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The Chilled Blog

Welcome to our blog


The team at Chillout Retreats will help to inspire and chill you out with this blog...watch this space

By natalie smit-ash, Nov 29 2017 05:18PM


250g caster sugar

2 ripe, juicy oranges, cut into quarters

6 whole cloves

6 allspice berries or 1 tbsp ground allspice

2 cinnamon sticks, broken in half

2tsp freshly ground nutmeg

5cm fresh ginger root, peeled and sliced

750ml non-alcoholic red wine (Or regular red wine if you want the alcoholic version)

Fresh citrus slices


Put all the ingredients in a large pan with 1 litre cold water and bring to just below the boil, stirring well to dissolve the sugar. Simmer gently to reduce by half.

Leave to cool, then strain through very fine muslin twice before bottling. Don’t worry about the finished syrup being slightly cloudy – this is normal and won’t show up once you heat it with the wine and fruit.

To serve, reheat the syrup with the non-alcoholic red wine and citrus slices.

Add a twist:

Serve in thick glass tumblers with cinnamon sticks to stir with.

Replace the wine with non-alcoholic cider.

By natalie smit-ash, Nov 29 2017 12:49PM

Our Sussex farm yoga & cooking retreat is a heartwarming & inspiring experience.. If it's 'authentic' that you are after, then this is it....from gathering your own freshly laid eggs from the free range hens to tasting the delights of an organic kitchen garden, then this retreat will not disappoint.

You will enjoy a weekend filled with gourmet vegetarian clean cooking workshops with Chillout Retreats very own nutritional chef, Lucie Simon and her passionate team.

Lucie is our unique onsite food expert and nutritional consultant, who freshly prepares all breakfasts, lunches and dinners whilst on many of our UK retreats. She is passionate about food and creates the heartiest dishes that are considerate to body and mind. Many retreaters return on the strength of her wonderful food...she really is like gold-dust and will happily share recipies and educate anyone on the art of her cooking. Lucie is also a central st.Martins degree level trained artist and offers art workshops on some retreats.

During the cooking workshops, you will be taught some of Lucie's signature dishes and be introduced to some culinary tips that can transform your eating habits so that you become happier and healthier. Lucie will be offering recipies that are vegan, wheat, gluten & processed sugar free.

In addition to learning lots, you will be able to really indulge in some 'me-time' in some of the most relaxing and inspiring surroundings that West Sussex has to offer.

By natalie smit-ash, Nov 15 2017 12:16PM

t goes without saying that Yoga and meditation, healthy food and taking time out on a daily basis is a great recipe for mental and physical health and wellbeing, but according the the charity 'Mind' there are also some very useful ways to keep yourself healthy and strong this winter, ways to keep the winter blues at bay and to love yourself at the same time.


There is strong evidence that indicates that feeling close to, and valued by, other people is a fundamental human need and one that contributes to functioning well in the world.

It’s clear that social relationships are critical for promoting wellbeing and for acting as a buffer against mental ill health for people of all ages.

With this in mind, try to do something different today and make a connection.

Talk to someone instead of sending an email

Speak to someone new

Ask how someone’s weekend was and really listen when they tell you

Put five minutes aside to find out how someone really is

Give a colleague a lift to work or share the journey home with them.

Be active

Regular physical activity is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety across all age groups.

Exercise is essential for slowing age-related cognitive decline and for promoting well-being.

But it doesn’t need to be particularly intense for you to feel good - slower-paced activities, such as walking, can have the benefit of encouraging social interactions as well providing some level of exercise.

Today, why not get physical? Here are a few ideas:

Take the stairs not the lift

Go for a walk at lunchtime

Walk into work - perhaps with a colleague – so you can ‘connect’ as well

Get off the bus one stop earlier than usual and walk the final part of your journey to work

Organise a work sporting activity

Have a kick-about in a local park

Do some ‘easy exercise’, like stretching, before you leave for work in the morning

Walk to someone’s desk instead of calling or emailing.

Take notice

Reminding yourself to ‘take notice’ can strengthen and broaden awareness.

Studies have shown that being aware of what is taking place in the present directly enhances your well-being and savouring ‘the moment’ can help to reaffirm your life priorities.

Heightened awareness also enhances your self-understanding and allows you to make positive choices based on your own values and motivations.

Take some time to enjoy the moment and the environment around you. Here are a few ideas:

Get a plant for your workspace

Have a ‘clear the clutter’ day

Take notice of how your colleagues are feeling or acting

Take a different route on your journey to or from work

Visit a new place for lunch.


Continued learning through life enhances self-esteem and encourages social interaction and a more active life.

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the opportunity to engage in work or educational activities particularly helps to lift older people out of depression.

The practice of setting goals, which is related to adult learning in particular, has been strongly associated with higher levels of wellbeing.

Why not learn something new today? Here are a few more ideas:

Find out something about your colleagues

Sign up for a class

Read the news or a book

Set up a book club

Do a crossword or Sudoku

Research something you’ve always wondered about

Learn a new word.


Participation in social and community life has attracted a lot of attention in the field of wellbeing research.

Individuals who report a greater interest in helping others are more likely to rate themselves as happy.

Research into actions for promoting happiness has shown that committing an act of kindness once a week over a six-week period is associated with an increase in wellbeing.

By natalie smit-ash, Nov 15 2017 12:07PM

Whilst in Sri-Lanka we were lucky enough to experience the healing power of Ayurvedic therapy and medicine first hand from the onsite Ayurvedic doctor.. Through the use of herbal tinctures and massages many of the group felt healed, relaxed and rejuvenated.

Ayurveda is a holistic science of health, focusing on maintaining a physically and emotionally balanced state. Ayurveda began about 5,000 - 6,000 years ago when Indian monks were looking for new ways to be healthy. Revering their bodies like temples, the monks believed that preserving their health would help them meditate and develop spiritually. Over thousands of years of observations, they gathered all their conclusions and advice and preserved it for future generations. This collection of knowledge came to be known as the "science or knowledge of life" -- Ayurveda.

Ayurveda is based on the principles of three doshas. Doshas are the energies that make up every individual, which perform different physiological functions in the body:

The 3 Dosha types: Characteristics Of Each Mind/Body Type

Vata Predominant Types: Creative; Quick to learn and grasp new knowledge, but also quick to forget, Slender; Tall and a fast-walker; Tendency toward cold hands and feet, discomfort in cold climates; Excitable, lively, fun personality; Changeable moods; Irregular daily routine; High energy in short bursts; Tendency to tire easily and to overexert; Full of joy and enthusiasm when in balance; Responds to stress with fear, worry, and anxiety, especially when out of balance; Tendency to act on impulse; Often have racing, disjointed thoughts; Generally have dry skin and dry hair and don't perspire much.

Pitta Predominant Types: Medium physique, strong, well-built; Sharp mind, good concentration powers; Orderly, focused; Assertive, self-confident, and entrepreneurial at their best; Aggressive, demanding, pushy when out of balance; Competitive, enjoy challenges; Passionate and romantic; Strong digestion, strong appetite, get irritated if they have to miss or wait for a meal; When under stress, Pittas become irritated and angry; Skin fair or reddish, often with freckles; sunburns easily; Uncomfortable in sun or hot weather, heat makes them very tired; Perspire a lot; Good public speakers; Generally good management and leadership ability, but can become authoritarian; Subject to temper tantrums, impatience, and anger; Typical physical problems include rashes or inflammations of the skin, acne, boils, skin cancer, ulcers, heartburn, acid stomach, insomnia, dry or burning eyes.

Kapha Predominant Types: Easygoing, relaxed, slow-paced; Affectionate and loving; Forgiving, compassionate, nonjudgmental nature; Stable and reliable; faithful; Physically strong and with a sturdy, heavier build; Have the most energy of all constitutions, but it is steady and enduring; Slow speech, reflecting a deliberate thought process; Slower to learn, but outstanding long-term memory; Soft hair and skin; tendency to have large "soft" eyes and a low, soft voice; Tend toward being overweight; may also suffer from sluggish digestion; Prone to depression; More self-sufficient; Gentle, and essentially undemanding approach to life; Excellent health, good immune system; Very calm; strive to maintain harmony and peace in their surroundings; Not easily upset and can be a point of stability for others; Tend to be possessive and hold on to things. Don't like cold, damp weather; Physical problems include colds and congestion, sinus headaches, respiratory problems including asthma, allergies, and atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries).

so which one are you drawn too??

By natalie smit-ash, Apr 23 2016 06:14AM

Given the success of this meal on our last retreat, Lucie now shares the recipe with us so that we can all enjoy the comfort that comes from every mouthful......

Lentil and mushroom Shepherds Pie

serves 6

1/2kg maris piper potatoes

1/2kg sweet potatoes

500g chestnut mushrooms

2 onions

2 carrots

2 sticks celery

4 garlic cloves

1 tin green lentils

200g frozen peas

1 tbsp tomato puree

400ml veg stock

2tbsp Woucester sauce

1 tbsp Soya sauce

Dijon Mustard


Put potatoes onto boil

Meanwhile add a little oil to a hot pan, add mushrooms and fry on pretty high heat, careful not to burn, but we do want them to brown slightly to get full flavor. Once all sides are browned add garlic and a pinch of salt. Remove from pan.

Add onions, celery and carrots to pan with a splash of the stock, turn heat down, sweat the veg for 10mins. Add tomato puree to veg, stir in, then add lentils, stock and return mushrooms to pan. Leave to simmer for 15 to 20 mins, then add peas and mustard and sauces to the mix.

Once sauce has thickened slightly, adjust seasoning and remove from heat.

Mash the potatoes with butter and a little milk. Add a little Dijon and salt and pepper to taste.

Pour sauce in oven proof dish, spoon over potato mixture, use a fork to level out potato, then use fork to make pattern of choice. Brush the potato with a little egg is optional, place in middle shelf of oven for 30 – 40 mins until top is browned and sauce is bubbling.

Best served with a large serving of wilted greens....enjoy!

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