How We Eat, Move, and Live at Our Wellness Retreat Program | Week 2 at GMFR

Blogger and author Shauna Reid is back to give you the inside scoop on the culinary experience and fitness program at Green Mountain. See her recap of her first week at Green Mountain here.

Now, let’s jump into week 2!

The Culinary Experience Gave Me A Major Aha-Moment

The first thing I noticed was how different I felt eating at regular, stable mealtimes! At home, I can be a chaotic eater—often skipping breakfast and living on coffee until I have a hasty, late lunch. I now understand how that can set me up for overeating or bingeing. Simply eating a proper breakfast at 8am each day is working wonders for my energy levels and choices at other meals.

I’m not a fussy eater so I enjoyed the food immensely (and also enjoyed not having to prepare it myself!). I always had enough to eat, and if I was still hungry it was reassuring to know I could always ask for more and between meals there’s the Snack Hutch with fresh fruit.

My favorites: healthy pizzas on Fridays, the turkey burgers, the chilli with all the fixings, the Mediterranean self-serve lunch (my life motto: feta makes everything betta), and the blueberry pancakes we had at breakfast one day. Delicious.

Despite the variety of meals, I’ve formed a few wee routines: I love the local Greek yogurt for breakfast with walnuts and fresh fruit plus a piece of toast with a chopped up hard-boiled egg on top. At lunchtime and dinner, I pounced on the salad bar—I look forward to that little bowl of extra veggies on the side of my main meals. Of course, the dressings really help—Green Goddess and the Carrot Ginger dressings are my favorites. I’m already thinking of how I can replicate this on a smaller, simpler scale at home with a bit of advance prep.

I’m Having Fun With Fitness Again

I’m someone who really used to enjoy exercise but has been extremely inconsistent with it over recent years; Green Mountain proved to be the perfect place to dip my toes back into the waters.

My Green Mountain policy is: “just try it and see.” And I’ve been following that advice! So far I’ve done yoga, snowshoeing, circuit training, Barre Above, Zumba, weight training, Fitball cardio, drumming, and aquafit.

Bibi, Cathy, and the gang are fantastic instructors—they explain the moves very clearly and have a gazillion modifications up their sleeves so no matter where you’re at with your fitness, there is a way to participate safely. That’s really helped me accept the body I have now, instead of sometimes trying to make it do what it may used to have been able to do, which only left me cranky and full of loathing!

It’s been interesting to discover that some kinds of exercise I used to love (being in the gym) don’t really light my fire anymore. I’m finding I’m happiest when moving outside—I love that feeling of wearing the right gear so I feel cozy and warm, yet that lovely crisp blast of cold air on my face. I’ve also rediscovered yoga—so much more fun now that I have some modifications.

I’m not sure I’d have figured all this out at home on my own. I’m so glad I had a non-intimidating environment to experiment with movement, with that combination of support and choice. For those more advanced in their fitness journey, Green Mountain offers a special Fitness Adventure Track in the summer. I say go for that option if you’re looking for a challenge!

My Favorite Thing So Far

One of my favorite things about Green Mountain is that both the general program and the Pathway program for binge and emotional eating are deeply rooted in science. They don’t do anything there that doesn’t have a strong rationale behind it. I’ve always been someone who likes why and it was so reassuring to hear about the evidence and research to back up what we were doing.

I now understand exactly what is going on in my brain when I binge. I understand why I found it hard to stick to diets. I understand the effects of stress on the body. I understand the effects of chronic dieting and restriction on my body. It helps me look at my situation with compassion and less judgment. I’ve spent years feeling like my struggles are a moral failing and I have been very unkind to myself. But now I feel empowered by this new information and I feel more compelled to take good care of my body.

Top 5 Highlights From Week 2

  1. Another nighttime adventure. This time a walk through the snow, led by Megan the RA. The sky was clear and the stars were out. At one point we turned off our flashlights and let the glow of the snow and stars be our guide. It was completely silent aside from the crunch of our boots in the snow. Magic!
  2. The Success Beyond the Scale class with Shiri. We had a very thought-provoking discussion about why weight isn’t always the best way to gauge your success and your health, and it got me thinking about how I’ll define success when I get home.
  3. GM Flow morning class with Bibi. A combination of Tai Chi and guided meditation. I always thought I hated morning exercise but turns out I love it when it’s gentle and flowing. An incredible way to get the mind and body ready for the day.
  4. A “Vermonting” excursion to Buttermilk Falls led by Cathy. I was questioning my decision to go when we got out of the car to heavy sleet, but it soon cleared up and it was a gorgeous walk through the snow to the frozen falls.
  5. Chili for lunch on a particularly cold Saturday. It really hit the spot!


Want to learn how to eat, move, and live in a way that honors all areas of health—not just the physical? We invite you to experience the Green Mountain at Fox Run program, where we’ve been changing the way women think about food, fitness, and living for over 45 years.

Learn More About Women's Health Programs

Bio: Shauna Reid is an Aussie freelance writer, author and blogger living in Scotland. She writes about her life, travels and wellness journey at You can also find her on Instagram and Facebook.

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