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  • Shani VBD, Fit Birds Founder & Trainer


Updated: Jan 20, 2020

What a beautiful start to 2019! I had the pleasure of co-hosting a weekend of day retreats with the mama bird, on her beautiful property in Tasmania. Our goal was to offer people a full day to nourish their body, mind & soul. We meditated, stretched & sweated together under the glorious Australian sun. We gathered fresh produce from my mums garden, prepared our meal & ate together in the fresh air - Straya your air is so fresh & so clean clean!

The experience was incredibly rewarding for me, to share this experience with my mum, who to paint a picture: used to drag a 6yr old me to her aerobics classes, the perfect 80's queen donning leg warmers, g-banger leotard & a perm! So I guess it's in the blood, the love for helping people on their health & fitness journey (not the 80's garb).

We wanted to remind our retreaters of their beautiful natural surroundings (if you haven't done a road trip around Tasmania - do it!), to feel more connected with nature & to share inspiring ways to nourish ourselves from the land.

Life in London can be challenging when trying to be a conscious consumer - the majority of fresh produce in supermarkets is wrapped in plastic packaging for a start, furthermore finding locally sourced food & food that hasn't been messed with (errrr GROSS, antibiotics been pumped into our meat, vom!) means to go to 10 different shops, travelling half way across London to get all your supplies. I try to be diligent, but sometimes I just end up at the bloody Sainsburys!

Not actually here to rant guys (I love you London!) but Tasmania was a welcoming relief to eat from the land & to easily access local produce. So when mum & I set out planning our retreat we felt the grass beneath our feet, the sun on our faces & ensured our recipes were all seasonal & local - the outcome: Next level foodgasam!

A special thank you to my mum, so pleased we were able to share this experience together (and we didn't even kill each other!) and our lovely retreaters - you were so welcoming to me, open to learning, moving & most importantly connecting with yourself, each other & our surroundings.

Here are our fave picks from our retreat - season - SUMMERTIMES VIBES!

Berry Smoothie - makes two

Put all ingredients into a blender & swig!

1 banana

a small handful of frozen strawberries (from the garden!)

a small handful of frozen blackberries (from the garden!)

1 cup of almond milk

1 spoonful of honey

Beetroot, Lentil & Goats Cheese Salad

4 beetroots (from the garden!) - ends trimmed & roasted with olive oil & salt/pepper

1 cup of uncooked Puy lentils - rinsed, soaked & cooked until soft

a small of crumbled handful of goats cheese

a handful of candied pecans, toast pecans with a Tbsp of maple syrup

a Tbsp maple syrup

Mix all ingredients gently in a salad bowl...

Dressing: a Tbsp of olive oil, a tsp of dijon mustard, a Tbsp of red vinegar & salt & pepper. Shake all ingredients in a jar & pour over when ready to eat

Put all ingredients into a salad bowl, gently mix together.

Vegan Cashew & Berry Cheese Cake

I can't take any credit for this - mum just casually whipped this up, her first attempt at a vegan cheesecake! It was beautiful - although the white filling was by far the best, it was creamy and soft - the pink colouring was made by adding berries, then the top layer was basically just berries. These two top layers were less creamy and pretty icy (that's how ours turned out anyhow!) We used this recipe. Verdict - DELISH - but in future, I'd keep it simple stupid & stick with just the white filling & go nuts with fresh berries & compote on top.

Golden Latte

Makes one cup

For those wishing to replace their morning coffee with something more nourishing or perhaps you would like to implement a sleep inducing treat into your routine.... get sipping on a golden latte!

1 cup of milk - I use almond, but cows milk or any other will be yum

1 tsp on turmeric

a sprinkling of cracked pepper

a tsp honey

2 cardamom pods (seeded)

1/2 tsp nutmeg (for a sleep inducing drink)

Put all ingredients into a pot, bring the the boil, simmer. Pour into your fav mug and sip. Tip. Watch out for that sneaky, stain-lover turmeric!

If you can take something from this post (amazing recipes aside); remember the importance of connections. The connections we make & keep with ourself, everyone around us (animals included!) & our nature. This is the TRUE meaning of our place on earth!

Shani (and mama bird) x

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