I’ve just returned from what I hope will continue to be an annual Dailey Method health and happiness retreat in Sayulita, Mexico, produced by my Pediatrician Lindy Woodard, and her knowledgeable, generous team. The four days incorporate a variety of Dailey Method classes and workshops in addition to different discussions on subjects pertaining to how to deepen our happiness and health as we navigate forward in our lives. We are given guidance in introspection and then have conversations with wise women to help learn from their experiences. It’s incredibly helpful in furthering my insight into where I would like to expand or shift in my life – (which is exciting!) but notably the hardest part is taking the information back home and letting it integrate into everyday life. 

Here are three things that were strong takeaways for me from this years retreat:
Selfishness, there tends to be a negative connotation around this word but when you take time for yourself, be it four days in Mexico or even an afternoon reading and writing in bed, it’s really about self care. I actually (lovingly) got called out for using that word because I do have some fear about being selfish, especially when it comes to my family or my business. I am going to try and reframe that word when it pops into mind because there is no doubt that when I take care of myself I am better able to serve and care for others. It’s also important to remember to do it on a regular basis – we shouldn’t wait until we’re completely depleted to carve out the time for self! A little here and there strategically can go a long way.
Acknowledgement was a big theme over the week. I know how important it is to acknowledge the people in my life on a regular basis. Showing someone that you’ve truly seen what they do, that you appreciate it and are grateful, can go a long way in creating stronger relationships or just to make someone else a little happier, more confident or feel needed. I know that I am pretty good about sincerely acknowledging most people in my life but there are a few that I either assume know how much I love and need them or that for whatever reason it’s harder to express it to them. One of my intentions for practicing this skill is acknowledging my kids and thanking them when they do their chores instead of only scolding them when they don’t. I’m sure the latter will kick in regularly (daily) but I’m confident if the acknowledgement can stay consistent it will trend to create change in both my own frustration level and their willingness to be more proactive.
Expanding my own and my family’s diet is something I continually strive for and both retreat years I’ve gotten a wealth of ideas, insight and knowledge about food choices and preparations that have me highly inspired to cook! Lindy and Genie (our food team) do not believe that one diet is right for everyone but that we need to listen to our own bodies to learn what is right for us as individuals. They prescribe the food we eat be (when ever possible) organic, non-gmo, fresh, heavy in plants, lots of variety and colors and sustainable. They look at food as medicine but without sacrificing flavor. A theory I love to prescribe to: eat what best serves your health but still thoroughly enjoy the process.
I came back this year with the goal of stocking condiments and toppings and using them liberally for more flavorful, satisfying and nutrient rich meals. I am going to experiment with creating more bowls as meals and layering on different levels of flavors or textures. It’s easy to start with a base (rice, beans, veggies, fruit) and let your family tailor it to their specific tastes. Offering multiple toppings so that hopefully they will have variety and also learn to experiment with foods and flavors.

Besides just offering fresh cut vegetables or herbs as additions, Lindy and Genie defined 5 layers of flavor to consider.  Below I gave you an example of two or three of my favorites of each category.
Crunchy– chia seeds, pumpkin seeds and walnuts
Creamy– coconut oil, aioli and greek yoghurt
Spicy– red pepper flakes and any hot sauce.  This is a big one for me- I pretty much love it if it’s spicy!
Salty– olives and gomasio – Lindy and Genie use this a lot and I think my kids will love it.  It’s a nutritious salt alternative!
Sour– lemon, pickles and sauerkraut
Adios mis amigos,

— Jill