Take me back

Lulu Stacey

I attended my first Reset Button in April 2016 and have been planning my return since. Everything about the retreat was wonderful. The professional team were friendly, welcoming and approachable and I learnt so much from them. I made simple dietary changes that literally changed my life. Several health complaints were resolved and I feel far more energised, healthy and aware of my own wellbeing. I will definitely be attending again. Thank you Rachel and team.

Peace and quiet

After a windy drive up into the mountains we arrived at a beautiful old and large Spanish Mansion. Surrounded by forests and no sounds except that of the occasional goat or the crickets in the pines it instantly felt a million miles away. Just spending four nights in this location would be relaxing in itself – so it’s really something special when you are being pampered and looked after too!

We got a lovely welcome and introduction to the staff along with a Ginger Margarita mocktail and a healthy canapé before being taken up to our rooms via a tour around the house and grounds.

At dinner we all were given our personal timetables and each Expert gave a little talk. Meals were healthy and delicious and with plentiful herbal teas to accompany the after dinner chatter.

The programme had enough space within it to allow us to have time to relax as well as come away feeling like we had really gained so much knowledge. We went as a couple, stayed in the four poster suite – it was beautiful, with a gorgeous sunken bath-tub in which we enjoyed our first ever Magnesium Bath Soak. All the Experts were real professionals, and spending meal-times together was really a highlight. Such fascinating people with a wealth of information! Four nights felt more like a week we were so well rested when we came home. If you want to feel like you’ve really got away from it all, I really recommend it.

J. and N. O'Brien

A great experience

I did the Classic Reset which consisted of daily mindfulness, fitness classes, a nutrition consultation and massage. And all the delicious food. I’d not done any meditation before but Jess was very easy to follow and all the sessions were enjoyable, even though I found it a bit difficult to stop my mind from wandering back to thinking about work and home. I loved the hiking, especially the mindful walk Jess took us on. It’s inspired me to continue mindful practice at home and really felt like a 'reset' of my mind and health. Such a great experience. Thank you!

Sarah Stephane

I finally feel in tune with myself

On arrival, Rachel and Claudia, who helped us with our bags and introduced us to the rest of the team, warmly welcomed us. The grounds were breathtaking to say the least.  We were ushered into one of the many reception rooms were we met the rest of the group (kisses and hugs everywhere, it was as though we were back home visiting the family), the setting was tranquil, warm and ever so cozy. It had an almost Chalet feel, with the presence of open fires and delicious smells coming from the kitchen after a long day. After dropping off our luggage into our room (I will come on to that later), we went down to the first evening meal. Roasted linseed aubergine and fragrant cod tagine followed by freshly brewed tea. The food was delicious, I was welcomed to a whole host of flavours I never knew could mix, like cinnamon on salad and coconut oil went into nearly everything, but you would honestly never know!

I shared a suite; it was a typical Spanish room, large in size with rustic decor and an en-suite. The most amazing part of our room was actually the view, the window in the bedroom overlooked the rolling hills beyond the home. It was a truly unforgettable experience to wake up to.  We had been given our schedule for the next few days. Mindfulness featured everyday, sometimes even three times, an hour’s massage, personal training session, yoga, nutrition consultation and group exercise. I have tried to practice mindfulness here in London, however, it is a completely different experience when you are surrounded by nature, in the heart of a woods, than on the tube on your commute to work. Each session leaves you feeling more relaxed and in tuned to yourself than the last. What was good about practicing this was learning how to switch off to other distractions and wandering thoughts. When we are back here in the UK, stresses seem to take over our life, we flit from one thought to the next on tasks we must finish in a certain time frame, the shopping we have to pick up, family illnesses and so on, that we never actually really have time for ourselves. This retreat is the perfect place to go if you feel like this. You will be lucky/unlucky if you get mobile service, the wifi chooses when it wants to work and you are therefore forced to digitally detox at the same time too. I make it sound like a punishment but for some people, especially me, it’s hard to switch off.  The food was exquisite at every meal, everything was controlled, in terms of protein, carbohydrates and size. We cut out alcohol, sugar, wheat, gluten and dairy, which I thought would be hard, however I was left feeling lighter, more full after meals and nourished.

So many aspects of my life came up in my nutrition consultation, I do eat well, controlled, take in the veggies and like the odd supplement here and there, but what surprised me most was the effect the retreat had on my skin. For years, I have had a skin condition, which basically results in a build up of keratin, leaving follicles blocked and red, bumpy areas on the skin surface. I had tried numerous different creams, body bushed, medication and had advice from a series of different doctors, but nothing seemed to work, however, even after three days of the new diet at the retreat my skin had cleared up, to say I was pleased was an understatement. It turns out that I had an intolerance to diary and this was causing my skin to flare like this. Although diary can be healthy, nourishing and a great food group to add into your diet for some, like myself, it can cause adverse effects. For me the retreat allowed me to discover knew things about my body and myself that I didn’t think I would. I met a group of like-minded people, who shared many of my interests, was pampered for the whole week not only in my massage, but also on a day-to-day basis and was able to relax in a way I never had before.

If anyone is looking to go on a retreat I couldn’t recommend this one more, Rachel has done a fantastic job in organizing such a memorable week and the whole team was a blessing to be around and have met. 

Autumn Advantage Retreat

I attended the 'Autumn Advantage' retreat at the beginning of September and I'm so glad I did. 

Set in an idyllic spot, surrounded by pine forests I instantly felt relaxed. The beautiful Spanish masia was wonderfully spacious with comfy sofas and a fireplace, making it very homely and cosy, and I felt very soothed after the evening candle lit mindfulness session by the open hearth. 

Rachel and the team were very attentive and lovely, as too were the other guests - I went on my own so was a little apprehensive  but turned out I had nothing to worry about.

Having healthy and tasty meals prepared for me daily was a definite bonus, as I never have time to properly cook in London. Each dish was delicious, shame they couldn't have been bigger but that would have defeated the object and I wouldn't have learnt the valuable lesson that I do not need to gorge to feel satisfied! All of which has also helped with my IBS and thanks to Claudia's nutrition plan I have something concrete to follow as well some of the recipes to keep me on track.

The days were well balanced, a good mix of pretty hardcore training sessions from jovial coach Paul provided lots of laughs and got my blood pumping whilst the Hatha style yoga which was taken both outside next to the pool and indoors, complemented the work outs with lots of stretches and strengthening postures. My aches and pains were wonderfully soothed after, thanks to massage therapist, Nunu's magical hands, a definite highlight! There were daily drop in mindfulness sessions which helped me to kick start my own, very much needed practice again. As well as an informative introductory talk, there was also a mindful walk which I really enjoyed. Listening to the birds and cowbells really helped me to decompress and tune into the moment - something I struggle with on a daily basis. And being in the outdoors, taking in the fresh air and seeing stars in the sky felt like a luxury after coming from the city. 

If there's anything negative that I'd say about the retreat is that it's a pity it wasn't longer! I could definitely have done a week.

Sometimes life gets a little too much.

Lucy Williams from Fashion Me Now attended the Summer Boost Retreat. Here is her full review:

 

From 4 flights in a week, to resorting to the same amount of takeaways in the same amount of time thanks to not having a single moment to shop, cook or barely eat, life can sometimes, through no fault of your own, wear you down. For the most part, I imagine we all try and make good choices. I eat everything (meat, fish, dairy, gluten) but try and load up on the green stuff (veggies not fruit), occasionally remind myself to walk rather than drive and always go for brown over white when it comes to carbs. However, in the last month I’d been feeling frazzled. I was bad-tempered, bloated, sluggish, headachey and generally feeling grouchy and sorry for myself. My self-esteem was shaky and my immune system felt like it was about to cave in at any moment. The irony was I was too busy to do anything about it (haven’t we all heard that one) and despite my best efforts, meetings, e-mails and blog posts forever take priority over the gym and Wholefoods expeditions.

So when my friend Katherine told me about The Reset Button, a 5-day retreat in the Spanish countryside, I decided it needed to be done. The word retreat has always slightly filled me with fear (almost as much as bootcamp), not because I don’t like the idea of solitude or remoteness, but because I’m not brilliant at being told what to do. My need to be in control runs deep and the idea of someone setting meal times, menus and an exercise regime isn’t my immediate idea of fun. However this time, I was so ready for someone to do just that and take the lead on rebooting my health and wellbeing I couldn’t sign up fast enough. Plus, while dairy, wheat, caffeine and alcohol were off the menu, lean meat, fish and good carbs were still firmly on it so I knew I wouldn’t go hungry.

Set in a remote farmhouse about an hour from Barcelona, the retreat offers daily mediation practise and mindfulness lessons, ridiculously delicious and inventive food that makes you wonder why you ever needed wheat or dairy in the first place, personal training sessions, massage, yoga and one-on-one nutritionist consultations. And the best bit is that it’s set in beautiful, peaceful countryside and every spare hour (and there are lots don’t worry) can be spent reading by the pool, wandering through the local woodland or just soaking up some vitamin D. There were normally about 3 ‘activities’ a day, although I’m not sure even the laziest toad can count a massage as an activity, so plenty of time for doing your own thing. The wifi had such a mind of its own that the long weekend ended up being a bit of a digital detox too. Phones were left in rooms for the most part and used a handful of times a day. Sounds like a lot? Not when you consider I normally have to charge it almost 3 times a day… Yeah.

I’m not going to pretend certain elements weren’t hard. On day two I was exhausted and had a killer headache which I was told without doubt was chronic sugar cravings. And while I’ve always thought I’m pretty good with sugar, I suddenly realised that those 4 p.m yearnings for wholewheat toast and honey and rows of green & blacks after dinner meant more to me that I realised. We all longed for a pot of earl grey in the mornings and a glass of wine at sundown, but it felt good to test my resources and learn what you actually need and what you don’t. I also learnt that I will always eat everything. In my opinion, life’s too short to give up my mum’s fish lasagne or Ben & Jerry’s at the cinema. But the weekend made me reassess what I eat on a daily basis. I probably don’t need two slices of toast with eggs and salmon at the weekends; I don’t need to eat half a pack of Leerdammer cheese while I wait for my lunch; I can feel full on a good salad if I throw some grains or potatoes in there.

I came away with so much, from sleep meditation practises to help ease nocturnal anxiety, to a list of suggested supplements from the nutritionist to help with various ailments, I definitely felt reset. I realised it’s not about being perfect, but about doing little things every day, even if you fail and slip up occasionally. I’ve been keeping up with my workouts too, which has done wonders for my confidence and mental wellbeing. At the moment I’m loving following Youtube workouts like this and this as I can do everywhere and anywhere, from my garden at home to a hotel room. I mix in moves I’ve learnt from Tracy Anderson, Ballet Beautiful and Paul at The Reset Button and feel like the combination of everything is beginning to make a real difference. But the retreat isn’t about losing weight or getting fit (unless that’s what you want it to be), it’s more about learning to treat your body like a family member you care about. I constantly nag my boyfriend for eating too much salt, sugar and caffeine and yet I never do the same for myself. Leaving the retreat, I was suddenly accutely aware of what I was putting into it; anything in a packet with shed loads of ingredients scares me and I’m trying to eat more mindfully, slower and with less distractions, instead of wolfing it down with no thought. It’s little habits and practises like these that make The Reset Button live up to its name…

I'll be back for an annual health pick-me-up

Full Review written by Cheryl Slater who attended the Summer Boost Retreat.

After being in the city for a few days I couldn’t wait for a bit of fresh mountain air, serenity, calm and an opportunity to kick start my health again. Travelling for a living can take its toll and I was ready to be still for a few days and not leave the retreat house.

The Reset Button retreats are hosted by Rachel and the onsite Reset dream team include a nutritionist, personal trainer, yoga teacher, massage therapist, mindfulness teacher and two chefs. This is the kind of team you wish had on speed dial on your phone when you’re feeling a bit frazzled and burnt out. They will work their magic and transform you into a happy, healthy and relaxed person.

I’ve hit burnt out before and I know how important it is to take care of oneself and health whilst you’re working long hours and feeling stressed, deprived of sleep, exhausted and in need of a break. Rachel’s story is typical of a London city worker who was burning the candle at both ends and feeling stressed out. She turned to mindfulness, changed her eating regime and began a healthy relationship with fitness. She left her job of 15 years as a creative director in the advertising industry and started up in the retreat business.

This retreat is for those who most need it – the city workers, fashionista’s, burned-out executives, high flyers, the busy and over worked professionals who are time poor and never get a moment to actually stop, slow down, reflect, change their diet, unhealthy habits and take a look inside themselves.

Our retreat home is a beautiful rustic Spanish mansion up in the mountains of Barcelona where the air is clean and pure! The extremely photogenic outdoor pool is where you will want to spend most of your time in between the mindfulness and meditation sessions or after your deeply relaxing massage. There’s also an indoor pool and spa (in case it rains!) or you want a bit of respite from the glorious sunshine.

On arrival at the retreat and after unpacking my bags and it was straight into it with my personal training session with fellow northerner and Leeds born Paul to get my heart pumping and set me up for the rest of the retreat. Paul’s cheeky humour will make you laugh as you’re working out doing a farmers walk or frog jumps in the air.

At the heart of the retreats is mindfulness

The aim of the Reset Button retreats is to create the perfect environment for guests to relax while learning how to get back to the very best version of themselves. It is not a ‘fast fix’ but more a long-term reset, putting everyone back onto track creating realistic goals and teaching easily implementable ways to improve well-being.

Jess is a mindfulness therapist who originally trained as a psychologist and cognitive behavioural therapist. Each day there was a drop in guided mediation to help us become the observer of our thoughts rather than become attached and hanging on to them. On the last day the group did a mindful walk through the forest allowing us to connect with nature and observe the surrounding beauty.

The food

Meal times were definitely something to look forward to each day, catering for vegans, vegetarian’s and meat/fish eaters, master chef Alfredo who is the owner of Barcelona’s number one vegan tapas restaurant Sesamo (which I later visited and can highly recommend) and his assistant Alan served us three delicious and nutritious meals a day.

On the guidance of the nutritionist Claudia, there was to be no sugar, wheat, dairy, processed foods, salt, caffeine or alcohol on the menu. This sounds harsh but the food was so tasty that I personally didn’t experience any cravings although I did get detox symptoms the first couple of days of the retreat, probably due to the caffeine and alcohol I had consumed pre-retreat! They actually recommended you start to cut down on a week before you arrive.

The daily menus consisted of detox smoothies such as beetroot, fennel, celery, parsley, rice milk and coconut flakes, vegan bircher, oat cakes with divine almond and hazlenut butter for breakfast (who needs nutella!), delicious salads, soups, plenty of nuts, seeds and superfoods and a super healthy Thai and Mexican themed brunch. I’d love to to share their recipes with you but you will have to wait for that! We are all very keen to get our hands on them!

Nutritional consultation

Claudia’s aim at the Reset Button retreat is to give every guest individual expert nutrition advice that can change their life forever. She has worked with some of Europe’s most exclusive retreats, and was highly commended by Conde Nast as retreat nutritionist in the Spa Guide 2014.

As a traveller who is constantly on the move I have been finding it extremely challenging to commit to being vegan and staying healthy at the same time. I spend a lot of time at hotels and options are limited and not very satisfying or healthy. I have been in too many situations where I have gone hungry and not eaten due to there being nothing available. I was starting to lose all pleasure around food and was feeling deprived.

Being on retreat is obviously the best opportunity to eat well consistently every day when it’s being cooked and prepared for you however I really needed some advice on how to sustain and nourish myself whilst on the road. We decided that I could contact the hotels in advance and ask them to prepare something simple such as avocado and mushrooms on toast or even a plate of grilled vegetables and fruit.

We also spoke about mindful eating – taking five deep breaths and especially for me, not to eat whilst at the computer which I totally hold my hands up to!

Deeply relaxing massage

No retreat is complete without a heavenly massage and the massage therapist Nunu provided exactly that! Using organic essential therapeutic oils to give me a deeply relaxing massage using a blend of styles including Swedish, Thai stretches and Japanese acupressure. Nunu works in Ibiza during the summer and has her own centre in the city of Barcelona. I love the post massage blissed out feeling and it’s a totally appropriate time to take an afternoon siesta.

Yoga

Raphaella our yoga teacher is from Australia and now lives and teaches in Barcelona. She teaches Ishta yoga which blends the ancient and contemporary sciences of Hatha, Tantra and Ayurveda. I loved her style of teaching and openness and attended her outdoor classes in the park once I got back to the city Barcelona. She adapts the classes for all levels so don’t worry if you are not a beginner!

 

Five days later I am a transformed and healthy human being ready to head back to the city feeling refreshed and radiating that post detox glow…! A big thank you to Rachel and the Reset button dream time for hosting me, I’ll be back for an annual health pick me up!

 

Beautiful place, with fantastic experts

Louise Starey

I stayed with Rachel and her team at The Reset Button for the 'spring clean' in April. The hills and location were amazing and would have made for a great break, but it was the experts who really made it. Before I went I was mainly interested in the mindfulness course as I'd never really had the time to dedicate to it before. I thought I already ate a very healthy diet. However 5 days with the experts showed me a few changes could make a big difference to not just my mind, but my overall wellbeing. I always thought it would be too difficult to give up dairy or wheat but the delicious food on the retreat showed me that you don't have to miss out. I've now cut them both out of my general diet, initially as an experiment for 10 days, but I won't go back. I have more energy, less bloating, and my excema has totally cleared up despite being a health professional washing my hands repeatedly though out the day. Occasionally I break the diet at home out of convenience but that's fine. I really notice the difference in my digestive system and energy levels when I do, which encourages me to plan my meals and not lapse too often. I have also gone from being a complete caffeine addict to having an occasional tea or coffee during a long shift. I used to literally live on caffeine and can't believe I don't need it to get out of bed anymore.
I'm writing this now because I have been receiving updates for the summer retreat and wish I could attend. Work is stopping me this time but I will definitely be back for some more expert guidance and a personal healthy body and mind plan.

Full of energy

Sarah Stephane

I've been a huge coffee drinker for years. I was averaging about 6 cups a day. I couldn't manage anything until I'd had my caffiene hit and really relied on it for getting me through the day.

Being at the retreat gave me the chance to kick the habit in the best possible way - you don't feel caffeine deprived when you are sitting by a gorgeous pool soaking up the sun while everything is being done for you. The food was delicious - it certainly has inspired me to eat more healthily. Obviously it's a lot easier when you have a chef there doing it for you every meal!

I was a bit nervous about going alone, but quickly it felt like being away with friends and I loved our chats round the fire at night.

All in all a great few days, I came home full of energy, and I still feel more energised than I did before I went - and that's without my 6 coffees a day! Would love to do it again.

Back on track

Amie Knight

I loved the house because it allowed you to be close to nature which is very grounding. Just taking in the wonderful view and hearing the birds tweet was relaxing. Since the retreat I have made some changes that I plan to continue, after my nutrition consultation with Claudia I have cut out diary. I’m noticing a difference with my Rosacea so I’m going to keep this up. I’m also continuing with meditation and mindfulness practice and having a good dose of this whilst away really helped. I definitely feel more mindful of my food choices too. I really enjoyed sitting on the sofas and chatting to the therapists – all sorts of topics, health and life chats, food tips etc. I feel inspired to continue with the healthy eating and exercise vibe and the retreat has definitely put me back on track. Thank you!

Getting back to basics

Nunu Roney

For me the Spring Clean Retreat at Reset Button felt like going back to your 'core' - reminding yourself of your breathing and being in the moment with the mindfulness meditation, really tasting all the food without any salt, sugars etc., getting in touch with your body with a therapeutic massage and exercise. Excellent combination! I highly recommend it to people who want a break and a change from the rat race! It Re-Set me!

Refreshed, rested and inspired.

Claire - Lawyer

The moment I stepped into the old Spanish masia and was greeted by the Reset Button team the craziness of London life felt a million miles away. We were treated to delicious healthy food, lots of helpful advice from Claudia the RB nutritionist, pilates and yoga classes which were tailored to suit all levels plus the calm and reflectiveness of mindfulness therapy not to mention Nunu's wonderful massage.  I came home feeling refreshed and rested and inspired to carry on with the healthy eating, mindfulness and pilates. Ten days later I am still going strong and feel amazing.  This really is what it says on the tin - a break to reset our hectic lives with a fantastic group of people who made it so easy and fun.

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