I recently spent 6 days at what I can only call HEAVEN on earth: Gwinganna Health and Lifestyle Retreat in the Gold Coast. Who knew Heaven wasn’t far from home in Sydney!
What is Gwinganna?
In a world of busy, Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat stands apart as the wellness destination to soothe your soul and inspire you to live a healthier life. A stay combines organic living, spa, movement and relaxation with delicious organic cuisine and vital wellness seminars, which I loved.
For 6 days and 5 restful nights, I soaked up peace and silence from the chaotic world. I was on a total technology detox. Never before have I been just with myself like this – no phone to distract me, no computer to keep me busy, no one who knew me. It was just me in a raw and totally pure state. Painful at times, but incredibly freeing. I ate organic wholefoods, I rested my body, I switched on my yin energy, I detoxed my gut and liver, I woke up with the sunrise each morning and practiced quigong, I walked in nature, I meditated, I ate mindfully and slowly and I met incredible health practitioners who have changed my life.
The daily routine at Gwinganna focused on slowing down both the mind and the body. Here is a snapshot of a typical day – which, really, is far from typical!
5:30am: Wake up and practice 30 minutes of Chigoong and deep breathing while soaking up the sunrise.
7:00am: Enjoy a yin or yang walk in nature.
8:00am: Have a shot of apple cider vinegar before enjoying an organic wholefood, gluten-free, sugar-free breakfast; usually a fresh fruit platter, activated nuts, porridge/muesli, eggs.
9:15am: Morning stretch class.
9:30am: Move my body in yoga, Pilates, dance or swimming. I chose Yin options because I was there to restore and heal my body, not push it.
11:00am: Morning tea – usually a bliss ball, smoothie or soup and a green juice.
11:00am-1:00pm: My health-nerd favorite – wellness lectures. Naturopaths, doctors, nutritionists and wellness experts spoke about a variety of health topics. I loved listening to these talks. While most of the nutrition info was familiar, it inspired me and reminded me about some of the most important aspects of health.
1:00pm: A wholesome, organic lunch; usually a variety of salads and lean protein.
2:00pm: The best part of the day – DREAM TIME. It’s time specifically designed to relax in the spa, sleep or read. I enjoyed the most divine and indulgent holistic massage therapies I could imagine. Some of the delicious options included a facial, a Hawaiian body massage, an integrative massage, and a head and shoulder massage with acupuncture.
6:30pm: Optional meditation, which was a beautiful way to extend mindfulness into the evening.
7:00pm: A light dinner. Delicious – usually lean protein with salad and vegetables.
8:30pm: Tea and time with a good book.
9:00pm: Sleep! Lights out to rest, repair and detox.
While it’s not realistic every day, this trip gave me so much to think about and implement. I think we can agree a day of rest couldn’t be much more amazing!
Hi Jessica, I believe in synchronicity so when I was guided to you .on FB I was intrigued and inspired. I turned 46 last week and my husband bought me your book. I wanted to thank you for sharing your wisdom in such a beautifully presented way. My copy is now filled with tabs and post it notes with actual notes throughout. I am dairy intolerant since having my gallbladder removed 15+ years ago, I don't eat meat, very minimal gluten and was told 12 months ago my gut was not digesting my food properly so I wasn't receiving sufficient nutrients and taking supplements would be a waste of time. My weight fluctuates tending to gain rather than lose but now I believe I have a tool to help me bring my body back into balance that I need for my health and longevity of life - so again thank you. The first few steps to creating a stronger path forward for my health has found its foundation in your beautiful book, The Healthy Life.
With kindest regards Samantha
I'm writing this email because I wanted to tell you how much I love your blog and how you really helped me in my health journey. Thank you for sharing all your advices and experiences.
When I started my studies, I was drinking lots of coffee and I was eaten the wrong foods, and feel bad about it, I wasn't at my best. So I had done some research on the net but at first I didn't found advices that are for me, and then I found your blog. It was exactly what I was looking for, good advices and healthy recipes. Now I'm following your advices on rest more, and snacks between meals and prep the meals and take time for myself to reconnect with my body and let go my anxiety, etc, and I have a more balanced life and have a new relationship with food thanks to you.
I bought your book and it's honestly the best book I have ever bought. I suffer from IBS and anxiety. I have paid so much money seeing naturopaths however after reading your book and all of your tips I'm noticing so much of a difference, so simple and easy to follow. And symptoms have dramatically decreased. Also you have helped me to relax. Currently drinking the protein health smoothie! Thankyou your amazing.
Hey Jessica! I haven’t yet brought ‘The Healthy Life’, but I do have the clean life and your slim down plan! I would like to thank you so much for the knowledge your share and the message you put across about health and wellness. I’m studying Nutritional Medicine in Melbourne and absolutely love the philosophy that you share with your JSHealth community. The work you’ve done to show people that leading a healthy lifestyle isn’t boring, tasteless, difficult or depriving is amazing and hope to share the message myself one day. You’ve inspired me to start my own blog , to share the message and have taught me so many things about my own health! You should be proud of your achievements! Thank you again
I searched for help and tips through the Internet and found Jessica Sepel. This is seriously not exaggerated, but she was the reason why I have dared myself to eat again, to have snacks in between, to nourish my body. I could slowly improve my negative thoughts about my body image and my stupid anxiety of gaining weight. Besides, The Cleanest Gut was awesome too! A huge thank you! Especially from my mum. Seriously, without you I wouldn’t be where I am now!
Congratulations on your new book! It looks absolutely gorgeous. I’ve been following you on Instagram for a few years and you’ve inspired me to slowly but surely eat healthier without giving myself a hard time when I don’t. It made me so happy (and weirdly proud) to see the Daily Mail article on The Healthy Life. I remember trying out your recipes before you even had your eBook out! I can’t wait to get my hands on the book. Keep up the great work.
Cooking in this way truly brought out the foodie in me and has instilled a huge passion for health and wellness! Life throws you hard and frustrating things sometimes but I truly believe that this is where we learn more about ourselves and what our passions in life are! Thank you for inspiring me on my journey to health and wellness!
I am a yoga teacher in Johannesburg and am thrilled to have bought your book today. I love making healthy, nutritious food for my family, friends and fellow yogis! Thank you for this book and your inspiration (had to share a pic of my book on my recipe stand in the kitchen).
I bought your beautiful book during the week and told my bestie to go out and buy it also! I love love love it. It is the book I would give to my younger self if I could (I am 41 years old). Everything is just so sensible and informative and is definitely a book all teenagers should have. This should be a text book for girls becoming teens. I will love going back and re-reading it many many times and can't wait to make more of the recipes. Thank you Jess - you are an incredibly inspiring woman and you should feel so proud
My fiancé bought your book and we have cooked some of your meals. Amazing! I love your outlook on a healthy lifestyle and your hints and tips with preparing tasty meals are fantastic. Thanks for reviving us to live a healthier lifestyle and get our bodies wedding ready.
I want to empower you to make good choices, every day. I want you to enhance your understanding of health and nutrition. I'm committed to making sure you live the best life. Because you deserve it. Are you ready to start feeling great?
Let me know your email address so I can send you an eBook '7 Days on my plate' - a little gift from me to you!