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