Looking for a retreat with a difference?
A menopause retreat is a great way to get away from it all and work with experts on ways to manage your symptoms. Fountain Retreats have developed a great idea for a retreat, with their new wine and chocolate tasting, with a healthy twist. After all, most of us love wine and chocolate, but they’re not always ideal during menopause.
Too much alcohol can be bad for us. Government guidelines suggest no more than 14 units per week, for men and women. But knowing how to calculate your units can be tricky. Much depends on the size of glass and the strength of the wine.
From surveys and discussions carried out at Fountain Retreats, we know that some women are getting pretty fed up with alcohol on the whole. First, because it can make hot flushes worse. Second, because we pay a huge amount of tax on alcohol, so it can become very costly. And many of us are not willing to put up with screaming headaches and added brain fog that seem to be part and parcel of the longer and more debilitating hangovers we experience as we age.
So, what can be done to help us feel great, and still feel the buzz that alcohol can give us? We all like to feel as if we are doing something a bit naughty occasionally, but we don’t want the negative side effects.
Dee Gardner, Founder of Fountain Retreats, and Sabrina Zeif, MD of The Menopause Chef Academy, came up with a cunning plan.
At 4pm on each day of the Retreat, guests can enjoy a wine and chocolate tasting session.
After several tastings themselves, Dee and Sabrina have discovered a few brands of non-alcoholic fizz that, when served chilled in a Champagne flute, ‘taste amazing’.
Surprised by this, they wondered why they would then go and spend more money on alcoholic fizz.
Another added benefit is that this non-alcoholic fizz will only set you back around 30 calories a glass as opposed to between 80-100 calories for Prosecco.
The idea of holding the tastings at the Retreats is to show women just how psychology plays a part in our drinking habits. This initiative can help women lose weight and alleviate menopause symptoms. Drinking alcohol, though pleasurable, has many downsides.
‘We won’t tell you not to drink alcohol, as we all love a glass from time to time, but why not try having a glass of Prosecco and then exchange it for a glass of non-alcoholic fizz? This way, you are cutting your consumption of the nasty additives in alcoholic fizz by at least half,” says Dee. “Women at our Retreats love this part of the day. Even though alcohol-free, we often see them experiencing a bit of tipsiness, proving it has more to do with the association, the social company, and the glass you drink from.”
Dark chocolate delights
And the chocolate? Love it or hate it, there are some surprising scientifically-researched benefits of dark chocolate. During the Retreat tastings, guests try some amazing chocolate that has been master-crafted by Montezuma, the award-winning British chocolate maker.
Montezuma are helping Fountain Retreats deliver this tasting session. They are providing sublime dark chocolate in different strengths and flavours, including a 100% cocoa mint-flavoured bar and even a butterscotch-flavoured dark chocolate. The Retreats aim to influence guests to make changes in lifestyle and diet, by re-educating our palates to accept chocolate that is less full of sugar and harmful fats. The milk chocolate that most people are used to eating is full of bad fats and loaded with sugar. All contributing to that spare tyre around our midlife middles.
Good quality dark chocolate:
- Comes from the seed of the cocoa tree, one of the best sources of antioxidants on the planet.
- Is loaded with organic compounds that biologically function as antioxidants.
- Can reduce blood pressure and help improve blood flow, which in turn helps prevent heart disease.
- May help us minimise the damage that sun can cause to our skin.
- Can improve our brain function, again due to increased blood flow, a big benefit to those experiencing brain fog!
With so many different flavours, there is sure to be one dark chocolate that you fall in love with. Although, as with all things, even dark chocolate should be eaten in moderation.