Wellness Retreats

What’s cooking in my kitchen these days?
A whole new type of party… Wellness Retreats!

Yoga MeditateThe Concept:  A chef-driven retreat experience focused on wellness and mindfulness with enlightened food, yoga & a variety of presentation options in the mind-body-spirit realm. I’m connecting with some excellent yoga instructors and speakers and scheduling a couple of one day pilot retreats for groups of 8-10 friends who’d love a very special “girls day.”

Celebrate Yourselves, Life or a Special Milestone:

A big Birthday? Retirement? A seasonal fresh start? Or perhaps a unique Bridal or Baby shower! How about the opportunity to honor a friend with a health or life challenge that would love a day of wellness surrounded by her besties? (Wouldn’t this make anyone feel better? Roasted Root Vegetable Bisque with Coconut Cream and Cinnamon Spiced Pumpkin Seeds!)

Let’s Get Cooking:

Send a group message to your friends or family members to gather some possible dates. Sundays 9 to 5 are ideal for most people. You could even plan a whole weekend or a week of vacation and schedule the retreat day as part of it. For multi-day stays at Wintergreen, groups can take advantage of the rich diversity of wineries, breweries and cideries in the area plus the amenities at the resort including spa services, hiking, golf, tennis and skiing in season. Multi-day wellness retreats will be available in the coming months, in the meantime I can cater other meals during your stay. Let me know what your group has in mind and we’ll create a custom experience.


We’ll explore options for where to hold your retreat with indoor space for up to 12 yoga mats,* with a kitchen conducive to small cooking demos plus casual meeting space (family room, living room, patios, etc.)  This could be at your home or a friend’s but if you’d like to get away from it all or make a week or weekend of it in a rental home, there are an abundance of excellent rental options in both the Charlottesville area and Wintergreen.

The Really Fun Part:

Envision your retreat by perusing this one day sample schedule with sample menus then help me gauge your interest in a particular theme by participating in this super short Survey Monkey questionnaire!

Please Note:

For the first two “pilot” retreats, groups will be offered a discount in exchange for their evaluation of the event. Attended several retreats and/or spas? Have an interest in the mind-body connection? Your opinion is valuable!

One more bite: the hostess for any pilot group of 8 or more gets the day FREE, gets to keep the leftovers and, of course, there’s the priceless admiration from her friends for being such a cool hostess!

Sample One Day Wellness Retreat Schedule


Arrive to wonderful music, a hot tea station, juice shots (and a hug if you’d like one!)


Yoga followed by a mindful eating segment ~ “Life Changing” Toast Two Ways.
As an appetizer: super simple homemade gluten free bread, toasted, with Ellen’s Pecan Bacon “Butter” & Local Apple Slices
(see below for the dessert version!)


Hearty but Healthy Brunch

Smoothie starter ~ demo and tasting:
“You Betcha” Matcha Green Tea-Pear Smoothie


Salmon Filets Topped with Roasted Carrot Salad:
Avocado, Artisan Greens, Toasted Seed Medley, Crème Fraiche and Citrus-Olive Oil Vinaigrette
Farmer’s Market Frittata
Zucchini Ribbons with Pistachio Pesto


“Life Changing” Toast with Cocoa-Coconut Butter.
Informal talk with Ellen during lunch about the menu, planning, sourcing, preparation as well as her own health journey.


Guided walk and talk or lounge discussion, with presentation by a speaker relating to our theme of the day.
(Customizable. Examples: sugar detoxing, change your thoughts change your life,
using essential oils, implementing emotional release valves, a guide to gratitude & perhaps a guided journaling exercise…..)


Mini yoga session, breath work & meditation.


Happy hour with Mocktails and Munchies:
Innocent Avocado Margaritas, Zucchini Fries with Tomato Sauce and Roasted Garlic Aioli
Butternut Hummus with Pistachio Oil, Crudités and Crisps for Dipping
Grilled Local Steak, Grape and Blue Cheese Skewers with Rosemary


Fare thee well…
feedback forms filled out in exchange for surprise swag bags (more hugs available)
….go forth nourished and renewed!

Contact me for more information, date availability and pricing.

I’m so looking forward to being your host!

* How much space do we need for yoga?

Weather permitting consider your outdoor spaces for the most flexibility (pun intended.) A good rule of thumb is to figure roughly 3 feet X 7 feet (or 21 square feet) for every yogi (mats are apx two ft-by-six ft.) So for your group of 8 with 1 yoga instructor (who often needs slightly more room for demo’ing those impressive bendy poses from multiple angles) figure on 9 people X 21sq ft = 189 square feet, with 200 being ideal to allow room for props. Measure the long and short sides of the room you’re considering and simply multiply those 2 numbers to see how your space might work. For a room with furniture that can be moved to the walls or to one end, measure the usable floor space. Keep in mind that one or two of you could be tucked in a hallway connected to the room via an open doorway. Example: 15 X 25 ft room = 375 sq feet but allowing room for furniture to be pushed back a bit you measure a 12 X 16 floor space= 192sq feet… enough!

“There is no love sincerer than the love of food.”
George Bernard Shaw