We’ve all been there - spent all your dollar on a health retreat; relaxed on the beach; yoga’d until the ‘down dog’ comes home; enjoyed the most delicious and nutritious food created by the on-site private chef and then it’s back to real life and you’re scoffing down a supermarket meal-deal desk-side. But – we say no more! Bettina Campolucci Bordi, the brains behind Bettina’s Kitchen, the nutritionally led food retreats that take place across the globe has put together her top tips on how to create some of her favourite retreat-style dishes in the comfort of your own home. And if you want more, her brand-new book The 7-day Vegan Challenge launches on the 26th December 2019 (Hardie Grant) and comes complete with over 50 simple and delicious recipes with handy pull-out meal planners.

Vegan on Female First

Vegan on Female First

“Creating retreat style food at home means taking the time out for self-care” Bettina comments, who regularly states that her happy place is in the kitchen. “By taking this extra time to source your ingredients, brewing your own loose tea and adding spices and coconut milk into a steaming mug of chai or even just slow cooking your porridge will not only give your body a range of nutrient-dense ingredients and healing spices but also improve your mental wellbeing as you take the time to slow down and appreciate every step and products that mother nature has to offer. And it doesn’t have to be hard – you can add some simple steps into your everyday routine that can offer a small form of self-care all go whole-hog and take a full day of retreat style living, when you need it the most!”

“Taking the time out to look after yourself, even if it just means making a meal from scratch is one of the most magical things you can do” says Bettina, who has put together some of her favourite dishes to make at home that she regularly shares with her guests across the world at one of her infamous retreats.

Warming Coconut Chai Tea – create yourself a warming cup of chai goodness. Fill your favourite mug with ginger (helps reduce inflammation) cinnamon (great at balancing insulin levels) black pepper, clove and chili (for warmth) and topped with coconut milk, rooibos tea and a spoonful of coconut oil (a great fat source) for a tea that emphasises comfort and warmth with every sip. Top tip: make a large batch in the morning and enjoy throughout the day.

Healing Turmeric Porridge – start your day right with a bowl of my staple dish, a slow-cooked turmeric porridge that helps to support your body right from the off and topped with plenty of antioxidant rich berries. Combine turmeric and a pinch of black pepper (to ensure you get the bioactive curcumin compound benefits of the spice) with your favourite plant-based milk and oats (or millet) for a funky combination that packs a punch. Top with coconut yoghurt, chopped nuts and warmed seasonal berries.

The Essential Sambal Bowl – add a whole variety of colour to your palette with this lunch or dinner classic. Create a Buddha bowl full of your favourite grains, veggies and fermented pickles. Make sure to add a good scoop of avocado for an essential fat hit and a sambal made with garlic and ginger which are both essential ingredients as we enter flu-season as both offer anti-inflammatory properties. Sambal, which is a paste made from chilli, dates, shallots, ginger, garlic, tomato, apple cider, pepper and lime lasts forever and awakens any dull dish that needs some extra oomph.

If you don’t fancy making your own retreat-style food, Bettina’s next retreat in Ubud, Bali is on the 23rd-30th November 2019.

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