In the last part of this travel adventure to Costa Rica, we’re in the midst of a mind, body and spirit transformation at The Retreat at Altos del Monte Costa Rica. Here, where the primary focus is on restorative health and wellness which, it takes place through an amazing, and primarily raw vegan diet.
Take, for example, the absolutely delicious sprouted quinoa moussaka with goat and sheep’s cheese, eggplant, tomatoes, and a yogurt Bechamel sauce. Or the savory cassava soup with kale croutons and rosemary lentil soup. Or the fresh mixed greens with papaya or balsamic dressing, the sun-dried tomato and walnut pesto, or the fresh almond milk.
And then there are the crispy mini rice cakes with mango chutney and olive tapenade, and Italian “pizzas” with avocado, olives and fresh herbs appetizers. One night for dessert we enjoyed a crème brûlée made with made with all raw ingredients including tumeric and macadamia nuts that tasted just like a smooth custard made with milk.
Even their fresh juices, smoothies and signature cocktails were created using ingredients cultivated via renewable resources from a self-sustaining ecosystem. Moreover, they are prepared in such a way as to maintain their enzymatic properties for complete body nourishment.
A fairly large amount of these ingredients are sourced from the resorts onsite gardens, including cucumber, celery, cilantro, limes, coconuts, bananas, wheatgrass, mango, honey, chili peppers, tomatoes, lettuce, just to name a few. At each meal—served buffet style for breakfast and lunch, and as a three-course plated meal at dinner—guest are gently educated on the properties of each of these elements, such as weight loss, digestion, strengthening bones, adding natural antioxidants, balancing levels in the stomach, pancreas, and brain, boosting serotonin levels, and so forth.
“Our body systems have been conditioned through our eating, life, stress, etc. to accept things that are not good for us, so when you make a major change in your eating, you are allowing your body to tell you what it needs,” says resort owner Diana Stobo, an internationally renowned health and wellness expert and speaker, a culinary artist, a raw foods advocate, an award-winning author.
“If our life is like a wheel, at the center is food, and the spokes are relationships, career, finances, and love. The one thing we can control is our food, which feeds into everything. It’s the catalyst for change, and integrative. Then the law of attraction really takes root. Once you feel it, your body never forgets.”
The dishes here are creative, flavorful and nutritious, and after the first two days, those going on day excursions from the resort typically didn’t want to eat anywhere else – rather get back in time for the next meal. This includes the staunch meat eaters! And for those who still desire to eat meat, fish, poultry or seafood, Stobo and her staff encourage you to look for natural/grass fed animals, because the care taken during its raising will come through with great benefits for the body.
Working in tandem with these incredible meals were a variety of wellness activities. These included daily nature walks, yoga, meditation, community circles, breath work sessions and spa treatments.
Together, they create an incredible experience that leaves an impression, not just on your body and your mind, but also on your heart. And that is what “Pura Vida” (Pure Life}, the Costa Rica motto, is all about.
Be sure to read the entire feature series:
Part 1 The Retreat at Altos del Monte in Costa Rica
Part 2 Welcome to Heaven
Part 3 Restorative Health And Wellness—Mind, Body and Spirit
Part 4 Nurture Your Body through Nature