so I can ask things like 'where does one go when doubt sets in? 🐞🍷❤️🐜🤢🦀

M

So I answered this:

Haha 😃 yes, that's THE question👆
I haven't found any better place to go than to the place called FAITH. The best of those places is called In Myself, but many chose the place called In God. I don't see much difference really. 
I think it's the most beautiful, peaceful and self-loving place there is and I go there every day. Specially before sleeping and waking up. 
I have only met kind and good people there. Myself included. It's  when I go to far away from that place I can wobble and hurt others. If anyone has to hurt me in that place, it's not because they are bad or evil but because their molecules (or maybe microbime) are formed to do so. It's just what they are and have to do. 🦁😒🐒🦅🐝🐍🦈👹
Others can help you find that place, or give you a map, or calm you so that you can find and look at the map in the first place, but in the end you can only go there by yourself. After you find it you can go anywhere, anytime...or stay 🌏🌈✨


I just wanted to send you a quick note. Thank you for really being solid friends and support to me. I am so grateful that you reached out in the way you did following my initial desperate email!

More than anything else I feel I have two truly wonderful new friends/family. Your kindness knows no end! I feel truly grateful!

I am excited to see where this journey goes and I have no doubt our paths will cross! You have a home in Langa, yet another place in the world which confirms our firm belief that material wealth doesn’t create camaraderie, spirit and community.

Thank you for helping me remember to enjoy the journey as much as I feel the pain of awareness and a feeling of injustice for so many people.
— John (who continued his path and is today a known Yoga Teacher)
I cannot find the words to thank you both enough, 🙏 I am absorbing all my knowledge and putting a lot in practice, not in an overwhelming way.
It is great to be so wonderful to be growing, learning evolving and chillaxing everyday.
— J
Thank you for the most amazing time this week. It has been wonderful, revelatory and just the most perfect end to 205 days of travelling. It has also been the best camping experience ever! Stars, comfy sleeps and cold showers next to the jungle!! All amazing. Thank you both so much. We will meet again, I know it.
— Amy

feel like I'm 21 again with wisdom, youth really is wasted on the young(lol) I still feel blessed to have met you….even though i wanted to go home the first night!!!!!!!!!!! I am a your surprise success Christina.

Miss you all loads

Jane xxxxxxxx (who came back after this first time to Olive, and came back again and again...) 

Cristina and Ray are beautiful people.
— Tim
It was incredible meeting and getting to know you both. Thank you for your kindness. Massive learning curve. Ray you inspired me to find the future.
— Rob
You fed us such gorgeous, delicious food! I loved it all. And that 🍓! Wow! That chia seed dessert. Have to try to make that one.
I must say, your food made me so very happy. And the great company was perfection
— Brenda
Thanks for an endless adventure and your unconditional kindness, love and support. Hanging in the shala, testing coffee recipes and coming up with monkey strategies will be sorely missed. Lots of love! Enjoy the stars for me ✨✨✨
— Kim

An extract from an email from from London:

Cristina - your knowledge about nutrition and health is incredible and I've learned so much from you.   I felt quite frustrated during the week by the medical profession that no-one had told me how beneficial changes like this could be in preventing disease and getting better, and angry at myself that I didn't put my diet into action sooner - we put our trust in these people!  But I also realise now, I can make these changes myself with relative ease now.  I wish everyone could come and spend a week with you, the world would be a better place! 

Ray - thank you for introducing me to meditation. I have only practiced it once on a buddhist yoga weekend in Wales several years ago, in a room of about 200 practising buddhists‎ whereby we were only guided to clear our minds and make them empty! I couldn't do this as so many things were buzzing around in my head so presumed meditation wasn't for me!   But I really enjoyed the experience this time. I'm not particularly good at dealing with my emotions at times, and I know I keep things bottled up. The night we meditated under the gazebo, I felt overwhelmed with emotion, like the past 9 months was bubbling up inside me.   You asked us to look at where we might be in the future, and for the very first time in a long time, I really felt positive about it and I could observe myself as being free and happy again.  So thank you for that :-)


I’ve had a complete epiphany.
— L
The accommodation, food, nutrition lectures and mediation sessions have far exceeded my expectations. This past week has been life changing for me. This from a person who thought they were already leading a so-called “healthy lifestyle”. I am leaving Olive Retreat with the science-based knowledge and the skills to look after my body, soul, and mind! Thank you so much for showing me the light.
— Gillian
I think you saved my life.
— Louise
The amount of information we got on the retreat was amazing. And to get more information post retreat is the icing on the cake (so to speak!)
— Nicky
I feel so much better. Safe and totally confident that I can continue eating, thinking and living in new and healthier ways.
— Debbie

WOW! What an AMAZING week, I loved every moment, from Saturday to Saturday. This place has been life changing for me, enlightening in many subjects, especially food – it was DIVINE! Just what the doctor ordered! So happy to have met you and my “DREAM TEAM” What fun we have had!
— Deborah

"I am so lucky to have found you at a time of my greatest need. You have the gift of making people feel so welcome. I enjoyed and appreciated the beauty of this place the few days I was here. I am grateful for the love you showed me and my family. With much Love." 

— Inge


It was sooo GOOD!!! FANTASTIC! Simply the best! We arrived with no expectations and just about everything here was unforgettable, a life changing experience. We will for sure change our diet and focus on breathing exercises and meditation and hopefully maintain the glow you can see in our faces. Thank you for putting us on the right track and changing our lives.
— Nick & Margaret
My Olive Retreat was a surprise birthday present from my wife, definitely the best gift ever. This experience was absolutely amazing in all ways. I experienced an unbelievable feeling of body and mind detox, wellness and what is more important, a truly sensation of adding some of the routine to my everyday habits. I would love to do it again and fully recommend it to everyone.
— Jose
It’s been great and amazing to spend time with you both. Unforgettable experience for me
— George

SANDRA FROM SOUTHPORT

I learned which food products to use, healthy recipes to cook, how to make a face mask out of avocados!! 

In addition, I met some really interesting people: a cross section male and female, a young lawyer, and a restaurateur all seeking a healthy lifestyle. We went walking together, we exchanged life stories, we watched films that made us laugh and cry, and we have all exchanged emails to keep in touch. 

I have returned home relaxed, refreshed and full of ideas to keep healthy and I can only urge you to think seriously about a week at this wonderful place!


I can’t put into words how this week has helped me. It has been in so many ways. I promise to take the knowledge + inspiration you have given away with me + use it to make some important changes in my life. May the sun always shine on you.
— Kim
Thank you for your caring, compassion, support and delicious, heartwarming, happy food. Unforgettable and inspiring! And its been wonderful to laugh this much! I will never look at the stars the same way again!
— Rebecca

"Passion for health and life shines through in every little detail that Olive Retreat provides!"

—Alison


It has been the shortest and the longest week in a while, filled with: the most delicious food (my diet + kitchen will be forever transformed), safe guidance, support, and a world of knowledge. I can already feel a huge difference to my overall health. And rediscovering yoga + meditation! I am so grateful for that and I am officially back in the habit. Thank you.
— Coco
Thanks to your care and kindness I have had a truly inspirational experience. I was hoping to find some peace and tranquility and I am blessed to have found that and more. With thanks and love.
— Suzy
Soulful food, beautiful, wild surroundings and lots of love and support. Thank you for helping me to love and find myself.
— Daisy (reporter)

ALAN after his second olive retreat 

Thank you, to the three cabbageroes, the tremendous triumvegarates, the Olivios! Thank you for yet another stupendous performance. Because I feel that is what it indeed is: every time you execute a week such as this - of nurturing a nervous band of dietic dysfunctionals …a performance, worthy of applause. 

I'm sure there are other Retreats offering more in some aspects, but maybe at a price way beyond this, or without the intimacy of this, or in places not benefiting from the beauty in abundance that surrounds us, in this particular valley. 


I would be surprised if any other Retreat offered food as consistently appealing – not just in taste but in all of the senses – food almost as good to look at and inhale, as it was to ingest.

 


And in any other place would one be able to retire to such crisp white linen in beds so comfy? Possibly, but at what fee?

Would those other places explore our inner self and stretch our imagination as much as they did our gluteus maximus? Possibly, but not with rich pure coconut cacao for afters…

Would any other Retreat so gently nurture us towards the absolute certainty that we had found another door in life that - if we chose to walk through it - things would certainly have every chance of getting better? 


Katherine

I read your blog from start to finish this morning (well most of it). It is beautifully powerful. This is a book I would buy as it is but in hardcopy. Thank you for it. So, I have written to you to book in for next week at your Olive. I know you will be ‘working’, but I am so looking forward to time with you. And to peacefulness for me. Fingers crossed a room is still available. 

After the retreat:

I had lost 3lbs and have lost a further 3, so this is good. More so I am enjoying the food I am eating sooo much, the soups and pastes are wonderful. And I have done yoga every day and walked lots (with jogging)… This is a huge leap as you know. 


BHAV from london

"There’s little I can write, that would capture even an iota of my unforgettably unique experience at the Olive Retreat. This can be attributed to the many moments that made it the experience that it was, but equally in part to the ongoing change I genuinely feel as a result of my time there. 

Under no circumstances did I expect that 7 days in the Spanish countryside would be an elixir to my circumstances. However. the impact is close to it. 

If there ever was a word to crystallise my experience, it’d be the word synchronicity. We all in our tumultuous lives of rushing to meetings, planning the next thing, stressing about what socks to wear, and the constant distractions of high technology and cats on pianos…fall in to the trap of restless chasing.  We quite simply forget to be, preoccupied in leading lives of noise and consumption that results in just doing. Doing with out being, and to some degree, meaning. 

The retreat helped me to stop, listen and learn new skills that realigned my natural rhythm and needs, through a trifecta of mental awareness, nutritional enlightenment and physical agility. Sunrise yoga, breath taking vistas of Andalusia, soulful food, riverside meditation, sleeping under the stars…I could go on about every intricate moment that will forever be ingrained, but why spoil it for you? 

It’s an experience that one must personally encounter to understand, craft and value. I am eternally thankful for their wisdom, compassion and patience, and for the enriching life-long gifts I take with me."

Yes I have lost weight, and everyone is saying how well I look!

The sun is shining and my thoughts go to that wonderful week I spent at the Olive Retreat oh how lovely it was! Love!
— Deborah
I have cut down the medication: no sleeping pills and less pain meds.
I never imagined I would ride a horse again, ski, play tennis and golf, do yoga, pilates and I can do all those things now. I feel super blessed. Thank you so much!
— Mrs P

 

 

Ruth – chronic autoimmune arthritis & reporter

I have still had more energy than I’ve had in a long while.

The detox was definitely effective and I was particularly sceptical that it would have any effect, so I can’t put it down to placebo! I’ve decided to radically cut down cheese from my diet. I know that it doesn’t agree with my digestion but I persist in eating it and I suspect that it’s been one of the culprits in my low energy because of the effort taken for me to digest. I’m getting lots of compliments about my appearance and how well I look. My mother is particularly impressed! She says that I look better than I have done in years.

I continue to be pain-free, – this current run is 17 days – and I’m sure that this is related to the gluten-free diet, which is plenty of incentive to stick with it for the foreseeable future. 

Thanks again for a wonderful week. Best wishes, Ruth

Truly an amazing experience. I feel great and calm.
— Pauline
What a life affirming, restorative and happy week.

Your wonderful Olive Retreat certainly means I bring bags full of health knowledge home. You are inspiring and magnetic people – full of health and energy that you impart to your students. You are change agents. A life changing week with a fabulous collection of people.
— Catriona
This has been the most wonderful experienece and journey that I will cherish for a very long time.

You are all very good at what you do and have changed my life in such a positive way. I feel very priviliged to have met such lovely people and hope to see you guys again in the near future. I have learnt so much and will promise to pick your brains when back in the UK.
— Pritpal
I have had a most enlightening week. I came not knowing what to expect and I am leaving feeling more in charge of my life and a great deal healthier.
— Ena
Olive Retreat – A treat in every way! I go home a very different person – Thanks in so many ways
— Denise

Amanda – marathon runner

I have told many people about the experience and how well I feel. Many of my team are following the principles. I did my marathon last weekend, I followed a structured 3 run a week training programme and also did 30 mins swim or 30 min cycle or ashtanga on other days. I set myself a 4 hour target, I revised that to 3.45 after a recent 1.42 half marathon. I finished the marathon in 3hours 39mins and this is a qualifying time for boston marathon for a woman 10 years younger!

I felt amazing and was over the moon. I have recovered well and will be running again at the weekend. Thanks so much, my stay with you has really helped me. I hope to see you soon, I would still love to come back. 


We learned mindfulness, mind-body energy as well as how to practice compassion and to recharge our cells. Thank you so much! We hope to keep in touch with you! What an inspiring place and what relaxing days.
— Johannes & Angela from Germany

Claire

The week was different to my expectations: more space, more peace. It will be strange going back to reality.

Robin, from Frankfurt

I truly was able to detox and have come back home with renewed energy, ideas, positivity and I feel great. MUCH better than before.

So, indeed, you changed my life.

I am hoping that with this renewed peace and strength, life will fall into place and I will find new solutions for my life. I hope our paths cross again soon. 

Denize

Wow we have had great days with you! It was inspiring enriching and motivating to rethink about some habits in our lives. “Do you feel like that” will be a major question in my daily life now. I feel great !

Cary & Jason

The work you are all doing here is just wonderful & inspiring! Thank you for caring and looking after us all and helping us to reflect on ourselves and our choices in life. 

Gillian

Thank you so much for all your help this week in understanding how to be healthy, and happy. Thanks for all the amazing food! I will continue at home! The lovely walks and amazing scenery and for making me feel so welcome! Xx


Maggie

All I can say is a miracle has happened!!! 

Words cannot express my gratitude to you all! Just overwhelming what I have learned and gained.


EVA

Jaa, kära du. Livet ett drama, spelat av en dåre, som Shakepeare säger. Men min “dåre” kommer till nya plattformar och insikter. Att backa tillbaka till lägre plattformar går inte. Tack och lov. Trots att det oskrivna bladet på den nya plattformen kan skrämma. Men insikt eller upplysning känns alltid befriande. Lugnande för integriteten. Hollywood eller Bolly har gått igenom mina relationer till män. Nu går den igenom min relation till mig själv, min integritet, mina älskade och kloka kära och nära. Mina barn por supuesto! Största och den fullständigt konfliktbefriade kärleken.

Den andra formen av “kärlek”, den konfliktdrabbade som jag ägnade mina första 45 år åt, den är jag såå färdig med.

Tack!


SANTINA on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/oliveretreat/?ref=tn_tnmn)

Goal accomplished!!
3 months exactly, since I joined the life-changing Olive Retreat and 3 months of being a full-on veggie, fruit, grains, legumes, nuts/seeds & yoga-monster!!!

(=vegetarian/vegan/gluten+dairy free diet with a day or two of a little cheating..shhh :)) And NO you never have to go hungry!
Feeling healthier, a little lighter, more energy and the yoga..wow, it’s my religion now. And as I’ve said before, I’m going to continue this diet..it’s become a part of my lifestyle..it’s so easy when you realize how tasty food can be without heavy metals filled fish or antibiotic/hormone-full meat from not always so healthy animals anymore. Or heavy, bloating dairy or gluten (Please, my friend, I am not judging you or anyone for eating or thinking differently, I’m just giving you my view and my experience. Obviously me and my body are very sensitive to these things cause I’ve noticed the difference when I changed my diet. Meat, polluted food, white sugar & gluten can create inflammation and disturbances in our bodies, that has already been proven but hey, we all need to find our own way to better health and a fuller life, right? But what we put into and onto (like creams and body products) our bodies matters, BIG time. And the mainstream, multi-national, food-producing companies are not always so interested in your personal health but more in the power/money they can make). So I’m making a health choice based on several factors.
From now on, meat, fish, seafood aaand some types of cheese (which I absolutely love) will be considered as treats, if I choose to eat them and not an every day food.
IF you want to learn or know more, pm. Always here to help and inspire.
In love & light xo
The four of us as seen by Dan :)

The four of us as seen by Dan :)


A revelation! Thank you so much for your amazing instincts and amazing food. Lots to change when we get home!
— Amanda
All good stuff! The beginning of a journey. Lovely food and very relaxing time!
— James

Helen

I have had an amazing week. Completely relaxing, away from the everyday pressures of family life. The food has been amazing and I am taking away loads of new ideas of dishes to produce! 

SALLY

Thank you for the most amazing time. I feel my life has been enriched with your vast amount of knowledge and dedication. The food was amazing and still I have lost a couple of pounds which I didn’t really expect! I am still trying to locate the yesses and no’s of your anti candida diet can you please help.

KIM

I cannot put into words how much I enjoyed, your company, your knowledge, your beautiful food, your passion and your love in what you all work so hard in doing.I give great thanks for finding your retreat and rest assured I have taken a great deal away with me which I know will help me as I move forward on my journey.

Much love to you all 💜💜💜.

Margaret and I "Butt Sat" this morning Ray 😁

NINA

Let me also say thank you again and again, it's been an incredible adventure and a life changing experience. I've learned so much and am now slowly starting to process everything I saw and heard and tasted and felt. You are both amazing people and you are so generous with your knowledge and the fact that you also show and share your weaknesses, makes you true gurus :) I think of you every time I do my morning yoga and every time I meditate and I give thanks to the universe for bringing us together. I will keep in touch and I will see you soon!!!


I felt wonderful when I got home — better than I had in a long while! So I thank you so much for the insightful and informative retreat.
— Carey
Nice relaxation in beautiful setting! Thanks for the lovely food.
— Pat

"Dreamy for life!"

—Katherine


Pam

House is a magical peaceful place and the walks around the valley were lifting. The gang were great fun and we hope to hear lots of news bulletins of their progress on their next steps of their journey.

SladjA

Time I spent at Olive Retreat has had a lasting effect in many ways, my renewed enthusiasm for cooking being the one I very much owe to you.

DIEGO

No se como daros las gracias en inglés, ni en ningún idioma. Solo se que mi vida ha vuelto, o yo a ella. ¿Como se da las gracias a alguien que le ha salvado la vida?  No tengo palabras, solo una gratitud inmensa y sentimientos, esos sentimientos como amigos de una vida distante que poco a poco han vuelto durante la semana. Solo gracias no sirve.


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