FOR AFTER THE FEASTING, FITNESS (WITHOUT FASTING)
For those who want to dig their way out of this season of winter feasting without having to sacrifice flavor, Barcelona-trained chef and culinary guide Teresa Parker and New York-based Pilates Master Karrie Adamany have cooked up a Food and Fitness Retreat in a gorgeously restored country villa near Barcelona, May 26-31, 2008. Three angles on this story:
Â· Pilates and wellnessâ€”a food-loverâ€™s experience.
â€œIâ€™ve always eaten well but never been disciplined about exercise,â€ says Parker. She first came across Pilates during her recovery from breast cancer treatments last year and was amazed by the results. â€œWorking with Karrie, I felt my mobility and strength return,â€ she says, â€œand now these workouts as important to me as a healthy meal.â€ Adamany has had a strong following among women since publishing her second book, Post-Pregnancy Pilates: An Essential Guide fora Fit Body After Baby (Avery: 2005). The two share a passion for lifeâ€™s simple pleasures, including delicious food, a nice glass of wine, a good laugh, and a strong â€œcore.â€
Â· Catalan cuisineâ€”the ultimate Mediterranean diet.
â€œThis is not at all about deprivation,â€ Parker says, â€œbut the Catalans do enjoy the quintessential Mediterranean diet.â€ For example, the basis of classic sauces here is not butter or cream, but onion and tomato, slowly caramelized in olive oil. Local menus feature lots of fish and shellfish; meats are served in moderate portions or are used to season a dish. Even Spainâ€™s prized IbÃ©rico ham has been found to contain high levels of Omega-3 essential fatty acids. The Catalans are masters of anti-oxidant-rich dark chocolates, though they seldom indulge in chocolate dessertsâ€”fruit is more their style. (Appropriate recipes available upon request).
Â· A well-balanced retreat.
This is a retreat designed with balance in mind. Each day combines energetic activity and unscheduled free time, all in a gorgeously restored and restoratively serene villa. Relax by the pool, book a massage, or strike out for the superb shops and culture of nearby Girona (weâ€™ll tailor suggestions for excursions to your taste). On the active side: daily Pilates training, a long bike ride through medieval hilltowns, and a rigorous hike along the spectacular Costa Brava. Two cooking classes, a visit to a hidden but renowned biodynamic winery, and tastings of local olive oil and cheeses engage both the senses and the creative mind. This is a spring vacation to revive body and soul.
Food and Fitness Retreat details.
Dates: May 26-31, 2008. The trip includes:
Â· 5 nights (double occupancy) in a Catalan country villa dating to the 14th century and stylishly restored as a boutique inn;
Â· 6 daily Pilates classes with renowned New York-based master teacher Karrie Adamany; mat sessions focused on centering, stretching, strengthening;
Â· A guided half-day cycling trip through country landscapes and historic hilltowns;
Â· A guided half-day hike along the spectacular Costa Brava;
Â· Two cooking classes revealing the secrets of low-fat, high-flavor Catalan cuisine that you can use at home;
Â· A tour, tasting, and picnic at an award-winning biodynamic vineyard;
Â· Tastings of olive oils, cheeses, and other seasonal Catalan specialties;
Â· Five breakfasts, three lunches, and three dinners. Youâ€™ll enjoy healthy, seasonal, local cuisine including some indulgencesâ€”a true Mediterranean diet, but not a diet or weight loss program (nor is this designed for vegetarians or vegans);
Â· An excursion to the seaside arts town of CadaquÃ©s;
Â· Time for relaxing by the pool (which uses a natural salt-ionization purifying system) and learning about the local history and culture;
Â· Gratuities at our restaurant meals;
Â· Travel medical insurance (MedEx TravMed Abroad).
Retreat fee: $3450, single supplement: $750. Limited to 16 participants. Travelers must book and pay for their own air tickets. The workshop starts and ends at the villa.