Tree of Life Adventures

I've just returned from yet another wonderful adventure.... My mom and I decided to take a vacation this winter (something we never do together), and since she loves the desert and I love any place that has raw food and is warm, we figured Tree of Life Rejuvination Center would be the perfect place! I've had Gabriel Cousen's books for years and have often fantasized going to his center - my dream came true faster than I thought it would!

I don't feel I can put the whole experience into words - there was something really magical about it. For starters, we came from a temperature of -40C (also -40F if you can imagine) to the warmth of sandals and tee shirts. Ah, heaven already! Upon arrival we rented a car and took a scenic drive up to Patagonia, seeing heaps of cacti along the way. I'd never seen a real cactus before so it was cool - just like in the movies!

Being a foodie all the way around, I am so greatful to have been in a place where I got to eat the BEST food ever and take a break from my job making it. Three times a day we ate from a huge buffet spread of fresh, organically grown greens, veggies, sprouts, dressings, crackers, entrees, soups, etc. Exotic porridges were served for breakfast, often containing chia, goji berries, coconut oil, maca, etc. I enjoyed a big glass of seed milk every morning, along with some greens. I thought I would miss my regular green smoothies but soon realized that it was a nice change and am going to incorporate these drinks into my diet regularly. In fact, this morning I made almond/pumpkin seed milk with the addition of spirulina, vitamineral greens, vanilla creme stevia and a few soaked raisins - Tree of Life style. Mmmm.

My favourite meal, dessert, is served on the weekend at noon, so I took delight in trying the goodies. One day there were Adam's chocolate cookies, topped with a blueberry cream, and on Sunday was Max's creamy berry pie - both to live for!

It's amazing how much can happen in one week. I made some really great friends - people who I will make a point of staying in touch with and seeing again. A few of them are even hoping to visit this summer, and in a trip to NYC in upcoming months, I'll be visiting a wonderful woman named Antoinette who became an instant friend to my mom and I. After becoming enthralled with Courtney Pool's blog during the time she did her big juice feast, I got to meet her in person. She's a beautiful spirit with the most gorgeous eyes I have ever seen - like blue gemstones! I also met Frank, of Raw Endurance who works as a chef at the Tree. He kindly let me come along to Tuscon one morning for bikram yoga with himself and some others. It's been a while since I've practiced regularly (even though I do other yoga most days of the week), so I was a bit rusty, but it felt great!

I made some Canadian connections too, which is always nice, including Laura, who lives a few hours from me! So cool! I look forward to us getting together when she returns home. Kristin from BC feels like a sister to me (we must have been friends in a past life), and I will definitely visit her the next time I visit that end of the country.

On my day of arrival I met Chelsey, who is spending three weeks there (lucky her). We hit it off immediately and had lots of fun together that week. When my mom and I left, 8 days later, Chelsey came to Tuscon with us for a day of shopping and dining. We are a bit naughty really, and had a margarita that night knowing full well our bodies wouldn't be too happy. Thank goodness for all the reiki and love we put into those drinks! I won't be doing that again for a very long time.

I've also decided that I want to take the 10 week cafe apprentice program, after learning more about it. While I have a lot of kitchen skills already, this program covers heaps of other things and I know there is always more to learn.

We were completely shocked to see it snow one day (you can see the remains in the mountains). I kept hoping it would melt quickly - I wanted as much hot weather as possible! Fortunately it only stayed for about 24 hours. Here is my mom (middle) with two of our new friends.

We are so grateful to have learned heaps of valuable information, eat amazing raw vegan food, attend spiritual services at the temple, make new friends, watch food prep classes, enjoy saunas, yoga and dance classes, and bask in warm temperatures, among other things. We'd like to make this an annual trip in the midst of winter - I recommend this center to anyone!
Stay tuned for some TOL style ice cream recipes...
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12 Comments
  1. February 25, 2008 at 00:28
    Reply

    OMG! That's awesome. I'm curious - how much did you end up spending per person? I've been trying to figure out if I can afford to go in the fall, but I can't seem to get a straight answer about how much a complete trip will cost. :)<br /><br />And vanilla creme stevia? Really?

  2. February 25, 2008 at 06:46
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    It's my dream to chill down there. You are a lucky duck! My mouth is salivating at the prospect of more of your creations!!

  3. February 26, 2008 at 01:45
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    I am green with envy..the whole thing sound magical. Your mom rocks too, by the way!<br />vist me <br />debbiedoesraw.blogspot.com

  4. February 26, 2008 at 03:44
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    Ahhh!!! You're coming back!?!!? For an apprenticeship?!!? You just totally, totally made my day! I felt like I was so busy that I didn't get to see you as much as I wanted but now I'll get to! YIPEE!

  5. February 26, 2008 at 22:47
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    juusan - im not really sure, since I only paid for my flight - the vacation was my mom's treat. you can call the center though and find out. <br /><br />yard- you should go down there in the fall when im there for the apprenticeship :D<br /><br />debbie - thanks! yes, i think my mom rocks too :)<br /><br />courtney - yes yes yes! i totally want to go back! There definately wasn't enough time to hang out - I look forward to spending more time together! :D

  6. February 27, 2008 at 02:45
    Reply

    Sounds like awesome place. Ihave to check it out.

  7. February 27, 2008 at 11:44
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    You're back. You've been missed. Thanks for sharing your trip with us. We'll live through you :-)

  8. February 27, 2008 at 21:12
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    Thanks Shannon...yes it was wonderful. I hope everyone can go there one day :)

  9. February 29, 2008 at 02:52
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    Awesome Blog... Rawkin<br /><br />We have so many programs and variations it is hard to give a general answer. Call us and we will be happy to discuss our programs and send a rates sheet. We are proud of what we have to offer.<br /><br />Love<br />Philip Madeley<br />Customer Service Manager

  10. March 6, 2008 at 03:16
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    Philip!!!!!! You found my blog! <br />It was really great to meet you at the Tree - my mom esp adores you, lol. <br />We bought the video - it was fun to see you at work in the kitchen - with long hair!!!!! hehe

  11. March 6, 2008 at 04:48
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    This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. March 6, 2008 at 04:51
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    Kaia (Courtney Pool) sent it to me... <br /><br />yeah the kale video on the Rainbow Green video is funny now... that was quite a while back when I was working in the kitchen.<br /><br />You were awesome guests and it was a pleasure to host you both... all my love to both you vibrantly healthy "raw goddesses"

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