Healthy Lifestyle: Best Wellness Retreats in Costa Rica

Emotional eating

Emotional eating (or stress eating) is using food to make yourself feel better—eating to satisfy emotional needs, rather than to satisfy physical hunger. You can not fill emotional hunger with food. Eating may feel good at the moment, but the feelings that triggered the eating are still there. And you often feel worse than you did before because of the unnecessary.

Identify your emotional eating triggers

What situations, places, or feelings make you reach for the comfort of food? Most emotional eating is linked to unpleasant feelings. Still, it can also be triggered by positive emotions, such as rewarding yourself for achieving a goal or celebrating a holiday or happy event. Common causes of emotional eating include:

Stuffing emotions – Eating can be a way to silence temporarily or "stuff down" uncomfortable feelings, including anger, fear, sadness, anxiety, loneliness, resentment, and shame. While you're numbing yourself with food, you can avoid the painful emotions you'd instead not feel.

Boredom or feelings of emptiness – Do you ever eat to give yourself something to do, to relieve boredom, or as a way to fill a void in your life? You feel unfulfilled and empty, and food is a way to occupy your mouth and your time. At the moment, it fills you up and distracts you from underlying feelings of purposelessness and dissatisfaction with your life.

Childhood habits – Think back to your childhood memories of food. Did your parents reward good behavior with ice cream, take you out for pizza when you got a sound report card, or serve you, sweets, when you were feeling sad? These habits can often carry over into adulthood. Or your eating may be driven by nostalgia—for cherished memories of grilling burgers in the backyard with your dad or baking and eating cookies with your mom.

Social influences – Getting together with other people for a meal is a great way to relieve stress, but it can also lead to overeating. It’s easy to overindulge simply because the food is there or because everyone else is eating. You may also overeat in social situations out of nervousness. Or perhaps your family or circle of friends encourages you to overeat, and it’s easier to go along with the group.

Stress – Ever notice how weight makes you hungry? It's not just in your mind. When stress is chronic, as it so often is in our chaotic, fast-paced world, your body produces high levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Cortisol triggers cravings for salty, sweet, and fried foods—foods that give you a burst of energy and pleasure. The more uncontrolled stress in your life, the more likely you are to turn to food for emotional relief.



The body is a bio-computer: It knows when to sleep, to wake up, and to go to the bathroom. It maintains a temperature of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, repairs itself when wounded, and knows the miracle of pregnancy and childbirth. Your heart never misses a beat. Your lungs never miss a breath. The body is a supercomputer, and it never makes mistakes. Look at the foods, deficits, and behaviors in your life that are the underlying causes of your cravings. Many people view desires as weaknesses, but really, they're essential messages, there to guide you in maintaining balance.

When you experience a craving, deconstruct it. Ask yourself, what does my body want, and why? Here you are the eight primary causes of need that can help you to understand which could be the reason. Remember to be kind to yourself and not be self-judgmental. When we start to accept and love our self, we become more loving, attractive, and happy.

    1. Dehydration: The body doesn't send the message that you are thirsty until you are on the verge of dehydration. Dehydration occurs as a mild hunger, so the first thing to do when you get a strange craving is to drink a full glass of water.
    2. Lifestyle: being dissatisfied with a relationship, having an inappropriate exercise routine (too much, too little or wrong type), being bored, stressed, uninspired by a job, or lacking a spiritual practice can all contribute to emotional eating. You can use food as a substitute for the entertainment to fill the void.
    3. Yin/Yang Imbalance: Certain foods have yin qualities (expansive) while other foods have more yang qualities (contractive). Eating foods that are extremely yin or extremely yang causes craving to reestablish balance. For example, eating a diet too rich in sugar (yin) may cause a need for meat (yang).
    4. Inside Coming Out: frequently, cravings come from foods that we have recently eaten, foods eaten by our ancestors or menus from our childhood. A smart way to satisfy these cravings is to eat healthier versions of one's ancestral or childhood foods.
    5. Seasonal: often, the body craves foods that balance out the elements of the season. In the spring, people want detoxifying foods like leafy greens or citrus foods. In summer, people crave cooling foods like fruit, raw food, and ice cream, and in the fall, people want grounding foods like squash, onions, and nut. In winter, many crave hot and heat-producing foods like meat, oil, and fat.
    6. Lack of nutrients: if the body is getting an inadequate amount of nutrients, it will produce add cravings. For example, insufficient mineral levels provide salt craving, and overall inadequate nutrition creates a need for non-nutritional forms of energy like caffeine.
    7. Hormones: When women experience menstruation, pregnancy, menopause fluctuating testosterone, and estrogens levels, may cause unusual craving.
    8. De-evolution: when things are going exceptionally well, sometimes a self-sabotage syndrome happens, where we suddenly crave foods that throw us off balance. We then have more cravings to balance ourselves. Need often happens from low blood sugar and may result in intense mood swings.

    Trust your cravings: Whenever your body is craving something, pause for a moment and wonder, "What's going on here"? Whenever you find yourself impulsively reaching for something you know is not suitable for you, take a moment to slow down, breathe and reevaluate the situation; consider what your body is asking for….start for a flavor: Are you craving for something sweet? Salty, bitter, pungent? What texture, consistency?

    Non-foods craving: Sometimes, we also crave foods for emotional reasons. Maybe we are looking for excitement in our lives or looking for comfort after a stressful situation. This nourishment is a kind of emotional feeding. It is not really about the food, but about the emotions it creates. Are you craving entertainment? We often use food to distract us from boredom. Boredom is a challenge to be more creative with your life. Do you want a hug? Are you craving movement?

    Remember To love yourselves unconditionally.

    Healthy eating. We share easy and tasty recipes to enjoy with your family without being worry about calories! These recipes are part of our program.

    Enjoy delicious and healthy meals!

    Did you know that eating healthy doesn't have to be complicated? All you need is an open mind and a desire to love and care for your body. There is an adage that says, "Food is your medicine," not only at a physical level, but it plays an essential role over emotions too. Start by being curious, discovering new ingredients in your recipes, and surprise your family and friends with delicious, colorful, tasty, and healthy creations. Here we invite you to explore these fantastic meals. Bon appetite!


    Paté SoleilIngredients (4 persons)

    1 cup sunflower seeds (soaked 6-8hs)
    1 citron or lima juices
    1/2 onion (optional)
    2 tablespoon soya sauce
    1/2 red bell pepper
    1 big punch of Persil or coriander
    1/2 teaspoon of fresh ginger
    4 tablespoons of tahini
    2 celery sticks
    Salt, cumin, pepper (cayenne)

    Preparation: Combine all ingredients (except the herbs) in a food processor and process just enough to chop finely, Add the herbs and spices and enjoy fresh vegetables! You can add the pulp of your "carrot Juices," and it will give a "sunny color" 🙂

    Olive Tapenade
    Ingredients (4 persons)

    1 cup pitted black olives (kalamata)
    1/4 cup softened sun-dry tomatoes
    2 Tbsp capers
    2 Tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
    1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
    2 Tbsp lemon juice
    Salt and pepper, (oregano, marjoram) to taste

    Preparation: Combine all ingredients (except the herbs) in a food processor and process just enough to chop finely. Add the herbs and spices and enjoy with vegetables or on the top of flatbread!

    Raw Pad Thai
    Ingredients (4 persons)

    2 zucchinis (3 if they are small)
    2 carrots
    1 tbsp dry coconut grated
    1 tbsp ginger grated
    1 handful fresh coriander
    Sauce: 1 ½ cup of coconut milk 2 clove garlic
    2 young green onions (spring onion)
    2 tbsp of ginger
    3 tbsp of soya sauce
    2 tbsp of Agave syrup
    2 dates of Medjol
    1 orange Juice
    1 lima juice
    2/3 tbsp of curry
    Fresh coriander to garnish

    Preparation: Use a peeling or "mandolin" to cut the carrots and zucchini in thin slides. Cover with the grated coconut ginger and coriander (Optional: add some olive oil).

    Sauce: Put all ingredients in a blender (except the fresh coriander) until having a homogenous texture. Add the cilantro at the end Mix the sauce with the zucchinis and carrots. Add salty peanuts or salty cashew nuts.


    Spicy Mango Cucumber Salad
    Ingredients (4 persons)

    1 cup organic mango (diced)
    1 cup organic tomatoes (diced)
    1 cup organic fresh cilantro (chopped)
    1/2 cup organic red onions (diced)
    1 organic jalapeno (diced)
    For the lime dressing:
    2 tablespoons organic lime juice
    2 tablespoons organic extra-virgin olive oil
    1 teaspoon organic ground cumin
    1 teaspoon organic ground chili powder
    1 teaspoon Himalayan salt

    Preparation: Dice and chop all the veggies to the thickness you prefer. Set aside.
    Lime dressing: Add all ingredients for the dressing to a small bowl and whisk or stir together until it is well combined.
    Adjust seasonings to your preference.


    Creamy Carrot Ginger Coconut Soup
    Ingredients (4 persons)

    1 tablespoon olive oil
    1 small white or yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
    1 stalk celery, chopped
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated or minced
    4 cups low sodium vegetable broth
    1 small white or sweet potato, peeled and chopped
    1 1/4 pounds carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
    3/4 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
    1/2 teaspoon curry powder
    1/2 cup full fat coconut milk, plus a few extra tablespoons for serving
    Black pepper to taste

    Preparation: Heat the olive oil in a soup pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and sauté for 5-7 minutes, or until the onions are transparent. Add the garlic and ginger. Sauté, frequently stirring, for another 2 minutes, or until the ginger is very fragrant. Add the broth, potato, carrots, salt, and curry to the pot. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer the soup for twenty minutes, or until the carrots are very tender. Blend the soup till smooth. Return the soup to the pot and stir in the coconut milk and black pepper to taste. Adjust seasonings to taste.


    Chocolate Mousse
    Ingredients (4 persons)

    1 avocat
    1 banana
    Maple syrup or sweetener of choice t
    ½ dark cacao
    172 teaspoon cardamom
    2 teaspoon vanilla

    Preparation: Place all of the ingredients into a food processor fitted with the S-blade and process for 30 seconds or until you reach the consistency and you're happy. Easy and delicious!


    Bliss Balls
    Ingredients (15-18 Balls)

    1 ½ cup raw nuts (mix almonds and cashews)
    10 Medjool dates
    3/4 cup raw cacao powder
    ¼ cup maple syrup
    1 cup desiccated coconut + extra for rolling in
    1 teaspoon vanilla (ground or extract)
    2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
    2 pinches of salt (as salty as you like!)
    1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted Small touch of water if needed
    Optional ingredients: 2 tablespoons unhulled tahini
    1/4 cup raw cacao nibs – for extra crunch!

    Preparation: Add all ingredients to a food processor or blender. Blend until well combined and add water if needed. Using wet hands, take a large tablespoon of the mixture out and roll into balls. Using wet hands, take a large tablespoon of dough out and roll into balls. You can then move the balls in the extra desiccated coconut or some raw cacao powder.



    Many ancient cultures knew the value of germinating and sprouting grains, seeds, legumes, and nuts. Here you are the fantastic nutritional value of growing:

    Researches at Purdue University found that beans sprouts contain extraordinary levels of good-quality protein. Mung beans sprouts, for example, contain more than 25 percent of their calories as protein, which is a higher proportion than in a T-bone steak.  And soybeans sprouts have an even more significant percentage, because of their high level of amino acids (The building blocks of proteins), vitamins and minerals, sprouts are considered to be one of the perfect foods known to man.

    Sprouted and germinated living foods give us the most concentrated natural sources of vitamins, minerals, enzymes, and amino acids (proteins in a digestive form). Lentils and bean sprouts contain as much protein as red meat yet are digestible and have none of the fat, cholesterol, hormones, or antibiotic found in most present-day meat.


    Germination is a result of soaking seeds, grains, legumes, and nuts in water for a while. Water removes specific metabolic inhibitors that protect the seed from bacterial invasion and preserve it during its dormant state. During germination, the seed springs into life, increasing its nutritional value and digestibility. Natural enzyme inhibitors, phytates (natural insecticides), and oxalates (protective shields that prevent oxygen from penetrating) present in every seed, nut, bean, and grain are removed, and predigestion occurs. In this predigestion, starches are converted into simple sugars, proteins are broken down into amino acids, fats are converted into soluble fatty acids, and vitamins are created. Germination is the first step of sprouting. Even if you are going to cook your grains or beans, you should germinate them first.

    Germinating a seed, nut, grain, or legume is very simple; just soak them the required time at room temperature, with pure water. Then pour off the cloudy water and rinse thoroughly to remove the inhibitors before food preparation. The seeds or nuts are ready to be used! The soaking time varies according to the size of the seed or nut. Climate, season, and temperature play a significant role; in warmer environments, soaking time is reduced.


    Sprouting carries the germinating process one step further, resulting in a variety of living foods, such as small alfalfa, clover, and radish sprouts, as well as sprouts of sunflower, and buckwheat seeds.

    To begin, you will need wide-mouth jars, plastic screen mesh, and a rubber band to secure the mesh to the top of the pot and, of course, the seeds, nuts, grains, or beans.

    First: start with the germination of the seeds, grains, nuts, or beans (put one cup on one of them in a jar and cover with plenty of water). Put the mesh over the jar and secure it with a rubber band. Put the pot direct to the sunlight and let the products soak at room temperature for the appropriate time. Then pour off the water and rinse thoroughly. After this process, the seeds should be kept warm in a dark location during the sprouting stages.

    Between risings, keep the jar in a dish drainer at a forty-five-degree angle, to allow for drainage and circulation. When they are ready, you will want to remove the hull of the seeds such as alfalfa, fenugreek, cabbage, mung, adzuki, and radish. Others, such as grains, hulled sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, lentils, and chickpeas, can be eaten as they are.

    Allow the cleaned sprouts to dry before putting them in the refrigerator. To store sprouts in the fridge, place them in glass or plastic container lined with paper towels to absorb excess moisture.

    Special instructions

    To harvest nuts, simply pour off the soak water, rinse the nuts, and replace them in freshwater. For storage, put the nuts in the refrigerator with fresh water.

    Small seeds, like alfalfa, increase in weight and volume after sprouting, so do not overfill the jar at the beginning.

    As part of a top-rated wellness retreat in Costa Rica, this magnificent haven promises a harmonious blend of relaxation and rejuvenation. The secret of mung bean and adzuki sprouts is to soak them in hot water. If possible, change the soak water several times during the soaking process, or keep them soaking in a warm location. They must grow under pressure, in a warm, dark place. One way to do this is to develop them in a stainless steel colander with a heavy plate on top of them. Located in one of the best wellness retreats in Costa Rica, the Le Cameleon Boutique Hotel is the perfect destination for anyone looking to relax & rejuvenate.

    Nutritional and health benefits

    Small grains;

    Amaranth: Bone strengthening,

    Millet: Strength and muscle,

    Quinoa: Power and energy

    Teff: Blood and respiration.

    Large grains;

    Barley: Ventricles and heart,

    Corn: Calcium and energy,

    Rye: Digestion and roughage,

    Spelts: Vitamins and minerals,

    Wheat: Vitamins and minerals.

    Beans and legumes;

    Adzuki:  Minerals and renal benefits,

    Chickpeas: Protein and energy,

    Lentils: Teeth and strength,

    Green peas: Blood and organs,

    Mung: Minerals and bladder benefits,

    Pinto: Energy and spine,

    Lima: Nails and eyes.

    Small vegetables;

    Alfalfa: Blood and heart,

    Clover: Capillaries and blood,

    Fenugreek: Dissolves mucus and deposits,

    Mustard: Stomach and gallbladder,

    Onion: Blood and circulation.

    Hulled seeds;

    Buckwheat: Lecithin,

    Pumpkin: Hair and skin,

    Sesame: Calcium,

    Sunflower: Protein and energy,